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The Gaslight Anthem leads a stacked bill of late-summer punk at The Mann

The Gaslight Anthem| Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
The Gaslight Anthem| Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

“Proficiency” was the common thread throughout this particularly brisk Friday evening at the Mann Center’s Skyline Stage. A thoroughly stacked lineup, it’s tough (and downright reductive) to refer to the bands who played before The Gaslight Anthem as “openers.” Based on the draw each act produced during their respective sets, Friday night’s audience would heartily agree. Continue reading →

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Dr. Dog’s Lawn of Mann brings eclectic excitement to the Skyline Stage

Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

On Saturday night, Dr. Dog treated us to an all-night party at the Mann Skyline Stage sharing the spotlight with Hop Along, The Front Bottoms, and Mac Demarco.  At first glance, this line-up sounds like it might not work but as proven by the end of the night, Dr. Dog is open to many sonic adventures, so it only makes sense that in their hometown, they took a chance and exposed their fan base to some music that may go against your average tour promoter’s instincts. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dr. Dog at the Mann, Mo Lowda and the Humble at Bourbon and Branch, and Jad Fair and Danielson at Boot and Saddle

Photo by Nicky Devine
Photo by Nicky Devine

Long-time Philadelphia indie-rock favorites Dr. Dog are set to take the stage at the Mann tonight. With over eight albums and a handful of EPs under their belts, the six-piece has a plethora of material to chose from to curate a rockin’ set-list. Their most recent album, B-Room, has a psychedelic flair with tracks like “The Truth” and “Love.” For tickets and more information head over to the XPN Concert Calender. Below, check out the music video for “Shadow People.” Continue reading →

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How Dr. Dog recorded a Beatles song in parking lot attendant’s booth

Dr. Dog
via instagram.com/drdogmusic

On a Monday morning in early June, Dr. Dog’s tour van pulled into the parking lot of Stage AE in Pittsburgh. It was technically their day off, but the band had work to do before headlining the venue the following night. They had just played the Wakarusa festival in Ozark, Arkansas, and while they were there, they took in a set by The Flaming Lips, met Wayne Coyne and got to talking. It turns out Coyne and the Lips were planning an ambitious, star-studded tribute to The Beatles‘ iconic, influential psychedelic opus, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band – and they wanted Dr. Dog on board, with one catch – they had to work fast. Continue reading →

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Tragic, Wonderful, Triumphant: Lorde continues to impress at The Mann Center

Lorde | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Lorde | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

It’s been a year since Lorde’s “Royals” topped the musical richter scale, and her streak of teenage stardom has shown no signs of slowing anytime soon. Her show at The Mann Center last night kicked off a second US tour in support of her subsequent Pure Heroine LP, which still has some fans reeling. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dead Milkmen at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Lorde at the Mann Center, and Bob Mould at the TLA

The Dead Milkmen
Photo via deadmilkmen.com

The City of Brotherly Love’s satirical punk-rock band Dead Milkmen headline a fundraiser at Laurel Hill Cemetery tonight; the band joked on its Facebook that the last time it played in a cemetery, the result was the “Big Time Operator” video. Formed in 1983 at Temple University, the Milkmen found success on college radio with their debut album, Big Lizard in My Backyard. Their songs ranged from tunes with nonsensical spoken intros like “Bitchin’ Camaro,” to “Takin Retards to the Zoo”, a less-than-50-second punk-joke song. Goofy lyrics dripping with a Philly accent spread their success internationally with “Punk Rock Girl,” the hit off of their sophomore album Beelzebubba, which landed with a sturdy spot on MTV’s video rotation. After reuniting in 2008 under the pseudonym Les Enfants Du Prague, the band decided to become an active group once again and set to record album The King in Yellow, which dropped March 2011. They have since released four singles including “Welcome to Undertown”, and “Big Words Make the Baby Jesus Cry”. Tickets and information on the show can be found at here. Below, watch the music video to “Punk Rock Girl.” Continue reading →

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Queens of the Stone Age stop hearts at the Mann Center’s Skyline Stage

Queens of the Stone Age | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
Queens of the Stone Age | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

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.

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Jack Johnson and Amos Lee serenaded a sold-out Mann Center crowd

Jack Johnson| photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Jack Johnson| photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
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.

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Set your alarms to see The Avett Brothers at MusikFest 2014 (tickets on sale Dec. 3rd and 6th)

Photo provided courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

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.