Before the last presidential election cycle, northeast Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Total Landscaping was a go-to business only for shrubbery enthusiasts and great garden maintainers. Then President Trump’s lawyer and campaign representative, Rudy Giuliani, held an oddball press conference regarding possible voter fraud, capturing the attention of the nation and raising the question of whether the campaign actually meant to hold a serious news conference in front of a lawn care salon adjacent to a sex-toy emporium, as opposed to a five-star hotel.
Now, after eight months of Four Seasons Total Landscaping jokes and merchandising (including a Super Bowl ad), the location has jumped into the pop-up concert booking business. On Thursday, the business announced a solo gig by singer-songwriter (and sometimes Against Me! frontperson) Laura Jane Grace for August 21. Fellow singer-songwriter Brendan Kelly of the Lawrence Arms will open for Grace, in a show booked by Philly promoter Dave Kiss Presents.
Of the unique booking, Michael Siravo – operations manager at Four Seasons Total Landscaping – says: “When everything first hit in November we were in a pandemic, and couldn’t do anything fun, even though we had thought about doing events. We always wanted to do something fun like a concert, but couldn’t. Dave Kiss approached us not long after what happened in November, and we just said yes. How often do you get an opportunity like that? It’s a great experience.”
As for maintaining a sense of humor following the Trump blunder-or-on-purpose? controversy — with a mass of tourists and talk show jokes as part of its outcome — Siravo says, “Laughter is the best medicine, and we crack jokes about this all the time.”
Kiss, an independent Philadelphia booking agent, says that he met with Four Seasons Total Landscaping management and laid down a strong foundation of trust between them.
“It’s silly and unconventional,” says Kiss. “But that doesn’t mean it isn’t meaningful. And the outreach from people supporting and appreciating the event has been overwhelming.”
As for booking additional concerts at Four Seasons Total Landscaping beyond the Grace pop-up, both Siravo and Kiss agree that they’re open to additional live music events.
Before the official announcement, Grace hinted at the show on Wednesday night with her own tweet reading, “On Thursday I’m going to be announcing the most insane show I will ever be a part of. I will literally never play a venue with more class & prestige. I wish I could tell you more now but also I’m totally happy teasing it out like this.”
The formal announcement came on Twitter from the Philly landscapers with a tweet that read, “We’re going to class up the joint with @LauraJaneGrace and @badsandwich on August 21st!” Four Seasons Total Landscaping followed that with another tweet that said, “Auditions for the opening slot got interesting…” atop a mock photo of Rudy Giuliani hunched over a microphone.
— Four Seasons Total Landscaping (@therealfstl1992) July 8, 2021
Said Grace in a statement: “This will be the first and last time Brendan and I will play in front of a landscaping company, and we promise it will be better than that MAGA shit show.”