Adam Lambert a Worthy Stand-In at Queen Concert in Philadelphia

photo (65)

On Wednesday night, Queen stopped at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for a fast-paced 23-song set with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert at the mic.

More than a few people that I spoke with in the days and weeks before the show were, to put it nicely, a bit skeptical of Lambert being the man tapped to sing the songs that Freddie Mercury made famous. But none of the 19,500 people at the Wells Fargo Center for the sold out show seemed to mind. Lambert is a gifted vocalist and flamboyant frontman who sang the songs competently while adding his own dramatic flair. Read more »

Diana Ross Served Extravagant Costume and Perfect Voice at the Mann Center Last Night

Screen shot 2014-06-26 at 10.50.03 AMIs there a more exhilarating sound to a concert-goer’s ears than Diana Ross wailing the opening notes to her signature hit “I’m Coming Out” from somewhere far off-stage? The 1980 hit and unofficial gay anthem has been a staple at Ross’s concerts since its debut, most frequently serving as her opener as she races through the audience, futzing with her always-gargantuan wrap, and singing. It’s a gambit that perfectly encapsulates the legendary performer’s appeal—it is both extravagant and intimate, the gesture of a true diva who still wants to be close to her fans.

Ross, who returned to Philadelphia last night after a 10-year absence, has not changed her M.O. The signature horn blasts of “I’m Coming Out” and Ross’s reedy voice shot out across the twilight before she’d set foot on the stage of the Mann Center. As part of the “In The Name of Love Tour,” the 70-minute Wednesday night concert was a reliable trip down memory lane, revisiting a surfeit of the former Supreme’s hits from the ’60s and ’70s. Indeed, the 34-year-old show opener was the most current of Ross’ hits to be performed.

Read more »

Review: Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, and Lots of Weed at the Mann Music Center

willie-nelson-mann-center

There is likely nowhere in Philadelphia better suited to host Willie Nelson than the Mann Center — if not because nothing says summer like sitting on a blanket under the stars listening to “On the Road Again,” then because the smell of weed just doesn’t waft so discreetly in, say, the Academy of Music as it does from the Mann’s, er, grass seating.

Read more »

It Happened Last Night: Cher, Cyndi, and Madame Patti LaBelle in Philadelphia

On Monday night, Cher brought her “Dressed to Kill” tour to Philadelphia with special (and I do mean special) guest Cyndi Lauper. Naturally, Philadelphia soul legend Patti LaBelle sat in the seat next to me, adding another level of fun to an already fun evening. Here, ten observations from the most entertaining Monday night I’ve seen in a while. Read more »

Was Fiona Apple “Horrendous” In Philadelphia Performance?

fiona

On Saturday night, Fiona Apple and her longtime collaborator Blake Mills brought their much-anticipated Anything We Want tour to Philadelphia’s Merriam Theatre. This was not a show for fair-weather Fiona fans who wanted to hear her “greatest hits”, as she didn’t touch material like “Criminal”, “Extraordinary Machine”, or her 2012 song “Hot Knife”, the latter made popular by this mesmerizing video released earlier this year:

Read more »