illuminati hotties at PhilaMOCA

If I were a member of a certain secret organization infiltrating the worlds’ government, I would consider hiring illuminati hotties as a house band.

First, they came dressed for the job: bandleader Sarah Tudzin sported a white jumpsuit straight out of an OK GO music video, the back displaying the red pyramid also featured on her custom shoes. The rest of the band wore matching white shirts and red short-shorts to rival Caroline Rose’s. In the middle of their set, during their song “Shape of Your Hands,” Tudzin reached out and shook audience members’ hands, showing she’s a professional. And you can’t help but notice that they’re just gosh darn charming. I think we can skip the interview; illuminati hotties have got the job.

oldsoul opened the night at PhilaMOCA with a set of pared down duets, performed on an acoustic and an electric guitar. Singer Jess Hall has a voice crafted for punk, but was nicely complimented by their acoustic strumming and the guitarists’ effortless noodling. Their set landed somewhere between Paramore’s “The Only Exception” and Big Thief, churning and forceful but entirely chill.

illuminati hotties took the stage shortly after, hopping on with verve and drive. They began their set with an intro that moved from a recorded tape of a description of the illuminati to an ethereal instrumental. They then launched into their single, “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” a bubbly post-break-up anthem. They played through most of their debut, titled kiss yr frenemies, including “Cuff,” for which they recently released a somber music video. They were dynamic throughout the night, which matches the tone of the album, dropping from highs to lows between chorus and verse.

Some of the more upbeat tracks included “Shape of My Hands” and “Paying Off the Happiness,” a song on becoming an adult in the gig economy. illuminati hotties could also take it slow, playing “Patience” and “For Cheez (My Friend Not the Food),” where the band would take a backseat to Tudzin’s guitar and vocals. They could take the room from grooving to drop-of-a-pin quiet within seconds, but never let the momentum drop.

Midway through the set, Tudzin stopped to announce the part of the night where she switches guitars. A jolly 8-bit version of “(You’re Better) Then Ever” cut-in, punctuating what would typically be a minor event in the performance. Interjections like that, along with adding in a synchronized hand gesture portion during their final song, “Pressed 2 Death,” assert how polished their set was. Tudzin also threw in a shout-out to the sheer number of hotties in the audience, which never hurts.

illuminati hotties managed to turn an average Thursday night into a cool, shamelessly joyous night of tight songs, rocking guitar, and contemplative melodies. Tudzin is a fantastic bandleader with a clear passion for her music, her fans, and her fellow bandmembers. illuminati hotties are from the west coast, but fit in perfectly with the Eraserhood venue, and would surely be welcome anywhere, even, say, a certain shadow government’s annual retreat. But who would know anything about that?

Setlist:
Intro
(You’re Better) Than Ever
Shape
Patience
For Cheez (My Friend Not The Food)
Cuff
The Rules
Boi
Paying Off The Happiness
Keep Yr Dog
Pressed 2 Death
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