Tag Archives: Festival Pier

Film Review: The Guest

Dir. Adam Wingard
Score: 6.1

David Collins (Dan Stevens) seems like a pretty upstanding dude. Or he would if the film, with its ominous music, and shots of him in repose, sitting without blinking in the lotus position, where the bonhomie drains off of his face like cheap foundation powder in a drizzle, wasn’t constantly suggesting otherwise. He’s got all sorts of talents and skills. Visiting the family of his deceased soldier buddy somewhere in New Mexico, he starts out as a kind of benign guardian spirit, offering his friend’s mother, Laura (Sheila Kelley), solace, his father, Spencer (Leland Orser), a chance to rise up in the ranks of his small-time job to become regional manager; his younger brother, Luke (Brendan Meyer), an opportunity to get savage revenge on the high school bullies who keep harassing him; and his fetching, 20-year-old sister, Anna (Maika Monroe), a chance to find a different boyfriend, such as himself.

Along the way, he also displays tremendous skills in knife work, combat, and advanced firearm discharge, all without ever needing to sleep, or even blink, when he’s not being watched. It’s really only when Anna starts to get suspicious of him and his true intentions, especially after a couple of her friends turn up dead in the desert, that things really start to take a turn for the bloody worse.

What’s intriguing about writer/director Adam Wingard’s perfectly entertaining thriller is just how self-aware it is of its own propensity for foolishness. Is the moment when David confronts Luke’s high school principal with a hate-crime lawsuit after the school bureaucrat threatens to expel the boy after he finally retaliates against one of his abusers meant to be taken at face value, or is his admission that the boy is gay simply a ploy to throw the principal off the track? Do we read the film’s action-studded climax in a Halloween-themed haunted maze, replete with strobe lights, fun-house mirrors and cubic tons of dry-ice smoke as just so much over-the-top idiocy, or as carefully crafted, excessive action exaltation?

Of course, it’s difficult to say definitively with sneaky films such as this, but from the amusingly abrupt opening credits — where we cut from a lone figure jogging down a rocky dirt road to a sudden flash of the title card with a loud splash of music, and just as quickly to a shot of a scarecrow standing uncertainly amongst several flat fields — to the bugnuts conclusion (let’s just say it involves a would-be death scene where a character gives an enthusiastic thumbs-up to his attacker), there is a pretty strong sense that Wingard, whose You’re Next worked similarly self-aware angles, knows precisely what he’s doing.

Which frees us up to take the film on its own amusing merits. First off, you have Stevens, continuing his Not-Just-A-British-Fop Tour, absolutely gnashing the scenery with his bare teeth, turning Collins into just the sort of charming, desirable, complete sociopath that this family so dearly needs, even as he starts whacking its members. Stevens, who exploits his boyish charm, intense blue eyes, and topsy-turvy smile to maximum effect here, seems perfectly in his element, shifting in a given scene from smooth-talking mooch to cold-eyed killer and back again in the blink of an eye. Freed at last from the double-breasted suits and posh accent of Downton Abbey, Stevens has a ball as the explosively remote Collins, apologizing gravely even as he’s literally stabbing someone in the heart as he’s doing it. Enough with the china cups and monocles, bring on the blood squibs.

The director also has a find with young Brendan Meyer, who endows the sad-sack Luke with permanently crestfallen eyes and a leeching, awkward sort of presence. He’s the kind of kid you would see in the cafeteria, instantly feel sorry for, and end up sitting as far away from as possible. Hanging out with the debonair, take-no-prisoners Collins, you see his face finally spark with some kind of vitality, a kid in a dark, wet tunnel who becomes convinced he’s finally spotted a little flame of escape. It’s his plaintive reaction to his sister’s dire warnings of the murderous inclinations in their houseguest at the end (“David would never hurt us,” he wails) that proves just how deep in the much Luke is willing to go to keep that particular candle lit.

For a film that begins with a scarecrow and ends with a profane epithet, it sounds difficult to believe, but Wingard never lets the pulpy material spin out of his control. He’s like the dude in the foxhole who seems like he belongs there, pumping round after round off into the darkness, cackling the whole time. He might not be hitting much, but he’s having a hell of a time doing it.

