Trisha Yearwood, then-Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and Garth Brooks pose before six shows at the building then known as the CoreStates Center in September 1998 | Photo: Chris Gardner/Associated Press
Garth Brooks is coming back to Philadelphia, and people want you to know about it.
Brooks was a megastar. Only The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States. When he last played solo shows in Philadelphia, in 1998, he attracted 115,212 fans to six shows at the CoreStates Center and made $2,509,672. His foray into rock music failed, but dude was still a rock star.
Brooks basically retired after his success in the 1990s, playing only occasionally and selling albums exclusively at Walmart. He played 186 shows at a residency in Vegas over four years, then began his first tour in nearly 20 years in 2014. It’s finally hitting Philadelphia this March, with four shows at the Wells Fargo Center (and two in one day!). Most tickets are the same price ($74.98), which is a pretty cool gimmick. Since it’s 2017, there are also $3,500 VIP packages.
And Comcast Spectacor is really pushing it. I’ve gotten four press releases about it from the WFC. A 40×40 banner was unveiled on the side of the building this morning. There was a promotional blitz for ticket sales for the fourth show, which was added this week and went on sale at 10 this morning. Comcast even tried to get a social campaign going: “Comcast Spectacor encourages all fans to help welcome the iconic country music star to Philadelphia and ‘get their Garth on’ by posting pictures to social media with a cowboy hat and the #GARTHinPhilly.” Read more »
Tegan and Sara. Photo by Pamela Littky
Lera Lynn @ World Café Live | Tuesday, November 1
You’ve heard Nashville singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lera Lynn on the True Detective soundtrack. Now hear her live upstairs at World Café Live playing from her new album, Resistor. Anthony Aparo opens.
Tegan and Sara @ Fillmore Philadelphia | Thursday, November 3
Twin sisters Tegan and Sara are on tour for their eighth album, Love You to Death. The Canadian indie pop duo also have some thoughts about Trump and the election.
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 @ Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center | November 3-5
Louis Langrée, music director of the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the Cincinnati Symphony, leads the Philadelphia Orchestra in Brahms’ Second Symphony. But first, guest violinist Midori performs Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.
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Katy Perry performs at the Wells Fargo Center at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Katy Perry will hold a free concert in Philadelphia a few days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced this morning.
Perry, a pop-rock superstar with nine number-one singles in the U.S. and more than 100 million records sold worldwide, will perform at a yet-to-be-determined location in Philadelphia on November 5th, the Saturday before the election. The Clinton campaign has not yet announced how tickets will be distributed, but they’ll be free. Read more »
Musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra are holding free pop-up concerts across the city today after they called a strike before last Friday’s traditional Opening Night Gala. Read more »
Guster’s Ryan Miller sings at the post-Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon concert in Philadelphia on Sunday morning. | Photo: Bruce Buckley
“Do you see a space blanket on me?” Guster’s Ryan Miller says to the crowd assembled in front of the stage on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. “Then, obviously, I did not run the marathon.”
A lot of people had, though. Guster, a melodic alt-rock band from Boston that first broke in the late ’90s, played a concert after the Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia. The race, once called the Philadelphia Distance Run, had about 12,000 participants finish the 13.1-mile course in August-like hot-and-muggy weather. (In response to a question about how many people went to the hospital after the race, organizers said “nothing beyond what we were prepared for.”)
The early-morning (10:30 a.m.), post-race concert was a first for Guster. Frontman Miller said he literally had no idea how the band got the gig. At this point, with his band being a quarter-century old, he didn’t even really prep.
“I honestly woke up at 9:30,” he told Philadelphia magazine in between bites of breakfast fettuccini alfredo in a backstage tent after the show. “I was like, ‘Oh shit. We’re going to play in an hour. I should drink coffee or something.’
“For me, you either spend six hours really not talking to people and chilling out and preparing for the show. And the other way is living your life as full as your normally would and step on stage and say, ‘Oh, we’re here.’ There’s no real prep at this point.” Read more »
Photo | Dan McQuade
Bruce Springsteen opened last night’s show with “New York City Serenade,” a track from 1973’s The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. By the time he ended with “Bobby Jean,” from 1984’s Born in the USA, he’d played for more than four hours. The four-hour, four-minute show at Citizens Bank Park was Springsteen’s longest ever in North America — the fourth time on the current tour he’s broken his personal record for longest U.S. show. Springsteen is, may we remind you, 66.
Springsteen’s all-time longest show was in 2012, in Helsinki, Finland. (Also, last night may have been just 4:03:46.) Whatever the exact length, last night’s Springsteen show was the longest show below 60°N latitude. Neat. Read more »
The 9th Annual Roots will be at the Festival Pier this weekend.
Bloc Party @ The Filmore | Wednesday, June 1st
After a three-year hiatus and instrumentalist changeovers, the British indie-rock band returns with a new record, Hymns. Intermixing techno with a primarily punk style, the album attempts to salvage society’s lack of spirituality with synthpop pulses. Read more »
Last month, an event blew up on Facebook: Supposedly, Limp Bizkit was holding a free concert at the Sunoco on Wayne Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, on April 20th. More than 9,000 people RSVPed on Facebook for the event, leading the Dayton Police Department to tweet that such a concert was not happening.
It was all a joke — one people extended by actually showing up at that gas station on 4/20.
Since then, it’s become an Internet trend to make fake Facebook invites for random bands to play random chain stores. For example: Gin Blossoms LIVE at Applebee’s of Port Richmond, scheduled for June 5th. (There’s an acoustic set opener by Ed & Dean from Collective Soul.)
With that in mind, peep this news: Scott Stapp, lead singer of the band Creed, will be playing SugarHouse Casino on July 9th. This, my friends, is not a hoax. Scott Stapp is playing the Fishtown casino. Read more »
Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., February, 18, 1985.
“Nobody knew if the Artist was going to come. And no one knew if he was going to perform,” Lisa Acchione of Egypt nightclub told MTV in 1997. She had been given barely a week’s notice that the Artist Formerly Known As Prince was planning to show up at Egypt for an afterparty on July 26th, following his Jam of the Year concert at the CoreStates Center. The catch was the elusive musician wasn’t known for making concrete plans.
But Prince did appear, well after midnight, to play covers of James Brown and the Isley Brothers for 2,000 people packed into the club.
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Members of Choral Arts Philadelphia.
Sometimes you’re looking for a little culture, but just a little. Let’s face it, a three-hour concert can seem like a daunting commitment compared to a lazy Netflix binge. For the last few years, Choral Arts Philadelphia has been stacking the deck in their favor with the monthly Bach@7 concert series which features world-renowned talent at a great price that will get you home at a reasonable hour.
Organizers aim to keep all of these Wednesday night shows to an hour or less. That doesn’t mean that the music isn’t top quality: In fact, this spring they’ll be presenting a world premiere from Philadelphia-based composer Andrew Lipke based on his 2011 album The Plague.
It’s why the ensemble has called their spring series Something Old, Something New. The program will feature works by Bach, along with numbers by modern composers such as Mark Rimple, Ross Edwards, Philip Moore, Jonathan Dove, and more. Each concert is pay-what-you-wish (a minimum donation of $20 is suggested), and there are beverages and refreshments after each performance, plus a chance to mingle with the artists. Read more »