Photography and Review: Samia in Philadelphia

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There’s nothing quite like a crowd of 800+ singing, “And I’ll fucking kill her and I’ll fucking freak out” to start a show, but that’s what happened in Philly as Samia opened Union Transfer with a recent single, “Kill Her Freak Out”. The rest of the set took the crowd through an emotional rollercoaster full of energetic hits, solemn slow songs and singalogs, with standouts including “Is There Something in the Movies?” and “Honey”. One minute, her voice is holding court on its own, the next minute she’s doing her signature footstomp dance or laying on the floor while the band shreds.

At one point during the set, she shouted out that her dad was in the crowd. Turns out I was standing right next to him. As much as I wanted to make quick small talk with him (the kind that neither of us would have been interested in), he was so intent on filming and enjoying every moment of the set, I didn’t want to bother him. He must have seen her sing over a hundred times in their lifetime, but was beaming with a smile like it was her first performance.

As the main set ended, the crowd braced themselves for an emotional finale. But Samia, always keeping us on our toes, ripped through a raucous cover of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” before closing with “Dream Song” off of her newest release, Honey.

Samia has a way of making you feel like you’ve been best friends with her for years. And it’s not an act. She’s an extremely honest, genuine artist who on multiple occasions announced songs that were written about her and her friends. While most artists introduce their band in the middle or towards the end of their set, Samia shouted them all out after only a few songs.

The band likes each other. They smile and laugh when they play. They feed off of each other’s energy and physical movements. This is what playing in a band was always supposed to be about. In an era where bands often take themselves too seriously for an image, Samia seemingly just doesn’t care. She’s one of us. And it’s why her fans love her so much. The stories she sings about aren’t just hers, they’re yours too – and everyone in the crowd lives through them together.

Photos and Writing by Mark Franzen

Take a listen to Samia’s new record and check out the rest of Mark’s photos below:






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