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Free At Noon Flashback: Mason Porter get the crowd riled and raucous with Workingman’s Dead

Mason Porter | Photo by John Vettese
Mason Porter | Photo by John Vettese

Meandering onstage to a packed and riled house, Mason Porter kicked off WXPN’s 50 year celebration of The Grateful Dead with energy today. The band declared that they would be playing the full fifth album of the Dead, Workingman’s Dead. Launching into the crowd favorite “Uncle John’s Band”, Mason Porter quickly got the crowd movin’, groovin’ and singing along. The group whipped out insane solos throughout the entirety of the performance – Sarah Larson shredded on the fiddle, displaying the quick fingers of a pro during fast-paced tracks like “Cumberland Blues” and “Easy Wind”.

Larsen and guitarist Paul Wilkinson even held a back-and-forth conversation through their instruments, all the while laughing and smiling. Frontman Joe D’Amico gave an impressive solo on his mandolin, fingerpicking rapidly and receiving a warm response from the crowd. The fivesome ended their performance playing the upbeat classic “Casey Jones” with an ecstatic crowd cheering them on as they trickled off stage. Continue reading →

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Chris Kasper to collaborate with Philly Dance Company, BalletX

Chris Kasper | via Facebook.com/ChrisKasperMusic
Chris Kasper | via Facebook.com/ChrisKasperMusic

Philly singer-songwriter Chris Kasper has embarked on a unique, collaborative project with Philly dance company BalletX for seven shows from July 8-12 at The Wilma Theater, where he’ll perform tracks off of 2013′s folk/soul Bagabones - tied into the residency is his Indiegogo campaign to create a music video with BalletX for the track “Raven and the Rose” and a spring tour in support of it, which kicks off tonight at Ballet X’s spring preview premiere party. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Turbo Fruits show off No Control at World Cafe Live

Turbo Fruits | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Turbo Fruits | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Nashville garage rockers Turbo Fruits took the stage today following an electric set from The London Souls. The four-piece showed Philly what they were made of with their catchy rock ballads. Guitarist Kingsley Brock whipped out some fun, distorted riffs while frontman Jonas Stein’s grumbling vocals filled the room. The group played tracks exclusively off of their upcoming LP, No Control, set to be released April 20th. Songs like “The Way I Want You” and “Don’t Let Me Break Your Heart Again” put the group’s solid sound on full display and had the crowd movin’ and groovin’, closing out today’s Free At Noon with finesse. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: The London Souls mystify a packed house at World Cafe Live

The London Souls | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
The London Souls | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

This week’s Free at Noon left my ears ringing. The London Souls stormed into the World Cafe Live, shredding through arguably the rawest specimen of blues-rock since The Black Keys released The Big Come Up in 2002. And just like The Black Keys, the band is a duo. But two people was all that was necessary to overpower the crowd with loud rock and roll, to which the audience replied with loud applause. The Souls were in Philly to promote their newest album, Here Come the Girls, and played several songs off of the album, including “Honey,” “Certain Appeal” and “The River.” Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: The Districts give 110% with a charged set at World Cafe Live

The Districts | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
The Districts | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Lititz/Philly natives The Districts took the stage today for this week’s Free At Noon concert with an amped up crowd in tow. The foursome gave it their all as they unleashed their heavy-hearted tunes to a packed audience downstairs at World Cafe Live. After strolling on stage, the group expressed their humble appreciation for the turnout and were sure to mention how good it felt to be back in Philadelphia, that is before they leave on a European tour in a few days.

Playing songs off of their latest album A Flourish and a Spoil, the group showcased amazing musicianship through their passionate playing, with lead singer Rob Grote bouncing around the stage, his curly locks swinging every which way. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Diamond Rugs had the World Cafe Live crowd jumping

Diamond Rugs | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Diamond Rugs | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Diamond Rugs played a short, energizing set for today’s Free at Noon concert. Last month the band released its second album, Cosmetics, following up their self-titled 2012 debut. The supergroup, which consists of members / former members of Deer Tick, The Black Lips, Dead Confederate and Six Finger Satellite, played a selection of songs off their new album, including “Thunk,” which opened the set, “Couldn’t Help It” and “Blame.” Unfortunately the band won’t be playing in Philly any time soon, since they just rocked Ortlieb’s last night. But if by any chance you happen to be in any of these cities at the dates the band’s playing in them, be sure to check them out. Listen back to the performance and check out photos below. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Ron Gallo unveils new tunes downstairs at World Cafe Live

Ron Gallo | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Ron Gallo | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Today’s Free At Noon featured local bluesy alt rocker Ron Gallo, who opened for rock and roll quintet Diamond Rugs. After strolling on stage, he remarked that the event was a bit unexpected, explaining that he woke up to a phonecall telling him “You got a gig.” Now rocking it solo, the former Toy Soldiers frontman unveiled some of his most recent work, solely playing songs off his album currently in the works. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Blackberry Smoke play an intimate, unplugged set at World Cafe Live

Blackberry Smoke - WXPN Free At Noon - Credit: Rocco Peditto
Blackberry Smoke – WXPN Free At Noon – Credit: Rocco Peditto

Rock and roll quintet Blackberry Smoke trickled onstage to an amped up crowd at today’s Free At Noon. The Atlanta natives prepared a special set for this afternoon in Philadelphia, going unplugged and acoustic and owning their performance all the while. Laying into their track “Ain’t Got The Blues”, lead singer Charlie Starr and guitarist Paul Jackson whipped out some impressive simultaneous finger-picking while drummer Brit Turner held down the beats with his declared “sweetar”, an altered acoustic guitar he used for percussion. The artists later commented that Philadelphia has remained a special place for them, as Jackson’s family originates from our fine city. The performance was lighthearted, with excited fans clapping and hooting at the band mates throughout it’s entirety.
Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Houndmouth plays a mesmerizing set at World Cafe Live

Houndmouth | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Houndmouth | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Indiana-bred southern rockers Houndmouth put on an amazing set at today’s Free at Noon, leaving the audience mesmerized. The band’s new album, Little Neon Limelight, is due out next Tuesday, and their setlist featured songs from the new records such as “Black Gold,” “Sedona” and the funny “My Cousin Greg,” all from the new album. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Peter Matthew Bauer plays a genuine, on-point set at World Cafe Live

Peter Matthew Bauer | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Peter Matthew Bauer | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Philadelphia singer/songwriter Peter Matthew Bauer performed for today’s Free At Noon and filled World Cafe Live with energetic rock tunes. The former Walkmen organist warmed everyone up from the cold with his slow jam “Hold On To Someone”, then later serenaded his hometown with the fast-paced track “Philadelphia Raga”, utilizing back up vocals and upbeat drums to fill out the sound. Continue reading →