Moosh & Twist, Jared Evan, Major Van Winkle at the TLA

Moosh & Twist: OCD, two Philadelphia born-and-raised childhood friends, turned hip hop duo, hit the Theater of the Living Arts on Thursday, May 22nd. The hometown show was part of their ‘Living Out Loud’ tour.  The doors at the TLA opened at 7pm, with a scheduled start to the show at 8pm.  We arrived at the venue around 6:30pm for an interview with Moosh & Twist only to find that there was a line already stretching down South Street, with fans waiting in the rain, tickets in hand, eager to make their way into the venue. We sat down with Moosh & Twist prior to the show, and you can find our interview below:

  The opening acts of the night were Daskal, followed by Squid Mchale.  Daskal’s performance only lasted about 20 minutes, so we really weren’t able to get a grasp of the performer’s skills.  We canl tell you that Daskal wore one of the freshest pairs of Reebok Allen Iverson kicks we’ve seen in a long time.


We were left very unimpressed with Squid Mchale, who had won a contest hosted by Moosh & Twist to play that night as an opening act.  Although Squid jumped around and did his best to get the crowd engaged, his lyrics were basically incomprehensible.  He covered songs like m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar, but barely knew enough of the lyrics to be able to rap over the backing track vocals playing in the background.  We hope with time Squid Mchale will be able to fine tune some of his live performance skills.


Up next for the night was another Philadelphia native, Major Van Winkle.  Major Van Winkle first came to our attention with his Youtube videos for his raps, which were filmed all over Philadelphia.  Apart from the well filmed videos, his lyrics and flows were absolutely outstanding.  We don’t know the reasons why, but the majority of his old Youtube videos were taken down; we hope the songs are not lost forever.


We knew that Major Van Winkle could rap from the previously mentioned Youtube videos, but we had no idea if those skills would transfer over to a live setting.  The answer was an resounding yes.  


While we knew who Major Van Winkle was prior to his performance, it seemed that some people in the crowd did not. But that did not seem to matter, as everyone in the audience rocked out to his set.  Just from looking at Twitter, fans at the TLA definitely discovered some new talent Thursday night.

Following Major Van Winkle’s performance was Jared Evan, who has toured with Moosh & Twist on the Living Out Loud tour.  Accompanied onstage with a drummer, Jared Evan wasted no time belting out Soulful, Hip-Hop infused lyrics.


We really were not expecting the type of performance that Jared Evans gave on Thursday night.  The kid has an incredible voice, great stage presence, and was an overall amazing performer.  One of our favorite things at Independent Philly is going to a show unbiased, knowing nothing about a performer, and having an artist just blow us away.  That certainly happened Thursday night with Jared Evans.  We would not be surprised if big things came his way in the near future.


After Jared Evan, it was time for the headliners of the night, Moosh & Twist, to hit the stage.  With the lights turned off and the curtains raised, the crowd went absolutely nuts with excitement as Moosh & Twist talked into the microphone from the side of the stage, pumping up the crowd.  Moosh & Twist then ran out onto the stage and from that point on there was simply no turning down as the duo took the crowd on a roller coaster of a ride, playing song after song and never letting up on the gas.



Moosh & Twist took a moment during the show to remind the crowd that this was not their first time playing at the TLA.  Nor was it their second… or third…  or fourth.  However, it was their first time headlining at the TLA, and boy did they do a good job.


Moosh & Twist performed for well over an 90 minutes and played both new and old songs, such as tracks from their recent Living Out Loud album as well as tracks such as City Kids (which was their first track to bring enough momentum to the duo to encourage them to pursue music full time).  The duo also brought out Jared Evan to perform the track Back to the Wall, which we (and the crowd) absolutely loved.


Overall, Moosh & Twist put on a great performance and most definitely gave it their all for their hometown crowd.  We expect big things for this young, dynamic duo, and are proud that we both call Philly our home. 


[Photos by Steve Garfinkel Photography and Sam Conant

[Article by Steve Garfinkel]

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You can view additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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