PHOTOS: Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden Last Night at Susquehanna Bank Center

Releasing seminal, multi-platinum albums on the same exact day might have been grounds for something of a rivalry in 1994, but in 2014 Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden seem to have that hatchet pretty well buried.

Maybe the 20-year mark coupled with the ubiquitous ’90s pop-appeal rendered this grudge a little expensive to maintain; maybe Trent Reznor is just getting too old to stay pissed at anything with a pulse.

Whatever the reason, the two ’90s alt-rock titans kicked off on a joint tour in celebration of both The Downward Spiral and Superunknown’s 20th anniversary, hitting the Susquehanna Bank Center last night.



Soundgarden was up first, coming out swinging with their famed acid-metal brand of grunge. Kim Thayil’s cosmically schizophrenic technique and Chris Cornell’s seemingly rangeless (and ageless) vocals set the tone and demanded attention, as the band launched into 1991’s blistering “Searching with my Good Eye Closed” followed by Superunknown smash-single “Spoonman.”

Read more »

PHOTOS: XPoNential Music Festival 2014

Philly music fans packed into Wiggins Park and, later that night, the Susquehanna Bank Center, for XPoNential Festival‘s Saturday lineup. We caught performances by longtime XPN favorite Ingrid Michaelson, Bayou blues rockers C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, and Ryan Adams, among others.



The festivities continued Sunday with performances by Nicole Atkins, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, and Man Man at Wiggins Park. Later, the Susquehanna Bank Center filled up for local band The Districts, and Beck, who could be XPoNential Festival‘s best closing act to date.



PHOTOS: Pizza Underground at The Oval

“Do you guys like pizza? Do you like punny songs about pizza? Good! Because that’s all we got.”

So began Velvet Underground cover band The Pizza Underground’s show at Eakins Oval on Friday. They were there to headline before The Awesome Fest’s screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.



Read more »

PHOTOS: Photographic Review of Governors Ball 2014

We sent writers/photographers/brothers Christopher Sarkis Graham and Bryan Armen Graham to Randall’s Island in New York to check out this weekend’s three-day  Governors Ball 2014. Here’s their photographic recap of the day, which kicked off with Philly’s own Kurt Vile:



PHOTOS: The Both at Union Transfer

While The Both’s Friday night show at Union Transfer may have been in promotion its eponymous debut LP, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo made it clear the band is already pretty familiar with Philly, considering the video for their single “Milwaukee” was shot here.



The night proved one part super-group show, and one part close friends shooting the shit. They casually delivered pristine folk-pop duets between banter bouts of Paul Stanley impressions, Henry Winkler bronze statue anecdotes, and corroborations of Leo’s J.R.R. Tolkein expertise.

Read more »

CONCERT REVIEW: Arcade Fire at Wells Fargo Center

arcade fire banner

Photo by Eric Tsurumoto.

One might assume a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day would hinder a band’s drawing power in a city as infamously Irish as Philly. But for Arcade Fire last night, all it really did was throw a emerald hue over a crowd of thousands — many of whom showed up honoring the band’s “formal & costume” dress code in some obnoxious green get-up or another.

At 8:45 p.m. sharp, the band emerged on a small, dimly lit stage toward the center of the arena, plodding through an abbreviated “My Body Is A Cage” before sprinting to the main stage of shimmering lights and mirrors for the proper opener, “Reflektor.”

While the night considerably favored tracks from their latest record, the band hardly shied away from old favorites like “Neighborhood #1,” “No Cars Go,” and the beloved finale, “Wake Up.”



Elaborate costumes, coruscating rotating backdrops and the group’s visceral delivery were more than enough to make up for frontman Win Butler’s occasional fumbling through his own lyrics — (“Ready To Start” started, ironically, with the wrong verse, but a sheepish grin on Butler’s part was all it took to render the flub endearing.)

Read more »

PHOTOS: Lumineers and Dr. Dog at the 2013 XPoNential Music Festival

Saturday might’ve been the banner day for WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival, with its healthy mix of mainstream acts, up-and-coming talent, seasoned legends and hometown heroes. (Although the Friday night/Saturday morning XPoNential after-party with Gogol Bordello was pretty epic, too. Photos here.)

Dr. John and Trampled by Turtles proved to be among the highlights of the daytime sets at Wiggins park. The veteran Dr. John’s jangly bayou big band and crusty Cajun growl were a nice complement to TbT’s updated alt rock- and paisley-inspired bluegrass.

As the sun began to set, attendees made their way to the adjacent Susquehanna Bank Center in time for Philly’s own Dr. Dog. “Most of you — well, probably all of you — are here for The Lumineers,” bassist-vocalist Toby Leaman acknowledged shortly after taking the stage. But the humble admission did not detract from the band’s air-tight, energetic live performance, for which they’ve garnered plenty of deserved praise over the years.

Read more »