Clique | Photo by Megan Lynch
Glocca Morra bids farewell at the First Unitarian Church
It’s not easy laying a band to rest. But if you’re going to do it right, what better place to do it than the First Unitarian Church, where so many bands have spent their final days? What’s better than packing a bunch of emotional, sweaty people in a crowded church basement to watch a twinkly emo band whose name sounds like “guacamole” go out in style? Nothing. The answer is nothing.
That band, Glocca Morra, played their last show ever on May 30. They were accompanied by a stellar lineup: New York slack rockers LVL UP, Toronto noise punks Greys, Philly favorites CLIQUE, and Marge, an up-and-coming Philly punk band.
Here’s a quick recap of the events prior to when the guests of honor took the stage.
Marge opened the show and pumped up the crowd with boisterous, peppy rock. Three out of the four members sang, and switched vocal roles throughout their set, which gave the band a unique sonic edge.
Next came CLIQUE, who have gained a steady following with the release of last year’s self-titled album. Their set mostly consisted of songs from that album, including the tongue-in-cheekiness of “Get By” and the self-deprecating stoner jam “Sucker”. They also played a song from their Loose Tooth/Ghost Gum/Mumblr split and premiered some new material.
Greys came all the way from Toronto to raise hell in the tiny church basement. In case you forget what punk is about, Greys will be glad to remind you. Frantically leaping around the stage, spitting in the air, and pummeling their instruments, their set was a good 15 minutes of heavy-as-a-freight-train sound. Not a slow song was seen here, and the only breaks in the noise were either filled with lead guitar shredding or a battering drum fill.
LVL UP’sHoodwink’d was definitely one of the best sleeper hits of last year. It featured a fresh mix of fuzzed-out distortion and light, airy lead guitar. The vocals effortlessly shifted between straight up droning and wistful. That sound was reflected perfectly in their live performance, which featured outros longer than four minutes and tons of head-bobbing energy.
And then… the moment came. Glocca Morra took the stage, and did a pretty good job of pretending it wasn’t their last show ever. Glocca Morra has always been one of those bands for pre-gaming or partying with your best buds. But this was the pre-game, the party, and a time to hang with good friends – and like most good times, it ended too soon.
To quote lead vocalist / guitarist Zack on the band’s Facebook, “The night seemingly flew by and it was nearly impossible to just sit back for a second and realize that this was ending.” If you’re a fan of offbeat humor, taking five minutes to tune a bass, or listening to weird, nonsensical punk rock, you really missed out.
The band played songs spanning their entire catalog, including some from the Ghoul Intentions 7″, An Obscure Moon Lighting an Obscure World, and the newer singles they released three months ago as a preview to saying goodbye. You can listen to those songs below.
And of course, let’s not forget the masterpiece of 2012, their full length Just Married. The crowd smushed and pushed into each other to the soothing sounds of songs such as “Broken Cigarettes”, “Eat the Fucking Snow”, “Me + Geniene”, and the closing song of the night, the unforgettable “Y’all Boots Hats? (Die Angry)”.
Speaking of Just Married – the band’s drummer, Arik, got proposed to on-stage by his girlfriend. And he said yes. That has to be one of the cutest moments in First Unitarian show history.
And so, the night ended just like any other. The band left the stage, and as soon as the lights flicked on, everyone could see how much they were actually sweating. But that’s what you do when you find a band like Glocca Morra – you go to crowded basements and houses to see a few people thrashing around on instruments because they love it, they love playing for you, and you love their music.
And even though it seems like Glocca Morra can be quite carefree, whether it’s onstage or in their music, everyone knows they loved working hard to get to this point. To quote Zack’s post again,
This band meant the world to us. and although we lost steam after 5 or so years I’m glad we did these final shows. it still surprises me when other people tell me how much we mattered to them or how we impacted their lives.
Well, allow me to surprise you yet again, Glocca Morra: thank you for providing me and many others with your quirky, lovely music. It was there for me during some of the most rough and amazing times of my life. And I will never forget any of the times I saw you play. You mattered, and you impacted so many people in ways you can’t imagine. Thank you, and RIP.
One final question, though: who will reunite first? Glocca Morra, or Snowing?