On her winter tour, country popstar Kacey Musgraves got a lot of attention for a rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” performed with opener Natalie Prass. Her love of the disco favorite was evident in the way she wholly embodied its spirit, and that musical empathy extends to two more recent covers she’s done on the road, beginning this past Monday at RodeoHouston in her native Texas. Continue reading →
A triple bill featuring Metric, Zoé, and July Talk brought a fantastic show to The Fillmore on Valentine’s Day. Pairing up two Canadian bands with one band from Mexico, it was a showcase of popular rock sounds of our North American neighbors, with each bringing a distinct style and energy to the stage. Continue reading →
Indie folk duo Native Harrow plays Steel City in Phoenixville tonight opening for Joseph Robert Knauss. The duo of Devin Tuel and Stephen Harms released their record Ghost in June, and it recalls Laura Marling and Beth Orton in its gripping minimalism. Watch the video for “Poor Beggar,” shot outside of Philadelphia, and get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
UK electronic duo Disclosure held court at The Fillmore for two nights this week, bringing with them a mix of pop hits, hard dance beats, dazzling visuals and teeming crowds.
For an act that sprang out of the EDM universe, brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence treat their performances like a rock show. They charmingly banter with the crowd during breaks between songs. (“We can’t believe so many of you came out on a Monday! But when you’re with Disclosure, every night’s a party.”) They step to the front and center of stage, each performing behind semicircular risers of mixers, samplers, keyboards and percussion. Continue reading →
Tonight Howard and Guy Lawrence bring Disclosure back to Philadelphia for a two-night stand at The Fillmore. The band released its sophomore album Caracal last month, and it features a solid slate of collaborations with pop vocalists from Lorde and Sam Smith to The Weeknd and Miguel. Tickets and more information on tonight and tomorrow’s show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Check out the video for “Holding On” featuring Gregory Porter below. Continue reading →
Hands down, one of the best new artists I saw at The Roots picnic this past Summer was Raury, a 19 year old from a small suburb outside of Atlanta who speaks his own musical language, informed by hip-hop, rock, folk, and R&B.
In May, 2014 WXPN featured Raury’s first single, “God’s Whisper,” from his Indigo Child EP as its Gotta Hear Song of the Week.”. At the time, I wrote that “God’s Whisper” was one of the most original sounding and celebratory songs I’ve heard in a long time, a magical tune that was diverse and soulful. Fast forward to the Roots Picnic, a year later, and Raury, making his first Philly appearance, brought the house down with a dynamic seven piece band and a performance that drew the crowd in to his universal musical mystical brew. With his shirt off, and slinging his guitar, he worked his band through Prince-like pacing. Confident and well executed, it was exciting to watch. Continue reading →
Last Thursday marked the official opening of Fillmore Philly, the seventh Fillmore in the LiveNation portfolio, with a sold-out Hall & Oates performance. Tickets were $95. Back in the mid-‘60s, when Bill Graham opened Fillmore West in San Francisco, tickets could go for $3. You could see Sly and the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, essentially a dollar a band on some nights. Well, that was then and this is now – fast forward 50 years later and Disclosure is set to fill the 2,500-capacity main room two nights in a row (10/19-20) for $40 a night.
Their first 40 shows booked, between here and 2016, are as diverse as humanly possible: last Friday, WXPN welcomed Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls and their grand, brash and baroque British rock; this weekend, Adventure Club headlines with bliss-kissed EDM and Brandi Carlile brings her delicious countrified Americana on the 11th. Tove Lo’s brand of playful but substantial pop will see her Queen of the Clouds tour consume Philly on the 17th; and before the month’s over, the main room’ll host moe. and the Cold War Kids. Quite a mix, no? And that doesn’t even broach the 450-capacity Foundry upstairs, where tickets will rarely rise above $20, and lots of smaller, local acts will get gigs.
“We really want to be the venue that can work for any type of artist,” says Ben Weeden, a California-based booking overseer for LiveNation. “We have the best production, the best sight lines, the best band experience.” Weeden is coaching and encouraging talent buyers based out of the Frankford Avenue baby, but clearly he’s been around the block and I wanted to ask him about what the future held for this particular room. Continue reading →
British folk-punk rocker Frank Turner and his backing band The Sleeping Souls played an ultra-high energy set at The Fillmore on Friday night. Entering the stage, Turner wore a personalized Phillies jersey and the crowd went wild. He then shared a story about his experience so far in Philly – explaining how he had to learn “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to sing at the Phillies game earlier in the day. Turner said he was was excited and honored about being the second act to open The Fillmore the night, right after Hall and Oates. Continue reading →
“We’re in Fishtown, right?” Daryl Hall asked the crowd at the opening night of The Fillmore Philly. “I used to be scared to come up here.”
Many concertgoers, clad in suit jackets and pumps, arrived to the venue wet after having parked their cars beneath I-95. Warm, colorful and even swanky, The Fillmore felt like walking into a high-end club after trekking through the pothole-filled streets of Fishtown on the first night of October. Continue reading →