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 »
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Pearl Jam‘s Ten, which was recorded in the spring, released in late August and eventually sold 13 million copies. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Pearl Jam is still together and releasing albums. And they’re still selling out large arenas.
The band announced its 2016 tour today, and it will hit Philadelphia for two dates at the Wells Fargo Center: April 28th and 29th. The band last played the WFC for two shows in 2013; Pearl Jam was also in Philly the year before when it was the second-night headliner at the inaugural Made in America Festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Read more »
Pink Martini plays Scottish Rite Auditorium on March 10.
Memories of champagne-soaked New Year’s celebrations are already fading fast: It’s time to start planning your next moves. You can start here, with our list of the 38 concerts that promise to be so good you’ll be happy to brave the cold, dark night for some great music.
January | February | March | April | May
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Living legends, world premieres, international talent and Justin Bieber: You’ll find all of these (and more) here in the City of Brotherly Love this winter and spring. It can actually be a little overwhelming, if you don’t know where to start. So here, we present a well-edited (but wildly diverse) list of the very best bets in music, theater and the arts this season. If you can’t find something to do here, we don’t know what to tell you. Read more »
Sarah Gliko stars in Tom Stoppard’s “The Hard Problem,” opening January 6th at the Wilma Theater. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou
For years, Philadelphia actress Sarah Gliko longed to perform at the renowned Wilma Theater under the directorship of its co-founder, the peerless Blanka Zizka. “But I was off of Blanka’s radar,” says the 36-year-old Point Breeze resident. “And then she saw me in Lantern’s production of The Liar, and things changed.” That was in 2013. Since then, Gliko has been cast in the Wilma’s critically acclaimed Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq in 2014 and last year as Ophelia in the theater’s intriguing adaptation of Hamlet. Then, for her third Wilma play in as many years, she landed the lead in Tom Stoppard’s first work in a decade, The Hard Problem, which opens January 6th. “This role is a real challenge,” she admits. “There’s so much material, and it’s loaded with some very heavy and heady ideas. I have to find the passion and movement underneath these big ideas and elevate the human story that is pulsing below. It’s not going to be easy.” Through February 6th.
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Toward the end of Kristin Chenoweth‘s set on Saturday evening with The Philadelphia Orchestra, she turned to the audience and said, “There’s only about 20 minutes left, and then you can go and pee. Oh, and if there are any straight men in the audience, my name is Kristin Chenoweth.”
That’s the typical kind of camp one would expect from the Broadway star who has both a Tony and an Emmy to her name. Let’s be clear: Ms. Chenoweth and The Philadelphia Orchestra are odd bedfellows at best, but how can you not adore the pint-sized soprano sipping soda from a giant cup between her big musical numbers? And how could you not love her commentary on Wawa (“You can buy a candle there. You can buy a Slurpee there. Heck, you can buy an entire five-course dinner there!”)? It worked as an evening of endearing entertainment. Read more »
Ticket concert photographer Chris Sikich began shooting live shows for us in early November, after he spent several years documenting concert stages around Philadelphia for City Paper. Here, he digs through his catalogue to pull out over a dozen of his best shots of the year — from The Weeknd at Made in America to Sleater-Kinney‘s turn at Union Transfer and Billy Idol at Tower Theater. Check them out in the slideshow below.
Follow Chris Sikich @countfeed and see more of his photos on his website here.
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This weekend, The Spring Standards rocked a sold-out Arden Gild Hall for the venue’s eighth annual Boxing Day show. The band, whose primary members, Heather Robb, James Cleare and James Smith, are from Wilmington, put on an expectedly stellar show of pop rock. With undertones of Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles and their own unique aesthetic of keyboard, guitar and percussion, they enchanted the festive venue. Highlights included their brilliant “Sharks” and an acoustic segment that featured the beautiful singalong “So Simple So True,” among many other outstanding moments.
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On Thursday night, Punk Out, a local nonprofit with a mission to empower the lives of LGBT musicians and fans, held a food drive at Electric Factory. The event was a benefit for the Attic Youth Center, a fantastic organization that provides safe space, learning tools and more to Philly queer and transgender young people. The drive generated two boxes of non-perishable good for the Center and some cash collected through a raffle.
That was all well and good, but the centerpiece of the evening was a concert featuring five punk bands from across North America: Silverstein, Senses Fail, Boysetsfire, Capsize and Hundredth.
Local photographer Colleen Stepanian was capture the event. Check out her shots below:
For more information on how to support Punk Out and the Attic Youth Center, go here and here.
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