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Alt-J warmed up the crowd at The Tower Theater

 

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Alt-J | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

It was a bitter cold evening last night in Upper Darby, where many traveled to see the British indie rock group Alt-J on their headlining tour in support of this year’s This Is All Yours. After the global success of their debut An Awesome Wave, which won the Mercury Prize in 2012, the band start getting the rep as “The next Radiohead.” Last night, they definitely lived up to it.

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Losing his voice, J Roddy Walston turns to the TLA crowd for help

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J Roddy Walston & The Business | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Saturday night the TLA was filled almost to capacity with fans riled to see J Roddy Walston & The Business. The Richmond, VA foursome gathered on the stage to an exuberant amount of clapping and shouting. J Roddy took his place at the grand piano with his long hair in front of his face the majority of the time. At one point he told the audience that he was losing his voice after the long tour and asked them to help sing along.

Despite his illness, J Roddy definitely rocked out the house that night. During the encore he brought fans up to the stage to dance and sing to “Heavy Bells” and then proceeded to crowd surf for a few moments to end the night on a high. Check out photos from the show in the gallery, read the setlist and watch the singalong encore in the video below. Continue reading →

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Fleetwood Mac begins an ecstatic new chapter at Wells Fargo Center

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Fleetwood Mac | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Fleetwood Mac is a band that continues to grow through the good and bad times,” Lindsey Buckingham told the sold-out Wells Fargo Center crowd on Wednesday night. “Especially in the moment when Christine returned. I can say we have begun a beautiful, poetic and profound chapter.”

It certainly was a nostalgic evening as the legendary rock outfit – reunited with Christine McVie for the first time in 16 years – ripped through hits from their top-selling albums including Fleetwood Mac (1975), Rumours (1977) Tusk (1979) and more. Continue reading →

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UK dance-pop sensation Charli XCX takes The TLA by storm

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Charli XCX | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

On Friday night, the TLA welcomed electronic pop artist, Charli XCX. The 22 year old English singer-songwriter released her debut album, True Romance in April 2013 but her biggest claim to success was from “I Love It,” the song she wrote and was performed by Icona Pop. “I Love It” became a #1 hit single in the UK and topped the charts in North America. Friday night, she performed backed by a band and group of dancers, some in Go-Go attire, others dressed like Catholic school girls. Continue reading →

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American Diamond Recordings celebrates their first show at Boot & Saddle

The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Togetherness and unity were certainly in the air pre-Independence Day when American Diamond Recordings hosted their first showcase at Boot & Saddle. The new Philly record label comprised of five local bands celebrated their out-coming with performances from each group, including The Levee Drivers, T.J. Kong & The Atomic Bomb, Ron Gallo, The Lawsuits, and a special set by a band who went by the moniker Eight Legged Prawn. The show was also a celebration of Marley McNamara’s birthday, and most figured out that Eight Legged Prawn was actually one of the bands she manages, The Districts.

It was easy to tell that these artists performing don’t just make music together, they are family.

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A pop-punk night to remember with Say Anything, The Front Bottoms and more

Say Anything | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Say Anything | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Thursday night the Electric Factory brought out pop punk fans of a new and old generation – “old” meaning the early aughts.

Supporting acts included You Blew It!The So So Glos and indie punk faves The Front Bottoms. You Blew It! and The So So Glos played uplifting sets, gearing up for the madness that was going to ensue for The Front Bottoms.

The Jersey four-piece rocked out singing numbers off their brand new EP, Rose. Lead singer Brian Sella told the teeming and enthusiastic audience “I can already tell this is going to be one of those shows that I’m going to remember the rest of my life.” He does a great job making a personal connection with the audience, taking selfies with them and making sure to look and smile at every person in his field of view. The band fired off its custom-made wacky waving inflatable flailing-arm man for the last couple of songs, and members of You Blew It! joined them onstage too, thrashing around and jumping on top of one another, picking up cymbal stands and banging them on the floor. And the crowd relished in all of it.

Following the craziness of TFB, headliners Say Anything took the stage. The band is touring is support of their new album Hebrews, out this month on Equal Vision Records. As a big Say Anything fan spiraling back to their album Is a Real Boy, I was hoping to hear all the hits from that record, and was only somewhat satisfied with a few majors fell short. Stand outs from the set included “Spider”, “Wow I can Get Sexual Too” as well as “Do Better” from their self-titled album. During the song “Cemetery”, lead singer Max Bemis’s wife, Sherri Dupree of the pop band Eisley came out to contribute guest vocals along with their adorable daughter, a rock star in the making for sure. Say Anything continued to rock out, led by Bemis’s powerful frontman vibrato. During the encore, he even pulled out an acoustic solo cover of ‘Ol Dirty Bastard’s “Got Your Money”. The evening ended on a high note with every band from the night joining Say Anything on stage to belt out the song, “Belt”. With a lot of friendship, a lot of sweat, and a whole lot of screaming, all of the performing bands put on a rad show that gave everyone in attendance – in the crowd and onstage – an evening to remember.

