When I tell you every single person was smiling during The Heavy’s set, I’m not kidding. Whether it was the contagious energy of frontman Kelvin Swaby or the endless amount of good vibes they brought to the upstairs stage, The Heavy somehow had the room dancing from the front to the back. I don’t mean just swaying, I mean waving their arms in the air and completely head-over-heels invested in their funky soulful bluesy rock.
The London-based crew took the stage in their Dickies jumpsuits and played a few songs from their recently released album, AMEN. Opening with “Hurricane Coming,” the audience quickly got acquainted with Swaby’s suave vocals and the pure joy the band projects. Acting as The Heavy’s on-stage hype man, he brought a certain electricity accentuated by the buoyant brass section and bouncing bass lines that ushered in a jubilant atmosphere. They were larger than life, the perfect blend of over-the-top theatrics and everyday magic that made them absolutely enchanting. Even the more low-key tracks such as “Just Like Summer,” had a breezy sun-kissed je ne sais quoi that made them just as exciting as the fast-paced staccato rhythm of songs like “I Feel Love.”
The band closed out their set with “How You Like Me Now,” a triumphant track that featured ebullient vocals and elastic riffs. Over an infectious groove, Swaby shouted, “Philadelphia sing it with me,” which was met with a chorus of voices from the crowd who seemed elated to be shouting along. As he tossed t-shirts into the abyss of an audience, the joy was palpable in the room. One of the last sets of the night, The Heavy made sure to end the second night of NOM-COMM on a high note.