Flaming Lips Announce Show in Philly with Tame Impala


Psychedelic favorite The Flaming Lips just announced extra dates to their 2013 tour. Promoting their most recent release, The Terror (video), the guys will make a welcomed appearance at the Festival Pier on Thursday, October 3. Joining them will be Tame Impala who released their critically acclaimed album Lonerism just last year. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, June 28!

Check out the video for Tame Impala’s  “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”.

Source: Philly.com

Concert Review: Day One of the 2012 Roots Picnic

Basketball jerseys, Sound Problems & the Power of De La Soul at Day One of the 2012 Roots Picnic

June 2, 2012…

There were occasional clouds, but for the most part the sun was shining and it was a pretty beautiful day for the first day of the fifth annual Roots Picnic. By mid-afternoon Festival Pier, on the mighty Delaware River and looked down upon by the stoic Ben Franklin Bridge, was crowded. It was crowded with an amazingly diverse collection of people- people young and old, people of all races, people who looked like cartoon characters, people in funky outfits, people in sensible outfits, people in let’s go rage outfits- people ready to have some fun.

The Roots, who this year for the first time spread their annual summer festival out over two days, were to finish off the night- joined by Wale and then De La Soul. This would not happen until after 8pm. At a little after four, with the main stage getting ready for Tune-Yards and DJ Stretch Armstrong doing work in the Magic Bubble, a little after 8pm seemed very far away.

Nursing pounders of beer, smoking cigarettes, tweeting on their Twitters, instagraming on their Instagrams, the crowd generally chilled out like anyone would at a picnic. The idea of an energetic hip hop show seemed very distant and far-fetched. In the Magic Bubble, the tent off to the side of the venue, Stretch Armstrong had ‘em going, especially when he dropped in some Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony to his set. He was followed up by Star Slinger, a DJ who looks like the first place winner of the DJ Who Looks the Absolute Least Like a DJ contest. Long hair, a beard, a belly- all I’m saying is that it looks like comic books are part of his life somehow. But regardless, dude can DJ and he had the crowd bouncing.

On the main stage, Tune-Yards’ front woman and tribal leader, Merrill Garbus took the stage- the giant rock show stage now occupied by such a little lady. In front of her was a floor tom, a snare drum and a high hat. You could not see her feet, but that’s where the science of her set happened. Garbus rocks loops in the way that softies wish they could. Everyone responds differently to music as unorthodox as Tune-Yards. My first response was easy- sick grooves. Around me, people had varying reactions. Before Tune-Yards had been a set by rapper OCD. This was quite a bit different. Garbus, immersed within her loops- drum loops and vocal loops, was joined by a bass player and two sax players. You could tell who in the crowd were familiar with Tune-Yards and who weren’t.

“Pretty sick, huh?” The guy next to me said. I responded, saying that it was amazing. Behind me I heard two other people having a similar conversation.

Tune-Yards continued, making indie rock funky. Two years ago, while seeing Vampire Weekend at the Roots Picnic for the first time, I thought they sounded like they were Paul Simon’s nephews. Ms. Garbus sounds like she could be Paul Simon’s oldest daughter. Tune-Yards are just so damn original. They were fun to bob too. Everyone around me started getting into it more. A couple songs in Garbus picked up her ukulele and from behind me I heard, “I was hoping for a ukulele. This is great.”

But apparently people still looked confused.

“Not many of you have seen us before,” Garbus said, a beat dropping behind her as she surveyed the crowd. “Raise your hand if this is the first time you’ve seen us.” A lot of hands went up, causing Garbus and her band to laugh. “I thought so,” she said. “A lot of you had that look on your face- that ‘what’s going on’ look…but in a good way.”

Back in the Magic Bubble there was another DJ set, this time Flosstradamous on the ones and twos, producing the same vibe as before. The Roots were still over two hours away. St. Vincent, a band led by the soft voiced Annie Erin Clark, were up next on the main stage. It didn’t appear to have many folks excited. Everyone was just chill.

