The first time I saw Movements was in an intimate, hole-in-the-wall batting cage in Philadelphia circa 2016. They were direct support for Real Friends on their $5 Tour and as fresh as it gets, coming armed with just a few singles, an EP, and a dream.
Movements wasn’t just any band; they were special from day one. This show marked one of their first times performing in Philadelphia, but the outpouring of enthusiasm from all 150 people that showed up that day indicated the quick adoption of a dedicated fanbase eager to unleash their pent-up appreciation for the newly budding group. In a mere six song set, the significance of the band’s presence was palpable and so was their destiny for more.
Fast forward to September 23rd of this year, the day Movements stopped in Philadelphia on their tour dedicated to celebrating the release of their brand new record, RUCKUS!, and the day they played a sold out show at The Fillmore to 2,500 people all unified by their growing love for the band.
To signify the start of the night, an orchestra of stage lights slowly powered on as a backtrack of children transfixingly chanted
“Join the crowd.
Join in the ruckus.
Follow the sound.
You just have to trust it.”
Then in a flash, the stage erupted into a powerful beam of instrumentation and display of dancing lights as guitarist Ira George, bassist Austin Cressey, and drummer Spencer York burst through the beginning of ‘You Are One Of Us Now,’ the very first track on the new record. Singer Patrick Miranda followed as he ran out and belted his vocal poetry while the song’s lyrics roared from lunging bodies and crowdsurfers being heaved above the crowd. ‘Lead Pipe’ followed and this reaction only intensified. Aptly named, we were all immediately enthralled by the RUCKUS! experience.
Seeing songs from RUCKUS! live solidified the way every piece of the record shines. In songs like ‘Fail You’ and ‘Killing Time,’ Miranda’s voice was as equally idealistic as it was raw and the instrumentation was there to support it or excel with its own powerful groove when the time came. Despite the rightful focus on RUCKUS!, the band didn’t let the night go without appreciating some of their past releases.
Early on, Miranda took a moment to share his sentiment toward Philadelphia, letting everyone know it was like a second home to the band thanks to working on every release with Philadelphia-based producer and owner of Studio 4, Will Yip, all the way back from the band’s first EP, Outgrown Things, to their most recent record. Considering the history, it made total sense when Miranda reported this show was the largest the band had ever played outside of their Orange County, California hometown. “This is the most fun we’ve ever had playing shows,” Miranda proudly proclaimed. “I can say for certainty this is the best show we’ve ever played in Philly.”
“This is the most fun we’ve ever had playing shows,
I can say for certainty this is the best show we’ve ever played in Philly.”Patrick Miranda, Lead Singer
The band also mixed their sentimentality with a little bit of light-hearted commentary. “Can I tell you about this guitar” Miranda asked of the crowd as he grabbed an instrument we would learn was so much more. He went on to explain that the guitar in his hands was used on 100% of what the band recorded. There, he announced that the band would be raffling it off to one person. Your entry in? Purchasing a Movements fun pack that includes some stickers, a patch, a pin, and a RUCKUS! bouncy ball. “If you don’t win a guitar, you get a bouncy ball – yeahhhh!” Miranda cheered, joking that it was a win-win situation. Jokes aside, to allow a fan an opportunity to own something that means so much to the band made being a part of the world of Movements feel even more rewarding than it already was.
One of the most rewarding aspects of experiencing Movements live, however, was the band’s skill in eliciting a spectrum of deep feelings from dejected pain, regret, and longing to impassioned sensuality and contention. Sonically, the band’s emotivity ebbed and flowed through building feelings and their inevitable eruptions, being presented in a beautifully contrasting package of reflective calm and chaos. Live, this was visually represented by an immersive array of changing lights and a band that knew not only how to move, but to inspire others to follow suit.
The room remained dimly lit during ‘Full Circle,’ with its crushingly lonely verses before feelings exploded through energetic frustration and blinding white lights during the chorus. ‘I Hope You Choke’ hit the crowd with anger while emitting a flare of deep red. ‘Cherry Thrill’ decorated the room with spinning rays and hypnotizing hues of pink and purple. In these dazzling moments of physical and figurative tone changes, every substantial lyric was saturated in emotion, but not without the illuminating reminder that those words universally supported the feelings and experiences of everyone in the room that night. It was just as exhilarating as it was therapeutic and strengthened the importance of the band’s deserved reach.
As the evening came to an end, Miranda reserved a moment to express his gratitude. “We appreciate each and every one of you from the bottom of our fucking hearts,” he exclaimed before a solemn guitar strum kicked off their very last song, the beloved ‘Daylily,’ from the band’s very first record, Feel Something. From every corner of the venue, the lyrics “You are the sunlight. Shine on to me,” soared above the band and into the room in a “pink cloud” haze. In that moment, everyone shone onto each other as they exchanged warm smiles, meaningful words, and a newly shared positive experience with others moved in a way that could only be accomplished by Movements.
Be sure to catch Movements on a date of their RUCKUS! tour with Mannequin Pussy, Softcult, and Heart to Gold from now until the middle of October! While you’re at it, don’t forget to grab a fun pack for a chance to win the notable Movements guitar (or one of those lovely RUCKUS! bouncy balls).
Show Date: 09.23.23 | Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore | Join Movements in the RUCKUS!