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Rounding up the best and brightest of Governors Ball 2015

Governors' Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish
Governors Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish

The annual Governors Ball festival is held at Randall’s Island in New York, wedged in between Upper Manhattan and Queens. The rain trickled down on Friday but that didn’t stop the ticket holders from trekking through to make it over for their favorite acts, most especially Philly’s The Districts who started off the fest Friday afternoon at 12:15. A bit too early for most, one would think, but they ripped through their set with a medium sized but lively crowd cheering along to the words of “Young Blood.” 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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Six Philadelphia artists who crushed it at SXSW 2015

Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese
Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese

This time last week, I was traveling home from Austin after a jam-packed three days of nonstop music at SXSW 2015. Many who make the trek to the annual industry rodeo do it with an eye on discovering new artists. That certainly fits in the mix when I’m down there – and the sets I caught by California rapper Boogie and Indiana singer-songwriter Elephant Micah were impressive – but my primary focus is catching up with Philadelphians at the festival to see how they fared. Continue reading →

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The seven best bands I saw at SXSW

Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese
Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese

Thousands of bands convened in Austin, Texas last week for SXSW. Of the 20 or so bands I set out to see during my three days at the conference, I managed to see about half of them. While many attendees go with a list of bands they most want to see; there’s an aimless serendipity that happens at SXSW, when you’re heading down the street to see one band, it’s often that you wind up at a completely different venue seeing another. One is redirected by texts from friends on their way to see a hotly buzzed band, or a quick swing into a coffee shop will lead you to running into folks who tell you about a not-to-be-missed acoustic performance at a hotel ballroom, or a potential surprise guest appearance by a superstar (like Miley Cyrus at the Fader Fort), that you’ll wait an hour in line for at a venue to see. My hit list this year was driven not by serendipity (save for the disastrous, yet awesome Miley appearance), and more by focus to see the handful of bands that I wanted to see in my limited time at SXSW. Here were my favorites: Continue reading →

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Watch The Districts annihilate in live footage of a rowdy First Unitarian basement show

The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

The Districts have been catching heaps of attention as they continue to sell out performance venues across the country (and world). Recently, Philly’s Out Of Town Films released footage from the secret hometown show they played in the basement of the First Unitarian Church; the gang storms the stage and rips into its heavy, emotional tracks for a close-knit crowd, and the video captures the passion behind the group’s sound and passion to a tee. Continue reading →