During St. Vincent’s set it seemed everyone was in the food line. The poor gal, she tried. But it just wasn’t her crowd. St. Vincent sound like a band of robots. The saving grace for Tune-Yards were the beats- they got people interested. St. Vincent weren’t so lucky, bad luck only compounded when sound problems popped up (foreshadowing.) Clark stood center stage, no music playing and confessed to the audience, “I feel like Rodney Dangerfield, just without the jokes.” I felt bad for her. It was a bummer the food lines were so long, but at least it wasn’t as much of a bummer as standing center stage during sound problems. She handled it well and was relieved when the problems were fixed.

“Thank God that shit is fucking fixed,” she said. Thank God indeed. Now can we do something about the food lines?

Lots of jerseys in the crowd- nearly every basketball player known to mankind was represented. Not only did I see a Sonics’ Ray Allen jersey, but I also saw a Jesus Shuttlesworth jersey. I thought that was weird. Then I saw two different people rocking Barry Bonds’ jerseys. That seemed even weirder. But it was just that kind of day. It was the kind of day to rock a haircut like Kid from Kid ‘n Play or tell us a little bit about yourself based on the kind of socks you are wearing. Token drunk dudes started showing up, a little hitch in their giddy up as they followed their friends around. At just about seven p.m., it was starting to become all about James Murphy, formerly of LCD Soundsystem, and his DJ set in the Magic Bubble. It would get people going, get them excited, get them ready for the Roots. The food lines were still incredibly long- at least pretzels were cheap. Not good, but cheap.

You could tell who the professional was amongst the DJ’s tasked to spin in the Magic Bubble. Murphy’s set simply flowed better than the other DJ’s. It was tighter, had a gloss to it. And yes, his hair looks as crazy in person.

The crowd started getting serious in front of the main stage right around 8pm, as the final touches were made by all the union dudes. Collectively, we would have to ignore the slow jams coming over the PA if we wanted to stay amped and ready for the Legendary Roots Crew. The slow jams continued though. It wasn’t helpful. The whole day up until these few minutes before the Roots had been so mellow. I couldn’t help but think how it’d be different if the Picnic was still only one day long. We would have probably just seen Kid Cudi play and maybe would be waiting for Rakim, who’d be joined by the Roots. The vibe was too much on cruise control. I could see it in people’s faces, even behind their Ray Ban sunglasses- people wanted to get down.

The Roots would no doubt bring the energy, but would the crowd be able to match it?

Questlove and Knuckles were the first ones on the stage; taking their places behind the drum kit and percussion set up. Recently the Roots started playing a go-go version of “Paul Revere” by the Beastie Boys as a tribute to the late MCA. It sounded like it was going to be the opener. Black Thought came out, his white coat looking illuminated. He grabbed the microphone and…


Questlove and Knuckles kept playing. The rest of the band- including a three-piece horn section, came on stage. Black Thought kept on rapping and the crowd heard none of it. No one had a hand in the air with a finger outstretched because they were pointing in the direction where they thought north was. They were trying to get someone’s attention, anyone’s attention. Turn his mic up, people in the crowd yelled. The Roots went into “Proceed” and still no one could hear Black Thought, who was still rapping. It was becoming frustrating. Unbelievable. Was no one aware that this was happening?

Finally a sound tech came from the side of the stage, switched out Black Thought’s microphone and then poof, ladies and gentlemen we have Black Thought. Upon hearing his voice, the crowd cheered wildly. After “Proceed,” Black Thought asked the crowd if it was true, was no one was able to hear him. There was a collective shrug from the Roots and boom, they launched into “Paul Revere” again, as if the first two songs had never happened. It was the coolest thing I saw all day. The Roots played a couple more songs, including “Bustin’ Loose,” a tune by the late Chuck Brown, before they were joined by Wale for “Rising Up.” But big surprise, Wale’s microphone wasn’t working. Bush league.

Wale’s set, eventually improved by the presence of a functioning microphone, was solid, but not something that made me like him more. It seemed to take the energy level back down, which was a shame because in only a handful of songs, the Roots had pumped so much life into the crowd. After Wale’s set, Black Thought announced that they were going to take a few minutes to get the sound right. The mood in the crowd was akin to a rain delay at a baseball game. You could only hope people packed an extra blunt with them.

A few minutes later the Roots re-took the stage for a couple more songs, including a non-Flyers’ centric version of “The Fire,” before introducing De La Soul, who to be completely honest with you- killed it. Man they were fun. Dave, Posdnous and Maseo brought the infectious energy of little kids let loose in the backyard to the stage and the crowd responded. For the first time all day, Festival Pier was full of life- not just people and over-priced beers. Backed by the Roots, De La Soul busted out a slick, tight and spot on career-spanning set. They repeatedly thanked the crowd for being so awesome. It was genuine. There was no fronting or grand-standing.

“We didn’t come here to be cool,” Dave of De La Soul said at one point. “We didn’t come here to be cute. We came here to party.”

And it was a party, complete with a random pop-in, none other than Yasiin Bey (Mos Def,) who rambled out from behind Maseo’s turntables, was given a microphone, and just kind of hung out on stage for the remainder of their set, pitching in when needed. De La Soul never tired. Nineteen songs and their enthusiasm never once wavered. “Potholes in My Lawn,” “Pass the Plugs,” “A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays,” “My Myself and I,” they left no stone unturned and gave them crowd everything they could have asked for. How do you follow something like that?

An impromptu set by Bey backed by the Roots couldn’t hurt. Bey rocked a little freestyle, followed by “Umi Says” and “Double Trouble,” before the Roots closed out the set and day one with “The Next Movement.”

With almost a full moon in the sky and the rain apparently saving itself until day two, the first day of the Roots Picnic was an uneven shindig. No one is ever going to question the Roots ability to kick out the jams, but as I talked a cab driver into giving me a short ride back home, I found myself going back to my original question- why two days? I doubted it going in and I doubted it on the way back home. I doubted it waking up Sunday morning and I doubt it writing this now.

Sometimes more isn’t better. Sometimes more is just more. Just because the only beers available are pounders, doesn’t mean you should drink as many as you normally would and just because you think you can stretch out a festival over two days doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

But it’s like De La Soul said, we only came here to party. So we’ll leave the haggling over details to someone else.

See you next year.

Photos by Tim Blackwell

Roots Picnic Primer: The All-Encompassing Primer

Everything you need to know to be prepared for this year’s Roots Picnic show

For years, Memorial Day weekend was the unofficial kick off for summer. The three day (or for some, four or five day depending on how forgiving your work is) Memorial Day weekend is a starter gun in the form of barbeques, sunburns, too many beers, parades, fireworks and traffic jams that kicks off another hopefully glorious summer. But over the past couple years, another weekend event has started to supplant Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer in the greater Philadelphia area…the Roots Picnic.

Now in its fifth year, the Roots Picnic has created a reputation as an interesting, fun, sweaty and eclectic day of music. Past acts to join Philly’s Legendary Roots Crew are the Black Keys, TV on the Radio, members of the Wu Tang Clan, Vampire Weekend, Nas, Wiz Khalifa, Santigold, Public Enemy and many more. This year’s lineup features De La Soul (backed by the Roots,) Wale, Tune-Yards, James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem,) Rakim, Kid Cudi, Diplo, Major Lazer and more.

For those of you going, here is a primer for this year’s Roots Picnic.

1. Bring a Sleeping Bag. This is the first year that the Picnic is spread out over two days, Saturday and Sunday. In past years, it’s been a marathon of a day that starts in the early afternoon, runs through the dog days of summer and ends sometime before midnight. By the time the Roots hit the stage to close out the show, you’ve dropped 18 pounds from sweating, your feet are killing you and you’ve gladly traded beers for water. Not so this year. Well, not totally so- both days are still as jam packed as one of Questlove’s hard drives. Tickets are available individually for each day or you can pick up a two day pass. Both days are headlined by the Roots. The Saturday highlights are De La Soul, Murphy’s DJ set, Tune-Yards, Wale and St. Vincent. For Sunday, highlights are Kid Cudi, Major Lazer, Rakim (performing his album Paid in Full, backed by the Roots,) Diplo and Philly’s Chill Moody.

