Free at Noon Flashback: Hollis Brown brings Queens rock 'n' roll to Philly - WXPN
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Hollis Brown | photo by Jamie Stow for WXPN

What better way to kick off a holiday weekend than with some afternoon rock ‘n’ roll? That’s just what Hollis Brown had in mind when they joined us for Free at Noon today, and it’s clear that music runs in the band’s blood — after all, they take their name from Bob Dylan’s song “Ballad of Hollis Brown.” After taking time off from touring to make their new album Ozone Park, released earlier this summer, Hollis Brown is back in action and ready to bring a dose of renewed energy to their brand of contemporary rock.

The New York five-piece shared a selection of songs from the new album — which is named after their Queens neighborhood — during today’s set, starting off with the lead single “Do Me Right” to get the crowd moving. They followed it with “Stubborn Man” and a cover of Jesse Malin’s “She Don’t Love Me Know,” infusing their pure rock sound into both. In their decade as a band, Hollis Brown has explored the inspiration they find in the many different musical styles prevalent in their hometown, and set out to establish their songs as modern classics — as frontman Mike Montali told Billboard recently, the band’s goal is to create “rock n’ roll with the sound of 2019, not the sound of 1976.”

Keeping it fresh requires a lot of work, but Hollis Brown is more than up to the task. During their eight-song set, each dynamic tune bled into the next, as the five members played tirelessly toward the goal of rock ‘n’ roll. Trading his tambourine for a megaphone, Montali led the band in closing with the invigorating “Bad Mistakes,” leaving us ready to tackle the weekend with as much passion as Hollis Brown pours into their music.

Hollis Brown heads out on a European tour next month, but they’ll be back in our area November 24 for a show with Vintage Trouble at Ardmore Music Hall. Find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar.

Setlist:
Do Me Right
Stubborn Man
She Don’t Love Me Now
The Way She Does It
Someday Soon
Run Right To You
Go For It
Bad Mistakes

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