Harley Poe is sincere. Sincere about murder, transvestite cannibals, being an outcast, and vampires. But under all of the Horror is a catchy punk sadness that is coupled with the joy of being an outsider that pervades the band’s music.
I caught Harley Poe coming through the The Nile Theatre in Mesa, Arizona with Amigo the Devil.
Harley Poe is led by frontman Joe Whiteford. And Joe has fully embraced the weirdness of the subject matter and he is not alone in his journey through halls of the macabre. At all.
The performance and show was a shared celebration of “oh you’re a punk weirdo that’s potentially into regret, murder films, Danny Elfman tunes and the feels of getting dumped? Me too.”
Harley Poe preached to the choir at The Nile and the choir sang along… with every word.
The bands latest recording on Spotify is called Harley Poe aLIVE and alone. When I was in line to buy some merch I actually got to briefly talk to Joe about The Amp, the band, and how one of the band’s songs “Persevere” had gotten me through some recent tough times. Joe was soft spoken and very gracious. Everyone in the band was working the merch table as well and was equally gracious and amazing.
When I commented on how much I liked Harley Poe aLIVE and alone he told me that they had recorded that album at Mainstream Skatepark in Kokomo in efforts to help raise funds for his buddies Skate Park. I know I beat this drum almost every article…but the Punk community is fucking incredible. And the community of fans that have gathered around Harley Poe’s music is no different. If you listen to Harley Poe aLIVE and alone you can hear everyone in attendance not only knowing the lyrics, but the SONGS themselves. The call backs, the back up vocals…
There is something special about a Harley Poe show, the music, and their fans.
The band connects with a perfect mixture of on the nose Violent Femmes acoustic catchiness and lyrics out of a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (which is the inspiration for the poster of the tour that he & Amigo the Devil are on.)
Harley Poe lets us project our own dark thoughts straight on the lyrics to liberate and bond through the band’s own very special brand of Punk.
Tis the season for spooky things and murder tales and if you find yourself in one of the cities that the band is touring through until 11/18. Go.
But in the mean time- get weird, get the feels, and listen to Harley Poe Darlings.
Lastly, a huge thank you is due to Eric Freeman Photography for their images in this article of Harley Poe from the 2015 Halloween show at the Brass Rail in Fort Wayne, IN that have been featured.