The Sword, Purson, From Beyond @ Union Transfer, Philadelphia (USA) – 20th May 2016

At the end of the day, it was a mixed bag of a show, but I still enjoyed it.

Old-school metallers The Sword, the psych rock Purson, and the doom band From Beyond are currently trekking through the U.S. together. They are definitely an interesting combination of bands to tour together, all being in the same realm, but having their own styles. I caught their stop at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer.

the sword person tour

Due to multiple train delays (fuck you SEPTA), I missed From Beyond. I listened to them in preparation for the show however, and they had an interesting occult/doom vibe. I’m sure they played a good set. Check them out!

Purson 2016

After seeing them open for Ghost last year and having their mesmerizing new LP on repeat for over a month, I was excited to see Purson again and hear them play their new material. They are by far the best modern psychedelic rock band out there. They have such variety in their sound, it’s always a beautiful and mysterious trip. A major problem that plagued the whole set was the fact that the drums were too loud. They really overpowered everything else and I could barely hear the keys. Vocalist and guitar player Rosalie Cunningham (who sounded amazing as usual despite the mixing issues) mentioned that they couldn’t hear anything on set, so it wasn’t the band’s fault. My ears adjusted, however, as the set went on. It’s really sad too because besides that, the set was wonderful.

The band started with the new album’s opener “Desire’s Magic Theatre”. The energized intro of the song unfortunately had a slower tempo than on record. It was still a great number to hear live though. Most of their setlist was from the new album, with groovy tracks like “Electric Landlady,” “The Window Cleaner,” and “Mr. Howard.” They had a sole inclusion from their debut, the always fabulous “Spiderwood Farm.” That track is definitely their best song, with its dark but playful melodies. They played nine songs in total, which isn’t enough for me! They need to headline their next U.S. tour for sure and make sure their instruments are mixed correctly!

Purson Set List:
1. Desire’s Magic Theatre
2. Danse Macabre
3. The Window Cleaner
4. Electric Landlady
5. Mr. Howard
6. Dead Dodo Down
7. Spiderwood Farm
8. The Sky Parade
9. Wanted Man

The Sword 2016

The Sword then took the stage. I’ve listened to them a bit in the past and they definitely had a few tracks that I dug, though I was never a big fan. I gave them another try in preparation for this show, and found that they have some more good material up their sleeves. They didn’t become my favorite band, but I realized the appeal. I could see there were a number of superfans in the crowd. By the time they came on, the venue was packed. A mosh pit started pretty quickly and continued throughout, even though a lot of the songs I wouldn’t really consider mosh-worthy. There was even some crowd surfing (and in some cases, douche surfing).

I don’t really get the fanboyism though. I feel like a third of the songs they played were awesome, stuff like “Cloak of Feathers,” “Tears Like Diamonds,” “Seven Sisters,” and “Mists & Shadow.” But most of their tracks are just mediocre. Then again, Union Transfer is known to not have the best sound, so that could be a factor in my evaluation. They have that 70s hard rock Sabbathy feeling like so many other bands do these days (though they were early in this trend). There’s only so much you can do with that template that they mostly stick to. It clearly works since they seem to have a legion of fans, but it feels “been there done that” to me. I’ll just stick to their select numbers that I like and keep it at that.

At the end of the night, it was a mixed bag of a concert, but I still enjoyed it. More Purson please!

The Sword Set List:
1. Buzzards
2. Cloak of Feathers
3. High Country
4. The Dreamthieves
5. The Chronomancer I: Hubris
6. Maiden, Mother & Crone
7. Tears Like Diamonds
8. Mist & Shadow
9. Seven Sisters
10. Tres Brujas
11. Seriously Mysterious
12. Empty Temples
13. The Bees of Spring
14. The Hidden Masters
15.How Heavy This Axe

16. Agartha
17. Suffer No Fools
18. John the Revelator (Blind Willie Johnson Cover)
19. The Horned Goddess

The Sword 2016


The Sword 2016

More From Beyond:

More Purson:

More The Sword:

About Spencer (145 Articles)
Spencer Maxwell is a filmmaker and devoted metalhead. His favorite genres are heavy and doom metal, with his top bands being Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Candlemass, Pentagram, and Saint Vitus.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.