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XPoNential Fest: Kopecky Family Band fills in on the River Stage

photo by Joe del Tufo joedeltufo.com
photo by Joe del Tufo joedeltufo.com

Lianne La Havas unfortunately couldn’t make her XPoNential Music Festival due to sickness, but the Kopecky Family Band filled in on the River Stage for their second set of the day – and did so successfully. The Nashville outfit played some of the same songs as their previous set, including tunes from their latest album, April’s Kids Raising Kids. Despite having played the Marina Stage a few hours back, the “family” amped up their energy and were visibly excited to be performing again. Switching instruments and vocals like they were playing real musical chairs, the band got the audience moving and participating in claps and choruses of na-na-na’s. They’re set to make their first, appearance on late-night television Wednesday, performing on Jay Leno. See photos of the performance in the gallery below and listen to the set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

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XPoNential Fest: Phosphorescent powers through a rousing set on the Marina Stage

by Eric Ashleigh eashleigh.com
by Eric Ashleigh eashleigh.com

Phosphorescent, the moniker of singer-songwriter Matthew Houck, played the Marina Stage at the XPoNential Music Festival today.  Although the set started slow, perhaps because it was Houck’s birthday the night before, he and his band powered through, giving it their all during their forty-five minute set.  Even as rain poured down on the audience a few songs in, the band and the audience seemed not to notice, staying through the rain to hear this incredible performance.

Most of the songs played were from Phosphorescent’s most recent album, Muchacho, released March of 2013. The gorgeous “Song for Zula” was played half way through the set to enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.  Other highlights included the dark Americana jam, “The Quotidian Beat” (which featured some crazy keyboard solos), as well as the “Nothing was Stolen” and the closing “Los Angeles,” both from 2010′s Here’s to Taking it Easy. See photos of the performance in the gallery below and read the set list after the jump.

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XPoNential Fest: Jose James plays the River Stage

Photo by Eric Ashleigh
Photo by Eric Ashleigh

Jose James slowed down the tempo today at the River Stage of the XPoNential Music Festival with his jazz, hip hop blend and smooth vocals. Feeling the groove of the audience, James unexpectedly covered Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” mentioning right before that the song was not on the original set list. Giving each member a long, fluid solo with every song, James ended his set with “Do You Feel,” including an unbroken bass/vocal solo by James’ bassist, Solomon Dorsey. His most recent album, No Beginning No End, was released January of 2013. See photos of the performance in the gallery below and read the setlist after the jump.

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XPoNential Fest: Kopecky Family Band livens up the Marina Stage

Photo by Eric Ashleigh
Photo by Eric Ashleigh

An XPN Artist To Watch and Nashville indie folk rock band, the Kopecky Family Band played the first set on the XPoNential Fest Marina Stage today. Their most recent album, Kids Raising Kids, was released April of 2013. The group (comprised of six best friends) started the set with “Are You Listening,” a tune that leans poppy with a sprightly whistling chorus. Led by vocalists Kelsey Kopecky and Gabe Simon, the band referenced their Southern hometown with the next track, “The Glow,” a slow trippy tune which transitions to a fast and heavy pulse and wailing guitars. Dressed in a leopard jumper, Kopecky switched from keyboard to a guitar as Simon asked the crowd to help with the chorus of “My Way.” “Look at all of you, you’re beautiful!” The group moved to their popular single, “Heartbeat,” an fast-paced favorite, and finished the set with a slower tune, “Angry Eyes.” Before leaving the stage, Kopecky announced that the band would be playing The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Wednesday, so make sure to tune in to support them! See photos of the performance in the gallery below, read the setlist after the jump, and listen to the set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

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XPoNential Fest: DRGN King wakes up the River Stage crowd with high energy rock

