From the first seconds of rapid-speed rhythm guitar, it’s obvious that Soul Glo’s Tiny Desk Concert is unlike any other. “So y’all heard me, let’s fuck this place up,” frontman Pierce Jordan tells the crowd and with that it begins: a can’t-miss fifteen-minute performance from the local legends. It’s an exhilarating demonstration of the band’s unrestrained energy and astonishing ability to turn even the calmest of rooms into a punk party. It’s also a record-setting moment: Soul Glo are the first hardcore band to appear on the wildly popular NPR series.

Jordan spits bars at a breakneck pace and screams into the mic with commanding fury, then hops onto the desk to really get the show going. The room is filled with local black and brown hardcore fans from the D.C. area and together they set another Tiny Desk record: the first mosh pit at the radio’s office. As Jordan abandons the mic to join the crowd, you truly feel the infectious, sweat-stained euphoria unique to a thrilling hardcore show. The band’s muscular sound is propelled by powerhouse drummer TJ Stevenson and the squalling sprawl of GG Guerra’s guitar. All four songs are riveting, and the titles are unforgettable: “Jump!! (Or Get Jumped!!!)((by the future))” and “If I Speak (Shut The F*** Up).” Jordan dons a bright pink Telfar hoodie and gold grills and makes some powerful political statements with his fashion. His keffiyeh is a clear sign of solidarity with Palestine, and his “sheisty” face mask is a poignant protest against Philadelphia’s laws banning such clothing and the frequent targeting of young black men. “Fuck a ban, they ain’t gone ban me from covering my face,” he tells the crowd.

Soul Glo finishes their Tiny Desk set with a track from their most recent project, 2022’s Diaspora Problems: “Gold Chain Punk (whogonbeatmyass?).” As the entire crowd joins Jordan in chanting “who gon’ beat my ass?,” it’s almost impossible not to wish you are there in the room, jumping and yelling and moshing.

Good news: Soul Glo is hitting the road. They’ll be opening for Mannequin Pussy for three nights at Union Transfer next month. Two of the dates are sold out, but tickets are still available here for the May 19th show (check the WXPN Concerts and Events page for the ticketing link). On Instagram, the band captioned the announcement: “can we get one of the bars or the mens bathroom named after us if it sells out?” They’ll join Mannequin Pussy for the full “I Got Heaven” Tour beginning in April, and will also perform at the Sled Island Music & Arts Festival and Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, Massachusetts.


Soul Glo: Tiny Desk Concert