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Photo recap: The rain pours down but the Folk goes on – Philly Folk Fest Day 4

Driftwood Soldier | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN
Driftwood Soldier | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN

The Folk Fest Gods can only keep the rain away for so long, but that didn’t stop Sunday’s performers and fans from having an incredible day at Fest.  Here’s some highlights from the day.

Driftwood Soldier (photo above) played a set on the campground’s Front Porch Stage during a slight downpour; the crowd watched huddled under two tarps. Set rocked.

Two long-running gospel groups, The McCrary Sisters and The Fairfield Four teamed up as the gospel supergroup, Rock My Soul. High energy set, had a lot of people (including Folk Show host Ian Zolitor) on their feet and dancing. Continue reading →

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Photo recap: From the Campground to the Main Stage at Philly Folk Fest – Day 2

 

Anderson East and The Lone Bellow | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN
Anderson East and The Lone Bellow | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN

Day two at the 55th Annual Philadelphia Folk Fest went off without a hitch.  From local band Deer Scout performing on the Camp Stage to Anderson East joining The Lone Bellow on the Martin Guitar Main Stage – incredible performances were happening all day long across the 80 acre, Old Pool Farm.  Continue reading →

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All This and More: A radiant Belly reigns supreme at Union Transfer

Belly | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
Belly | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

When a band frames a show as “An Evening With…,” the connotation is that this is a special event, a unique and refined occasion for the learned and erudite spectator. It can be construed as a veiled euphemism for “we’re all a little older now.”

As further evidence of the ‘90s revival that Gen X-ers are all enjoying lately, alt-rock darlings Belly have reunited for the first time since disbanding two decades ago. A new record — their third — is due out soon, and they closed the first leg of their reunion tour Sunday night at Union Transfer with “An Evening With Belly.” A special occasion for fans who are a little older now, it was.

Belly didn’t seem to want to let those older fans forget that, either, with lively stage banter throughout their two-hour set about parenthood and bathroom breaks at intermissions, advice on stretching before moshing to avoid sprains, and an interactive conversation about the prescription drugs that have long since replaced the recreational ones. (Cracking a joke about inhalers, bassist Gail Greenwood got a section of the crowd to chant “albuterol!”) Continue reading →

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Vita and The Woolf, Hemming bring it all home to Spruce Street Harbor Park

Vita and the Woolf | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Vita and the Woolf | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Throughout the whole summer, Spruce Street Harbor Park has been holding their “Waterfront Sessions,” where they invite Philly’s best and brightest musicians to grace kicked-back audiences to an evening of delight and thoughtful music. The riverside grotto consisting of hammocks and hanging fluorescent lights features several attractions for all ages to enjoy, from pop-up beer gardens for the grown-ups to plenty of wide open areas for the kids to run around and catch a couple dozen Magikarps (I have to admit that I got a couple for myself as well.)

It’s an interesting change up to see these bands play in front of smiling children playing giant chess rather than in a packed basement or a dimly-lit bar. Last week’s crowd got an extra treat as both Vita and the Woolf and Hemming‘s show on the waterfront went on after being rescheduled from a couple weeks ago due to the rain.

Vita and the Woolf started off the evening with their first Philly show since returning from tour the night before, so the band was in fine form. Vocalist Jen Pague thanked everybody for coming before starting off their set with “Brett,” the first single from their upcoming album, Tunnels. The band, now joined by new guitar player Dane Galloway along with drummer Adam Shumski, continued with tracks from their previous record, Fang Song, such as the bombastic “Mary” and the driving “Diamond Halls.” Continue reading →

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Piebald rocks The Troc after an eight year extended hiatus

Piebald at The Trocadero | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
Piebald at The Trocadero | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

Piebald was cast in a very special hardcore mold, one that bore the holy trinity of Boston bands (the others being Converge and Cave In).  While their peers stayed steeped in the rough and rugged, Piebald veered off on to their own to create some of the most fun alternative rock ever made.  An important distinction between them and a lot of other alt-rock bands from the era.  Even when the songs are a bummer, they are unabashedly fun. Continue reading →

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Adventure of a Lifetime: Coldplay brings boundless energy and optimism to The Linc

Coldplay | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com
Coldplay | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

I stand now on the precipice of a new decade of my life, its experiences unknown, its joys undiscovered, its sorrows unmeasured. I see a decade quite similar in its turbulence in my rear-view mirror. Throughout the past ten years of my life, I changed in more ways that I could ever care to count, and I greatly appreciate the very few things that, throughout this past decade, remained somewhat constant. Coldplay, as a concept if not as a band, stands among those few. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Earnest on her electric, Margaret Glaspy echoes folk and grunge vibes

Margaret Glasby | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com
Margaret Glaspy | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

With wide-eyed wonder, an audience member in the front row grabbed the arm of her friend as singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy took her voice from a tender warble to an impassioned gravel. Not quite folk and not quite grunge, Glaspy has carved out her own space in the scene to encapsulate the myriad of sounds she blends together. With her debut album Emotions and Math released in June, Glaspy power-packed her performance with as many tracks from the new LP as she could fit, even treating the crowd to encore featuring a just-written, untitled track. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Quilt creates a groovin’ dreamscape of sound

Quilt | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com
Quilt | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

After a dreamy psychedelic performance at Johnny Brenda’s in March and as one of the must hear new acts at Firefly Music Festival last month, we were more than excited to welcome back the New England indie rockers Quilt for a Free At Noon show before their headlining gig at The Foundry later this evening. Riding a wave opportunities following the February release of their third LP Plaza, the band is back and ready to inspire with a fresh batch of airy tracks that exude their mellow rock influences.

More than half of the band’s set was dedicated to the new material, including the Plaza standout “Roller” near the end of the set, where vocalist and guitarist Anna Fox Rochinski floats through this impossibly light song. Throughout the set, Rochiniski and vocalist and guitarist Shane Butler would swap vocal duties, even having drummer John Andrews join in on the fun for his own verses. But the band was its strongest when it came together for group vocals, a perfectly synced listening delight. Continue reading →