Few moments make music lovers swoon like the moment when a band goes off book, ditching their planned setlist to play old songs, new songs, and whatever the heck else they want.
The everlasting California desert rock institution Queens of the Stone Age did just that in the middle of their electrifying concert last night at the Mann Center’s Skyline Stage. Opting to skip playing “Kalopsia” from 2013′s …Like Clockwork, frontman Josh Homme announced that the band would instead play 2000′s “In the Fade” to rapturous applause.
Moments like this littered a night permeated by a celebratory atmosphere for many. For the Queens, it’s the last US show for a while on a touring cycle that began last year. Their electrifying performance was preceded by a brutal opening set from thrash metal wunderkinds Unlocking the Truth (those 8th graders who just inked a $1.7 million deal with Sony that you’ve been hearing about) and an equally hard-hitting one from Spinerrette/Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle (a.k.a Mrs. Josh Homme). The Queens refused to disappoint, though, and the near-capacity crowd at the Mann was ever-grateful.
From the stage, Homme pontificated on whether or not this was the best show of the tour. We’re inclined to say that yes, indeed, it was. Check out the setlist below, as well as a gallery of photos from The Key’s Matthew Shaver.
Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson took the stage at the Mann Center to a sold-out show on Friday night. Playing an impressive non-stop two hour set of a mix of new songs off his latest LP, From Here To Now To You, and many old favorites from his previous five studio albums, Johnson got the audience clapping and singing along throughout the night. Special guest and Philly native Amos Lee joined Johnson onstage midway through the show to perform “Inaudible Melodies” and an energetic cover of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay.” Johnson was backed by multi-instrumentalist Zach Gill, percussionist Adam Topol, and bass player Merlo Podlewski.
Johnson closed the main set performing “Good People” but the crowd couldn’t get enough of his laid-back sound, so heand his band returned to the stage for a unique five song encore. Johnson slowed it down with acoustic performances of “I Got You” and “Do You Remember.” Lee then joined Johnson on stage for the rest of the encore.
Earlier in the evening, Lee opened the show with a set of folksy, bluesy tunes in support of his newest album, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song. Check out the setlist and photos from the show in the gallery below.
Bummed because you missed the Avetts in September? Well take out your calendar and flip to August, because here’s your next chance to see them.
The Avett Brothers are bringing their raw rootsy Americana tunes to Bethlehem on August 7th as the headlining act of MusikFest 2014. Touring almost non-stop since their 2012 grammy-nominated release The Carpenter, the Avetts have recently been traveling the U.S. celebrating their newest album Magpie and the Dandelion, which came out in October. Tickets for the Bethlehem show will go on sale via the MusikFest website 10 a.m. December 3rd for ArtsQuest members and 10 a.m. December 6th to the public – $40-50 a piece. Reminisce about their phenomenal September performance at the Mann Center here. Prep for the show by watching their backstage performance of “Morning Song” at the Newport Folk Festival below.
As the advent of winter approaches, next summer may seem oh so far away. But at least we have Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds to look forward to. The Australian troubadour and his band will play the Mann Center on July 25th. The announcement arrives just a week before the release of their fourth live album Live from KCRW which includes acoustic renditions of songs from their latest album Push the Sky Away and additional tracks from their catalog. The live set will be available on CD and vinyl on November 29th (Record Store Day) and digitally on December 3rd. Pre-sale tickets are available on November 20th at 10am here. General on-sale begins November 22nd at 10am. Below, watch a video of Cave’s climbing into the crowd at his headlining show at the Keswick Theater earlier this year.
WXPN welcomes L.A. indie rock outfit Local Natives to the Electric Factory tonight. If you missed them on their summer tour, the band just released a video shot between performances completely on their phones put to the stimulating single “Ceilings” off of their latest release Hummingbird. Catch them on their Fall tour by finding tickets and information for tonight’s show here. Watch the new “Ceilings” video below.
Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter Marc Neibauer (formerly known as Eat Your Birthday Cake) takes the stage at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Following up on his LP Don’t Fall Apart, released last month on Bandcamp, Neibauer proudly posted a new demo called “How Long” on his Soundcloud earlier this week. It paints extensive aural landscapes with his intense, intimate voice over top of swirling guitar melodies. Take a listen to the haunting demo below. Find tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show here.
The Disco Biscuits return home to Philly for their two day City Bisco festival at the Mann Center. The experimental electronic jam band will headline both nights, and will be joined by Big Boi, Method Man, and Redman. The festival also will showcase many other electronic-based artists – some veterans of the scene, and others quite promising newcomers. Below are four acts definitely worth checking out at City Bisco.
Emancipator is Doug Appling, an electronic producer that has been making chill, downtempo tunes since 2006. He released his latest album Dusk to Dawn this past January and is debuting the 4-piece Emancipator Ensemble in November. Emancipator’s trip-hop vibes are in a similar vein as Bonobo or Philly producer Ill Clinton – experimental and heavy on the instrumentals. He will be playing City Bisco on Saturday – be sure to check out his set. Meanwhile, take a listen to the layered and emotional “Minor Cause” from Dusk to Dawn below.
This month indie-alt-Americana icon Neko Case released her latest album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. The story of the record is pretty well encapsulated in its title, but you can hear Case dig into the depression and heartache that gave birth to this new collection of songs in this recent interview with World Cafe’s David Dye. Tickets for tonight’s all-ages show with her New Pornographers bandmate A.C. Newman can be found at The Electric Factory‘s website; below, watch the music video for Case’s “Man.”
If you haven’t picked up on it, we’re quite taken by Scottish electonic pop three-piece CHVRCHES. Building buzz and stateside traction earlier this year on the strength of the three-song Recover EP, the band just released its full length debut, The Bones of What You Believe, and it more than delivers on the promise. Imagine hard-hitting dance beats and hooky keyboard samples supporting the narrative lyrics and alluring vocals of frontwoman Lauren Mayberry. It’s a sleek and catchy combination of techno energy and catchy songwriting. The band returns to Union Transfer tonight, and the all-ages show begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN concert Calendar.
“My love affair with Philadelphia has been in the making for about ten years now,” Seth Avett cried into the mic just before starting “The Once and Future Carpenter.” “It seems to just continue and continue and continue.”
The hootenanny began with New Orleanian dance-funk extraordinaire Trombone Shorty warming up the stage. The center crowd was already on their feet boogieing to Shorty’s jazz-swing mix, cheering for every guitar solo, trumpet trill and trombone slide. Meanwhile, the people in the wings anxiously jostled in their spots to test their sightlines for the main act.
The lights dimed low and the crowd eagerly cheered to a still stage. A couple of minutes went by before Joe Kwon (cellist) and Mike Marsh (drummer) entered. Now feverish with anticipation, the crowd almost burst with excitement with when Bob Crawford (double bassist) and Scott and Seth Avett walked out and began the set with new single “Another is Waiting.”
The Avetts put on a delightfully nostalgic show, playing crowd favorites like “Live And Die” and “Down With The Shine” from last year’s The Carpenter, and many throwbacks from older albums including “Backwards With Time” (from The Gleam EP), “Gimmeakiss” (from Four Thieves Gone), “Die Die Die” (from Emotionalism), and “Pretty Girls At The Airport” (from Mignonette).
“We’ve been overseas, to Canada,” Scott Avett said between songs. “But playing in Philadelphia is like playing at home.”
Ending the set with the whole crowd chanting the “three words that became hard to say,” the Avetts ran off the stage shaking hands of the front row and anyone else that could squeeze their way up. The crowd called out for the band to reappear for an encore, and Seth came back to the mic, guitar in hand, to ask “Are you sure y’all want this?” Playing a Doc Watson cover, “Shady Grove,” and new song, “Vanity”, The Avett Brothers ended the night with “Head Full Of Doubt / Road Full Of Promise.” Implying a return in the future, Seth Avett called out, “Philly, we’ll see you soon!”
Below, check out a gallery of photos from both The Avett Brothers and Trombone Shorty’s set; after the jump, read the setlist and watch a collection of fan videos from the show.