2. Eff Off 90 Degrees! Constants for the Roots Picnic: amazing music, amazing hot temperatures. Last time I went to the Picnic in 2010, it was so hot I briefly wondered if stripping down to my birthday suit would truly be a bad idea or not. Up until a week ago, I just figured we would be in for the same thing this year and as a result, I started hydrating and applying sunscreen last week. But wait a second…the forecast for this weekend is…actually pleasant. Mid-seventies baby! There are three awesome things to do on a day when the sun is out and the temperature is in the mid-seventies: go to a Phillies game, sit outside somewhere and drink, go to an outdoor rock show. Looks like this weekend, you can knock out two of those things at once. Which is nice because let’s be honest, this might be a lost season for the Phillies unless you know someone that will hit homeruns for free.

3. DJ Sets = Quality A/C Time. I don’t know who thought of adding an air-conditioned bubble to Festival Pier, but they’re a personal hero of mine. I know I’m not alone in saying that the Bubble has saved my life while attending shows at Festival Pier on multiple occasions. It’s like a beautiful oasis, complete with two bars, excellent people watching and at the Roots Picnic, some great DJ sets. Last year, Black Thought and DJ J. Period performed a live mix tape in the Magical Bubble. You never know what’s going to happen in there- only that it will be refreshingly cool while it’s happening.

4. Who Can’t the Roots Back Up? In past years, our gracious hosts, the Roots, have backed up Public Enemy, members of Wu Tang and Nas. This year, Questlove and the gang are pulling double duty. Saturday night, they back up hip hop legends De La Soul, who earlier this year, released a collaboration with the French DJ duo Chokolate and Khalid called First Serve. And then on Sunday, the Roots back up, Rakim and perform Paid in Full, the debut album from Eric B. and Rakim. For good measure, they might as well bar back in the Bubble, just to stay well-rounded.

5. Let’s Mesmerize Some Lyrics! The hardest part with these multi-artist shows is being properly prepared musically. The Roots Picnic is a lot to study for. I’m going to be honest, I’ve only heard a handful of Wale songs and I’m going to be even more honest with you, I’ve never listened to Paid in Full all the way through. The last thing anyone wants to do is go to a concert and look like a goon. Lucky for us, DJ Low Budget and Okay Player have us covered. Last week they released the official 2012 Roots Picnic Mixtape– a sprawling, comprehensive and incredibly helpful compilation featuring mashed up jams of nearly all of the artists appearing at this year’s concert. It’s perfect for these few days before the show and while listening to it is not a guarantee you won’t be that guy or gal at this year’s show, bothering your friends for song titles, it definitely makes that less likely to happen. You can check out the mixtape here.

Other than that, you’re on your own. If you’re going, have fun, tell Questlove I said hi and don’t forget to hydrate.

For more information and ticket info on the 2012 Roots Picnic, visit Okayplayer.


The Philly Big Time Summer Concert Preview

Your guide to the big concerts coming to the area this summer.  Photos by Liz DeMartino.

I remember the first big summer concert I went to was the H.O R.D.E. Festival in Old Orchard Beach, Maine in August of 2006. We went after soccer practice. The lineup was Blues Traveler, Rusted Root, Lenny Kravitz, Son Volt and more. The show was at an unused minor league baseball team’s stadium and the main stage was in center field; the side stage along the first base line. The parking lot scene was a madhouse, traffic was terrible leaving and I ended up getting in trouble because I got home so late.

It was a damn good time.

The summer concert is always a damn good time. It’s one of the few things I’ve learned on my own in my life- summer concerts are awesome, mental health days are a necessity and four beers are currently enough to give me a hangover the next morning.

The precursor to the summer concert season is the research that comes with it. You need to see what’s out there, when it’s happening, who’d be down to roll with you and unless you know someone who knows someone, find out how you’re going to afford it. The downside of summer concerts are the price. It can get expensive quicker than owning a boat or constantly gambling on the Eagles. I don’t know if you’ve heard- but the economy is still in the tank (depending on who you talk too.) So this summer, you need to spend your money wisely.

