AHJ Masters the Stage and All of Life’s Moments

Posted on January 29, 2016 by


In the dimly lit basement of a church, many devoted followers gathered to see Albert Hammond, Jr., a large name in the music scene. Although he is still trying to prove himself through his side project, many would recognize him as the rhythm guitarist of the widely popular Indie band, The Strokes.

Albert just recently came out with his third studio album, Momentary Masters. The name harkens back to Carl Sagan’s book, Pale Blue Dot.

His performance was held in the basement of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, located in center city. The venue was on the smaller side, but it provided a close environment that created an intimate experience with the performer. I myself was only six feet away from the stage and Albert himself.

The only downside to the venue was its poor sound quality and acoustics. Vocals were muddled and sounded far off, and the guitars had a rough edge to them, but it was loud, and that is all that matters during a live performance. In a way, the odd sound quality complimented the style of Albert’s music, creating an otherworldly twist to it all.

The set list included a wide variety of songs from all of his albums. He played nine songs from Momentary Masters, five songs from his EP AHJ, two songs from his second album ¿Cómo te Llama?, and five songs from his first album Yours To Keep. It was a good mix of old favorites and new fresh tracks.

The atmosphere was dominated by surging bass, pulsing drums, and guitar hooks that ensnared the soul. All of these elements contributed to a powerful and energized environment. The crowd itself was dancing, and there were even two instances of crowd surfing.

Albert delivered his vocals in a very sincere and honest way that was painful yet liberating. Albert sung of life’s simple, unalterable truths in a way that conveyed a sense of defeated acceptance. The catchy pop melodies masked the sense of defeat in a warm blanket of optimism. The driving bass lines and bombastic beats inspired the listener to carry on living relentlessly despite feeling defeated.

Ultimately, the concert was an expression of Albert’s own life. The emotion Albert puts into his music could clearly be felt. He chronicled the life of one who has both succeeded and failed. It’s a journey that we can all relate to. Albert made me laugh with joy for all of the rare moments where one experiences pure happiness and cry for all the mistakes one can make in life.

Albert’s performance was undoubtedly one of the most impassioned concert experiences I’ve had.

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