Category Archives: Concert

#HeinekenGreenRoom Featuring Peedi Crakk

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Hey Philly! The Spring season is in bloom and we’re giving you a chance to gain access to all the can’t miss events and promotions coming your way in 2015!

Heineken Green Room is all set for an exciting night with State Property and North Philly’s own — Peedi Crakk, backed by the “Who Got The Jazz” band. Acclaimed in the underground hip-hop circuit, Peedi’s style and skills are beloved by fans and respected by critics alike.

Remember, this event is open ONLY to Heineken Green Room members. RSVP to obtain access for this and future events, for you plus a friend.

You must be 21 or over to enter. RSVP does not guarantee admittance, so arrive early, as entry will be first come first serve.

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The Decemberists Dazzle at The Philadelphia Academy of Music | Recap

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When they play, they play for each other, and with their audience. From the onset their wry, not dry, humor was on display, toying with the contingent who were willing recipients. Satisfied knowing it was all part of the settling in and becoming comfortable with the performance at hand. Stepping calmly out onto the stage, The Decemberists, one by one or two, followed lead singer and guitarist Colin Meloy, as the Pacific North-westerners took their time to warm up and let everyone know they need not hurry in peril, this would be slow and steady. 

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photo: (full album below)

Like a ring leader or MC for the evening, Meloy conducted himself respectfully onstage with fun dialogues, working first the guests up high in the rafters saying “Everyone in the top row, whoa, don’t stand up, applaud from your seats. No really. Stay, Safely. Seated. At all times, with your seatbelt fastened.” And then the box suites both stage left and right, repeatedly throughout the night checking in with who he called the Duke and Dutchess of Philadelphia and Baron and Baroness of Pittsburgh.”

The rest of the performance rolled on steadily, building up with musical prowess in full bloom — resting audibly on downtempo tunes, but maintaining the energy with powerful and well delivered lyrics narrating each story.

The topics are as detailed and thorough as the trademark enunciation. But they also take a look at the simple moments that we share in life with our families, in particular children, and appreciate that “sometimes all you can do is just sing a song to your son to make him try and eat his oatmeal.”

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photo: (full album below)

Though we may not be “so starry eyed anymore,” The Decemberists provide many moments to get caught up in and newly discover our experience-ful surroundings with lines like “Condescend to calm this riot in your mind, find yourself in time… find yourself in time.” A nod to what we have all around us and ahead. An ironic ‘understanding’ one can notice as the final track of their new album [ What a Terrible World, What a Wonderful World ] is called “A Beginning Song.” 

Those that filled the Broad St. palace of a venue Tuesday night were all glad to have such engaging musical masters to guide the shared journey onward.

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photo: (full album below)

To open the showcase, as the droves filed in and found their seats, Alvvays — a 5 piece Toronto indie-rock band grabbed people’s attention quickly with lofty vocals over crunchy amps. Their music (plus modest yet colorful look) blends influences of post-punk UK meets Beach House… bottom line it works. 

It’s the type of stuff you’d hear playing at a party or picking up a coffee and compel you to ask, “Hey who is this?!… Thanks” and it’s added quickly to a mobile playlist. With talent in their bloodlines and a dedicated touring regiment, Alvvays has been catching the eyes and ears of the music world. So in addition to their current tour with The Decemberists, don’t be shocked to find them on your festival line-up ticket in 2015 and headlining their own shows come next year.

Story and Photos – @aran_hart

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SXSW, Spring & Beyond: An Interview with Brandon Potter and ill Fated Natives

Story by Franceska Rouzard | Photos by Saeed Briscoe

The weather is warming up and that means Festival season is upon us. Last week marks the end of South By South West. In Philadelphia, some enjoyed Texas’ biggest festival/conference through social media. Others, like Brandon Potter, of What Scene?and local band, ill Fated Natives, made the pilgrimage to participate in person. I had a conversation with both on the night of their return home. They shared their plans for April, their favorite memories from their trip, and useful information for “indie-prenuers” and indie musicians who’d like to attend the festival in the future.

