Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. In this installment, Key Contributor Lauren Rosier shares the shows that she traveled to Philly for this year.
I have a love/hate relationship with year-end lists, only because I’m a huge music junkie and being forced to choose from so many incredible releases just isn’t right. With that said, I love going to see live music. I live in Central PA, so the music scene isn’t as large as in Philly, but still has a good scene. So when I do get to Philly for shows, it’s definitely something I’m appreciative of, and excited about. Philadelphia has a special place in my heart. Many of my friends live in and around the city and it obviously has the best music scene. So here’s a list of my top 5 Philly shows of 2016.
1. Taste of Chaos tour: The Starting Line (!!!), The Early November, Saosin (!!!!!!), Taking Back Sunday, and Dashboard Confessional at Festival Pier, June 19, 2016
This was like my senior year in high school / freshman year in college all over again. These were all bands that I listened to back in the day and to finally be able to see Saosin perform with Anthony Green fronting was something that I never thought would happen. It was life moment. Each band’s performance was as good as I had remembered them to be, but Saosin and Dashboard definitely took the show. Dashboard is one of those artists that you secretly enjoy; a guilty pleasure, per se, and I hadn’t realized that he was mine. There were so many songs I had forgotten about, so many that I loved, and the crowd just sung with him from the top to the bottom of the set. The tour put together a great lineup and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.
2. “Pixie Queen” tour: Anthony Green at Union Transfer, October 1, 2016
I’ve been a huge fan of Anthony Green, Circa Survive, and pretty much any project he does, for over a decade now. Pixie Queen was one of my favorite albums of the year and being able to interview Anthony was a dream come true. The show was a great homecoming for an artist that has had such a huge influence on the Philadelphia community and the progressive rock/post-hardcore scene. He performed songs from all his records including “Young Legs,” “Babygirl,” “Breaker,” and new tracks like “You’ll Be Fine,” “From What I Understand,” and “East Coast Winters.” He had Keith Goodwin and Tim Arnold of Good Old War and Brendan Ekstrom of Circa Survive as his band. His solo records have been a refreshing change from Circa Survive and a more intimate look into his life. For me, I think this show was more special for me given the interview, and speaking with him directly about the importance of spreading mental health awareness. I’ll always be a dedicated supporter of anything he does and appreciative of him for sharing his music with the world.
3. The Novel Ideas, Chris Paterno Band, and Brian Fitzy at Milkboy, April 28, 2016
It’s funny, I actually heard of the Novel Ideas from a tweet posted by Alex Caplow of Magic Man. Daniel Radin of the Novel Ideas is a former member of Magic Man, so as with anything with me, I like to discover new music, so I decided to listen. I immediately fell in love and seeing them perform live was incredible. One of the tracks off their latest EP, St. Paul Sessions, is “I’m Not Waiting” and this song live. The harmonies and Sarah Grella’s vocals in this song affected me emotionally unlike no other song has ever. I was shaking and I had goosebumps as I watched them intently perform. The Novel Ideas were one of my favorite new music discoveries of 2016 and now one of my favorite bands.
4. “Hotline Spring” tour: Magic Man, The Griswolds, and Panama Wedding at Union Transfer, April 9, 2016
I’ve been a fan of synth pop band, Magic Man, for a while and their music is infectious. I had interviewed Alex Caplow and Sam Lee for another music outlet, so I was hoping to have the chance to meet them. Between Panama Wedding opening the show (they’re an amazing indie pop rock band from New York) to The Griswolds killing it on stage (they just released High Times For Low Lives; one of my favorite records of the year), and then Magic Man closing it out, it was a killer lineup. Magic Man opened with the song “Apollo” from Before The Waves and it was full of energy, intensity, and excitement. I actually enjoyed this show so much I went to Washington, D.C. the next night for the next tour stop at 9:30 Club.
5. Wild Nothing at 714, May 7, 2016
I fell in love with Jack Tatum and this band when Nocturne was released, so when it was announced a new record was being released in January 2016 and a tour stop in Philly, I was ecstatic. 714 is a small venue – from the outside it doesn’t even look like a legitimate venue – but it fit the type of music. A small little warehouse almost. I waited three hours listening to a DJ spin awesome indie rock until Wild Nothing took the stage at 11-11:30ish. They opened the show with a track from Nocturne. It was mind blowing incredible. He doesn’t tour often, so having the opportunity to see him live was a lifetime goal. I think between the anticipation, intimacy, and how excited I was, I definitely had to consider this for one of the shows of the year.
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