XPN favorite Citizen Cope just announced a fall tour celebrating the tenth anniversary of his second LP, The Clarence Greenwood Recordings, and he will headline The TLA on Tuesday, October 14th. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 27th at 10 a.m. via LiveNation. Below, watch Cope perform “Son’s Gonna Rise” from the album at the 2011 XPoNential Music Festival with Gary Clark Jr. backing him up.
Last month Atlanta-based indie rock band Manchester Orchestra released their fourth studio album, Cope, via Favorite Gentlemen, the band’s own independent label. To support their new record, the band has been on an extensive spring tour of the US and Canada with Doylestown’s Balance and Composure as well as Kevin Devine (who’s also in Bad Books, band with Manchester’s frontman Andy Hull).
The tour sold out two nights at the Theater of the Living Arts well in advance, and as soon as the doors opened on night two, the crowd rushed inside and two the front. Devine appeared on stage first, dancing and clapping his hands, getting the crowd pumped to songs such as “Cotton Crush” and “I Could Be With Anyone”. Throughout his set, Devine jumped up, down and across the stage, always rushing back to the microphone to make sure he didn’t miss a lyric. He closed his set with “Brother’s Blood,” performed full band, leaving the crowd in awe.
Next to take the stage was melodic indie-rock band Balance and Composure, on tour in support of their second LP The Things We Think We’re Missing, which was released last year via No Sleep Records. Opening their set with “Quake” off of their first LP, Separation, Balance made a perfect entrance. A majority of the set drew from their newest record including singles “Reflection” and “Tiny Raindrop.” On stage, the band used fog machines which might have made it difficult to see the band members, but it did enhance their set aesthetically. Closing with two new songs, Balance and Composure played a powerful set championing their latest material.
Manchester Orchestra opening their headlining set with the acoustic track “Deer”, the first song off of their LP, Simple Math, and the crowd was instantly covered with goose bumps. Playing a different set than the night before, the band played an interesting array of songs, including a Bad Books song with Kevin Devine. Promoting their new record, Cope, Manchester Orchestra performed “Top Notch,” as well as album title track, which the crowd enjoyed (based off of the crowd surfing and the mosh pit). The set closed with slower songs “Virgin” and the title track from Simple Math (which they did not play the night before). After their set, the crowd cheering “one more song” for several minutes chanting for an encore that never came – the sound engineer announced after fifteen minutes that the show was over and asked the crowd to leave. Even so, Manchester Orchestra played a tremendous set that left me and the audience speechless.
LA indie rock duo Uh Huh Her took its name from a record by PJ Harvey, and while the influence is undeniable, don’t expect a set of “Down By The Water” soundalikes at World Cafe Live tonight. The band has a cool and brooding synthpop underbelly, and released its third full length, Future Souls, this past March on Plaid Records. Uh Huh Her is currently in the midst of a US / Canada tour; get tickets and info on tonight’s World Cafe Live show at the XPN Concert Calendar and watch a tour trailer below.
I don’t believe that the TLA serves flagons of mead, but that would be the most appropriate way to herald the arrival of Faroese metal band Týr. The group has a penchant for pairing its classic New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound with epic tales of Viking lore and Norse mythology. Their songs are soaring, anthemic tales of Gods and battles and glory on blood-drenched snowscapes. The first song on their latest album, Valkyrja (Metal Blade), roars “Tonight we dine in hell,” and the surprise is not that they’d lyricize this warrior’s toast but that it took seven albums to finally do it.
Valkyrja is a concept album (c’mon, you knew that was coming) about a Viking warrior’s attempts to impress the Valkyrie with his battlefield prowess so that she’ll escort him to Valhalla. It’s full of swagger, swordplay and warrior queens, a Frazetta painting in musical form. If you planned to adapt it into a film, in other words, a significant part of the budget would have to be set aside for animal skins, armored breastplates, and beard grooming. Grab a mutton leg and sing along. Tickets and information for Týr‘s March 22nd show at The TLA with Children of Bodom can be found here. Listen to “Blood of Heroes” below.
On Saturday night a sold-out crowd at the Theater of Living Arts cheered on psychedelic Americana band Lord Huron. The Los Angeles-based five-piece is still touring in support of its 2012 release Lonesome Dreams, though some new songs, EP cuts and covers were in the mix. Like-minded Minneapolis band Night Moves opened the show; check out photos in the gallery below.
(Hear More – Lord Huron soars above the Marina Stage at XPoNential Fest)
R&B artist ZZ Ward will return to Philadelphia for a show at The TLA on February 28th. Continuing to tour in support of her debut Til the Casket Drops, the Abington, PA-born musician blends southern blues (inspired by her father’s music endeavors) with contemporary hip hop / pop hooks, which she began writing for local rappers in Eugene, OR. Tickets and information for the all-ages show will be available here; tickets go on sale Friday, January 17th at noon. Watch ZZ Ward’s video for “365 Days” below.
