Theo Katzman performed for a sold out crowd at The Foundry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 19, 2020 — and I, Jordan August, was there in the intimate venue jamming along with all the other obsessed Katzman fans. What a wonderful musical experience. Don’t miss out on seeing him on his 2020 tour!
The Foundry in Philadelphia is the second floor room of the massive Fillmore that has made “Fishtown” the ultimate neighborhood to go see live music. It’s a smaller, more intimate venue which holds around 450 people. No photo pit, very limited seating in the back, and packed tightly when the shows are sold out. Basically a room built for the fans to get up close and personal with their favorite artist.
This was my second experience photographing a show at The Foundry. And boy was it different than the last (Andy Frasco). This sold out show was absolutely packed. Every corner was filled and people were up against the bar and every inch of that place. Each person in attendance being a (surprisingly… in a good way) massive fan of Katzman’s music. For those who don’t know this genius songwriter, he is the multi-instrumental man in VULFPECK. Got your attention?!?
Katzman sings all those glorious high notes and plays those funky drum rhythms, clunky guitar riffs, and sports the porn star-esque aviator glasses in VULFPECK (and probably real life). I was turned onto Katzman and the Vulf crew in my early days of binge listening to Snarky Puppy, trying to figure out where I went wrong in my musical career and own songwriting. After years of listening, I was one of the lucky individuals who saw Vulfpeck perform during Halloween weekend at the “Hulaween Festival” in north Florida.
Fast forward over a year, and there I was, early to the show knowing there was no space designated for me as a photographer. The crowd showed up well before me and took over the prime real estate, obviously. But hey, this is a show for the fans, not the guy there to work. So I wandered around, talked to some friends, passed out some flyers for my bands (Hambone Relay) upcoming show and enjoy myself.
When Katzman finally took the stage, the crowd went insane. Is it weird that I was so blown away by the response? And by what turned out to be a full on singalong of every single song he played? Now look, I’m a fan. I’m a Vulfpeck guy and I’ve been heavily listening to the new Katzman album, Modern Johnny Sings: Songs in the Age of Vibe. However, I had no idea how far and wide his music has reached and the amount of devoted fans he has. Honestly, made me feel kinda stupid for expecting anything less.
Thankfully, after running around The Foundry taking every shot I could without digging into the vibrant, boogying crowd, I spotted some friends dead center and a few rows back from the stage. Yes! I patiently and gentlemanly made my way to them and posted up to get all the luxuriously crisp close ups you see here in this gallery.
The set started out with the single “You Could Be President.” Solid choice. It’s 2020. It’s election year. And hot damn what a country to be a part of… or something. I think the highlight from the set for me was “When We Break Up Together.” As a songwriter myself, I thought many of the word combinations were brilliant and I asked myself… “How the hell did I not think of that?!?!?”. The set contained mostly songs of his most recent release but he did bust out some classics, and made a point to talk about them with the audience.
One thing that some may overlook about the live performance on this tour, and the last, is that the band is tight and are much like a “super group”. None other than Lee Pardini of Dawes is playing keys. It was humbling to see a massive song writer, producer, and player like Katzman be so grateful. He was obviously really enjoying having all those great players and music fans around him.
Luckily for the fans, Theo Katzman is still on tour. He’s selling out rooms everywhere he goes for a very good reason. Don’t miss your chance to see him while you can! I promise that even if you don’t know more than one song, you will walk out of his show singing and dancing your way back home. Be sure to check the Official Theo Katzman Website for upcoming tour dates, merch, music, and other info about the man and his band.
Here are some more photos of Theo Katzman performing at The Foundry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 19, 2020. All images copyright and courtesy of Jordan August Photography.
Stream these great Theo Katzman albums on Spotify: