American Football, Sweet Pill

Thu Oct 24 2024

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

Howard Theatre

620 T Street NW Washington D.C., DC 20001

$40.00 - $120.00

All Ages

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PLEASE NOTE: Your tickets will be sent to your email 3 days prior to the show date.


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The original purchaser must show their ID at VIP check-in to redeem the package elements. 

All attendees need both a show ticket and a VIP package to attend VIP programming. No parental escorts without their own package allowed. 

VIP merchandise must be picked up during check-in at the show unless otherwise communicated. 

Seated reserves the right to cancel packages for any reason. VIP elements are non-transferable and not valid if resold.

Communication about your purchase may be sent via SMS to the provided phone number. For any questions, contact Seated's friendly Fan Experience team at support@seated.com.

Union Stage Presents:
American Football, Sweet Pill

  • American Football

    American Football

    Indie Rock

    The quietest voices can be the most durable.

    American Football’s original triumph, on their 1999 self-titled debut, was to reunite two shy siblings: emo and post-rock. It was a pioneering album where lyrical clarity was obscured and complicated by the stealth musical textures surrounding it.

    Like Slint’s Spiderland, or Codeine’s The White Birch, even Talk Talk’s Laughing StockAmerican Football asked far more questions than it cared to answer. But there wasn’t a band around anymore to explain it, anyway. The three young men who made the album — Mike Kinsella, Steve Holmes, and Steve Lamos — split up pretty much on its release.

    Fifteen years later, American Football reunited (now as a four-piece, with the addition of Nate Kinsella). They played far larger shows than in their original incarnation and recorded their long-anticipated second album, 2016’s American Football (LP2). The release was widely praised, but the band members still felt like their best work was yet to come.

    ‘I feel like the second album was us figuring it out,’ says Nate. ‘For me, it wasn’t quite done. I knew there was still more.’

    Enter American Football (LP3). ‘We put a lot of time and a lot of energy into it,’ says Mike. ‘We were all thoughtful about what we wanted to put out there. Last time, it was figuring out how to use all of our different arms. This time, we were like — Ok we have these arms, let’s use them.’ The band used the same producer, Jason Cupp, and recorded the album at the same studio (Arc Studios in Omaha, Nebraska) as its predecessor — yet they approached it in a markedly different way. There was a determination to let the songs breathe, to trust in ideas finding their own pace. The final result is a definite, and deliberate, stretching of the band.

    As a result, LP3 is less obviously tethered to the band’s past than the second album. An immediate contrast between LP3 and its two predecessors is its cover. The two previous albums featured the exterior and interior of a residence in the band’s original hometown of Urbana, Illinois (now attracting fans for pilgrimages and photo opportunities), by the photographer Chris Strong. But American Football knew that LP3 was an outside record. Instead of the familiar house, this time the cover photo (again by Strong) features open, rolling fields on Urbana’s borders. It is a sign of the album’s magnitude in sound, and of the band’s boldness in breaking away from home comforts.

    American Football also joked that LP3‘s genre was ‘post-house,’ because of this very conscious visual break. But, in a strange way, there are links in LP3 with an actual post-house genre: shoegaze. The more exploratory members of the original British shoegaze scene were inspired by the dreamtime and circularity of house music (ambient house in particular), cherishing its sonic possibilities. That spirit drips into LP3, most obviously on ‘I Can’t Feel You,’ a collaboration with Rachel Goswell of Slowdive.

    The album also features Hayley Williams from Paramore on the album’s catchiest moment, ‘Uncomfortably Numb,’ and Elizabeth Powell, of the Québécoise act Land Of Talk. Mike wrote lyrics in French especially for her.

    LP3 is contemplative, rich, expressive, yet with a queasy undercurrent. It is heavy with expectancy, revealing its ideas slowly, eliciting the hidden stories people carry around with them. ‘I feel like my lyric writing has changed a lot over the years,’ says Mike. ‘The goal is to be conversational, maybe to state something giant and heavy, but in a very plain way. But, definitely in this record, I keep things a little more vague.’ As on the first album, the lyrics on LP3 may seem confessional and concentrated, but the more you scrutinize them, the further their meaning slinks away. Or, as Mike tellingly sings on ‘I Can’t Feel You”: I’m fluent in subtlety.

    ‘Somewhere along the way we moved from being a reunion band to just being a band,’ says Steve Holmes. American Football is now a bona fide ongoing focus, and they are making some of the best music of their lives. American Football (LP3) stands with two other rare reunion successes — Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine’s mbv — as a fine example of how a band refinding one another can augment, rather than taint, their legacy.

    ‘I think that there are those albums, or the music that you heard when you were younger, and they imprint on you,’ says Nate. ‘And no matter where you go, or what you do they’re always there.’ He is talking of Steve Reich — an early and ongoing influence on American Football — but he might as well be reflecting what is said of his own band, and the ardent following they inspire. American Football stands as an enduring symbol of elusive emotional landscapes, where introspection can be as dramatic as confrontation.

