April Showers Bring May Flowers, but March Brings the Music.

This year March rolled in like a lamb, and it remains to be seen how it will roll out. It’s a time of year where, depending on things like the weather, it can either seem like the last death rattle of a seemingly endless winter, or a beautiful bridge to a burgeoning spring. The optimist in me likes to think of it as the latter. Really though, apart from the celebratory time of St. Patrick’s Day, what magic does March hold? Besides granting us access to longer days and (hopefully) warmer ones as well, with the spring solstice, what does March have to offer? Well, March like any month when you live in a great city like we do, offers you the gift of music. It’s a gateway to the upcoming spring and summer concert seasons.  So if you’re looking for something to make March more fun, look no further. As a matter of fact we’ve uncovered so many musical gems for people to enjoy throughout the month of March, there is something for just about every person, with every musical taste. In fact, we uncovered so many March events that we couldn’t even decide which ones to focus on. So check out just a little bit of what the month of March has to offer in our area. Think of it as a beef upped version of our live and local weekly entertainment calendar.

Chris Young
The country heart throb hits the city with Voice winner Casadee Pope opening up.
When:
Saturday, March 12
Where:
The Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St. Philadelphia

LeAnn Rimes
The Grammy winning country sweetheart is bringing her act to Philly, where she will be the first headlining act at the new SugarHouse Casino Event Center.
When:
Sunday, March 6
Where:
SugarHouse Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Ave. Philadelphia

Questlove Supreme
The legendary local Root’s percussionist stops by his hometown once a month for a magical, musical Sunday night party. You can catch the next installment this month.
When:
Sunday, March 13
Where:
The Foundry at The Fillmore, 1100 Canal St. Philadelphia

Dropkick Murphys
American celtic punk. It’s not a hug genre, but it’s one that Massachusetts own Dropkick Murphys have cornered the market on. What a great way to ready yourself for St. Patty’s Day.
Sunday, March 13
Where:
Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St. Philadelphia

The Who
Not many need an introduction to this legendary rock n roll band. Celebrating 50 years of rocking across the world, they’ll make a stop in Philly next week.
When:
Monday, March 14
Where:
Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. Philadelphia

Dr. Dog
Hailing from nearby West Grove, Pa. these  indie rockers are coming to town on St. Patrick’s Day in support of their recently released album, The Psychedelic Swamp.
When:
Thursday, March 17
Where:
The Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St. Philadelphia

The Temptations & The Four Tops
These two bands played a huge part in the building the legacy of Motown. Now they’re delighting us with their signature style and sound at the Keswick Theatre.
When:
Friday, March 18
Where:
Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave. Glenside

Megadeth
Hard to believe that this L.A. based thrash metal band has been doing it for over 30 years now. If you like it loud, you can head out to the Electric Factory later this month.
When:
Sunday, March 20
Where:
Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St. Philadelphia

Baauer
Best known for the super sensationalized “Harlem Shake”, Philly born Baauer is also known for his mix of house and electronic dance music. You can check him out as he brings the beat to The Union Transfer.
When:
Thursday, March 24
Where:
Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. Philadelphia

Lucinda Williams
The bluesy, folksy, rock vocalist and guitar player is doing a double-header at the always fun World Cafe’ Live.
When:
Wednesday, March 9 & Thursday, March 10
Where:
World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St. Philadelphia

G. Love & Special Sauce
Hard to describe a band that has been labeled “alternative hip-hop”, and have had their style described as R &B, blues, rock, alternative and more. So why not just check them out for yourselves as they come to the Filmore later the month.
When:
Sat, Mar 26
Where:
The Filmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St.

 

 

Sunday Spotlight…The Electric Factory.

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This week we covered some of the best of Philly, and in our opinion, and as it turns out, the voters of Philly’s best this week share the same opinion, the Electric Factory is one of the best venues in Philly. What exactly is your job at the factory?
“I am the Production Manager for the Electric Factory responsible for all aspects that pertain to production of an event at the club. My overall goal is to make sure a show runs as smooth as possible and that all involved, from the artist to the patron, have a great, safe experience at the Electric Factory.”