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I’d never met Brandon Potter before that evening at The Fire, a bar in Northern Liberties cleverly named due to its proximity to a firehouse. It was the night of an Open Mic/ Welcome Home/ pop up performance for ill Fated Natives. The bar was a mix of avid supporters and friendly strangers. Potter, along with his partners of What Scene and in collaboration with RECPhilly, another local event planning company, organized an all Philadelphian artist show for SxSW. Even under the dark red lighting of The Fire, he seemed rested and pleased.

FR: What is What Scene? ?

Brandon Potter: It’s still forming but, right now we focus on events. I started it as a blog in 2010. Then, in 2013 me and some friends, my friend Chance, who rocked with me all the time, and my friend Kurt started the Foxtail Fest. And since then we’ve been doing shows.

FR: Interesting! What made you do SxSW?

Brandon Potter: I’ve always dreamed of going there. I know so many new artists drop new stuff then. They broke in my playing that festival. You know, get signed. It felt like it was necessary that Philly have a presence out there. Us being up and coming in the music, SxSW was just the right fit to make good connections.

FR: How did the show come together?

Brandon Potter: I’ve worked with Dave and Broad Street Music Group years ago on the first Foxtail Festival. They had a stage. We both knew each other was working hard on the scene.. When he reached out to me about a stage at SxSW, I said we have to make this happen.

As far as event planning, each is planned separately. Except for the yearly events. Basically, my friends and I do everything from top to bottom. We book the artists and come up with the concepts everything. Its really hard work.

FR: You’ve worked with well known artists like SZA and A$AP Mob? How did Ill Fated Natives end up on the SxSW bill?
Brandon Potter: Yeah, we worked with A$AP Mob for Foxtail. We were planning on booking A$AP Yams to DJ for SxSW before he passed away. It was crazy. So we regrouped and decided to go with an all Philly line up with Freeway, OCD, and Ground Up.

I’m a huge fan of Ill Fated Natives. I’ve listened to their music and I love their new project but I didn’t personally book them. Our partners RECPhilly booked them for SxSW along with other artists like Voss and Chill Moody.

FR: What was that experience like?

Brandon Potter: It was really packed. It was right on 6th street which is the main street. It was about 300 when it was all said and done. Crazy atmosphere.

FR: What’s next?

Brandon Potter: We have a series of 4/20 friendly series of events coming.

FR: ….What kind?

Brandon Potter: 4/20 friendly. [Chuckles.] Last year we did this festival called Hamsterdam: 4/20 Circus. We had acrobats, DJ Diamond Kutz. We transformed this warehouse into a circus. This year we’re doing a series of smaller events, four days in a row, April 17-20th. Hopefully, a show in New York.

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After talking with Potter, I snuck upstairs to the greenroom (cleverly disguised as an apartment), in hopes of interviewing Ill Fated Natives before their performance. I feared they would be too tired from the festival, five days on the road with several other shows. To my surprise, they were more energetic then I’d ever seen them. Joey Stix, the band’s drummer and Bets Charmelus, the bassist, recounted their very different versions of a story from the road in which Stix asked for breakfast and was attacked by gnats. I was sure the laughter from the reenactments could be heard on the first floor. It’s hard to believe they’d only officially been a band for 2 years. They behave like a family, like brothers. I talked with both and guitarist, Otheni Thompson, about the road, their experience at SxSW, and what’s to come in the spring.

FR: How did you travel? Who went with you?

Joey Stix: It was crazy. Sleep was a get in where you fit in situation in the van. At one point someone was sleeping in the aisle. We went with our friends Ian, Malc, the videographer, Zak Cedarholm, who is awesome.

Bets Charmelus: He’s been responsible for the last couple promotional videos for us. Before that, they were shot by Saeed Jones and edited by our friend Jessica Arce, who both super talented.

FR: So you were on the road for five days? What cities did you visit other than Austin?

Joey Stix: We went to DC and Atlanta to perform. We stopped in Virginia for Waffle House on the way back.

FR: Which city was your favorite? Did I hear you mention metal heads in Atlanta?

Joey Stix: They weren’t metal. They just had a metal vibe. But they sounded like folk. Lots of alternative rock undertones.

Otheni Thompson: They called themselves punk.

FR: I heard a rumor that you raised the money to attend SxSW yourself. Is that true?

Bets Charmelus: It all came from The Fire Ceremony when we released our first project.

FR: For those who are thinking about doing something similar next year, how much was it?
Bets Charmelus: [Chuckles] Enough.

