PHOTOS: Cosmicide and Interpol Play for the Neon-Hazed Masses at Penn’s Landing

After using Ortlieb’s as the launchpad to debut his new project earlier this year, Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines, Captain Audio) directed the course of his intergalactic electronica outfit Cosmicide back to Philly, touching down on Penn’s Landing during Saturday’s sunset. Coming off the release of their first video for the simultaneously sprawling and driving “A New Disaster” earlier in July, the band proved eager and prepared to showcase their new-wave flavored, melancholy synth-pop.

Curtis’ new band, comprising members of Brooklyn synth-psych group Lip Talk, manage to echo back to the textured dream pop of the Secret Machines as much as it marks a new step into more electronic, loop and sample-oriented waters.

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7 Shows to See in Philly This Week

Lettuce and Umphrey’s McGee Bring Spectacular Light Show and Jams to the Waterfront

Photo by Stephen Olker

Photo by Stephen Olker

Lettuce, the band, isn’t wilting in the face of the sun currently blazing in their eyes as they range through their funk-space tune “Doubleheader.” An early show time of 5:45pm and a truly swampy night welcomed Lettuce, Umphrey’s McGee and their eager fans to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

Lettuce’s core have been playing together since their Berklee College of Music days, and it shows. This is a precision funk band. 100% tight, turn on a dime, popping with sax and trumpet, dialed in and connected. Eric Krasno has real soul in his guitar tone; he is never boring to listen to, either in this outfit or brother-band Soulive, which also features Lettuce’s Neal Evans on keys.

Bassist E.D. Coomes bounced like a Gummi Bear despite the increasingly soupy ambience, but too soon Lettuce left us to absorb the humidity and abundant aromas of the stepped Great Plaza to await the second set of the afternoon.

Umphrey’s McGee hit the River Stage at 7:36pm, opening with their stalwart jam vehicle “Bridgeless.” Debuted in 2004, this is a key composition in the canon – basically a 101 course in the signature Umphrey’s sound: ultra-dorky, all-the-notes prog-rock buzzed up with heavy metal and funk breakdowns. On second thought, that describes nearly every Umphrey’s song. They are nothing if not consistent.

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Down By the River: See Umphrey’s McGee and Lettuce at Penn’s Landing Saturday

Photo by Stephen Olker

Umphrey’s McGee show | Photo by Stephen Olker

This Saturday, July 18, prog-rock sextet Umphrey’s McGee will co-headline with funk combo Lettuce at the River Stage at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

Lettuce, a sextet that will be performing with singer Alecia Chakour on this tour, formed at the Berklee School of Music over 20 years ago. Though they make music in the tradition of classic funk, Lettuce isn’t a nostalgia trip. Drummer and primary songwriter Adam Deitch says of the band, “We aim to smash those limits [of funk] by drawing on a range of styles that can be traced from the early ’60s through the early ’80s, incorporating plenty of modern hip-hop sensibilities — heavy bass, kick and snare — along the way.” 

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GIVEAWAY: Win Tickets to See Shania Twain at Wells Fargo Center


For the first time in 11 years—and after a two-year stint at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas—country queen Shania Twain is on the road again on a national tour that kicked off in Seattle earlier this month. This spring, the 49-year-old singer announced that the tour, titled “Rock This Country,” will be the last time she goes out on the road, but not the last you’ll hear from her. She’s planning to release her fifth studio album, which she plans to release sometime in the next year.

The “Rock This Country” show is a high-energy retrospective of her career, spanning four albums and all the hits that made her country’s best-selling female artist. We’re talking “Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under,” “Any Man of Mine,” “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” and more.

She’ll make her way to Philadelphia on July 22nd, when she’ll play the Wells Fargo Center with opener Gavin Degraw. You can snag tickets here, but you may want to wait a week. We have two pairs to giveaway to local country fans in a contest that we’re running from today till next Friday, June 26th.