  • Sweet Pill

    Sweet Pill

    Alternative

    Sweet Pill has a style earmarked by an earnest ingenuity that many young artists are quick to romanticize and aspire to but slow to cultivate and execute. It takes time. For singer Zayna Youssef, guitarists Jayce Williams and Sean McCall, bassist Ryan Cullen, and drummer Chris Kearney, however, their 5 years together have seen their hard work rewarded tenfold in half as long as it would take almost anyone else. From their 2018 inception, Sweet Pill forged a storied path leading to this moment: the release of their new EP, Starchild, their first for new label home, Hopeless Records.

    There’s a cinematic quality to Sweet Pill’s forming in college in New Jersey, converting a small school bus into a tour-ready, cross-country capable vehicle (complete with bunks!) and driving it to SXSW in efforts to draw attention to their newly growing passion. In true film fashion, Sweet Pill arrived at the world- famous Austin festival only to be informed of its cancellation as the introduction of shelter-in-place restrictions surrounding the emergence of COVID-19. Proceeding to return home, their converted vehicle buckled under the pressure of the excursion, leaving them stranded for several days in Baton Rouge, LA before returning to their new home of Philadelphia.

    It was this struggle that set the stage for the writing process that conceived what would become Sweet Pill’s first full-length LP, ‘Where the Heart Is.’ When it came time to record, the group went to the studio Gradwell House with Matt Weber (A Great Big Pile of Leaves), eventually releasing it on classic emo label Topshelf Records in 2021. ‘Where the Heart Is’ and the support tours it led to (La Dispute, Their/They’re/There, and Origami Angel) didn’t come directly next, either. The band waited another year after their SXSW snafu before signing to Topshelf. With time, though, offers materialized, and their song “High Hopes” even earned itself a spin by Paramore’s Hayley Williams on her BBC Radio podcast “Everything Is Emo.” Bit by bit, buzz started to grow, leading the band to land a tour with The Wonder Years and, soon after, catching the ear of veteran indie label, Hopeless Records.

    Starchild sees Sweet Pill returning to Weber and Gradwell House for another triumph, tapping in Dave Downham for mastering, and ‘Where the Heart Is’ art illustrator Kerry Dunn to continue the style their debut established. With these two releases, Sweet Pill only hopes to inspire others into a life lived passionately in close community with like-minded individuals, as they have been by bands like Algernon Cadwallader, Hop Along, and, of course, Paramore. For Williams, the only intention is “to live a sustainable life while playing music and uplift the people around me,” while drummer Chris Kearney feels it is his only path. “I don’t know what else Iwould do, Idon’t have another purpose in life.”

    – Pierce Jordan

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

limit 6 per person
General Admission

First come, first served standing section in front of the stage.

$40.00
Balcony Bar Seat

First come, first served bar seating at the back of the balcony.

$60.00
Premier Booths
Booths are preassigned. Venue staff will assist you with finding your seats. You must buy the entire booth and the price listed is per seat.
Premier Floor Booth for 4
$60.00
Premier Balcony Booth for 4
$60.00
Premier Balcony Booth for 6
$60.00
LP1 25th Anniversary Merch Package

Includes one (1) General Admission ticket, VIP exclusive American Football merch bundle, including autographed poster, commemorative VIP laminate, merchandise shopping opportunity prior to the show, and early entry into the venue.

$120.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Union Stage Presents:

American Football, Sweet Pill

Thu Oct 24 2024 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

Howard Theatre Washington D.C. DC
American Football, Sweet Pill

$40.00 - $120.00 All Ages

PLEASE NOTE: Your tickets will be sent to your email 3 days prior to the show date.


VIP Package Disclaimer:

Thank you for purchasing a VIP package powered by Seated. Here's what you need to know:

You'll receive an email from support@seated.com 48 hours before the event with instructions for redeeming your VIP package. 

VIP activities may occur up to 3-4 hours before the show, please plan accordingly. 

The original purchaser must show their ID at VIP check-in to redeem the package elements. 

All attendees need both a show ticket and a VIP package to attend VIP programming. No parental escorts without their own package allowed. 

VIP merchandise must be picked up during check-in at the show unless otherwise communicated. 

Seated reserves the right to cancel packages for any reason. VIP elements are non-transferable and not valid if resold.

Communication about your purchase may be sent via SMS to the provided phone number. For any questions, contact Seated's friendly Fan Experience team at support@seated.com.

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

All Ages
limit 6 per person
General Admission
First come, first served standing section in front of the stage.
$40.00
Balcony Bar Seat
First come, first served bar seating at the back of the balcony.
$60.00
Premier Booths
Booths are preassigned. Venue staff will assist you with finding your seats. You must buy the entire booth and the price listed is per seat.
Premier Floor Booth for 4
$60.00
Premier Balcony Booth for 4
$60.00
Premier Balcony Booth for 6
$60.00
LP1 25th Anniversary Merch Package
Includes one (1) General Admission ticket, VIP exclusive American Football merch bundle, including autographed poster, commemorative VIP laminate, merchandise shopping opportunity prior to the show, and early entry into the venue.
$120.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast