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XPNFest Recap: Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts bring the weekend to a tremendous close

Beck | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Beck | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Wow. I really don’t know that there are any other words for it – wow wow wow. What a tremendous way to close this year’s XPoNential Music Festival: an outrageous, high-energy performance from the one and only Beck, with the stage being nicely set by the rousing rock anthems of Band of Horses and an intense performance from Central PA noisemakers The Districts. A triple-header that contained as much bottled-up energy as the rest of the weekend alone.

After the festival attendees were ushered from Wiggins Park to the Susquehanna Bank Center by Philly’s New Sound Brass Ensemble, The Districts took the stage shortly after 7 with an atmospheric and expressive performance of “Long Distance.” It was a bittersweet set for the guys, since it was the band’s last gig performing with founding guitarist Mark Larson. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Lake Street Dive get soulful on the River Stage

Lake Street Dive  | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Lake Street Dive | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Eclectic Boston faves Lake Street Dive played a stellar, high-energy set on the XPoNential Music Festival River Stage on Sunday Afternoon. Easily crowd favorites of the weekend, the band was led by the dynamic frontwoman Rachael Price, who sang, danced and simply exuded enthusiasm while delivering jazzy pop songs with soulful vocals. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Diego Garcia plays to a swooning crowd on the Marina Stage

 

Diego Garcia | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Diego Garcia | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Diego Garcia reprised his 2012 festival appearance with a stripped down set on the Marina Stage.  The New York musician performed intimate songs from 2011′s solo debut Laura and last year’s follow-up Paradise.  Interspersing some colorful stories about the songs and events in his life over the last several years, Garcia was his usual charming self up on stage.

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XPNFest Recap: Old 97′s greet old fans with new songs on the River Stage

Rhett Miller of Old 97s and XPN's Michaela Majoun | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Rhett Miller of Old 97s and XPN’s Michaela Majoun | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
It was pretty much a love fest when perennial rockers Old 97s took the River Stage at the XPoNential Music Festival on Sunday. Introducing the band with her arm draped around frontman Rhett Miller, Michaela Majoun told the crowd that she first saw the band at South By Southwest in 1994 – making the XPN love affair with the 97s two decades strong. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Nicole Atkins gets dramatic on the Marina Stage

Bear’s Den | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Nicole Atkins | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

XPN sweetheart Nicole Atkins treated fans to a knockout performance on a sweltering Marina Stage.  Still riding high after the release of her recent Slow Phaser LP, the Atkins we saw today, clad in a floor-length white dress and colorful necklace, was the visual antithesis to the Atkins we saw at Non-COMM back in May.  Her set, though, was as strong as ever and by the end of set closer “The Tower,” she had the crowd in the palm of her hand.

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XPNFest Recap: J. Roddy Walston and the Business kick things into high gear on the River Stage

J. Roddy Walston and the Business | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
J. Roddy Walston and the Business | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

That, my friends, is a rock and roll show. Hailing from Baltimore and sounding like a 4th of July fireworks show on speed, J. Roddy Walston and the business cranked the volume at the XPoNential Music Festival river stage on Sunday. Pulling largely from their recent LP Essential Tremors, the band was loud and lively and frontman Walston alternated delivered gravely lead vocals while alternating between piano, guitar and rocking the mic solo. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Bear’s Den get sentimental on the Marina Stage

Bear's Den | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Bear’s Den | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

London’s Bear’s Den may be a British folk / rock outfit, but don’t let the banjo fool you: they are not just another Mumford & Sons.  The touring quartet weaves achingly beautiful stories that often begin deceivingly quietly before building into lush, gut-wrenching compositions.  Performing tracks from their debut Agape EP, last year’s Without/Within full-length and this year’s Elysium 10″, Bear’s Den made a wonderful debut on the Marina Stage.

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XPNFest Recap: The Lawsuits bring breezy harmonies to the River Stage

The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
From the fertile Bucks County musical community, The Lawsuits brought a set of breezy country harmonies crossed with revved-up rock and roll to the River Stage on the third day of this year’s XPoNential Music Festival. The band released its debut LP Cool Cool Cool in October, and the set drew largely from it, from the buoyant charm of opening track “Anybody’s Girl” to the ultra-catchy honkey-tonk jammer “Onion.” Non-album single “Love is Weight” made the set as well, and singer Vanessa Winters positively slayed her vocal leads on “Long Drive Home” and “You Won’t Love Me If You Don’t.” Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Ginger Coyle gives a sultry start to the Marina Stage

Ginger Coyle | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Ginger Coyle | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Ginger Coyle is one of those wildcard performers who continually exceeds expectations.  Opening day three at the XPoNential Music Festival, the New Jersey native was all smiles and put on a stellar show of uplifting, contemporary pop songs from her recent Homeward Bound LP and an upcoming release.  Joined by a band that included a saxophone / flute player, Coyle’s songs about love, happiness and overcoming obstacles were simultaneously powerful and easygoing.

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XPNFest Recap: Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes capped an exuberant second day at SBC

Ryan Adams | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Ryan Adams | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

If that image of Ryan Adams in Rock God stance doesn’t give you an indication, the closing trifecta of XPoNential Music Festival day two was high-energy and memorable. A sizable crowd filled out the theater and lawn of the Susquehanna Bank Center to watch as Adams was joined by Jenny Lewis and Dawes to jam out into the breezy Saturday night. Continue reading →

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