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XPN Fest Recap: Chicano Batman make an encore appearance to begin day three

Chicano Batman | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Chicano Batman | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

After playing a packed show at the BB&T Pavilion last night as part of XPoNential Festival’s day two headliners, Chicano Batman returned to Camden this morning, this time to open day three of the fest with an afternoon performance at the Jerseyarts.com Marina Stage in Wiggins Park. The venue faired well, having been submerged the following early evening by surprise flash thunderstorms. With a dry ground and sun shining bright overhead, the band got the crowd ready for the final day of stellar live music. Continue reading →

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Hang Loose: Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr. burn down BB&T for XPN Fest night two

Alabama Shakes | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Alabama Shakes | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

We might have been various degrees of soaking wet. But Alabama Shakes made it easy enough to forget.

“Here’s how it’s gonna work,” frontwoman Brittany Howard told the crowd. “I’m gonna give you a bit, and you’re gonna give it back.

And so it went: the band tore across a blistering 90-minute set that worked in most of the songs at the band’s disposal – including a thundering “Always Alright” from the Silver Linings Playbook soundtrack, the contemplative “Joe” (a live cut from an Austin City Limits comp), and a heaping handful from 2012’s Boys and Girls and last year’s Sound and Colour.   Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: No amount of rain can stop the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Preservation Hall Jazz Band | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

You probably were looking to read this recap yesterday. I wanted to stay dry at the festival. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band would have loved to have been able to finish their set at the River Stage. Well, thanks to circumstances out of our control, none of those things were possible.

When the New Orleans jazz legends took to the River Stage on Saturday, it seemed like disaster was going to be avoided. Clouds were grey, but nowhere near apocalyptic. The light rain that was falling was a cooling drizzle, not an inundating monsoon. But I can’t stress enough that this was only what it seemed like — because an apocalyptic monsoon was exactly what was just moments away. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: The Record Company remind us what rock is all about

The Record Company | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
The Record Company | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

With an outage at the River Stage resulting in no internet or broadcasting, XPoNential Festival was lucky enough to have The Record Company push onward at the Jerseyarts.com Marina Stage, where the band played with enough power and blues rock energy to amplify the audience. The band played to an absolutely monstrous crowd, which encircled them entirely around the stage. At one point, when frontman Chris Vos turned his back on the audience in front of him, he had a quick moment of surprise to see flocks of fans equally as eager watching the band from behind. Continue reading →

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I Don’t Love You, Honeybear: Twitter dot com reacts to Father John Misty’s XPN Fest set

Father John Misty | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Father John Misty | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making the world think Father John Misty is good,” —anonymous.

Whether you think he’s the greatest post-modern performance artist of our generation or just an annoying hack, everybody’s talking about Father John Misty after his wild ride of a “set” at XPNFest Friday. Lovers and haters alike took to the megaphone of the masses — Twitter dot com — to voice their feelings, as one does. We’ve collected a number of the best, for your viewing pleasure. (Unlike that other 45 minutes of FJM’s set, amirite?) Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: The show goes on for The Felice Brothers, power or no power

The Felice Brothers | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
The Felice Brothers | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Unexpected things have been happening all weekend here at the XPoNential Music Festival, but this last event turned out to be pretty special.

A power outage on the River Stage forced The Felice Brothers to end their set early. But rather than walk off stage and head for the greenroom, the ramshackle folk outfit walked off stage and into the crowd to continue playing, unplugged and intimate. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Darlingside brings harmonies and charm to the Marina Stage heat

Darlingside | Photo by Sydney Schaefer | sydneyschaeferphotos.com
Darlingside | Photo by Sydney Schaefer | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

It was the third song of Darlingside’s set. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based harmonizers were beautifully belting their “Good For You,” a song written about the band’s fascination with the places they visit while traveling. In that same spirit, the sounds of Darlingside were able to transport listeners as if they were on the road with the band themselves. And then, to draw everyone back to reality, the stench of porta-potty septic trucks filled the air —  because port-potty septic trucks were driving right behind the Jerseyarts.com Marina Stage. It’s funny how timing works in this world.  Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: The Revivalists breathe new life into festivalgoers

The Revivalists | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com
The Revivalists | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

In one flawless motion, The Revivalist‘s trumpet player and keyboardist Michael Girardot climbed onto the speaker system to shake his tambourine, then threw it to the side and continued to slam to the ground himself, all the while being sure to bang on his keyboard midair and as he landed. The New Orleans soul rock band exploded with this kind of heart-racing excitement throughout their set on the Riverstage during XPoNential Festival. The seven piece had a distinctly rich and full sound, thanks to the diversity of their instruments and arrangements — the horns section made way for some killer sax solos. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Esme Patterson takes care of the crowd on the Marina Stage

Esme Patterson | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Esmé Patterson | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

Esmé Patterson commanded the Marina Stage with her personality, music, and smile, playing songs from this year’s We Were Wild during the midday set.

Opening up with “Find It,” Patterson made it clear from the get go that she and her band were here to have fun. Classic 90s singer-songwriter sensibilities rippled under the high-energy indie rock arrangements, letting us know that this band’s music defies easy classification.

Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Ben Arnold and the 48 Hour Orchestra let loose on the River Stage

Ben Arnold | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com
Ben Arnold | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

Ben Arnold is a seasoned vet when it comes to performing at XPoNential Festival. This year was the local music man’s fouth appearance, but this time around things were a bit different. Thanks to the 48 Hour Orchestra, who joined Arnold on stage, his set today brought things to a new level. Together, the two sides brought life to Arnold’s 2016 record Lost Keys, an album that features much more brass than anything he’s put out in the past. Continue reading →