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Watch The War on Drugs jam with Kurt Vile at Johnny Brenda’s

The War on Drugs | Photo by John Vettese
The War on Drugs | Photo by John Vettese

I remember a time, not too long ago, when Philly space rock luminaries The War on Drugs could comfortably fit all their gear on the stage at Johnny Brenda’s with room to spare. But as their sound and scope has expanded, so has their spatial footprint, and I found myself at the foot of the Fishtown venue on Friday night, looking at the dozens of pedals cabled together and a veritable fortresses of keyboards, of amps and microphones and Charlie Hall’s drumkit tucked way back into the corner, wondering to myself how the heck this was going to work. Thankfully, the dudes pulled it off tremendously, and had enough room for founding member Kurt Vile to join the band for guitar shreddery on “Under the Pressure,” “Arms Like Boulders” and “I Hear You Calling.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tom Petty at Wells Fargo Center and The Drums at Underground Arts

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo via facebook.com/tompetty

Long time American rock favorite Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers take the stage in front of thousands tonight at Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia is the second stop on their 2014 North American tour in support of the recent July release of their latest album Hypnotic Eye. Following a career of hits “American Girl”, “Refugee”, and “Don’t Do Me Like That”, Hypnotic Eye had big shoes to fill. However, the album did not disappoint and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming their first album to top the charts. Fans can expect Petty to play a mix of old favorites and new tracks to become hooked on. For tickets and more information check out the XPN Concert Calender. Below, watch their performance of the new song “You Get Me High.” Continue reading →

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Singular songwriter Chris Isaak takes to the Keswick stage

Chris Isaak | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Chris Isaak | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Whether you hear Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” for the first time or the 50th, it is still unlike any song from 1989 or 2014. And to see Isaak performing this and any of the dozens of songs he has created or covered is a must-see. I finally caught him on Friday at the Keswick and was as ecstatic with the show as the rest of the nearly sold-out crowd. Continue reading →

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The Gaslight Anthem leads a stacked bill of late-summer punk at The Mann

The Gaslight Anthem| Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
The Gaslight Anthem| Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

“Proficiency” was the common thread throughout this particularly brisk Friday evening at the Mann Center’s Skyline Stage. A thoroughly stacked lineup, it’s tough (and downright reductive) to refer to the bands who played before The Gaslight Anthem as “openers.” Based on the draw each act produced during their respective sets, Friday night’s audience would heartily agree. Continue reading →

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Dr. Dog’s Lawn of Mann brings eclectic excitement to the Skyline Stage

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

On Saturday night, Dr. Dog treated us to an all-night party at the Mann Skyline Stage sharing the spotlight with Hop Along, The Front Bottoms, and Mac Demarco.  At first glance, this line-up sounds like it might not work but as proven by the end of the night, Dr. Dog is open to many sonic adventures, so it only makes sense that in their hometown, they took a chance and exposed their fan base to some music that may go against your average tour promoter’s instincts. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Goodnight Texas at World Cafe Live, Quilly at the TLA, Gladys Knight at Sands Bethlehem

Goodnight Texas | Photo by Matthew Washburn
Goodnight Texas | Photo by Matthew Washburn

World Cafe Live is getting a treat tonight Americana folk-rock band, Goodnight Texas. No, bandmates Avi Vinocur, Patrick Dyer Wolf, Alex Nash, and Bobby Kendall are not from Texas. The name actually came from the geographical midpoint between the songwriters Avi Vincour (of San Francisco) Patrick Dyer (of North Carolina). What a clever way to create a unique name. Their music give you a nice, feel-good, chill vibe; it’s as if you want to sit on the porch with your significant other and watch the sun set. That makes World Cafe Live the perfect place tonight to go on a date. Checkout their song “Maggie’s Farm” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dr. Dog at the Mann, Mo Lowda and the Humble at Bourbon and Branch, and Jad Fair and Danielson at Boot and Saddle

Photo by Nicky Devine
Photo by Nicky Devine

Long-time Philadelphia indie-rock favorites Dr. Dog are set to take the stage at the Mann tonight. With over eight albums and a handful of EPs under their belts, the six-piece has a plethora of material to chose from to curate a rockin’ set-list. Their most recent album, B-Room, has a psychedelic flair with tracks like “The Truth” and “Love.” For tickets and more information head over to the XPN Concert Calender. Below, check out the music video for “Shadow People.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Gaslight Anthem at The Mann, Parker Millsap at Tin Angel, The Gang Age at Bourbon & Branch and more…

The Gaslight Anthem
The Gaslight Anthem | photo by Drew Gurian | www.drewgurian.com/

New Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem bring their new record Get Hurt to The Mann Center‘s Skyline Stage tonight.  Released earlier this year, Get Hurt follows the band’s 2012 LP Handwritten with a retuned style and updated aesthetic.  What was previously all retro and throwback rock to the early days of Springsteen is now modernized, though the group’s blue collar, everyman stories are still present.  Watch the video for the title track below and get tickets for the show with Jimmy Eat World and Against Me! here.

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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…More Fringe, celebrating Irish music and Mexican independence, hanging with hackers…and more!

Actors performing the Four Seasons Restaurant...courtesy of www.fringearts.com
Actresses performing the Four Seasons Restaurant. Courtesy of www.fringearts.com

It’s Fringe Festival’s second weekend of performances….

The Four Seasons Restaurant, pictured above, from Italy’s Societas Raffaello Sanzio presents a provocative take on the effect that absence, solitude, and negation have on the human condition. Award-winning director Romeo Castellucci is well known internationally and his On the Concept of the Face Regarding the Son of God was featured at last year’s Fringe. Continue reading →