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Love for Locals: Why XPoNential performances mean more to hometown acts

The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

For the touring acts playing – and certainly the audience watching – this year’s XPoNential Music Festival can be summed up as a fun weekend full of great music, great people and relatively little rain.

But for local bands playing the festival, it means just a little bit more. For some, it was their first time playing outdoors in a festival setting. Others were returning to play for the third or fourth time. Several artists thought their sets went well, but a few had technical difficulties or other problems to work through.

From the Marina stage to the Susquehanna Bank Center, the hometown audience seemed to clap a little louder and listen a little more intently to the local acts. For Philly-based pop rock outfit Viv and the Revival, the first act to perform Friday, the admiration even elicited shouts of, “You rock!” and “Way to start our festival!” from the crowd. Continue reading →

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Who was that guy impersonating Forrest Gump throughout XPoNential 2014?

Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Forrest Gump impersonator Paul Dengler | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

You never know what you’re gonna get at a music festival. At least that’s what Paul Dengler wanted to make sure life was like at XPoNential this year.

Dengler, a Forrest Gump impersonator, was seen from Friday to Sunday watching performances, interacting with festival-goers and starting conga lines. Continue reading →

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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: Trigger Hippy close down the River Stage with country-rock riffs

Trigger Hippy | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Trigger Hippy | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

As the Wiggins Park performances wound down on Sunday afternoon, there was one final burst of energy – in the form of rip-roaring roots rock and roll – from the River Stage as Trigger Hippy played in the early evening breeze. Comprised of singer-songwriter Joan Osborne, Black Crowes members Steve Gorman and Jackie Greene (on drums and guitar respectively), session guitarist Tom Bukovac and bassist Nick Govrick. The band released its debut EP in the fall, and has plans to release it’s self-titled full-length debut on September 30th – which provided plenty of fuel for the setlist. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Man Man brings the Marina Stage to a close with some quintessential antics

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

What better way to wrap up the Marina Stage run at the 2014 XPoNential Music Festival than with Philadelphia’s beloved ever-changing art-rock ensemble Man Man.  From Honus Honus’ rock star entrance, to his “costume changes” that included an iridescent cape and white fur coat, the band that consistently brings us far-out, way fun experimental songs absolutely rocked the crowd to their feet.

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 →