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Hopelessly Devoted to Rocking: Courtney Barnett at the Electric Factory

Courtney Barnett | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Courtney Barnett | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Aussie singer-songwriter/guitarist Courtney Barnett and her band rocked it out out the Electric Factory on Thursday night. Barnett is currently touring in support of her critically-acclaimed 2015 album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. With multiple festival set appearances, a recent debut performance on SNL’s season finale and a Grammy nomination, Barnett has had quite a busy year since her last performance in Philly at last year’s XPoNential Music Festival. Continue reading →

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Mutemath played an energized set to a sold-out Union Transfer

Mutemath | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | <a href=http://michellemontgomeryphotography.com target="_blank">michellemontgomeryphotography.com</a>
Mutemath | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Modern rockers Mutemath played an awesomely upbeat set a sold-out crowd at Union Transfer on Friday night. The band is currently on a worldwide tour in support of their recently released fourth full-length album, Vitals, their first LP in four years. Band members Paul Meany (lead vocals, keyboards, keytar), Darren King (drums, percussion), Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas (bass, vocals), and Todd Gummerman (guitar, vocals) showcased the latest music from Vitals, as well as favorites pulled from their back catalog. Continue reading →

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A sleek, stylish Ra Ra Riot turned Union Transfer into a dance club

Ra Ra Riot | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Ra Ra Riot | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Indie pop band Ra Ra Riot brought their string-filled electro-pop sounds to Union Transfer on Saturday night. Touring in support of their recently-released fourth studio album Need Your Light, the group played an upbeat set of their newest music as well as crowd favorites from their previous albums.

Need Your Light is a sleeker, but natural follow-up to 2013’s Beta Love. On it, Ra Ra Riot continues to explore a synth-heavy, electronic soundscape accentuated with strings and percussion. Frontman / vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos, guitarist Milo Monacci, violinist Rebecca Zeller, drummer Kenny Bernard, and touring cellist Emily Brausa played a fun set of their catchy tunes, quickly transforming Union Transfer into a dance club throughout the rest of the night. Continue reading →

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Animal Collective kicks off its Painting With world tour at Union Transfer

Animal Collective | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Animal Collective | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Experimental pop outfit Animal Collective played a sold-out show at Union Transfer on Friday night. Philly was the group’s first stop on their international tour in support of their tenth studio album, Painting With, which was just released on Friday. Since it’s been four years since Centipede Hz, the crowd couldn’t wait to hear the band’s new music performed live for the very first time. As Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Geologist delivered an upbeat and energetic set of their textured, psych-pop inspired music, the crowd cheered, moshed, and danced.

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Best Coast and Wavves light up the Electric Factory

Best Coast | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Best Coast | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Indie-rock duo Best Coast and pop-punk rockers Wavves brought the sounds of California to the Electric Factory on Wednesday night with their “Summer is Forever II” tour. 

Best Coast played a set of their easygoing surf-punk tunes in support of their most recent album, California Nights, which came out last year. The band also pulled from their back catalog to play a well-balanced set of their newest music along with older favorites. Touring bandmates on drums, bass, and guitar backed vocalist and guitarist Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno throughout a sweet set that ranged from the energetic riffs in “When Will I Change” to the mellowness of “Our Deal.” 

Throughout the set, fans were engrossed in the music; at one point, a dedicated fan in the front row wearing a Garfield costume took to crowd surfing. Towards the end of the show, the band played their hit song “Boyfriend” while Cosentino sang to the Garfield head and wore it for a portion of the song. They closed up their set with an impressive performance of “When Will I Change,” leaving the crowd wanting more. Once Best Coast returned on stage for the encore, they wrapped up the show with a lively performance of “Bratty B.” Continue reading →

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Django Django brings Born Under Saturn to Union Transfer

Django Django | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Django Django | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

British art-rockers Django Django played an entrancing show at Union Transfer on Friday night. Touring in support of their sophomore release, this year’s Born Under Saturn, the quartet played a captivating of new material but pulling strongly from their acclaimed self-titled debut album. The well-balanced set included fan favorites such as “Hail Bop,” “Default,” and “First Light.” Continue reading →

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MisterWives electrified The Fillmore with Our Own House

Misterwives
MisterWives | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Indie-pop band MisterWives played The Fillmore on Wednesday night, bringing their dynamic Scrapbook Tour performance to Philadelphia. After much anticipation, the crowd went crazy as the band made their entrance on stage. Touring in support of this year’s debut studio album, Our Own House, MisterWives already has an intensely strong following and it’s easy to see why.

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From a Different Era: Leon Bridges brings classic soul style to Union Transfer

Leon Bridges | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Leon Bridges | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Singer Leon Bridges played a sold-out show at Union Transfer on Saturday night, bringing his retro-60s soul sound to Philadelphia. Currently on a world tour in support of his debut album Coming Home, which was released in June, most of Bridges’ shows have sold-out following his impressively quick rise to fame. Throughout the show, a solid six-piece band backed Bridges as he performed a set off Coming Home, as well as a few songs recently written while on tour. Vocalist Brittni Jessie provided beautiful backing vocals and harmonies to Bridges’ rich, smooth vocals. Saxophonist Jeff Dazey was also striking with his prominent solos and instrumental harmonies throughout the performance. Continue reading →

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The Dodos play an entrancing set at Johnny Brenda’s

The Dodos | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
The Dodos | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Playing yet another 2015 Philly show, indie rock duo The Dodos returned to Johnny Brenda’s on Tuesday for a great night of music. Touring in support of their sixth full-length album Individ, the band played an upbeat, high-energy set showcasing new material and drawing from their back-catalogue. Throughout their set, guitarist/vocalist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber maintained a symbiotic exchange of intricate guitar melodies and drum rhythms layered with guitar backing loops, creating a full, rich sound. Continue reading →

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Melody Gardot plays a moving homecoming show at the Merriam Theater

Melody Gardot | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Melody Gardot | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Philly jazz singer Melody Gardot emotionally told the crowd “I missed you, Philly” in her headlining show at the Merriam Theater last night. Gardot has been touring the world in support of her latest album, this year’s Currency of Man, and last night she dedicated the song “Our Love is Easy” to the audience. Throughout the night, Gardot and her band encouraged the crowd to clap along and sing along, while the horn players incorporated coordinated movements for visual effect. Continue reading →