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Recap & Photos: Adventuredrum at Philadelphia Art Museum

- by Q.D. Tran

Last Friday was actually the first time I’ve ever attended the Philadelphia Art Museum’s Art After 5, and it was a really pleasant surprise. As our Weekend Warrior section mentioned, West Philadelphia Orchestra was performing, and it was also the public debut of Adventuredrum. Unfortunately, H.M. Kauffman and I missed the former because we had no clue that walking from Center City to the museum would take so long (that’s a long homestretch on the Ben Franklin Parkway). We could hear a muffled performance of WPO as we waited in line to get our passes. Since there was a set break, we had time to roam around the hallowed halls peeking into the different rooms, and happened to catch Zoe Strauss speaking about her featured exhibit. Then we headed back to the Great Stair Hall to grab drinks and find spots for the next set. Most of the people were sitting, and we’re not much for that at shows so it was difficult to find a vantage point without someone asking you to sit down or move out of there way. We finally found a spot stage right behind the area with tables and chairs and in the entrance aisle with the rest of the people who chose to stand. It was great location, especially since we were in the front.
 
On stage, there was a crazy amount of instruments, which made absolute sense with how many members were in Adventuredrum. The mastermind of the ambitious project is Man Man drummer Chris Powell (a.k.a. Pow Pow). It was exciting to see all the familiar faces and talented crew of local musicians that he had assembled which included fellow Man Man bandmates Jamey Robinson and Matt Gibson, Chris Ward (Pattern Is Movement), Jason Kourkounis (Bardo Pond), Chris Wilson (Ted Leo & The Pharmacists), Ricardo Lagomasino (Many Arms), David Fishkin (Extreme Fishkin), Stephen Buono (Split Red), Sam Belkowitz, Eugene Lew and Ellen Houle. They were also later joined by Koofreh Umoren (The Extraordinaires) and Adam Hershberger (Bobby Zankel’s Warriors of the Wonderful Sound) towards the end of the show. The set started out with some percussive experimental noise which evolved into funkier danceable beats thanks to Robinson’s Moog, Gibson’s bass bombs, and the unified percussions and drums of the rest of the outfit. At first, there were only a couple of children dancing. (The event is very family-friendly so it’s a great place for parents and their kids to have fun while soaking up a bit of culture.) There was also an older couple showing off their ballroom dance moves complete with lifts. The band traded back and forth between heavy grooves and space-y out there instrumentation with everyone focused on their leader Pow Pow for direction. There were even wave-like drum exchanges which actually got the crew doing a little sports arena-type wave of their own. By the end of the evening, the floor was filled with people - young and old - gettin’ down to Adventuredrum (and thankfully there were absolutely no more requests for people to sit down). It was a beautiful, communal experience, which we hope will happen more often. (BTW: The word floating around is that there are no plans for Man Man to tour anytime soon so that might mean your chance to catch Adventuredrum - if you missed out on this show - may come sooner than later. However, we can’t guarantee that it will be a setting as memorable as Philadelphia Art Museum, but we can hope.) You can check out our photos from the evening below.
 
 
Adventuredrum
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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