by Zach Brendza
They’ve played Bonnaroo. They’ve played Reading and Leeds. They’ve played Governor’s Ball. They’ve opened or the Rolling Stones
So far, 2015 had been a good year for the The Districts.
“Its been absolutely crazy,” says vocalist / guitarist Rob Grote. “I don’t think any of us can fathom the fact that we’re actually doing this. It’s really awesome.”
The more-than-your-typical-indie band released A Flourish and a Spoil earlier this year. It was their first album recorded with a producer (John Congleton) and made widely available by Fat Possum Records. The album includes the infectious single “4th and Roebling” as well as “Chlorine” and “6 AM.”
Originally from Lititz, a suburb of Lancaster, Pa., The Districts have been around since 2009 and have released four albums (one LP and three EPs) prior to A Flourish and a Spoil. After the band graduated from Warwick High School in 2013, they moved to Philadelphia to focus solely on the band, foregoing college or more traditional post graduation routes.
“We were playing in Philly all the time even before we moved here,” Grote says. “The last two years we were home we were probably playing here every other weekend.”
But the band’s success hasn’t come without setbacks. In 2014, original guitarist Mark Larson left the band to go to college. In the same year the band’s van was stolen in St. Louis while on tour with Dr. Dog. While those were the two instances that hit the band the hardest, Grote and company have stayed positive through their six year career.
“When we were in the moment, we tried to make the most of it, not get too down about it,” Grote says. "It all sucked but it was also kind of fun, looking back.” “Part of it is that we try to be grateful for what we’re doing in the first place, I guess, because when the worst thing you can make something decent out of it. It doesn’t have to ruin anything.”
Things have a way of working themselves out. Pat Cassidy has filled the void left by Larson. The band’s van, which they still use today, was found a month later on the street.
On the 2014 tour with Dr. Dog, the band took a bus from Indianapolis to the Pittsburgh date. While Grote wishes he knew the city better, his clearest memory of the city is “getting off a Greyhound bus and being exhausted and walking to the venue.”
“It seems like a great town,” he jokes.
THE DISTRICTS. 8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 25. Schenley Plaza, Oakland. www.wyep.org