CONCERT REVIEW: M. Ward at Union Transfer
M. Ward brought his special brand of folk and mid-20th-century rock to Union Transfer on May 2nd. Playing behind his 2016 LP More Rain, a large Philly contingent drank in his guitar and unique vocals.
With covers of classic rockers like “Rave On!” and Buddy Holly-esque tunes of his own like “Magic Trick,” M. Ward brings a past frozen in vinyl and celluloid to aural life. And with dark hues of blue and red covering him and his crack band, the music of black-and-white reruns was awash in its blues origins. To watch M. Ward himself wrangle his guitar instincts, crouching and angling the instrument like a living organism he is trying to tame, is worth the price of admission itself.
The Jenny Lewis-based new punk trio NAF (which stands for “Nice as Fuck”) opened with a brilliant set of songs. With a stage set up on the floor in a DIY manner, the band entered to the classic 1980s Jem and the Holograms theme song. They lived up that aesthetic and beyond with empowering and political quick takes that will sound great on a forthcoming album.