Photo by Joe Del Tufo
Photo by Joe Del Tufo

Day three of the XPoNential Music Festival was turned up to eleven right away when local rockers DRGN King got things started on the River Stage.  Frontman Dom Angelella and his crew of Brendan Mulvihill on guitar, Ritz Reynolds on keys, Steve Montenegro on bass and Joe Baldacci on drums worked through songs off of their recent Paragraph Nights (released this past February through Bar None Records).  Following “Holy Ghost” (a song about “looking like Jesus”) and “Mens Wear” (a song about “avoiding paying your taxes”) Angelella intro-ed a new song called “Fail Big” off of an album the Philadelphians are currently recording in Elkins Park.  The rocking and rolling set was rounded out with “Warriors” (dedicated to The Key’s editor John Vettese) and some more cuts off of Paragraph Nights.  Angelella’s rockstar jumps and on-stage antics caused a few technical difficulties but the band recovered well and the crowd was more than forgiving.  See photos of the performance in the gallery below, read the setlist after the jump, and listen to the set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

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XPoNential Fest: A stunning Saturday night with The Lumineers, Dr. Dog, Polica and Hey Marseilles

Photo by Eric Ashleigh
Photo by Eric Ashleigh

All photos by Eric Ashleigh | showtographe.com

Last night’s headlining XPoNential Music Festival show at the Susquehanna Bank Center gathered a variety of artists from across the XPN universe, from the chamber-indie tones of Seattle’s Hey Marseilles to the rousing rock and roll of Philly’s Dr. Dog; the electro-beat dance pop of Minneapolis’ Polica to Denver’s new folk torchbearers The Lumineers.

“It was a thrill having David Dye introduce us,” Lumineers frontman Wes Schultz told the crowd. “We played this festival last year; it’s good to be back.” Their set drew largely from their self-titled album, mixing in their singalongable tracks like “Stubborn Love” and “Submarines” with covers like “Ain’t Nobody’s Problem But My Own” by fellow Colorado artist Sawmill Joe, and “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan (who headlines XPo Fest tonight). They rushed out to the lawn to perform an impromptu mini-set of “Darlene” and “Elouise” among the fans in the XPN members’ section, and even worked a few new songs in the mix.

Dr. Dog unveiled three new songs as well – the vibey “The Truth,” which was released as a lyric video last Monday, a chug-a-lug rocker called “The Distant Light” and the joyous “Love.” Their new album, B-Room, is out in October.

Check out photos from their sets, as well as openers Hey Marseilles and Polica, in the gallery below.

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Scenes of the first-ever sold out crowd at the XPoNential Music Festival

Photo by Michelle Montgomery
Photo by Michelle Montgomery

Yesterday at 3:05 p.m., WXPN General Manager Roger La May made a big announcement in the history of the XPoNential Music Festival. For the first time ever, the show at Wiggins Park was sold out. Check out scenes of record-setting crowd in the photo gallery below, beginning with another XPoNential fest first: Geoff Ellings and Wendy Bell Miner got engaged just before John Butler Trio’s set!

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XPoNential Fest: John Butler Trio closes out the River Stage

Photo by Eric Ashleigh
Photo by Eric Ashleigh

Today the John Butler Trio thrilled the River Stage during sunset at the XPoNential Music Festival. The Australian outfit kept their jam sound unique throughout the whole set – jumping from funky bluegrass-americana to upbeat, smile-inducing folk, to dance-inducing rock n roll. They played a great mix of tunes, including songs from their most recent album, April Uprising, which was released in March 2010. Their set also included a beautiful (and extremely impressive) solo performance from John Butler. See photos of the performance in the gallery below.

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XPoNential Fest: Brett Dennen twangs out on the Marina Stage

Photo by Michelle Montgomery
Photo by Michelle Montgomery

Playing the final show at the Marina Stage today, Northern California native Brett Dennen kept the crowd going with his light-hearted rock. The group opened with the romantic, “Sweet Persuasion” warming up the tired crowd. Everyone sang and danced along to “She’s Mine” and “Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog).” The set even included a number of songs off of his upcoming album Smoke and Mirrors, set for release October 22. These included, “When We Were Young” and the twangy jam “Wild Child.” Dennen ended with the crowd favorite “Blessed” leaving the audience yelling for more. See photos of the performance in the gallery below, read the setlist after the jump, and listen to the set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).