Spirit in the Night: Bruce Springsteen takes on Citizens Bank Park for night two

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN |
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN |

Philly has always been close to Bruce Springsteen’s heart. It was one of the cities that first supported him when he was a young performer, and that has enjoyed his return countless times. In fact, it was early support and interviews by WXPN’s David Dye (himself a young man at WMMR at the time) that helped bring interest in Bruce to the area. Last night at Citizen’s Bank Park, the same venue where just two nights ago he broke his US set length by playing a 34 song set that lasted an astounding 4 hours and 3 minutes. For a performer in his late 60s, over 5 decades into live performance, this is unprecedented. Continue reading →


Philly bands at Phillies games: See Vita and the Woolf and Good Old War this weekend

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Phobymo Photography
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Morgan Smith |

This weekend, a couple Philly musicians will take the field at Citizens’ Bank Park to serenade baseball fans. Both Good Old War and Vita and the Woolf will be performing “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch of separate Phillies games; Good Old War will perform on Friday, June 26th in the Phils’ game versus the Nationals (the game starts at 7:05 p.m.), while Vita and the Woolf will play on Sunday, June 28th (the game starts at 1:35 p.m.). Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Justin Timberlake / Jay-Z at Citizen’s Bank Park, Jason Anderson at Kung Fu Necktie

justin-and-jayThe anticipated double-bill of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z co-headline Citizen’s Bank Park tonight. JT is expected to release a second part to to the 20/20 Experience in September, while Jay-Z has generated buzz for the abstract marketing is latest studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. His video “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film” was released earlier this month, and the ten-minute piece starts and ends with an interview dialogue about concert performing, intercut with footage of him playing the song in a New York City art gallery. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s show here. Watch JT’s video for “Take Back the Night” and Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby” video below.

Continue reading →


Magna Carta Holy Grail available for purchase tomorrow (Jay-Z playing Citizen’s Bank Park in August)

jay_z_web_1The self-proclaimed eighth wonder of the world, Shawn Carter a.k.a. Jay-Z shared his love (and new found philosophies) on Independence Day by dropping his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. And fortunately for his fans, the tracks – meant exclusively for Samsung customers – were leaked mere hours after their initial release. Jay-Z is joined on production by the likes of Timbaland, Swiss Beatz and Pharrell, and several tracks include the vocal talents of Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé. Carter says he wanted to experiment with theme and technique – and so far, critics have been generally receptive, although there are some laments that Hova did not move more outside of his comfort zone. The album will be released tomorrow, July 9th, for retail sale, and Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z will perform at the Citizens Bank Park on August 13th for the Legends of Summer tour. Take a listen to “Holy Grail” below and share your thoughts.


Go ahead, admit it: you’re excited to stream Justin Timberlake’s new album too

jtimberlake13f-1-webIt’s okay. Really, it is – some music simply transcends boundaries and genres and space and time. Some music is simply good music. So just because you got a momentary thrill and / or pique of curiosity a few hours back when the Facebook posts first started flying and reporting that Justin Timberlake‘s new album The 20 / 20 Experience was streaming on iTunes, there’s no being ashamed here. It doesn’t impeach your credentials as a discerning listener of new music or rock or indie rock or whatever you fancy your poison to be. It’s exciting! Dude is space-age crooner, a classy pop performer who evidently holds Prince, Sinatra and Take That in equal regard. There’s not many doing what he’s doing – there’s not many capable of doing what he’s doing. “Suit and Tie” is a jam and a half. The album as it proceeds from there, 70 minutes and change, is even more adventurous. Dig in – listen to it here. And get pumped to see JT on tour with Jay-Z on tour this summer; they play Hershey Stadium on August 4th and Citizens Bank Park on August 13th.


This summer Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z want to rock with you (coming to Hershey 8/4, Philly 8/13)

130114-jt-jay-z_0With all the summer tour announcements this week catering to the indie rock crowd – which, those are exciting, no doubt – here’s a reason for fans of aughties pop music to start freaking out. Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z announced a co-headlining summer tour that brings them to the Hershey Stadium on August 4th and Citizens Bank Park on August 13th. Tickets go on sale next Thursday, February 28th, at 10 a.m.

The two artists recent collaborated on “Suit & Tie,” a Prince-vibing disco banger from JT’s forthcoming release The 20/20 Experience, out in March. Jay-Z’s been pretty busy himself, given the successful Made In America Festival from last summer, and the Watch The Throne album from the summer previous. He reportedly has an album in the works for this year as well. In addition to that, both artists have the distinction of having performed with Philadelphia’s Legendary Roots Crew. (I think that’s their official name, right?) After the jump, watch Jay-Z’s entire MTV Unplugged concert from 2001, when The Roots were his backing band, and JT’s “History of Rap” appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where The Roots work as the house band. Continue reading →


Curing the summertime blues with Bruce Springsteen at Citizens Bank Park (review, photos, setlist)

Bruce Springsteen began the first of two stops on his “Labor Day labor of love,” as he called it, with a classic cover, Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues.” This performance at Citizens Bank Park was just the cure the enthusiastic crowd was looking for at the brink of summer’s end.

There are many ways to express the pure rock ’n’ roll joy that poured forth from the New Jersey native and his E Street Band. Let’s begin with a quantification. The show featured 33 songs, 19 of which hadn’t been performed at the two shows he played at the Wells Fargo Center in March. Sunday’s show clocked in at 3 hours and 43 minutes. Before this summer, he had never played a show this long and hadn’t even come close since 1980. This ties with a Madrid outing as his second-longest show and ranks behind only a four-hour-plus affair in Helsinki.

If one can attest to quality based on these statistics alone, this show proved to be a rousing success. Of course this is only part of the Bruce Springsteen experience. Qualitatively, Sunday’s show was a smash as well.

Photo by Eric Ashleigh |
Bruce interacted with the crowd with his usual mastery, collecting numerous sign requests, crowd-surfing twice during “Rosalita” and bringing up more fans than normal (three rather than one) for “Dancing in the Dark,” with two even dancing with saxophonist Jake Clemons, nephew of the late, great Clarence Clemons. Stage chatter between The Boss and the rest of his musical family and the crowd struck many varying chords of entertainment. There was the humor shared between Bruce and Jake regarding the fact that Jake was not born when “Spirit in the Night” — in wildly rollicking form — had been conceived. The energy and ingenuity brought to rarely played covers of early rockers like “Good Rocking Tonight” and “You Can’t Sit Down” injected life into a crowd that may have otherwise been disinterested in what they do not know. And then there was the white-hot fire breathed into a rarely performed but oft-requested cover of Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl” that knocked the socks off of Citizens Bank Park. Continue reading →