XPN Fest Recap: JD McPherson gets rowdy with the Marina Stage crowd

J.D. McPherson | photo by Natalie Piserchio |

Straight out of Oklahoma, JP McPherson brought the sweet sounds of classic rock n’ roll to the Marina Stage.

Starting with the infectious rockabilly groove of “Crying’s Just a Thing That You Do”, you immediately know J.D. was getting the crowd warming up and ready to twist some hips. Following was the 50s-style rocker “Fire Bug”, and this gem got the crowd jitterbuggin’. Throughout the performance, the band kept everything smooth and running perfectly without missing one beat especially during the boogie-inducing track “North Side Gal.” Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: Hiss Golden Messenger’s southern folk takes root on the Marina Stage

Hiss Golden Messenger | photo by Natalie Piserchio |

Nursing a fresh sunburn and dodging the inflated beach ball being tossed around the crowd, I wove my way toward the Marina Stage. MC Taylor and the accompanying four-piece band of Hiss Golden Messenger dared the audience to match the energy of last night’s set in Newport, where the band was joined by singer Mavis Staples. “I could’ve died after that particular performance…It’s the third day of this festival, nothing matters anymore. This time tomorrow I’ll be in a hammock with my kids,” Taylor said.

What the blues-rock band lacked in dance moves (especially considering that they directly followed that wild Tank and the Bangas set), they made up for in power, giving a vivacious performance that left them toweling the sweat from their faces. Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: Darlingside has the best of the best of times on the Marina Stage

Darlingside | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

Darlingside is a somewhat unique group in this era of music. The four-piece group formed in Boston, Massachusetts, but their folk-pop genre is what makes them stand out. Their use of folk instruments, such as a violin and cello and their strong vocal harmonies define their sound.

The band brought all of these elements to the Wiggins Park Marina Stage to play the last day of the festival, and people of all ages could be seen enjoying their performance. Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: Mt. Joy is a Silver Lining among other Marina Stage performances

Mt. Joy | photo by Natalie Piserchio |

L.A.-via-Philly up-and-comers Mt. Joy played the second slot on the Marina Stage for the last day of XPN Fest, and their set was vibey and wild and enigmatic. It was all over the board in the best way. These guys are sort of chameleon rockers – each song is so different from the last, but still fits in the pocket of indie soul folk if you had to categorize their sound. Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: Devon Gilfillian returns home with new songs and a soulful groove

Devon Gilfillian | photo by Natalie Piserchio |

For suburban Philadelphia native Devon Gilfillian, today’s set on the #XPNFest Marina Stage was a homecoming show of sorts, and the songwriter quickly got a groove going to celebrate. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian’s chilled-out, bluesy tunes fit well in any region, especially during a breezy afternoon on the waterfront. Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: Sunflower Bean burns it down on the Marina Stage

Sunflower Bean | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

Brooklyn natives and WXPN regulars Sunflower Bean shared more of their Twentytwo in Blue record with the day two crowd as the sun beat down on the Marina Stage. To open the show, they played the fan favorite “Burn It,” and front woman Julia Cumming’s signature alto-toned vocals welcomed the crowd back to Twentytwo. Interspersed with quick drum fills and lead bass tones, the band was tighter than ever. Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: Courtney Marie Andrews brings a dose of Kindness to the Marina Stage

Courtney Marie Andrews | photo by Natalie Piserchio |

“Alright, I have a lot of feelings,” said someone in the crowd behind me at Courtney Marie Andrews‘ Marina Stage set as the musician finished her last song. With music rooted in classic Americana with a tinge of rock and roll shining through at times, Andrews isn’t your typical country singer. As she powered through today’s seven-song set, she gave the crowd a glimpse into the place of genuine kindness her earnest songwriting comes from. Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: Jupiter & Okwess make their Philly-area debut all the way from the Congo, and the crowd goes wild

Jupiter and Okwess | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

For their first time in the Philadelphia area, Jupiter & Okwess performed a spectacularly high energy set at the River Stage for day two of #XPNFest.

Born in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jupiter Bokondi emerged into Africa’s rhythmic music scene in the 1970’s in the form of a wedding and funeral performer. After moving to Berlin for the duration of his adolescence, he delved into the psych pop scene and formed groups that incorporated his country’s musical styling of percussive beats and erratic yet unifying vocals. After years of musical experimentation, appreciation for the European soundscape, and the unending ties to Africa, Jupiter & Okwess emerged.

They took the XPNFest Marina Stage decked out in the most fun, bright clothes, and the biggest smiles on all their faces. Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: &More brings wisdom and soulful energy to the stage

&More | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

&More, the powerhouse duo of Donn T and Chill Moody, took the stage as the sun beat down on day two. As the band got the energy started, R&B singer Donn T slid in with her honeyed vocals singing the intro to their February released debut track “My Own Light.” West Philly emcee Chill Moody made his way to the stage, coming in hot and ready to spit some wisdom, as Donn T put the crowd into a daze. Shortly after, the duo brought in their dreamlike harmonies, performing “Gravity.” Continue reading →


XPN Fest Recap: Katie Frank kicks day two into gear with a little country, a little rock

Katie Frank | photo by Natalie Piserchio |

Happy day two of XPoNential Music Festival! We’re sad that Forth Wanderers couldn’t make it, but their replacement local artist Katie Frank gave a kickass performance to start the festivities, playing a bit of country and a bit of rock and roll to the Marina Stage audience.

The show started with nice and smooth with her single “Something I Can’t Deny,” then things got a little rowdy as she preformed “Cold, Sad World.” Continue reading →