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Microwave Craftily Mends Chasm Between Soft and Noisy on Headlining Tour

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Philadelphia received a little taste of Georgia on Saturday, March 18th as Atlanta based rock band, Microwave, rolled through town on their recently started month-long tour across the US with the airy Oso Oso, hypnotic Delta Sleep, and vibrant Mothé as their supporting acts.

As the band hit the stage, cheers of the word ‘Ferrari’ chimed from every corner of the crowd; Microwave fans had done their research and came equipped with an eager yearning for the song that was set to commence the night. As the saying goes, ask and you shall receive.

Nathan Hardy’s vocals glided into the band’s latest single, “Ferrari,” and as the projector light gleamed on stage and reflected into the packed room, so did he. Physically, he was illuminated by a tunnel of light; sonically, he was illuminated by the sheer vulnerability of the instrumentally minimal song. Then, Microwave’s fuzzy raucous escaped. With a mere note of “Lighterless,” the crowd erupted, accompanying the band in a unanimous display of admiration for their most listened to song.

Part of Microwave’s charm is their ability to use contrasting mellow sounds with grungy aggression, creating pieces fit for rousing more than one type of passion. “Work It Out” accomplished the dichotomy of these sounds in one package of smooth-melded grit. 

During the calm, fans extended their arms out to the band as they sang along; the hunger-to-unleash storm followed. Those at the barricade screamed the lyrics as they coiled over the metal structure, reaching forward and throwing their entire bodies into their fan-fueled performance. Necks furiously boomeranged back and forth and back again in a hair flying, head banging spree. A steady stream of crowd surfers bounced atop the crowd and beamed with smiles as they made their way to the front and straight back into the crowd to reunite with the madness. 

After the band witnessed the crowd in its fit of rowdiness, they took the time to check in to ensure everyone was safe, an act that showed how deeply they cared for their fans. 

Towards the middle of their set, Microwave highlighted another current case of their crafty writing with the distorted acoustic haze of 2022’s single, “Straw Hat.” Yet again, Microwave managed to deliver a perfect blend of differing sounds and shifting moods, of something somehow soft and noisy at the same time.

Following this modern Microwave song was a blast to the past for longtime fans. The band introed the next song with an announcement: “This is one we haven’t played in a long ass time. Actually, the next few are,” Hardy exclaimed before entering into ‘Thinking of You,’ a song off of their 2015 split EP with Head North, and ripping through a handful of beloved older songs.

Next was “Neighbors” from 2016’s Much Love, which elicited a roar as its opening line, “I forgot my stupid wallet in the car,” boomed throughout the room. “Grass Stains” from 2013’s EP, When the Fever Breaks was another example of age not mitigating crowd reaction. Voices cried “I’ll probably never be the same without you” as the song claimed a new layer of meaning; Microwave had left a permanent mark on their fans. They would never be the same without them (and for the better).

The end of the night neared as the band performed fan favorites “Vomit” and “Trash Stains.” As the projector light shined over the crowd, it revealed a sea of jumping, air punching, finger pointing, and pitting as the words in each song were swept away into the whirlwind of the crowd’s intense movement. By the end of this experience, it proved to be more than just any show; it stood as a continuous cycle of impassioned release from start to finish.

Microwave’s headlining tour with Oso Oso, Delta Sleep, Mothé runs now through April 22nd. It’s an experience your eyes and ears won’t want to miss!

Show Date: 03.18.23 | Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer | Microwave Mends Chasm Between Soft and Noisy

Suzanne Leszczynski
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Hi! My name's Suzanne and I like to capture the world of live music in Philadelphia; immortalizing moments between music lovers is what motivates me. I'll catch you at a show soon!

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