The holidays are a time each year where bands put on special shows in their hometowns, thanking the fans that over time brought them the success they currently have. Local punk heroes Man Overboard, in collaboration with their record label Lost Tape Collective, have taken their annual holiday show and turned it into one of the biggest pop-punk gatherings to hit Philadelphia each year. Bringing together newcomers and some of the biggest names in the scene it is no surprise that this show has been growing exponentially since it started in 2011.
The show kicked off with the totally not pop punk band Fight Amputation. This aggressive New Jersey hardcore band may have seemed like an unlikely pick for the opening spot of this lineup, but put on a solid performance that got even the poppiest of punk fans headbanging along. South Jersey boys Young Statues hit the stage next. In stark contrast to Fight Amps, Young Statues brought a melodic sound to the stage, getting fans swaying and singing.
The TLA had removed their normal barrier from in front of the stage, meaning fans could stage dive and crowd surf to their heart’s content. Hometown heroes and personal favorite of us over at The Key, Modern Baseball, was the third to play. Before the band even hit the stage, the crowd had already pushed forward in anticipation. As I listened to audience members gossip about how great their new single is and how cute __________ (insert band members’ name here) is, I could tell this wasn’t going to be any ordinary set for the boys. Continue reading →
Brooklyn disco / electronic ensemble Escort co-headlined the TLA on South Street last Wednesday night alongside retro-soul outfit (and XPN Fest alums) J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound. The latter has a new and very dance-oriented LP called Howl, while the former recently released its self-titled LP. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.
Last night, Philadelphia’s packed TLA became THE place to be. Period. Combine Cheers Elephant’s quirky upbeat pop sounds with the Kopecky Family Band’s beautiful orchestration and incredibly well-written songs, and you’ve got yourself a winning ticket. It would not be hyperbole to say that these two groups truly have it all: charm, stage presence and most importantly, killer music.
While they hail from Nashville, the Kopecky Family Band feels at home in Philly, frontman Gabe Simon making small talk with crowd members as he and the rest of the band prepared the stage. Opening their set with “The Glow” and moving into “Howlin’ at the Moon,” drummer David Krohn kept things driving and locked in, making for an energetic and strong start. They then played one of my personal favorites, “Birds,” which starts with a delightfully airy and ebullient melody on the glockenspiel and, as guitars, bass, vocals and drums are added, only gets edgier. Bassist Corey Oxendine along with the groups bespectacled frontman took up their trombones towards the end of “My Way,” the gradually intensifying tune that concludes with a passionate delivery of lyrics and the crowd’s shouting of “na-na-nas”.
Roughly a third of the way into their set, the group performed their most popular tune, “Heartbeat,” a song to which nearly every person in the room knew the lyrics, or at the very least was dancing. Midway through the performance, the volume and tempo were brought down with “Change,” whose heartwarming harmonies shared by Simon and front-woman Kelsey Kopecky and delicate guitar strumming made emotion accumulate in the audience as a whole. Not two songs later, however, did they elevate the energy once more with “Wandering Eyes,”,a song appropriately prefaced by Simon, “We’re going to take you down south”.
Though Cheers Elephant was billed as the opening band, it’s hard to say that they truly were one. This was their last show as Philadelphia residents, and they plan to move to California this winter. While I can’t say they stole the show, I can say they were deserving of being a headliner, and I’ve never witnessed a band having more fun onstage than Cheers Elephant. They opened their hour-long set with “Peoples,” during the chorus of which the already-packed audience sung along, “I wanna groove when I wanna wanna groove, yeah!” And groove they did. They then paid homage to their hometown with “6th and Girard.” (I’ll admit that I got emotional when frontman Derek Krzywicki sang the lyric, “Under a Philadelphia sun.”)
Despite some guitar trouble, the group pushed through “Doin’ It Right,” and if anything, the technical difficulties added to the grit of it all. I’m a sucker for “Party On Darwin,” and to my surprise, the audience in its entirety was on cue with the opening lyric, “Hey yo! Let me wash your windshield!”. Of course, “Leaves” was a highlight of the set, and proved that a group that writes some of the best indie-pop out there can perform just about as well as anyone. Between Kryzwicki bouncing around and doing the running-man and drummer Robert Kingsly, who had gotten engaged in the green room just before the show, putting on his best Dave Grohl, I don’t think there’s a group that performs with more cheerfully quirky flare than this one. Cheers Elephant, Philly is going to miss you.
When the rain hammered down at this summer’s XPoNential Music Festival, Nashville’s Kopecky Family Band retreated to their hotel pool with the Out of Town Films crew. This summer we saw their reverberant performance of “Are You Listening.” Today, the Out of Town gang released a “b-side” performance of the band’s single “Heartbeat.” Watch it below. XPN Welcomes Kopecky Family Band to The TLA on Saturday with Cheers Elephant; tickets and info here.