Otheni Thompson: How it came together is that we were at Parkhouse Studios when Dave, from RECPhilly, approached us about SxSW. That propelled everything forward. We had to get out music out. We had to raise money for SxSW. We had to have a crazy release show.

Bets Charmelus: You can’t go to a festival like SxSW empty handed. Everyone became really productive. Normally, we struggle with getting everyone on the same page. Like if O and Joey are motivated, then I’m slacking or vice versa. This time the team was focused and the tribe came around us. Next thing we know we had a site! We had business cards! We had a show popping! Everyone just came around us and felt like we have to do this. We have to make this happen.

Joey Stix: Yeah, we found out about the opportunity like a month before we went. A solid month. It didn’t kick in until about a week before.

FR: How was the reception? Did you feel welcomed?

Otheni Thompson: Oh yeah, for sure.

Joey Stix: We got there at a weird time. We arrived an hour before we were supposed to perform. We rolled out of a 15 passenger van and had to do soundcheck. Just trying to stretch and shit. It was kind of packed when we started. But once we were in the groove, people really started coming around.

Bets Charmelus: There was just so much music happening. Everywhere. If you leaned one way you could hear rap. Lean another way and hear something hardcore. I was like, “What the f- is happening?” It was beautiful.

FR: What was the craziest thing you saw? What stood out to you the most?

Otheni Thompson: We had a near spiritual experience.

Bets Charmelus: Completely spiritual experience.

Otheni Thompson: It was at the OK Africa show.We got there early to lock the front down. The openers were really cool. Everything that happened after that was incredible. Ibeyi was having a lot of technical difficulties so they just rocked out with keys and a beatbox. Ian and Malc met them the night before and had a quick but beautiful exchange. That trickled into the next day and the band recognized them at the show.

Bets Charmelus: Yeah, they were on stage talking to them during the performance.

Otheni Thompson: Then Hiatus Kayote came out and just smashed it. They’re definitely master musicians. All of them. Messing with time and making you move in different ways. That was followed by BadBadNotGood. The entire time, we’re in this corner next to the stage dancing like no one else is there. Thrashing. Then, they brought Jus Blaze and Freeway out.

Bets Charmelus: Us being from Philly, I almost popped a blood vessel. Everyone was like, “Oh wow! This is cool.” We were f-ing wilding out. Joey had one foot on the stage. I’m standing on the chair, screaming. A stage manager comes over and tells me to get down. Immediately, someone else gets up there.

Joey Stix: I was looking at every drummer on stage so intensely. “You need some help? I got you! I. GOT. YOU.”

Bets Charmelus: I really think that experience translated into what happened just now downstairs. I found myself playing things that I normally don’t. Thinking to myself, BadBadNotGood would do something like this. It changed my perspective of everything.

FR: So what’s next?

Joey Stix: We have a ton of shows in April. We have like six. My homie, Mars Parker, has a release party on April 4th. DG Philly is having an event at Pub Webb on April 10th.

Bets Charmelus: There is a band called Galvanize who throw an event called Get Lucid, they’re having a release party on the 17th. We’re opening for them. On the 18th, there is the Marijuana Marathon by What Scene? Then, we’re performing for iNERD on the 23rd.

Other Thompson: And we’re looking to release our first video after that. We recorded that all throughout the trip. Zak had been recording it since The Fire Ceremony.

Story by Franceska Rouzard | @frenchthegypsy
Photos by Saeed Briscoe

Matthew E White and Wilsen: Different Strokes RECAP

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Spend a night with Matthew E White and be reminded that experiencing great music doesn’t have to be so ‘done-up’ or overly-sensationalized. Bringing reality back to live music. It’s a great experience to just sit back and enjoy the show, the talent of each member of the band, and their artistry.

The World Cafe Live upstairs room was not the ‘big performance’ with X amount of orchestral members Matthew E White has done. This was akin to as Matthew playfully put it, “a Randy newman LA supper club show. This is not normal. Not a normal look for us, or you. What a great, and different way to listen to music…”

Different, ahhh, refreshing.

You wanna rock n roll out? You wanna slow it down à la Leonard Cohen? You wanna get groovy and dance with a special someone? You wanna put the windows down and just cruise? Well, the versatility is there for all moods and vibes.