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Raising money for an important cause: Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better benefit with Kurt Vile, The Districts and The Tontons at Union Transfer

Connor Barwin | Photo by Rachel Barrish | Kurt Vile & The Violators | Photo by Rachel Barrish | The Districts | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Connor Barwin | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Last night Union Transfer was a filled with good vibes, good friends, and great music, all for an excellent cause. It was a benefit for Philadelphia Eagles player Connor Barwin’s Make the World Better Foundation. One day while riding his park through South Philly, Barwin came across a park at 28th and Tasker Streets that looked like it needed a big make-over and he decided to start this worthy foundation to raise money for it.

The evening started off with one of Connor’s favorite bands from Texas, The Tontons. Front the rock band is afro pop vocalist Asli Omar with rich and enticing vocals. They played their song “Lush” from a session they did with Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through. The Tontons were followed by the ever-so-always-all-the time-awesome The Districts who came home to Philly for a show after their tour across the country with Dr. Dog. The fiery foursome opened with “Lyla” and were constantly moving around the stage exuding tons of energy. Last but not least, a slight change from the prior crazy constant motions of The Districts, Kurt Vile & The Violators delivered a set of their psychedelic sounds. The crowd rejoiced when Connor Barwin returned to the stage to announce that over $120,000 was raised and would be donated to Ralph Brooks park.

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Atmosphere brings its storytelling hip-hop to the Electric Factory

Atmosphere | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Atmosphere | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

On the heels of their seventh album, Southsiders, Atmosphere made a stop at the Electric Factory, warming up the show for Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. While the duo of rapper  Sean Daley, AKA Slug, and producer / DJ Anthony Davis, AKA Ant, might not be household names in the same way Kanye is, if you have heard of them you will know how long they have been around. Since 1989, to be exact, and these Minneapolis heroes make hip hop sound like telling a bedtime story.

Slug comanded the fairly small audience, interacting with crowd members and turning regular stories into songs. His rhymes have always had well-defined lyrics; he focuses on real life situations like love and death and loneliness and last night he told the audience to “raise your hands if you’re happy to be alive.” I was definitely a happy camper when one of the final songs he performed was “Yesterday” from the 2008 record When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint that Shit Gold. He ended by thanking the audience for “puttin’ up with our shit.”

Check out a gallery of photos from the show below.

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Unpacking Gov Ball: A massive-yet-intimate summertime music hang

| Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
| Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Friday started off like a whirlwind. An epic journey from Philadelphia–>North Jersey–>Brooklyn–>Randall’s Island.

The final destination was where this year’s Governor’s Ball took place, about a 20 minute trek over the Triborough Bridge. This intimate, yet vastly sizable island was the perfect place for a music festival. The grounds made for a good fit for four large stages and a sensational line up of music. The line up was diverse and well suited with everything from electronic rock to progressive hip hop to rap artists to indie rock favorites like Spoon and The Strokes. Nostalgia was definitely a major part of the weekend, seeing bands like OutKast who have been around for twenty years and haven’t put out an album in about eight. Other blasts from the past included Neko Case and TV on the Radio, a bit timid in the beginning of their performances but overall glad and excited to be performing.

The festival grounds held about 100,000 people from all walks of the East Coast and some from across the border (Canada). There were girls draped in hippy flower crowns and sometimes nothing else but tape over their chest. Noticeably there were a lot of flower printed Hawaiian shirts and apparel, including Earl Sweatshirt and Julian Casablancas during his performance with The Strokes. The summer vibes were certainly in swing, no one could have asked for a more perfect sun-filled weekend. New festival favorite gimmick was flotation devices, people brought in their own pool floaties and were able to chill out on the grass without getting dirty. Check out a full recap of photos from Gov Ball in the gallery below; for our daily recaps, click here.
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Governor’s Ball Day 3: Banks, Earl Sweatshirt, James Blake, The Head and The Heart and more

Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Yesterday wrapped up our third day exploring Randall’s Island and the sights and sounds of this year’s Governors Ball Music Festival.

Skaters | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Skaters | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

New York City rock band Skaters turned up the heat on an already scorching Sunday afternoon.

Earl Sweatshirt | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Earl Sweatshirt | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Rapper Earl Sweatshirt emerged on stage decked out in beachwear while fans sang along to the lyrics from his latest album, Doris. Continue reading →