When I heard Dave Grohl fell off the stage in Sweden last month and broke his leg, I had two thoughts—I hope he plays the rest of the Foo Fighters tour on a replica of the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, and I really hope they don’t cancel their Philly dates.
Sébastien Le Toux after a missed goal earlier this year. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty
The funeral begins at parking lot C, marching slowly past the team’s corporate offices and into the plaza, where kids kick soccer balls on a grassy expanse and folks line up for fast-food giveaways. It’s a gorgeous spring evening in Chester, at the city’s biggest attraction — PPL Park, the waterfront coliseum that’s home to Philadelphia’s pro soccer team, the Union. The stadium is also the rallying point for the most dedicated fan base in town, the Sons of Ben. Before tonight’s match against rival D.C. United, they’re marching in unison to protest the team’s front office. Loudly. “We’ve had enough!” they chant while carrying a massive banner that reads UNION FANS DESERVE BETTER. They’re also carrying a coffin for the team’s CEO, whose photograph is labeled “Serial Franchise Killer.” Read more »
Archbishop Ryan and LaSalle alum Bill Ricchini has earned praise from Rolling Stone to NPR’s World Café to Vogue for his brand of wistful, thoughtful pop. With this week’s release of Himalaya, his second record under the moniker Summer Fiction, Ricchini says his material is “more fully realized and ballsier, not afraid to be eccentric.” We caught up in advance of his record-release show this Saturday at Boot & Saddle to discuss the new tracks, recording in England and stalking Morrissey.
Last night was my first TaylorSwift concert, and I learned a Taylor Swift concert is many things. There are costume changes—10 by my count, over the course of two and a half hours—and each one will involve sequins or rhinestones or fringe, perhaps leather or thigh-high boots, and almost always an exposed midriff (though never, ever navel). There are Fitbit-like wristbands for each concertgoer that flash and flicker, creating a mesmerizing light show across the crowd. There are surprises, and for anyone attending tonight’s second sold-out show, beware of potential spoilers ahead. There is excessive pandering to the hometown, though most of the assembled will consider it bonding, and weirdly, I sort of did, too. And you will become a part of a 50,000-strong group therapy session. There is also music.
From left to right, Halestorm members: Arejay Hale, Josh Smith, Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger.
Halestorm has performed drunk exactly once. As frontwoman LzzyHale tells it, the show was in 2005, at what was then called WhiskeyDix, next door to the Electric Factory. The rockers from RedLion had just signed a deal with Atlantic Records, and one celebratory shot led to five. The end of their set faded into a blur. “Our bass player’s dad said, ‘You know that rule you have about not drinking before a show? You might want to stick to that,’” Hale recalls.
Tomorrow night marks the premiere of Showtime’s Iverson, a 90-minute documentary that traces Allen Iverson’s life from his childhood in the mean streets of Newport News to the day the Sixers lifted his #3 jersey to the rafters, through archival footage and a new one-on-one interview. Considering the project is executive produced by Gary Moore, Iverson’s longtime advisor and father figure, it’s also a more balanced view of his career and personal struggles than one might expect. For those who experienced the AI era as Sixers fans, following every game—along with all the controversies—much of the film plays more like a nostalgia trip than a revelation. But even die-hard fans of the Answer will find a few surprises. (And that time he crossed up Jordan!) Read more »
How a lot of people feel about Comcast, left, and the man the company has put in charge of fixing it, head of user experience Charlie Herrin. Photographs by Clint Blowers (left) and Eric Prine
It sounds like the title of a ’70s action flick starring Pam Grier, set to an Isaac Hayes soundtrack: Asshole Brown and SuperBitch. As it turns out, these are real people. One is a husband fallen on hard financial times; the other is a 63-year-old woman. Neither is related to Whore Julia, or to Dummy. But all four have one thing in common — they’re customers whose names were changed on their Comcast cable accounts, by Comcast employees. Read more »
The former Phillie at home in South Jersey. Photograph by Dom Savini
Mitch Williams was, until recently, known for two things — throwing a baseball and talking baseball. He’s doing the latter here in a cramped studio in Collingswood, New Jersey. It’s home to Wildfire Radio, an online station that’s hoping to attract attention with Unleashed, a baseball chat show hosted by former Phillies reliever Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams. On a cold night in January, Mitch is flanked by two co-hosts and a special guest — his son, Declan. “I want people at home to know the depth of the knowledge of kids that are watching our game today,” Mitch explains, in case listeners are wondering why his 10-year-old is sitting in tonight. “It’s amazing. He amazes me on a daily basis.” Read more »
Scenes from recent Wing Bowls. Photos (clockwise from top left): Sportsradio 94WIP; Alejandro A. Alvarez/Daily News; Associated Press
Early one Friday morning last January, I was surrounded by roughly 20,000 screaming fans, an army of half-naked women, and an effigy of Ruben Amaro. High above on the scoreboard video screen, a clip played on repeat. The image: a guy projectile vomiting. On the same floor where Allen Iverson once thrilled, where the Flyers nearly won their third Stanley Cup just five years ago, a bunch of dudes (and one very intimidating woman) were shoving chicken wings down their pie-holes as fast as they could. The crowd cheered, mostly in hopeful anticipation of someone puking.