White brings to his audience a “live interpretation” of his new album, Fresh Blood [pitchfork review]. Much of the show is music from the new album, and it does sound quite different live.

He closed with the captivating tune Holy Moly, where he repeats the lyrics “Don’t you ever give a man false hope” — before the band in unison crescendo, seals the deal.

Matthew E White’s Fresh Blood:

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Opening the night was the seductive collaboration of Wilsen, a 4 piece band of musicians who all call NYC home, but bring their talents from different locales. Lead singer (and London native) Tamsin Wilson anchors her band amidst ambient sound waves, inviting listeners to be swept away and bob their thoughts along. Nevertheless, not lost while drifting is the careful and heartfelt song-writing that compliments the gentle delivery.

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 Photos and story – Aran Hart

More from: Matthew E White and Wilsen

PHOTO RECAP: Galactic and The Revivalists Bring the Energy to Philly

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On Thursday 3-26,  two great bands, both from New Orleans hit the stage of the Electric Factory — Galactic and The Revivalists.


Galactic is revving up for a busy 2015 on the festival and concert circuit, doing their best to spread the energy à la CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS — “their music that evokes the electric atmosphere of a whole city – make that, whole cities – vibrating together all on the same day, from New Orleans all down the hemisphere to the mighty megacarnivals of Brazil.”


David Shaw, lead vocalist and guitarist of The Revivalists set off the show with a spectacular spiritual offering, and the rest of the band continued to bring their music to life. The story goes The Revivalists began when guitarist Zack Feinberg ran into David jamming on his home porch in 2007. Eight years later, seven members in, and three albums released they have definitely set their name for themselves in their hometown, now on tour and bringing their music to new venues and fans. Their profound sounds definitely brings out the energy of the crowd with chants, and ‘hands up in the air’ engagement. Their showmanship is definitely what music needs more of.


A few moments after a break, the headlining Galactics dropped in with his jazzy funk saxophone tunes, with each taking their time in the spotlight to play to the crowd. Galactic create an exciting atmosphere toting  their version of NOLA jazz-funk. This was definitely a night to remember for many energetic and excited fans still buzzing as they filed out.

Find out more, listen, download, and share these bands:

Galactic: Twitter | MusicBio

The Revivalists: Facebook | Music | Bio

Story and photos – Daniel Wooden


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Middle Grounded: Hozier Concert Recap

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The age old question many newly-christened artists often face lingered with me as I walked out onto North 7th St. Saturday night… What’s next down the road for Hozier — this vehicle, driven by a major hit?

The asking is even more in the forefront of the conversation with Hozier — given a 2014 Song of the Year Grammy Nomination and rapid rise to international stardom, mixed with the style of music the young Irishman has shown he can write and record.

And to be fair I see it is a tip of the cap to the warranted attention he’s been receiving.

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His young band brims with the confidence boosted by being part of the majorly successful industry sensation Hozier quickly became. They’ve been busy on tour, with many more US and international stops scheduled through August, getting up before dawn for early AM T.V. show appearances, then taking main stages by night. And after a couple silly mix-ups on stage, “This next song is called … wait, that was the song we just played… forgive me i’ve slept about 6 hours in the last 3 days…” Hozier seemed just enough uncomfortable and thus sincere.

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The quality of the musical performance, however, did not waiver.

He plays his cover of Skip James’ “Illinois Blues” while professing how he was raised with and has always been enamored with that style of music. He’s already shown that his songs can be both socially provocative, while catchy. That’s what will keep him grounded, having a strong tangible base to build from.

The talent is there: Hozier has a rawness and understatedness, plus an on and off stage personality to go “that” way… while he also has the polished pop culture appeal and voice to lure him into that genre.

So what’s next? No one knows. My guess is Hozier will continue to prosper somewhere in between. One thing’s for sure: fans and critics alike will be watching.

Photos and story – Aran Hart

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Kate Faust – Live at Pipeline Philly


Little Giant presents an intimate performance by singer/songwriter Kate Faust.

Please join us for a night of soulful, soaring vocals from the critically acclaimed, indy artist.

Check out Kate’s music and more at

Kate will debut selections from her long-awaited EP, Eros, a candid glimpse, through an erotic lens, into the chanteuse’s unflinching gaze within her deepest self.