In putting together the Philly Big Time Summer Concert Preview, I wanted to take price into consideration. Each show previewed will be accompanied one of the following labels:

Tax Return Money: Tax return money is for special occasions because even though it totally isn’t, itfeels like free money. So you want to use your tax return money for a show that is exceptionally awesome.

Birthday Card Money: You usually know birthday card money is coming, but that doesn’t make it any less helpful. It is money that gets added to your regular budget. You use birthday card money to help get you over the hump. So if it’s for a show, it’s a show you want to go to, but just can’t afford to, until you get that birthday money. Then it’s all systems go.

Finding Money in Your Pocket Money: Totally unexpected! You find a twenty in a pair of jeans, you have to spend on something good…like maybe that show you had written off because the money or interest wasn’t quite there. Well boom, you get some free money and giddy up, you’re going.

No Brainer Money: This is for a show that you’re going to without a question. Tickets go on sale, boom you buy it.

The Hook Up Money: Yeah, you want to go to a particular show, but you really just don’t want to have to pay for it. Do you know someone who might know someone who could talk to someone? It’s always worth a shot, especially if it works out.

Here’s some big summer concerts coming up this summer that would be worth checking out:

The Roots Picnic
When: June 2-3
Where: Festival Pier in Philly
Who: The Roots, Kid Cudi, De La Soul (backed by the Roots,) Tune-yards, Wale, Major Lazer, Diplo, Chill Moody and more
Fun Fact: This is the first year the picnic is spread out over two days. Up until this year, the picnic had been a jam-packed afternoon into evening that was a marathon to get through. Now it’s broken up a bit and I bet that will be helpful. No word on what each day’s lineup will be, but you’d have to think the Roots will at least be there both nights. If Twitter has shown us anything, it’s that Questlove doesn’t really take many nights off.
Survival Tip: There are two universal truths about the Roots Picnic. The first is that the music will be awesome. The second is that it will be unbelievably hot. It just will be. It might be sixty degrees on June 1, but it will be at least ninety on both the 2nd and the 3rd. Drink water. Double fist your way through the day and never let water out of your hand. It’ll make both the shows and the day after that much better.
Financially Speaking: No brainer money

WXPN’s Xponential Festival
When: July 20-22
Where: Wiggins Park and the Susquehanna Bank Center in sunny Camden
Who: Wilco, Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog, Counting Crows, the Hold Steady, War on Drugs, Work Drugs, Mike Doughty, City Rain and more.
Fun Fact: Much like the Roots Picnic, the Xponential Festival is stretching out a bit, both in the length of the festival and number of locations. The regular location in Wiggins Park on the mighty Delaware River will be the main venue, where you catch Philly’s War on Drugs and City Rain. But the Wilco, Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog show and the Counting Crows’ show will be next door at Susquehanna Bank Center.
Survival Tip: I mean, it’s Camden– should be pretty straight forward.
Financially Speaking: Birthday Card Money

When: May 18-20
Where: Asbury Park, NJ
Who: Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Incubus, Bon Jovi, Gaslight Anthem, Bouncing Souls, Mac Miller and many more.
Fun Fact: This is the tenth anniversary of Bamboozle, a launching pad for shitloads of up and coming bands. This year’s festival features over 50 bands on the revitalized Asbury Park boardwalk, including bands with wildly inventive names like My Children My Bride, The Dear Hunter and Spacehog. Dude, there was already a band called Spacehog and…oh wait, it’s the same Spacehog. Oh. I guess that’s cool.
Survival Tip: Only so many people in Asbury are going to be cool with you asking them if they know Bruce Springsteen, so think carefully before asking someone if they do.
Financially Speaking: Hook up money

Reggae in the Park
When: June 10th
Where: The Mann Center in Philly
Who: So far it’s officially Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond and “more artists to be announced,” but Cliff and Hammond would be enough for me.
Fun Fact: Come on, it’s a reggae festival right at the start of summer. Scientific studies have shown that these kinds of shows can’t be a bad time. And have you been to the Mann Center? It’s beautiful; the perfect venue for spending a summer evening at a concert.
Survival Tip: Despite what your buddy might tell you, it’s not legal to smoke weed openly at a reggae festival.
Financially Speaking: Finding Money in Your Pocket Money

