Concert Review: The Residents at the Foundry in Philadelphia (3/31/23)

Aaron ConnConcert Review, Live Music, MusicLeave a Comment

The Residents


The Residents

It was an odd and eccentric Friday evening in Philadelphia at the Foundry. It was there that the Residents performed, as a part of their Faceless Forever/Dog Stab Tour. Now celebrating their 50th anniversary, the avant-garde collective played a solid selection of their songs. After many cancelations and postponements since 2020, the group finally got to play their first show in Philadelphia since April 2018.

The Foundry is a small yet intimate concert venue in Philadelphia. The venue, which is about the size of a bar, was filled with Residents fans. The age range of the crowd was mostly middle aged people, with a good number of them donning the classic eyeball & tux t-shirt. Speaking of merch, there was plenty of it at the merch stand. Items ranging from shirts, records, CDs and more were all on the tables and walls. People pay good money for their Residents merch and this night was no exception. While waiting it line, one man pointed to about five or seven different items. Everything else? He already had it. Waiting for the show to start, it was a good chance to see and meet other Residents fans. While this particular show was in Philadelphia, people as far as Pittsburgh and Cleveland journeyed their way just to see the group.

A little after 8 pm, the lights went down and the group took to the stage. Decked out in eyeball patterned suits, the Residents proceeded to play a setlist of 25 songs, with all the songs spanning from their lengthy career. As mentioned, the Foundry isn’t that big of a venue. With that, the group’s black and white striped stage set didn’t take up too much room. Despite the small stage, the group had a visual element added to their show in the form of a circular video screen. For each song played, a new video was played. For the songs that had a music/promotional video attached to it, it was played in the background within the circular screen. The video-less songs would still have a screen saver-esque visual on display and/or other videos from the group’s career. Even with the minimalistic set up, the Residents were still providing their audiences with some solid visuals.

While a career-spanning setlist, there was an emphasis on two albums by the group. Prior to the COVID pandemic and lockdown, the group were scheduled to go on their Dog Stab Tour. As the tour’s name would suggest, the group were originally going to play a setlist filled with songs from 1978’s Duck Stab/Buster & Glenn and 2020’s Metal, Meat and Bone. Despite the tour being canceled, a good fraction of the setlist for this tour is devoted to songs from the aforementioned albums. Hearing the new and old songs played by the group was a  real treat. In live performances, the group tend to stay away from the renditions found on the original albums and this show was no different. “Smelly Tongues” from the group’s debut had a slightly funkier feel to it while “Semolina” was a tad bit more psychedelic. The group were also incredibly loud, with some songs shaking the Foundry walls.

As a whole, seeing the Residents’ Faceless Forever/Dog Stab tour was a great experience. For a group that’ve been around for 50 years, this was a great way to celebrate the anniversary. Whether or not you’ve seen the Residents already, do yourself a favor and check out this show.

Set List
1. Jamabalaya (On The Bayou)
2. Hello Skinny
3. Cut to The Quick
4. Laughing Song
5. Bach is Dead
6. Boxes of Armageddon
7. Would We Be Alive?
8. Cold as a Corpse
9. Smelly Tongues
10. Moisture
11. Constantinople
12. The Monkey Man
13. Semolina
14. Kill Him!
15. She Called Me Doggy
16. Blue Rosebuds
17. Theme From Buckaroo Blues
18. Stampede
19. Lizard Lady
20. Dead Weight
21. Hungry Hound
22. Die! Die! Die!

23. When We Were Young
24. Diskomo
25. Nobody Laughs When They Leave


Residents Faceless Forever

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Aaron ConnConcert Review: The Residents at the Foundry in Philadelphia (3/31/23)