For the first time in 11 years—and after a two-year stint at CaesarsPalace in Las Vegas—country queen ShaniaTwain 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.
She’ll make her way to Philadelphia on July 22nd, when she’ll play the WellsFargoCenter 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 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. | Photo courtesy of Lisa DiStefano
“I’m like vodka,” BetteMidler 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.
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:
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
The old Ajax Metal Co. building in Fishtown—situated across from SugarHouse at Frankford Avenue—is undergoing a $32 million renovation courtesy of the House of Blues Entertainment division of Live Nation. When finished, it will become a 141,000-square-foot entertainment complex, housing two live-music venues, a comedy club, 24-lane bowling alley, distillery and Italian restaurant.
Atlantic City is working overtime to get the gays down for a visit. This afternoon, Visit AC released a new video showcasing its entertainment lineup for 2015 and its chock full of gay and gay-adored entertainers. They’re pulling out the big guns, too. I’m talking Madonna (October 3rd), LadyGaga (July 24th), RickyMartin (October 17th), WandaSykes (June 12th and 13th), Margaret Cho (July 18th), IdinafreakingMenzel (July 10th).What Ellen was too busy?
The concerts and comedy shows only scratch the surface of the other LGBT-specific events lined up for the summer. Others include Sandblast (July 17th to 20th), Fire Island Black Out (August 7th to 9th) and the Miss’d America pageant this fall. I also have word from a reliable, yet anonymous source that there will be a second club opening this summer that “focuses on the LGBT community.” Stay tuned for any updates.
Check out the entertainment-lineup video below. Get more info on dates and tickets here.
The Indigo Girls are coming to Philly’s Kimmel Center on April 12th, when they’ll try something they’ve never done before: perform with a youth symphony backing them up. That lucky symphony is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, and Indigo Girls singer-songwriter Amy Ray told us in an interview this week that the collaboration gives their iconic sound a “different dimension” without changing things too dramatically. “We’ve stayed true to the music.”
It’s sure to be an uplifting show, and I’m excited to be able to give away three pairs of tickets to G Philly readers. The process is simple: Just sign up for our weekly e-newsletter in the box below between now and Wednesday, April 8th at 4 pm. At that point we’ll randomly draw three winners from the list. Tickets are valued at $92 for the pair, and are located in the 3rd Tier section (2nd Balcony) at Verizon Hall. Winners can pick them up at Will Call the night of the show.
“Are you ready for Father John Misty? He’s gonna make sweet love to your head. Your ears, I mean, and he’s not gonna stop. For at least two hours.” —opening act King Tuff
Striding on stage as a lurid neon script spelling out ‘No Photography’ flickers to life, Father John Misty seizes his microphone like a starving man after the last loaf of bread on earth. Everything about him is magnetized, engaged; he is aflame singing the opening and title track of his most recent album, I Love You, Honey Bear, swinging the microphone stand.
At the end of the song the front row, all male, all under 25, clap deliriously and snap photos. Thanking the audience for a great night and bidding us safe return home, Father John and his band leave the stage. The same techs who set up the guitars and tested all of the mics return, unplugging gear and ripping up a set list from the stage, handing it to a kid in the front row.
I Love You, Honey Bear
April Fool complete, the band return to the stage and attack.
Emily Saliers and Amy Ray (right) of the Indigo Girls.
“It’s riveting to physically hear that much sound, and there’s so much going on,” said Amy Ray when I asked her what it was like to play her Indigo Girls music with an orchestra backing her up. “When we first started to do it, it was so hard because I’d be distracted by the power of it.” Read more »