When: June 13th
Where: Susquehanna Bank Center
Who: Radiohead, with openers Caribou.
Fun Fact: I’ve never met a single person who has seen Radiohead live and hasn’t declared it one of the best shows they’ve ever seen.
Survival Tip: Trying to dance like Thom Yorke is an easy way to pull a muscle if you don’t stretch properly.
Financially Speaking: Tax Return Money

My Morning Jacket with Band of Horses
When: August 17th
Where: The Mann Center
Who: My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses
Fun Fact: I saw My Morning Jacket last summer for the first time and I came away from that show convinced I had seen the truth. I saw what big rock ‘n roll was meant to be, what it was meant to sound like and what it was meant to look like. It was an amazing show and a fantastical night. And that doesn’t even factor into account that there was an earthquake that day.
Survival Tip: Got lawn seats? Sweet. Don’t forget a blanket. Oh, and you probably want to plan on not standing at all. It’s just not that kind of scene out there- unless of course you’re cool with people staring daggers at you.
Financially Speaking: It’s a tie between No Brainer Money and Tax Return Money. Either way, I’m going.

Orion Music + More
When: June 23-24
Where: Bader Field in Atlantic City
Who: Metallica, Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys, Gaslight Anthem, Best Coast, Titus Andronicus, Gary Clark Jr and more.
Fun Fact: For those of you out there who have never been able to decide which Metallica album you like better- Ride the Lighting or the Black Album, this festival is for you. Metallica will be playing one album one night and the other the next night; both in their entirety. This is awesome news unless you believe Metallica died with Cliff Burton. In that case…well, Modest Mouse is always a good time.
Survival Tip: Avoid eye contact with the guy stumbling around, chugging whiskey and yelling “James Hetfield for President.”
Financially Speaking: Hook Up Money

Here are five shows I’m not going to lie to you about…

1.) I’m not going to lie, I bet Coldplay put on a pretty good show along the same lines that theAvengers is probably a pretty good movie. Both are big, loud and full of bright lights. You can’t really go wrong with that.
– Coldplay plays two shows at the Wells Fargo Center July 5th and 6th.

2.) I’m not going to lie, if you were to give me tickets to 311’s annual summer show at Festival Pier, I’d totally go and would totally have an awesome time. 311 shows are like Yuengling- good, reliable and you know exactly what you’re going to get.
– 311 play Festival Pier in Philly on July 27th with Slightly Stoopid and SOJA.

3.) I’m not going to lie, there’s part of me that wants to see Nicki Minaj live because I think it could be a lot of fun. There is also a part of me that thinks it could be terrible. Mainly there is just a part of me that has a crush on Minaj and another part of me that can’t get her songs out of my head.
– Nicki Minaj plays the Wired 96.5 Fest at Susquehanna Bank Center on July 1st with T-Pain, B.O.B. and more.

4.) I’m not going to lie, I would be more inclined to go down to Delaware and the Firefly festival and check out Jack White if I knew which Jack White was going to be there. On Saturday Night Live and backed by an all-female band, I wasn’t a fan. But then when he was on the Colbert Report and had a totally different band, I loved it. That band rocked. I would go see that band in a second. But you just never know with White and as a result, I probably won’t be going to Firefly even if it’s in Delaware. I’m a sucker for tax free shopping.
– Jack White, along with the Black Keys, the Killers, the Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, Philly’s Chiddy Bang and more play the first Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware July 20th-22nd.

5.) I’m not going to lie, I’m endlessly curious about Childish Gambino, even though I’ve never listened to one of his songs the whole way through. I’d go see him live, but I’d be worried I’d just be waiting for him to do comedy bits from Community.
– Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) plays the River Stage at Great Plaza in Philly on June 22nd.

Stay tuned for previews of club shows and free shows coming to the area this summer.

And remember, that when it comes to summer concerts, water and comfortable shoes are your best friends.

See you out there.

photos by Liz DeMartino and Ryan O’Connell