Skyline Stage at The Mann.
When I found out I was going to the Sara Bareilles concert at the Mann last Thursday, I reacted with the type of feverish panic that only female pop artists can awaken in me. I had never listened to her before. In fact, I kind of loathe her kind of pop-rock. Would I be smothered in the midst of a feel-good group hug during one of her ballads? Would I fall into a quiet coma during a set of whispered love songs, left to rot on the lawn amongst half-finished wine coolers? Or, worse … would I actually enjoy it?
Here are five things I learned at the show:
Read more »
Movie Nights at the Mann kicks off with “Gladiator,” featuring a live score from the Philadelphia Orchestra.
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is taking Philly’s summer obsession with al fresco movies to a new level.
Next week, Movie Nights at The Mann kicks off, bringing a series of three movies to the incredible outdoor venue, each one accompanied by a live score from The Philadelphia Orchestra. Could there be a better way to experience a movie?
Read more »
Photo by Scott Harris.
Any human person who can claim to write an objective review of the Phish is lying to himself, his editor and all readers. It is impossible to separate the concert-going experience in all its sweat and smells from the pure musicianship of the band themselves, now in their 30th year playing together.
To the uninitiated, the tie-dyed horde of “phans” that descended on The Mann Center for Performing Arts on Tuesday, July 8th may be indistinguishable from the crowds that used to dog the Grateful Dead, America’s original jam band. Though also characterized by an obsessive following of smelly zealots and songs that leap from composed, complicated arrangements into simultaneous free-form improvisation by all four members, Phish’s similarity to the Dead begins and ends right about there.
Read more »
Is 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 »
He might have described it as the Philadelphia Orchestra’s “wet t-shirt contest night”—a cash-cow ploy to put the philistines’ asses in the seats. But despite the flippant quip, piano man Ben Folds’ “Orchestral Experience” concert at the Mann Center proved a beautifully synergetic meeting point of the pop and classical styles.
Read more »
You know what the doctor says: A little music every day keeps the blahs away. To help, we round up a concert for every day of this week.
Piers Morgan sure had it wrong when he told Lindsey Stirling the world had no place for a dancing dub-step violinist during the 2010 season of America's Got Talent. (Today, her viral hit "Crystallize" has over 95 million YouTube views.) With a background in classical violin, Stirling may be the only musician out there creating powerful combinations of Celtic folk music with futuristic electronic beats. Monday, June 23rd, 8 p.m., Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street.
Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Ben Folds brings The Ben Folds Orchestral Experience to Philly this Tuesday as part of his 2014 tour of collaborations with renowned orchestras across the globe. Join Folds and our own Philadelphia Orchestra for an evening of his successful pop hits and new piano concertos. Tuesday, June 24, 8:00 p.m., The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue.
Granddaughter of Woody Guthrie and grand-nephew of John Steinbeck: Not only have they formed a genius folk-rock group, but they're also husband and wife. The dynamic duo brings together their folk roots with creative new sounds in their most recent album, Wassaic Way, produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Patrick Sansone. Wednesday, June 25th, 8:30 pm., Boot & Saddle, 1131 South Broad Street.
Say Anything has had some rough patches over the years, but lead singer Max Bemis seems to have the rock band back on track with the recent release of their album Hebrews. The tracks on Hebrews are reflective of Bemis's own life, with the songs written after his daughter's birth bringing a tone of redemption rather than worry. Thursday, June 26th, 8:30 p.m., Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street.
Friday: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, $16
In 2005, indie rock group CYHSY proved that fame can still be attained without a record label or press agency. Their self-titled, self-produced album gained the attention of prominent music websites and blogs, and the rest was history. Lead singer Alec Ounsworth also gives CYHSY a Philly connection — while the other band members reside in Brooklyn, Ounsworth remains in Philly, and has released collaborations with Philly's Dr. Dog and Mazarin. Friday, June 27th, 9:30 p.m., Johnny' Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Avenue.
Saturday: Lady Gaga ($49.50-$225)
Lady Gaga has launched her fourth world tour, "Lady Gaga's artRave - The ARTPOP Ball." While her "Born This Way Ball" tour was abruptly abandoned in early 2013 due to a hip injury, Lady Gaga has set out to reconnect with her fans with an evening full of everything you'd expect from a Gaga show — outrageous, eccentric outfits, and an emphasis on being "1000 percent you." Saturday, June 28h, 8:00 p.m., Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City.
It's impossible not to enjoy the upbeat, feel-good tune of "Keep Your Head Up," the single that brought attention to Andy Grammer in 2011. His newest song "Back Home," released in April, captures the same sweet vibes and catchy lyrics, telling fans to "raise your glass" to "nights that you can't take back." Sunday, June 28th, World Cafe Live, 8:00 p.m., 3025 Walnut Street.