Photo Recap: Infected Mushroom Animatronica Tour

Thursday 2/26 Israel-bred, L.A. based duo Amit “Duvdev” Duvdevani and Erez Eisen, world renowned as Infected Mushroom, rocked the Electric Factory with their self-proclaimed “hypnotic arrangements, complex layered melodies and synthetic rhythms known as ‘Psychedelic Trance,’ leaving behind all their dying ‘Trance’ cousins in the mainstream.”

All this sonic and visual display is part of their worldwide Animatronica Live Spring Tour. Opening acts include Far Too LoudAu5, and Randy Seidman.

Infected Mushroom’s brand new stage is the the first of its type. Imagine; a steam blasting, eye popping, self standing mechanical “Steampunk” themed mushroom. This mechanical being is more than a stage production, but an art installation with a darkened soul. Infected Mushroom gives life to a new type of live element sure to satisfy the thirst of this ever-changing and rapidly evolving hunger the masses desire. Built by local artist Duane Flatmo, Animatronica will set a new standard in stage production and design for 2015.

Photos by Daniel Wooden

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Let’s Move It Philly: Black Thought and Hometown Heroes Party with Purpose

Story by Franceska Rouzard

Many in the region may remember Saturday, February 21st as the night of a wicked wintry storm. However, the funkiest and flyest of Philadelphia will remember it as the night they shared a dance floor with brilliant activists like Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, and talented artists and pioneers the likes of Philadelphia’s own Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Rich Medina [yea we’re claiming you too Rich!].


Hosted by the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, an organization co-founded by long time friends Black Thought and Dr. Johnson Dias, The 5th Annual Let’s Move It: Philly aimed to raise money for Linglebach Elementary [learn how you can help #SaveLingelbach], one of many educational institutions in Philadelphia who received laughable, in a not so funny kind of way, discretionary funding for this school year. Held at Trilogy [formerly Palmer Social Club], attendees described it simply as, “a good time for a good cause.”

Many who braved the weather and ventured to the event, from near and far, expressed openly they were “glad they came out!”


Personally I, as a Philly transplant, was in awe of the entire evening. It is difficult to pinpoint a sole source of wonderment. It could have been the overwhelming turn out given the weather. Perhaps, it was bankhead bouncing to Busta Rhymes with an accomplished, well dressed sociology professor. Conceivably, it was the easy-going nature of Grammy-Award winning, world-renowned artists mingling with guests just like all the others.

No doubt it was the DJ sets and live performance from Black Thought, which so well complimented the energy of the evening – originating with the cause(s) the GrassROOTS Community Foundation stand for.


I was afforded the privilege of speaking with Dr. Johnson Dias, Rich Medina, and Black Thought about the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, the Linglebach Elementary cause, and future plans for Philadelphia.

FR: On the home page of the GrassROOTS Community Foundation’s website, there is a big banner that says “A Tribute to Tanji Dewberry”. Who is that?

Dr. Johnson Dias: Tanji Dewberry is a friend, author, mentor and a trailblazer in ‘Super Camp‘, a summer day camp for Philadelphia’s inner city girls. Her dream was to extend it to Philadelphian boys. She died in a fire trying to rescue her children. Last year, her mother, Cynthia Mitchell, funded three boys to Super Camp.

FR: What does it take to put an event like this together?

Black Thought: It takes a lot of planning and flexibility and the delegation of many responsibilities. It takes a strong and reliable team, people you can trust and who can improvise. It takes a village.

FR: I read the GrassROOTS Community Foundation has a three year commitment to Linglebach Elementary to create an after school program. What are the next steps?

Black Thought: After tonight, we plan to give a nice sized contribution. Our next fundraiser is a 5k race called Roots Rock Run.

FR: Dr. Johnson Dias and Black Thought have decided to take their success and help the city of Philly, and others. What motivates you, Rich?

Rich Medina: I have a son, a 7 year old. Also, I went to college so I know the importance of education and learning. However, I feel I learned even more during college in my extracurricular activities — outside of the classroom. For that reason, I remain a student even now. I believe in a lifetime of learning and promoting wellness and forward thinking.

More info about the GrassROOTS Community Foundation

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 Photos courtesy of Saeed Briscoe

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