What do you think makes the factory such a great place to see a band? What sets it apart from other venues in the city?
“The Electric Factory is an old school rock club. This version was built on the reputation of the original that hosted some of the classics of rock and roll before they were classics. It has been the stepping stone for numerous acts over the last 20 years, as well as acts that are on their way to being classics. It won’t be mistaken for a theatre or a convention hall. It is not one of the cookie cutter Walmart of music venues.”

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What challenges do venues, the Factory in particular, face today?
“The basic challenge is to give the people what they want and to try to stay in business doing so. There are a lot of costs that go into putting on a concert and they are still there whether you sell out the show or only sell 1 ticket. At this time, we are back to being a small local promoter in a city that now has 5 or 6 promoters. We need to maximize the opportunities to present great acts at great prices and capitalize on revenue streams that will keep us in business and ticket prices low enough for the patron.”

Mentioning the challenge of a smaller budget than some larger promoters may have,do you think some old school bands out there would still play the factory because of its combined years of rich history?
“In most situations, money talks, but there are some in the music industry that still appreciate the relationships that have built up over the years. There are also acts that refuse to play for the corporate giants so we have that on our side as well.”

What was your favorite show to put on there?
“That’s a tough question. I have done over a 1000 shows at the Factory to narrow it down to one favorite would be impossible. I would say my favorite show is the next one coming up because that means we are still producing shows and I am still getting paid doing what I love to do.”

Is there a band you’d love to see come back to play or even one that hasn’t played before?
“I would love to see Govt Mule come back to the Factory.”

Anything exciting coming up that you’d like people to know about?
“October marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Electric Factory. Not many clubs have been able to stay open for that long. We have upgraded our sound and lighting system and are improving on every aspect that we can to celebrate our 20 years of being the biggest best rock club in Philly.”

Are you doing anything special for the 20th anniversary?
“We intend to do multiple things throughout the year to celebrate 20 years of success. There will be a press conference on September 16th outlining some of our plans.”

Being a fan of Foo, these posters had to be put on here.
Being a fan of Foo, these posters had to be put on here.

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Philly Local Festival & Fun Guide Summer 2015

festIn case you haven’t heard, summer is officially here. Around here, summer season is festival time. Earlier this week we featured six highly recommended summer music festivals from California to Connecticut. If you saw that list then you knew that we were planning on highlighting some of the best festivals local to our area as well. Each of the local events on our list pack just as much entertainment, and have all of the family, food, fun and even philanthropy as the festivals we highlighted earlier this week. So grab your gear and come on out and dance. The best part about this list is that you don’t need to break the bank on traveling or burn up all your vacation time to join the fun. Not one of these summer events are more than a 3 hour drive from the Philly metropolitan area.
We’ve included a link to the website where you can find ticket and accommodation info for each event. See you there!

Camp Bisco Montage Mountain Scranton PA 7/16-18, 2015. Electronic dance meets jam band style rock in this 3 day rain or shine camping and music event created by Philly’s own Disco Biscuits. This year, its 13th, marks a change of venue from upstate its former home in upstate NY to the beautiful Pocono mountains of PA.

Bear’s Picnic Liberty Festival Grounds Roaring Branch, PA 8/6-10, 2015. A music packed 4 days are complimented by a family friendly atmosphere at this 10th installment of Bear’s Picnic. Arts & crafts, a children’s activity area (run by certified teachers), kid’s music classes with an onstage performance on Sunday, and FREE admission for kids 15 and under coupled with artists like Leftover Salmon and Steve Kimock’s tribute to Jerry Garcia featuring Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane and more.

Philadelphia Folk Festival Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, PA 8/13-16, 2015. Every August for an astounding 54 summers, people have flocked to Schwenksville, PA for this annual event. Music, community, camaraderie, and zany fun have always been a hallmark of Folk Fest. There’s something to do for every age, every kind of people. And this year the fest welcomes the return of the legendary Arlo Guthrie alongside favorites like North Mississippi Allstars and new addition Lyle Lovett.

