Balance and Composure plays their next-to-last gig at The Fillmore

Balance and Composure | photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

After eleven years, three albums and numerous EP releases, Doylestown rockers Balance & Composure played their second to last show ever last night. A few months ago the band announced they would be ending their time as a band together and would be playing a few finale shows.

The Fillmore ended up being a great spot for these final shows — B&C were joined by two of their favorite bands, including local favorites Queen of Jeans (who played a killer set featuring a few new songs from their upcoming album), as well as a reunited Superheaven, peers of Balance who came out to play with them after having been on a major hiatus. Continue reading →


Weezer takes on the extravagant Met Philly with a nonstop hit-parade

Weezer | photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

On Wednesday night, Los Angeles rockers Weezer landed on North Broad Street to perform at the newly opened Met Philly. The four-piece group dropped in on tour in advance of their upcoming album, the black album coming in March 2019.

Weezer has always been the band in the back of your mind that you think of as an eclectic cornucopia of genres — rock ’n roll, surf rock, alternative, pop, but always leaning on the indie rocker vibes. Their songs have resonated with so many since the mid ’90’s self-titled (blue) album came out. Many of those classics were also played in the grand room at The Met. Already a unique venue to see a “legacy alternative rock” band, and having just held its opening night concert with Bob Dylan the week before, it was actually the perfect space for this performance. Because many Weezer fans have been intimately listening to the band since they were teenagers, the large-scale, extravagant venue felt like a better fit than a Frankford Hall or Fillmore. Continue reading →


(Sandy) Alex G brings it back to the basement in a First Unitarian Church doubleheader

(Sandy) Alex G | photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Philly’s (Sandy) Alex G spent Friday night performing the first of two sold out shows at First Unitarian Church along with support from Brooklyn’s Half Waif. Alex G has been touring off his 2017 album Rocket, one of my personal favorites of last year, and brought it to his hometown for a much more intimate performance than his Union Transfer headliner last summer. Continue reading →


A day too short, Governors Ball still brought the heat

Gov Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Festivals and I have such a love/hate relationship. Not only as a music lover and someone who works in the industry, but as a general human being. There’s the hot humidity of the early days of summer mixed with the tangled bodies of hippies and hipsters gallivanting across an open field, overpriced food and alcohol, and crowds so large you can hardly see the band you’re there to see. At the same time, you’re completely enthralled with the good vibes, the exciting atmosphere, and the thrill of so much good music.

Continue reading →


Rounding up the best and brightest of Governors Ball 2015

Governors' Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish
Governors Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish

The annual Governors Ball festival is held at Randall’s Island in New York, wedged in between Upper Manhattan and Queens. The rain trickled down on Friday but that didn’t stop the ticket holders from trekking through to make it over for their favorite acts, most especially Philly’s The Districts who started off the fest Friday afternoon at 12:15. A bit too early for most, one would think, but they ripped through their set with a medium sized but lively crowd cheering along to the words of “Young Blood.” Continue reading →


One Big Neighborhood Party: Hop Along celebrates Painted Shut at Union Transfer

Hop Along | photo by Megan Kelly |
Hop Along | photo by Megan Kelly |

The last week has been full of excitement for Hop Along‘s new album Painted Shut, released Tuesday on Saddle Creek. It’s the Philly band’s third full-length album, but in a way, it was almost like its debut to a wider audience. On Saturday night, Hop Along headlined for a packed house at Union Transfer which, with local openers Thin Lips and Clique in tow, felt like one big neighborhood party. Continue reading →


The Key’s Year-End Mania: Rachel Barrish’s Favorite Crowd Shots of 2014

Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish |
Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, contributing photographer Rachel Barrish shares her favorite crowd shots of the year.

So, before I decided I wanted to work in music, I wanted to study people. Their quirks, their wants and desires, why they do the things they do and where those actions come from. Psychology, ya know? Photographing a concert is way more than just getting the perfect angle of the vocalist at the mic, it’s also about the crowd. Concert-goers and festival attendees are what make these events so memorable. How people react to a certain band is super interesting, whether it’s a pop punk band and people are screaming their lungs out, crowd surfing and stage diving, or a favorite singer/songwriter belting out those meaningful, soothing lyrics, feeling like you’re “one with the music” is part of the experience. People are priceless, fans are priceless. Continue reading →


Alt-J warmed up the crowd at The Tower Theater


Alt-J | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

It was a bitter cold evening last night in Upper Darby, where many traveled to see the British indie rock group Alt-J on their headlining tour in support of this year’s This Is All Yours. After the global success of their debut An Awesome Wave, which won the Mercury Prize in 2012, the band start getting the rep as “The next Radiohead.” Last night, they definitely lived up to it.

Continue reading →


Losing his voice, J Roddy Walston turns to the TLA crowd for help


J Roddy Walston & The Business | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

Saturday night the TLA was filled almost to capacity with fans riled to see J Roddy Walston & The Business. The Richmond, VA foursome gathered on the stage to an exuberant amount of clapping and shouting. J Roddy took his place at the grand piano with his long hair in front of his face the majority of the time. At one point he told the audience that he was losing his voice after the long tour and asked them to help sing along.

Despite his illness, J Roddy definitely rocked out the house that night. During the encore he brought fans up to the stage to dance and sing to “Heavy Bells” and then proceeded to crowd surf for a few moments to end the night on a high. Check out photos from the show in the gallery, read the setlist and watch the singalong encore in the video below. Continue reading →


Fleetwood Mac begins an ecstatic new chapter at Wells Fargo Center

Fleetwood Mac | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

Fleetwood Mac is a band that continues to grow through the good and bad times,” Lindsey Buckingham told the sold-out Wells Fargo Center crowd on Wednesday night. “Especially in the moment when Christine returned. I can say we have begun a beautiful, poetic and profound chapter.”

It certainly was a nostalgic evening as the legendary rock outfit – reunited with Christine McVie for the first time in 16 years – ripped through hits from their top-selling albums including Fleetwood Mac (1975), Rumours (1977) Tusk (1979) and more. Continue reading →