The sign of an extraordinary musician is their ability to bring their music alive during performances. It isn’t about sounding exactly like their albums, but enhancing the songs we hear on the radio and on record into an experience not only for listening, but for seeing and feeling as well.
Milky Chance brought this energy and sound to Philadelphia’s Mann Center Skyline Stage last night. Their calm yet catchy sound reached new heights, between its electronic aspect, magnified bass and added harmonica solos – the live show was an experience that cannot be achieved through simply listening to the album. Not only was their sound volumized, but the concert was visually exciting as well. The lighting was everywhere from several minutes of darkness at the beginning of the show to swirling psychedelic lights on the trees surrounding the stage. Milky Chance covered audio, visual, and even sensory enjoyment. The deep bass could be felt in the chests of audience members in the back row.
The band could not have been as greatly appreciated if it had not been for their outstanding opener, the X Ambassadors. Although they had a very different sound, they definitely created the energy necessary for their headliner to follow. They had pure talent; pianist Casey Harris has been blind since birth, his brother Sam on vocals can sometimes hit soprano notes. As some openers do, the X Ambassadors did not hold back, and although their hyper energy could not be paralleled, they stole nothing from the headliner.
In addition to the core duo of Phillip Dausch and Clemens Rehbein (read my interview with Clemens here), the Philadelphia crowd was also blessed with the addition of harmonica player, Antonio Greger, to Milky Chance’s lineup. The recent addition to the band added a fresh layer to their sound; it isn’t often that you see the harmonica being played with such talent and enthusiasm.
Milky Chance and the X Ambassadors brought a group of fans much more diverse than I have seen at other shows. To my left was a couple of middle-aged women sipping on wine and to my right was a mother and her approximately 10-year-old son, along with the predictable slew of teenage girls behind me. The atmosphere was energetic yet casual in the open-air space, and Milky Chance put on a performance that I believe surprised every audience member there in the best possible way.
Flashed Junk Mind
Let Us Run, Little Love
Down By the River
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