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XPNFest Recap: Indigo Girls play to the faithful, closing out the day at Wiggins Park

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Indigo Girls | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Longtime XPN favorites Indigo Girls ended this year’s XPoNential Music Festival with a rewarding set of old and new songs.

They got things kicked off with the poignant “Shame on You,” and kept the momentum going throughout.  Songs like “Least Complicated,” and “Joking,” involved much audience participation.  Singer and guitarist Amy Ray performed a blistering “Spread the Pain Around” from their new album One Lost Day,proving that Courtney Barnett and the Indigo Girls have more in common than many of XPN’s younger listeners may think.   Continue reading →

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XPN Fest: Courtney Barnett leaves the River Stage audience a group of happy campers

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Courtney Barnett | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Australian phenom Courtney Barnett had the crowd in the palm of her hand after her performance on the River Stage. She and her bandmates, Bones Sloane (bass) and Dave Mudie (drums), played a combination of new tracks off 2015 release Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit and older favorites. 

The set began with single “Elevator Operator”, at which point the whole lawn was already awash with happy, happy concertgoers. After a strong rendition of “Lance Jr.” (off 2014’s The Double Ep: A Sea of Split Peas), Barnett continued on with a string of tunes from Sometimes, including an intimate performance of “Depreston” (“As close to Paul Kelly as we get,” she joked). Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: The Lone Bellow put raw emotion on display during River Stage set

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The Lone Bellow | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordphotography.com

As the vast majority of XPN Fest-goers gathered in the hot Sunday sun, Brooklyn-based trio The Lone Bellow kicked off their set with the title track to their sophomore album Then Came the Morning.

The opener “Then Came The Morning” elicited a huge crowd response, as lead singer Zach Williams hopped on a speaker, beckoning the crowd to sing along. As they burned through the lead tracks of their latest LP, the song “Watch Over Us” brough the frenzied energy to a halt as the group’s pure emotion kicked in. With the trio sharing one mic, their harmonies on the song had the audience clinging to every syllable. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Pine Barons kick things off on the River Stage

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Pine Barons | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

South Jersey’s Pine Barons brought an energetic rock set to the start of XPN Fest day three. Comprised of Keith Abrams (vocals and guitar), Brad Pulley (guitar and backup vocals), Shane Hower (bass and percussion), and Collin Smith (drums), the band played tracks from their self-titled debut, as well as new single “Clowns”. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Delta Rae’s thunderous energy closed out the River Stage

 

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Delta Rae | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Return XPNFest-ers Delta Rae played a high-energy set to close out Wiggins Park on XPNFest day two as the sun set over the Delaware.

With their April LP After It All in tow, the band’s energy was palpable from the get-go. The charging “Outlaws” opened the set, “Cold Day in Heaven” had a touch of 80s synthesizer and pop hooks. Dipping back to their second album for “Morning Comes” riled up the crowd to clap along, while “Bottom of the River” was re-imagined with an intense instrumental opening before the thundering drums kicked in. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Lord Huron rocked their midday River Stage set

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Lord Huron | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Just as Lord Huron expanded from the solo project of Ben Schneider to the five piece band that it is today, the LA-based folk rock group has expanded from the Marina Stage back in 2013 to the River Stage here at XPoNential Music Fest 2015.

Relying on a mix of some freshman effort favorites and sophomore album standouts, Schneider and co. got the River Stage crowd to their feet and dancing as soon as their first note hit the airwaves. Starting with a rocking track off their latest release Strange Trails, “Until the Night Turns” reminded everyone at the River Stage why Lord Huron is one of the most exciting names in indie rock. Continue reading →

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XPNFest recap: First Aid Kit dazzled the River Stage crowd

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First Aid Kit | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Johanna and Klara Söderberg, better known as the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit, captivated the XPN Fest crowd this afternoon with their dazzling harmonies and musicianship.

The duo’s musical career started early, when they learned to play “Down the River to Pray” from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? They quickly discovered their songwriting capabilities, and began performing on the streets of Stockholm.

It wasn’t until they uploaded their songs to social networking sites like MySpace and YouTube that they received widespread attention. One cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” by Fleet Foxes gained them Internet fame, and they decided to focus on music full-time.

Since then, they’ve released three studio albums, the most recent being 2014’s Stay Gold. They played several tracks from that record, including “My Silver Lining”, “Master Pretender”, “Waitress Song”, and the title track. They even threw in a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “America”. Continue reading →

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XPNFest recap: Calexico brings some Southwest spice to Wiggins Park

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Calexico | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Tucson, Arizona’s Calexico partied under the hot sun this afternoon at our XPoNential Music Festival. The band delivers an indie rock sound that fuses mariachi/Tejano music with more modern sounds like Southwest country music and late 90’s post rock.

Calexico’s set included two new songs: “Quatro” and “When the Angels Play”, off their most recent release, April’s Edge of the Sun. They also reached back into their catalog, playing songs off older albums like Feast of Wire and Algiers. The huge seven-piece band included a wide range of instruments, like lap steel, vibraphone, and glockenspiel. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Hop Along heats up the River Stage

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Hop Along | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

On the heels of their May release of LP Painted Shut, Philly’s Hop Along played a killer set on the Wiggins Park River Stage to kick off #XPNFest day two.

Singer Frances Quinlan thanked the crowd for coming out early and began the set with tracks from Painted Shut, her gritty powerhouse voice shining against strong guitar arrangements and hammering drumbeats. Fans were super psyched to hear album favorites “Texas Funeral”, “The Knock”, and “Waitress”, as well as oldy-but-goody “Tibetan Pop Stars”. Continue reading →