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“A Drug-Cember To Remember”: The War on Drugs are wrapping 2018 with three pop-up Philly shows

The War on Drugs | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

To tie a bow on a tremendous year that included a Grammy win and festival appearances the world around — including a headlining slot at the XPoNential Music Festival — Philly psych rockers The War on Drugs just announced their plan for a hometown, year-end extravaganza at three undisclosed locations. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: The War on Drugs and Sturgill Simpson deliver guitar jams of different sorts at BB&T

The War on Drugs | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

While the night one headliners at #XPNFest were cerebral, experimental and beat-oriented, night two shifted the focus to a rock festival classic: the guitar.

Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs is a master of instrumental tone and texture, of soundscaping — as well as atmospheric lead licks that transport the band and the crowd to the stratosphere. Sturgill Simpson is more down and dirty, an adherent of country / blues riff rock tradition, but played louder and faster than most of his peers (and heroes). Together, they treated the BB&T Pavilion crowd to expansive jams, but of two very different sorts.

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Recommended Reading: XPNFest headliners the War on Drugs talk to Philly Mag about their sudden rock-star status

The War on Drugs | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Fans of the War on Drugs know that rock isn’t dead. But the long-running band, who never set out to be rock and roll saviors, has ended up as living proof of the genre’s staying power, with a Best Rock Album Grammy for 2017’s A Deeper Understanding and rapidly growing success.

As frontman Adam Granduciel discusses in-depth feature in the newest issue of Philadelphia magazine, these days he continually finds himself navigating what it means to be a rock star in 2018. The L.A.-via-Philly artist tells the magazine, in response to the recent Grammy win which wasn’t part of the award show’s televised broadcast: “There’s always been fluctuations in what is popular, what is commercial, or what is mainstream and what is kind of, like, in the moment.” But if the War on Drugs is what’s in the moment right now, Granduciel seems to be okay with that — and so are we. Continue reading →

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Watch The War on Drugs perform “In Chains” on Late Night with Seth Meyers

The War on Drugs | photo courtesy of the artist

Grammy-award winning group The War on Drugs continued their late-night T.V. run in support of Grammy-winning 2017 album A Deeper Understanding, appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers last night to perform deep cut “In Chains.” The abbreviated performance for T.V. still stretched over 5 minutes, and the band brought the same energy they would at a headlining live show. Continue reading →

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Holy smokes! Philly’s The War on Drugs just won a Grammy.

The War on Drugs | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN
The War on Drugs | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN

Instead of saying “Philly’s The War on Drugs,” we’re now able to say “Philly’s Grammy Award-winning The War on Drugs.”

Adam Granduciel and his band of space rock soundscapers just took home the Best Rock Album trophy for their 2017 LP A Deeper Understanding at the 60th annual Grammy Awards, which is taking place this evening at Madison Square Garden in New York. Continue reading →

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The War On Drugs hit new emotional depths in “Nothing To Find” video

The War on Drugs | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

On first listen, the most noticeable thing about The War On Drugs“Nothing To Find” from recent album A Deeper Understanding is its sunny, classic rock-inspired sheen. With that lighthearted tone in mind, the song’s new music video, out now, may catch you off guard with its touching emotional depth. Continue reading →

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Watch The War on Drugs cover Neil Young in Toronto

The War on Drugs | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When in Toronto, cover Neil Young. At least, that must’ve been what The War on Drugs were thinking when they paid tribute to the legendary Young in his hometown with a rendition of “Like A Hurricane.” Lucky for us, the moment was captured on video, which you can watch below. Continue reading →

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Easygoing Vibes, Explosive Force: The War on Drugs makes a powerful homecoming at The Dell for a good cause

The War on Drugs | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When it was announced that Connor Barwin’s fourth annual Make The World Better Foundation fundraising concert was being held at the Dell Music Center and that The War On Drugs would headline, questions arose. For some, the question was “What the heck is The Dell?” and for those familiar with the city-run venue in Fairmount, the question was “Why The Dell?” The answer to the latter is that the venue is looking to throw in an occasional rock or country band to their normal summer mix of funk, R&B and soul music. Based on the crowd who entered The Dell “ooh”ing “ahh”ing, the venue most likely will not have trouble filling seats for these outlier acts. Continue reading →

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Listen to The War on Drugs’ Charlie Hall and Dave Hartley guest DJ on WXPN

Charlie Hall and Dave Hartley of The War on Drugs | photo by Bruce Warren for WXPN

This afternoon, the rhythm section of Philly space rock heroes The War on Drugs — drummer Charlie Hall and bassist Dave Hartley — spent an hour and change hanging out on the WXPN airwaves and guest DJing with Program Director Bruce Warren.

Hall and Hartley played hits from Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson, deep cuts from The Blue Nile and Arthur Russell, a Steely Dan classic into a cover of Steely Dan and more. Continue reading →