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Haken at The Foundry, Philadelphia - live review

Live Review

Venue: The Foundry at the Filmore Philly, Philadelphia, USA

Haken and Sithu Aye get technical in Philadelphia

Having released four critically acclaimed studio albums since forming in 2007, London’s Haken have spent this year celebrating their 10th anniversary in several ways, such as a series of retrospective North American concerts. Their performance here demonstrates why they have had such a meteoric rise since starting out. While not perfect, it’s a thrilling, endearing and varied show in a very leisurely setting – one with sofas and a sizeable bar.

Opening act Sithu Aye serve up a kind of technical instrumental wizardry that overtly emulates acts like An Endless Sporadic, Scale The Summit, and Nova Collective. Unfortunately, they lack much of the diversity and dynamics that make those better-known ensembles so fascinating, instead focusing almost entirely on an aggressive style of showmanship that rarely, if ever, offers anything distinguishing. They even play a song called Anime As Leaders, insinuating that even they regard themselves as copycats.

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