Sweet Spirit | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Last November we were graced with the presence of The Pretenders at a Free at Noon concert and as Helen Leicht pointed out, today we were treated to a set by a band that Chrissie Hynde & co. would probably be fans of. Austin’s Sweet Spirit stopped by World Cafe Live while in town supporting their sophomore LP St. Mojo, a record with track after track of confident rock that is pure fun.

With the fog machine fogging and a packed crowd ready and riled, Sabrina Ellis lead her bandmates into Mojo opening number “The Power,” a crash course in her impressive catalog of dance moves and powerful vocals. As if there were any question after the first taste of their tightly-tuned and amplified stage presence, this band has a sense of humor. So it was no surprise when Ellis pranked the radio audience with a tall tales of guitar player antics before launching into the waltzing sway of “The Mighty.” The country drawl of their home state found its way into the ode-to-rambling “Far From Home,” while the searing guitar solos in “Salvation” gave Ellis the most space to “shake it,” as she put it. A quieter moment came with “The Better It Feels Today,” a rare moment of tenderness during the incredible show of strength and energy.

The band’s lighthearted personality came out time and again during the set, whether it was cheeky backing vocals, a slick bass solo on old hit “Rebel Rebel,” or Ellis’ affinity for dancing with donuts. All this fun despite recurring lyrical themes of heartache. You see, there’s no wallowing in the heartbreak with Sweet Spirit – instead of stewing in the pain they punch it, shimmy it, and kick it away on stage and in their lyrics, like encore number “Take Me to the Party.”

Sweet Spirit perform tonight at Dawson Street Pub in Manayunk; tickets and information can be found here. Check out photos and listen to an archive of their Free at Noon below.

Sweet Spirit 4.14.17

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