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I Don’t Love You, Honeybear: Twitter dot com reacts to Father John Misty’s XPN Fest set

Father John Misty | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Father John Misty | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making the world think Father John Misty is good,” —anonymous.

Whether you think he’s the greatest post-modern performance artist of our generation or just an annoying hack, everybody’s talking about Father John Misty after his wild ride of a “set” at XPNFest Friday. Lovers and haters alike took to the megaphone of the masses — Twitter dot com — to voice their feelings, as one does. We’ve collected a number of the best, for your viewing pleasure. (Unlike that other 45 minutes of FJM’s set, amirite?) Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: The show goes on for The Felice Brothers, power or no power

The Felice Brothers | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
The Felice Brothers | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Unexpected things have been happening all weekend here at the XPoNential Music Festival, but this last event turned out to be pretty special.

A power outage on the River Stage forced The Felice Brothers to end their set early. But rather than walk off stage and head for the greenroom, the ramshackle folk outfit walked off stage and into the crowd to continue playing, unplugged and intimate. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Darlingside brings harmonies and charm to the Marina Stage heat

Darlingside | Photo by Sydney Schaefer | sydneyschaeferphotos.com
Darlingside | Photo by Sydney Schaefer | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

It was the third song of Darlingside’s set. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based harmonizers were beautifully belting their “Good For You,” a song written about the band’s fascination with the places they visit while traveling. In that same spirit, the sounds of Darlingside were able to transport listeners as if they were on the road with the band themselves. And then, to draw everyone back to reality, the stench of porta-potty septic trucks filled the air —  because port-potty septic trucks were driving right behind the Jerseyarts.com Marina Stage. It’s funny how timing works in this world.  Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: The Revivalists breathe new life into festivalgoers

The Revivalists | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com
The Revivalists | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

In one flawless motion, The Revivalist‘s trumpet player and keyboardist Michael Girardot climbed onto the speaker system to shake his tambourine, then threw it to the side and continued to slam to the ground himself, all the while being sure to bang on his keyboard midair and as he landed. The New Orleans soul rock band exploded with this kind of heart-racing excitement throughout their set on the Riverstage during XPoNential Festival. The seven piece had a distinctly rich and full sound, thanks to the diversity of their instruments and arrangements — the horns section made way for some killer sax solos. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Esme Patterson takes care of the crowd on the Marina Stage

Esme Patterson | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Esmé Patterson | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

Esmé Patterson commanded the Marina Stage with her personality, music, and smile, playing songs from this year’s We Were Wild during the midday set.

Opening up with “Find It,” Patterson made it clear from the get go that she and her band were here to have fun. Classic 90s singer-songwriter sensibilities rippled under the high-energy indie rock arrangements, letting us know that this band’s music defies easy classification.

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XPN Fest Recap: Ben Arnold and the 48 Hour Orchestra let loose on the River Stage

Ben Arnold | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com
Ben Arnold | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

Ben Arnold is a seasoned vet when it comes to performing at XPoNential Festival. This year was the local music man’s fouth appearance, but this time around things were a bit different. Thanks to the 48 Hour Orchestra, who joined Arnold on stage, his set today brought things to a new level. Together, the two sides brought life to Arnold’s 2016 record Lost Keys, an album that features much more brass than anything he’s put out in the past. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Kississippi conquers the Marina Stage to open day two

photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com
photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

“Philadelphia gobbles up the stars / a thousand miles from where you are / if my arms were long enough I’d reach that far,” Zoë Allaire Reynolds crooned during “Googly Eyes,” the first song of Kississippi‘s opening set on day two of XPoNential Festival. On the Jerseyarts.com Marina Stage as the afternoon sun shined above, Reynolds and company painted an achingly relatable picture with their music and lyricism. Hailing from across the bridge, the four-piece has a striking live blend of deep riffs, shoegaze elements and no shortage of palpable emotion. Continue reading →

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Party People: Ryan Adams, Kurt Vile, Tommy Stinson bring XPNFest night one to a close

Ryan Adams | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com
Ryan Adams | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

“No lectures tonight,” Ryan Adams told the crowd at the BB&T Pavillion last night. “Let’s just have some fun.”

In part, it felt like a dig at his fellow Los Angeleno Father John Misty – who played a very polarizing performance at Wiggins Park earlier in the day. It was also a bit of a nod to the admittedly mercurial tone of his own Philly gigs with The Shining in recent years. They always rock hard, no doubt, but sometimes the interaction is minimal. Other times its aggressive, like when an oblivious fan at the Tower Theater insisted on repeatedly shooting flash photos of Adams – who has been very open about his meniere’s disease and how difficult it makes performing with bright lights – and so the singer gave the fan a piece of his mind.

There was none of that last night. For his headlining XPoNential Music Festival set, Adams opened up with that call to have fun and a shout out all the party people in the house – and true to that, he and The Shining seemed to be having the absolute best time up there. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Colvin & Earle share old stories and new songs on the River Stage

Colvin and Earle | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Colvin and Earle | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

By the time Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle stepped on to the River Stage, the sun was setting and a cooler breeze was blowing through the packed crowd. The duo of singer / songwriter legends performed a retrospective set that pulled from their solo back catalogs and, of course, this year’s collaborative LP, which features a collection of originals and beloved covers.

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XPN Fest Recap: The Suffers radiate feel good energy with their soul funk specials

The Suffers | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com
The Suffers | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

With a spirited intro by Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin, and, of course, an Eagles chant, The Suffers joined us on the Jerseyarts.com Marina Stage for XPoNential Fest. The Houston, TX (remember that!) ten piece was as big, bright and beautiful as their music. Lead vocalist Kam Franklin wanted all first time concertgoers to take two things from the show — the band’s name and the city where they’re from. As their set progressed though, there was much more that the crowd would be able to take with them from the band’s performance. Continue reading →