Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement tour took a stop in Philadelphia this week at the Foundry. This tour included triple-headliners 888, Coast Modern, and Sundara Karma.
888 warmed up the audience with songs from their five-song EP, Critical Mistakes, which they released in 2016. The band includes Danny Stillman (vocals), Aaron Rothe (keyboard/programmer), and Danny Cooper (drums). Their feel-good song “Seattle Rain” had the audience swaying along after the moody “Young And In Love.” They closed with their most played song on Spotify -with over 3 million plays- “Critical Mistakes.” This finale included an extended drum solo, which took place off-stage, in the center of the audience.
Following 888 was California’s Coast Modern. Coast Modern features the unique, genre-bending sounds of LA natives Luke Atlas and Coleman Trapp. Their tracks encompass electro-pop, hip-hop, indie-rock AND psychedelic-indie pop. Coast Modern set the stage with some tropical potted-plants and played a few unreleased songs, which will be featured on their first album, set to be released next month.
They began their set with two new songs and lead into their hit “Guru.” “Guru” fuses psychedelic-indie with reggae seamlessly and even includes a short hip-hop break. The audience was especially tuned into Trapp’s energy every time he leaned into the front row as they sang along. A group of very enthusiastic young gentlemen whipped out actual combs to scream along to “Comb My Hair”; an interesting choice to say the least. Coast Modern also debuted “Wild Things,” a song on the mellower end of their spectrum.
Riding their breezy Cali-vibe, Coast Modern played “Animals” and “Pockets Full Of No” with some old and new tracks in between. One of my personal favorites, “Pockets Full Of No,” is their latest single, anchored by a funky, psychedelic beat.
They closed with the angsty “Hollow Life.” This song’s lyrics convey the desperation for a more meaningful existence disguised under a catchy melody and infused with techno elements.
Sundara Karma took to the stage last with a sparkly punch from lead singer and guitarist Oscar Lulu’s glitter-covered Fender. Other members include Ally Baty (guitar), Dom Cordell (bass), and Haydn Evans (drums). Sundara Karma’s sound straddles alternative/folk-rock and nostalgic but modern rock and roll, complemented by their 70s-retro fashion sense.
Sundara Karma kicked off their set with the upbeat “A Young Understanding” followed by “Olympia.” To my surprise, they performed “Flame” third in the set, but it still rocked pretty hard. The band exuded an overall nonchalant disposition; Lulu even revealed that Evans had gotten a tattoo in Philly earlier in the day on Thursday.
Sundara Karma played their entire set in dim lighting, except for the single spotlight during the intro of “Happy Family.” This song has a somber beginning but when the kick drum comes in, it evolves into a folk rock anthem. Another fan favorite, “She Said” was intensified with an added energetic instrumental break. Sundara Karma finished their set with the upbeat “Loveblood.”
Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement tour continues through April and the beginning of May, ending in Houston, TX on May 5th.
Follow me on Spotify here.