Bad Copy

Show Review

Sing Us Home Festival (ft. Dave & Tim Hause, Catbite, & More) in Manayunk, PA

Photo: Anni Kellam

Dave Hause’s Sing Us Home Festival was held on Venice Island in Manayunk (which is part of Philly for those who don’t know) on May 5th and 6th. There were food trucks. There was a tattoo artist. There were a ton of families. The overall feeling of the day and a half festival was one of homecoming and just an absolute blast.

Kicking off the first night was Circle of Syn doing a plethora of covers (from “Secret Agent Man” to “Folsom Prison Blues”).  It was a family affair when Dave and Tim Hause joined in on one of the songs, since their father is a member of the band.

The next act was Tim Hause performing his solo songs. Before that night, I hadn’t listened to his work, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. His song “4,000 Days” (which is an ode to his mother) hit me right in the heart. I will definitely be adding his album into my Spotify rotation.

Closing out the night was Dave Hause, Kathleen Edwards, and Craig Finn (of The Hold Steady). They billed this as the Hause Family Campfire and that was the exact feeling of the closing set. Taking turns, each person would perform one of their own songs and the rest became their backing band. It reminded me of camping as a kid and the adults would break out the guitars and start singing (granted, Edwards, Finn, and Hause were so much better than my Dad’s friends, but it did evoke those campfire feelings).

The second day of the festival had absolutely perfect weather and The Tisburys, another local band, started off the day. I haven’t been keeping up with a lot of new music over the last few years (the pandemic turned me into a damned feral shut-in), but their set was solid and tight and reminded me of the music I’d catch playing on KALX back in the 90s. Partway through, the Ocean Avenue Stompers came up to provide some horns.

Crossed Keys was next and one of the reasons I wanted to shoot this festival. They, too, are a local band and played a mix of old and new songs from “True to You” to “RIP Arch Street.” Their melodic hardcore sound was a great way to start to amp up the energy of the day.

In between sets, Ocean Avenue Stompers would come out and play in the crowd, mainly near the food trucks. You would never guess they are from Asbury Park, NJ since their sound is absolutely New Orleans brass band. They did covers of Beyoncé, Snoop, The Specials, and even got the crowd to do a sing-along to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” I am an absolute sucker for horns and they were fantastic.

I don’t want to play favourites, but I am totally going to play favourites. Catbite was the highlight of the entire weekend for me. They did a mix of original songs and covers and the crowd was absolutely amped up. Their songs and energy brought me back to being a teenager in Orange County in the 90s during the height of the 3rd wave of ska (think No Doubt and Save Ferris era). I can see them headlining festivals soon and I am so looking forward to when that happens.

Lydia Loveless was next up. She is more alt-country which is not really a genre of music I listen to or am familiar with. But her voice and songs were just beautiful.

Dave Hause & The Mermaid. What can I say about this set other than it was awesome? From “Saboteurs” to “Pedal Down” to “Prague” it felt like a best of the best of his musical career. The crowd was just joyful and singing along with each song.

Drive-By Truckers closed out the festival. Unfortunately, I had to miss their set because I was in so much pain by that point. (Pro-tip: never ever have oral surgery a few days before going to a music festival.)

Hopefully this was will become an annual event, because the entire weekend was just perfection.

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