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Nicole Atkins played an intimate, festive show at World Cafe Live

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Nicole Atkins | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography

XPN favorite Nicole Atkins headlined World Cafe Live on Thursday night. Touring in support of her 2014 LP Slow Phaser, Atkins performed a mix of new songs and favorites from Mondo Amore (2011) and Neptune City (2007). As the crowd excitedly awaited her entrance on stage, she surprised everyone by coming onto the floor and introducing herself in the midst of the crowd. Barefoot and dressed in a flowing white gown, she opened up the show singing a stripped down, acoustic version of “Neptune City” while completely surrounded by the audience. Once she stepped on stage, she delivered an energetic, heartfelt performance. With only a two-piece backing band, Atkins’ powerful and soulful vocals perfectly soared over the drums and guitar creating a full, rich sound. Continue reading →

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Sowing Seeds with the charismatic TV On the Radio at Union Transfer

TV On the Radio | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | htmichellemontgomeryphotography.com
TV On the Radio | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | htmichellemontgomeryphotography.com

Brooklyn-based indie icons TV On The Radio played their first Philly show since 2011 in front of a sold-out Union Transfer on Monday night. The band was touring in support of its fifth studio album, Seeds, which was just released on Monday, and most of the audience couldn’t contain their excitement as they heard some of the new songs for the first time ever during the live set, including recent singles “Happy Idiot” and “Careful You.” Throughout the show, they also played a mix of songs off their previous LPs and their debut EP. Continue reading →

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Fitz and the Tantrums’ dance party lights up the Electric Factory

Fitz and the Tantrums | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Fitz and the Tantrums | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Indie-soul group Fitz And The Tantrums brought a high-energy performance and dance party to a sold-out crowd at the Electric Factory on Friday night. Led by frontman Michael Fitzpatrick, the six-piece group played a dynamic set consisting of songs off their sophomore LP More Than Just A Dream (2013) and their debut album Pickin’ Up the Pieces(2010), as well as a fun cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Continue reading →

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Hozier takes control of a sold out crowd at the Trocadero

Hozier | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | http://michellemontgomeryphotography.com/
Hozier | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | http://michellemontgomeryphotography.com/

Irish singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne, better known as Hozier, serenaded a sold-out crowd at the Trocadero on Saturday night. Playing what he described as his first proper show in Philly, he performed an entrancing set of his passionate and poetic music off his recently released self-titled debut album. It’s not often that you come across a musician with such a hauntingly beautiful voice that makes an entire crowd go silent, but that is exactly what Hozier did at the Troc. As soon as he took the stage, the crowd went crazy cheering for him. Once he started singing, it seemed that the slightly rowdy crowd went silent and became completely immersed in his performance. Continue reading →

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Temples and The Districts excite the Union Transfer crowd

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

English psychedelic rock band Temples hit the stage at Union Transfer on Saturday night playing to a packed crowd. Touring in support of their debut album Sun Structures, which was released in February, the UK four-piece already has a close following. For such a young group, they have received positive album reviews and praise from respected musicians such as Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher. Continue reading →

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Phantogram dazzles a sold-out Union Transfer crowd

Phantogram | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Phantogram | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

New York based electronica duo Phantogram rocked Union Transfer this weekend with an electrifying performance. On Sunday, the band played the second of two back-to-back sold-out shows in support of their second full-length album, Voices, which was released in February. Josh Carter (vocals, guitar, and electronic beats) and Sarah Barthel (vocals, keyboard, and guitar) were backed by a three-piece band, which allowed them to give a spectacular, full-sounding performance. Continue reading →

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Lykke Li gave an enchanting and engaging performance at Union Transfer

Lykke Li | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Lykke Li | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Swedish indie pop singer-songwriter Lykke Li took the stage to a packed Union Transfer on Wednesday night. Touring in support of her third LP I Never Learn, which was released in May, Li performed a set of upbeat and evocative songs of heartbreak primarily off her latest album and her previous LP Wounded Rhymes. Midway through her set, she broke out two audience favorites from her debut album Youth Novels, “Dance, Dance, Dance” (during which she encourage the crowd to dance along) and “Little Bit.” Continue reading →

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Banks entrances a sold-out Union Transfer crowd

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

Up and coming alternative R&B artist BANKS returned to Philadelphia on Saturday night at Union Transfer as part of her Goddess Tour. Despite the fact that her debut album, Goddess, was only released earlier this month, BANKS already has an impressive following drawing a sold-out crowd for an emotional set of evocative, heartbroken songs. With a two-piece backing playing a mix of drums, keyboard, guitar, and electronic effects, her minimal yet soulful performance entranced the crowd throughout the night. Continue reading →

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Agnes Obel performed a stunning set at World Cafe Live

Agnes Obel | photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Agnes Obel | photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Danish singer-songwriter and pianist Agnes Obel played a mesmerizing set at World Cafe Live on Tuesday night. Returning to the US for part of her global tour in support of her sophomore LP, Aventine (2013), Obel primarily performed songs from that record, as well as a few selections from her debut release Philharmonics (2010).

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Jack Johnson and Amos Lee serenaded a sold-out Mann Center crowd

Jack Johnson| photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Jack Johnson| photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson took the stage at the Mann Center to a sold-out show on Friday night. Playing an impressive non-stop two hour set of a mix of new songs off his latest LP, From Here To Now To You, and many old favorites from his previous five studio albums, Johnson got the audience clapping and singing along throughout the night. Special guest and Philly native Amos Lee joined Johnson onstage midway through the show to perform “Inaudible Melodies” and an energetic cover of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay.” Johnson was backed by multi-instrumentalist Zach Gill, percussionist Adam Topol, and bass player Merlo Podlewski.
Johnson closed the main set performing “Good People”  but the crowd couldn’t get enough of his laid-back sound, so heand his band returned to the stage for a unique five song encore. Johnson slowed it down with acoustic performances of “I Got You” and “Do You Remember.” Lee then joined Johnson on stage for the rest of the encore. 
Earlier in the evening, Lee opened the show with a set of folksy, bluesy tunes in support of his newest album, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song. Check out the setlist and photos from the show in the gallery below.

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