Want to spend a night with Ray Romano, Mario Batali, and Matchbox Twenty? Well, that’s not gonna happen, so let’s get real. REAL, as in the South Philly pop/rock quartet that’s like walking into a sitcom catered by an Iron Chef. Fronted by Mariano Mattei’s assured vocals and guitar and driven by the drumming of longtime band mate and collaborator Fabian Henault, REAL is a band sautéed in the stellar tradition of melodic pop-rock born in Philadelphia. Mariano and Fabian’s comical familiarity speaks to a history that dates back to parachute pants and jelly bracelets, and the addition of Kurt Bock and Chris Ritchie rounds out a lineup that truly delivers the Bolognese. That’s right, thanks to Mariano’s being an honest-to-goodness Italian chef, rock and roll isn’t all that might get served at a REAL show. “If you come to see us play,” says Mariano, “you’d better come hungry.”
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