Touring behind the release of her album Untame the Tiger, the crowd eagerly awaited iconic indie artist Mary Timony‘s melodic rave-ups. Unlike flashy and excessive performances, Timony’s style is tasteful and succinct. She and her band took the stage, clad in all black, sporting a pair of classic Chucks. This solo project sits alongside a vast discography spanning Timony’s projects Helium, Ex Hex, and Autoclave. Not to mention Wild Flag, where she shared the stage with Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss. Today, however, Mary was accompanied by Betsy Wright on rhythm guitar, also from Ex Hex and the rest of the touring band.

Their set kicked off with the first track from the new album, “No Thirds.” Although missing its acoustic element in the live rendition, the song still soared with Timony’s voice and layered electric guitar lines, the poignant lyrics “A brand-new day, it still hurts like hell” resonating throughout the venue. They segued seamlessly into the sixth track, “Don’t Disappear,” with Timony’s signature intricate guitar bursts weaving beautifully with Wright’s.

Timony’s Philadelphia show at Johnny Brenda’s was not too long ago — a week after the album release — so many were grateful to have her back to share more stories about life and loss. All the songs from the new album graced the stage except for the first single, “Dominoes,” and “Looking For The Sun,” both acoustic tracks. Other songs that were acoustic on the album became punchier live as Timony strummed and soloed on her electric guitars. She was not the most energetic on stage but she didn’t need to be, with her solos alone elevating and electrifying the performance.

Untame the Tiger emerged from the ashes of Timony’s long-term relationship and the deaths of both her parents. These experiences permeate the album, infusing it with a straightforward, emotionally charged nature. Lines like “What did I get for loving you?” from the title track resonated deeply as the set progressed. You could see as Timony’s eyes narrowed as she muttered the answer: “Nothing but pain,” at the end of the song.

The performance remained tight and compelling with help from her amazing band. In addition to Wright, there was bassist Chad Molter to her left and drummer David Christian bolding striking the drums. Together, they propelled songs like “The Guest” to a jaw dropping climax. In “The Dream” they reached a crescendo that felt like the ideal closer. However, Mary had one more in her back pocket — her last single from the album, “Summer,” which concluded the set.

Their 20-date tour began on Feb. 28, with a few nights off following their performance at DC’s Black Cat. Next stop: Seattle’s Clock-Out Lounge. Get more information on the tour here, check out a gallery of photos from the show below.

Mary Timony
Free At Noon
  • No Thirds
  • Don't Disappear
  • Not The Only One
  • Tiger
  • The Guest
  • Leon's Space Song
  • The Dream
  • Summer