To win is simple, and familiar if you’ve taken part in our giveaways before: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter in the box below. Next Friday, I’ll pick two of those names at random and you’ll be on your way to the Wells Fargo Center to rock this country with Shania. Good luck!

Bette Midler Returns to Philly in Dynamite Performance at Wells Fargo Center

Bette Midler at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. | Photo by Lisa DiStefano.

Bette Midler at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. | Photo courtesy of Lisa DiStefano

“I’m like vodka,” Bette Midler quipped to the nearly sold-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center last night. “I’m colorless, odorless and tasteless!” Everyone roared.

Actually, the 69-year-old diva struggled a bit with the line. Calm down; I’m not reading her. Initially she flubbed the joke, abandoned it, then remembered it and finally charged through with gusto. That’s not a read. If you’ve ever seen me on stage, you’ve been treated to the slow-motion train-wreck that is me instantaneously forgetting 90 percent of everything I’ve ever known. I only mention it because that moment—one that the consummate performer breezed over with aplomb—encapsulates so much of the Divine Miss M’s appeal: underneath her crackerjack timing, her arsenal of hoary jokes, and her distinctively dazzling voice, she’s always straddled the two sides of vulnerability as a performer, evincing resilience and fragility at once. Now, after over 45 years of carrying on, she’s not afraid to acknowledge the passage of time, be it in a ribald set about aging or by momentarily forgetting a line.

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10 Best Things I Saw and Heard at the Taylor Swift Show

Unless you spent your weekend under a rock or have some weird disease where your brain shuts down when listening to pop music like my boyfriend’s does, then you know Taylor Swift came to Philadelphia on her 1989 World Tour this weekend. Arguably one of the most successful and beloved musicians of our time, Swift blessed the Lincoln Financial Field yet again with her presence. Love her or hate her, the woman puts on one hell of a show. Here is a list of 10 great moments I witnessed at Friday’s concert as seen through the eyes of this devoted fan:

pic4The Dad Representation

I have to say, the dads were representing at Taylor mad hard, which is always great to see. The true dad MVP would have to be Philadelphian Eric Kishbaugh, who accompanied his wife and daughter to the concert but had to sit by himself the whole night (the trio got three tickets, but only two of them were seated together). When I caught up with Kishbaugh, he was alone and holding this “Taylor Swift for President Sign.” Dad of the year award—and please buy this man a beer the next time you see him.

The Bracelets

I was hesitant when we handed over our tickets at the gate and attendants handed each of us a “a special gift” from Taylor. The bracelet that we received resembled a GPS tracking device, but I would trust Tay with my life, so I slapped it on. Once Taylor started performing, the bracelets lit up in unison across the stadium, creating a neon light show that was synched to the concert. But like, I wouldn’t be surprised if the bracelets were also hypnotizing devices used as part of Taylor’s plan to assemble the largest army of small girls that the world has ever known.

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Awesome Fan Photos from the Taylor Swift Concert in Philadelphia

Photographer Jeff Fusco was at the Taylor Swift concert at Lincoln Financial Field on Friday night, where he not only snapped Swift’s performance but a ton of great fan shots, as well. In his review of the show Philly Mag’s Rich Rys noted that: “The crowd was what you’d expect–overwhelmingly female, ranging from toddlers to pre-teens to college kids and moms dressed like their daughters, in short-shorts and sundresses. And from that first song to the inevitable finale, “Shake It Off,” Swift had them all hooked.”

And hooked they were. Fans brought out the body paint, signs and neon galore to cheer on the Wyomissing native. Check out Fusco’s fan photos below, and see his shots of Swift along with our review here.

How to Get Free Tickets to the Barry Manilow Concert at Wells Fargo Center



Legendary crooner Barry Manilow can’t smile without your donations. The singer-songwriter kicked off an instrument drive in town this week by donating his Yamaha keyboard to the School District of Philadelphia. His fans are encouraged to follow suit by trading in new or gently used musical instruments in exchange for free tickets to his concert at the Wells Fargo Center this Saturday.

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