Listen to iNFiNiEN play an expansive progedelic set at Beardfest - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

It’s hard to believe, but experimental Philly rock four-piece iNFiNiEN has been active for 16 years. The one thing that’s remained a constant in that time is the impossibility of reducing what they do to a single thing. Lead guitarist Matt Hollenberg comes at music from a noise / metal background, while pianist and vocalist Chrissie Loftus has serious jazz and Latin music chops. The rhythm section of drummer Tom Cullen and bassist Jordan Berger gives the band a heavy psych / prog core, and the fluidity of their collective playing lends what they do easily to the jam world — such as the annual Jersey gathering Beardfest, from which their recent live album draws — but don’t call them a jam band.

When I interviewed them for City Paper back in 2009, Hollenberg summed it up neatly: “Between the four of us, we’re into every style. But we don’t approach it like, ‘Here’s this stock part, you put it here.’ And that way, the music opens itself up to something else entirely.”

That’s evident across the immersive expanse of Live at Beardfest, recorded at the 2015 edition of the annual festival and released last week. Opening with the wake-up call of “Despierta,” a dramatic eight-minute expanse sung in Spanish by Loftus, the set finds the band mixing up selections from their 2009 self-titled album, and 2016’s Light at the Endless Tunnel. You’ll hear hard and heavy rock moments, enchanting ambient diversions, and nimble solos from both Hollenberg on guitar and Loftus on keys.

And most importantly, you’ll hear a band of top-notch players exploring sound and style free of boundaries. Dig into the set below, and catch iNFiNiEN at Johnny Brenda’s on November 7th when they open for Upholstery with Naeemah Maddox. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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