Sophisticated R&B songstress Marsha Ambrosius welcomes local fans aboard her Friends & Lovers Tour tonight at the TLA. Hailing from the UK (via Philly), she stepped away from Floetry to pursue a solo career and released her debut album Late Nights & Early Mornings back in 2011. As a true R&B vocalist, the beauty of Ambrosius’ approach lies in her ability to command a stage with no frills or gimmicks, just her voice. Up-and-coming local favorite GoGo Morrow, who has toured alongside Brandy, Lauryn Hill, and Common, is set to support with her urban jams. Watch “Without You” below and get tickets here.
Celebrating their fourth album Reflektor, indie rock heavyweights Arcade Fire will light up the Wells Fargo Center stage tonight. With three years separating each of their LP releases, the band hasn’t rushed to maintain momentum due to success and critical acclaim. They take their time when it comes to new material. After releasing Reflektor and scoring Spike Jonze’s Her, the band is bigger now than ever before. Watch them perform “Afterlife” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon below and get tickets here.
Tonight, Sellersville Theater welcomes singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Grant Lee Phillips to its stage. Earning comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, the California native made a name for himself through lyrical storytelling and killer guitar skills. Watch him perform the title track from his latest album Walking In The Green Corn for Capital Public Radio’s Insight Studio Sessions below and get tickets here.
Memphis rapper Juicy J gets trippy with fans tonight at the TLA on his Never Sober tour. After releasing his Stay Trippy LP last summer, he was featured on Katy Perry’s urban-leaning smash hit “Dark Horse”. With Three 6 Mafia, Juicy J snagged a “Best Original Song” Oscar for “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” from Hustle & Flow. Watch “Bounce It” below and get tickets here.
Synth-pop prince Com Truise (aka Seth Haley) will play an electrifying set at Boot and Saddle tonight. Check out the title track from his new Wave 1 EP below and get tickets here.
Before getting back to work on a new album and kicking off a co-headlining tour with Hellogoodbye next month, Vacationer will headline this month’s Communion Club Night tonight at Underground Arts. The Philly-based pop band, who are working on their follow up to 2012′s Gone make relaxing music that echoes the sounds of summer and relaxation. Also on tonight’s bill is NYC folk-pop trio Pearl and the Beard who plan to release their third full-length this year. Check out Vacationer’s “Trip” and Pearl and the Beard’s “You” below and grab tickets here.
With 20 years in the industry under his belt, singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson released his eighth album Last of the Great Pretenders last summer via Vanguard Records. After scoring a platinum hit with 2007′s succulent pop ballad “Come On Get Higher” (and playing the XPoNential Music Festival in 2008), Nathanson’s fanbase expanded greatly. Tonight, the Massachusetts native takes to the World Cafe Live stage for a show benefiting WXPN’s Musicians On Call initiative that brings musicians to the bedsides of hospital patients. Watch “Kinks Shirt” below and get tickets here.
Up against well-known local hip-hop acts Ground Up and Moosh & Twist, Whitney Peyton‘s victory at last night’s Tri-State Indie Music Awards was unexpected. This isn’t the first local triumph for the rapper who has been rounding up countless local awards for her work since 2010. Peyton has even performed alongside Jadakiss, Kid Ink, Jim Jones, and more solidifying her status as more than just your average rap newcomer.
With her raw energy and fast flow, Peyton comes across as the female Machine Gun Kelly mixed with melodic influences of Missy Elliott (check out the hooks on “Made You Look” and “Boom Ba Yay”). The best thing about her, which comes across immediately when you listen to her rhymes, is that she’s not trying to be anyone else but Whitney Peyton. Clearly, hip-hop fans recognized this and awarded her for it. Fresh off the release of her new album, On the Brink, Peyton will blaze the TLA stage this Friday. Get tickets here and watch her video for “Woopty Woo Woo” below.
Painting, drawing, writing, singing—you name it, Brandon Boyd does it. Add “making shimmery psychedelic pop” to the bowl of talent, which by now you’d think would overflow but it doesn’t: it just fits. But Boyd isn’t really a pop artist. He’s a rock musician, best known as the frontman of Incubus, who experiments without losing himself. However, we can still lose ourselves in Boyd’s new grooves, like many fans did Wednesday night at the TLA.
Boyd kicked off the night with the title track from The Wild Trapeze, his 2010 solo effort , then the quirky power ballad album opener “Jet Black Crow” from his 2013 collaborative project with rock producer Brendan O’Brien, Sons of the Sea. Drawing from both records, the night found Boyd juxtaposing the raw desert cuts from The Wild Trapeze (i.e., “Dance While the Devil Sleeps” and album standout “Runaway Train”) with the grand and melodic, Beatles-inspired pop of Sons of the Sea (i.e., “Untethered” and single “Come Together”). The transition from acoustic self-esteem booster “Courage and Control” into vocal-driven “Avalanche” was seamless with the latter propelling Boyd’s voice to new heights.
These quieter moments give him more space to show off the incredible set of pipes that can be overlooked amidst intricate guitar riffs that often become the centerpieces of Incubus songs (with the exception of their last studio offering, the dark and brooding “If Not Now, When?”). Boyd and his band finished up with “Lady Black”, a ballad which called for a softer vocal delivery as he pines over unrequited love.
Returning to the most familiar, comfortable place for the rocker, things get loud for the encore. The chorus of “Great Escape” grips you by the collar and begs you to listen as Boyd sings: “say what you want of me/unkind and amplified/ cry or bat those eyes, you’ll never change my mind” over a loud guitar. Clearly, he’s resolute about one thing: he’ll do what he wants whether it’s making alt-rock with Incubus, crafting pop music with Brendan O’Brien, or wearing his burnt orange grandpa cardigan.
Veteran hip-hop four-piece Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will play at the TLA tonight. Bone Thugs have been relatively quiet lately aside from September’s catchy “Everything 100″ single release that has kept fans eagerly anticipating a new LP. They’ve always been melodic enough for the radio and gritty enough for the streets; a recipe that shot them to stardom in the mid-’90s. Watch “Everything 100″ below and get tickets here.
The Lawrence Arms have released a new song and video ahead of their upcoming album Metropole which will be released on January 28th via Epitaph Records. The new clip for “Seventeener (17th and 37th)” finds the Chicago natives sifting through identities ranging from 80s punk stars to clowns. It’s a fun, upbeat celebration of being young and free no matter your birth date. Pre-order the new album here and get tickets to their show at the TLA on March 6th here.
Pittsburgh native Mac Miller will celebrate the release of his new album Live From Space tonight (and tomorrow night) at Atlantic City’s House of Blues. The new disc features tracks from his latest album Watching Movies with the Sound Off through which Mac showed a more mature, pensive side of himself in contrast to the playboy party anthems featured on his 2011 debut Blue Slide Park and earlier mixtapes. Get tickets here and watch his video for “The Star Room” below.