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Fun Times at Underground Arts: Concert Review

Written by on April 14, 2024

Last summer, my cousin and I went to Louis Tomlinson’s concert at The Mann where Tomlinson had two opening acts. One was a German indie rock band called Giant Rooks. Their performance was very fun, especially when they played an (at the time) unreleased song called “Somebody Like You.” With their infectious energy and engaging crowd work, they had the audience pumped up and ready for Tomlinson’s set!

When I heard they were coming back to Philly, it was a no-brainer – I had to be there. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one waiting for Giant Rooks; Fred Rabe, lead singer of Giant Rooks, mentioned the Louis Tomlinson gig and practically the whole audience shouted they’d been there too.

Giant Rooks and Friedberg’s performances at Underground Arts on April 13, 2024, were nothing short of electrifying!

Friedberg – London, UK – Alternative Rock

Friedberg performing “Hello” at Underground Arts. Photo by Bella Cipresso.

Friedberg an alternative rock band from London, UK first took the stage. The group is composed of Anna Friedberg (writer, vocals, cowbell, and guitar), Emily Linden (guitar and vocals), Cheryl Pinero (bass and vocals), and Daniel Brandt (drums). Their songs remind me of the songs that play in a movie when a heartbroken girl dances around her room, upbeat and wild.

Most of Friedberg’s set was comprised of unreleased songs, which the lead singer said will hopefully come out soon. Their song “Hello,” released in 2024, had an edgy and dark vibe that got the crowd bopping around. Their latest release “My Best Friend” revealed the depth of the band’s lyricists. It delves into the complexities of relationships where lines blur between friendship, romantic feelings, and perhaps situationships. Lyrics like “I want you here, I want you gone, want you too much, I like togetherness as long as we’re apart,” poignantly capture the longing and complexity of said connections. And let’s not forget the band’s quirky and cute dance moves, which added a layer of fun to the whole performance!

Giant Rooks – Hamm, DE – Indie Rock

Fred and Finn performing “Heat Up.” Photo by Bella Cipresso.

Next up, the Giant Rooks made their return to Philly! There was a vibrant energy in the crowd, as people danced around and held up signs with the names of the band members. The group is composed of Fred Rabe (vocals, guitar, and percussion), Finn Schwieters (guitar and vocals), Luca Gottner (bass and vocals), Jon Wischniowski (keyboard), and Finn Thomas (drums). Their songs have the type of tune that you can dance to whether you know the lyrics or not.

The set opened with “Somebody Like You,” the one that’s been stuck in my head since last summer. Songs like “Morning Blue,” “Wild Stare,” and “Bedroom Exile” had everyone on their feet. I particularly loved Finn’s guitar solo in “Bedroom Exile” and the mesmerizing percussion in “Bright Lies.” And “Heat Up” was my favorite song of the night, no doubt about it!

Focused on their latest album “How Have You Been?”, Giant Rooks performed most of the tracks from it. The song “Nobody Likes Hospitals” struck an emotional chord with everyone in the room, including lead singer Fred Rabe. Transitioning to a more uplifting but still deeply emotional song, “For You” was an instant crowd favorite, with the audience raising their flashlights and friends embracing each other in hugs.

From this dancey and sweet performance from Giant Rooks to Friedberg’s high-energy set, the concert at Underground Arts was a 10/10!

To help you recreate those amazing vibes, I’ve created a Spotify playlist with all my favorite songs from the concert + more! Listen here.

A huge thank you to Underground Arts for providing me access to the show – I truly appreciate it!