Peace of Mind 5 Camp Muckleratz Elizabethville, PA 9/3-6, 2015. Peace of Mind Fest is a weekend long music festival and camp out held on Labor Day weekend 2015. This year it will feature 2 stages of music along with food, craft vendors, kid’s activities, after show jams, and more. This event features some of the region’s most talented bands, including One Unified friends and featured artists Steal Your Face and Jah People. A long list of local and national touring acts round out the bill for this mellow and family friendly fest.

F.A.R.M. Music and Arts Buena Vista Campground Buena, NJ 7/23-26, 2015. F.A.R.M. stands for Future of Artistic and Revolutionary Minds. This event is a 3 day gathering that is, as described by its promoters, “designed to uplift people’s senses of creative thinking and sustainable living with musicians who feel it, artists who express it, and teachers who explain it.” Simply put, there’s music from a variety of genres, including headliners Keller Williams and Papadosio, there’s live performance art, art installations, interactive performances, workshops and more. One of the more eclectic events on our radar, this may be one for the adventurous festival goer to try.

Liberation Music & Arts Festival Sandy Valley Campground White Haven, PA 7/24-26, 2015.
An ideal summer festival localfestsetting, White Haven provides a perfect spot for this fabulously funky festival. Billed as an “epic weekend of music and arts,” the Liberation Festival features artists that include: Break Science, Consider the Source, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, The Underwater Sounds, Desert Dwellers, Splintered Sunlight and Jah Works. Plus a highly anticipated collaborative super jam set to include Nick Cassarino, Nate Edgar and Weedie Braimah from The Nth Power; Joey Porter from The Motet; Alvin Ford Jr. from Dumpstaphunk; and Eric Bloom and Ryan Zoidis, “The Shady Horns” from Lettuce. This one is definitely a festival for the music lover.

XPoNential Music Festival Susquehanna Bank Center & Wiggins Park Camden NJ 7/24-26, 2015. What makes this one slightly different from others on our list is that this is not a camping or overnight type event. This 3 days festival has been taking place on the Camden waterfront (just across the bridge from Philadelphia) for more than a decade. With a full days worth of performances  at 2 different venues, and available 3 day concert passes you can pick which to attend. With acts like Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, My Morning Jacket, George Ezra, The Wailers, The Indigo Girls and more, there’s a show for everyone. And it’s all sponsored by Philly’s award-winning local public radio station, WXPN.

The Peach Music Festival as featured in our previous post.

The Budweiser Made In America Festival Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 9/5-6, 2015.
Made in America is a massive musical celebration that takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on Labor Day weekend. With the city of Philadelphia as its backdrop, MIA stages and performers take over the Parkway. The gates to the festival grounds open at noon each day, the event is rain or shine and there’s no re-entry on either day. In addition to the three stages, the festival grounds will also feature a specialized food tbenjamin-franklin-parkway-210361_640ruck area, merchandise tents and beer gardens. The lineup has yet to be announced for this year’s fest but if previous years are any indication (Jay-Z, Beyonce’, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Pearl Jam to name a few) it will not disappoint.

Whether it’s one of our local suggestions, or something you’ve chosen all on your own, get out and take advantage of the incredible selection of music festivals that summer has to offer. Try something new. Share with family and friends. Festivals make memories that last a lifetime. So get out and see some lie music this summer.

Take our Poll About Music Festivals.

Summer’s Here and the Time is Right… for Festivals!

festival2It’s official, summer’s here. For many, summer time is festival time. The beauty of the summer festival, much like the beauty of life itself, is that there is something out there for absolutely everyone. There are festivals that revolve around cars, festivals made just for kids, there’s even a whole slew of festivals that revolve around fruit- yes, fruit. For our purposes this week, we’re grabbing our back packs and hitting the summer music festival circuit. We’ve asked around, and we’re highlighting a few of the  top music festivals from around the country. Granted, a few of our favorites have come and gone (Bonnaroo, Firefly, Mountain Jam) but we’re ready with the best of the rest!

Not ready to pack up the car and take the show on the road? Not to worry. We’ve got a special selection of local shows coming up later this week to showcase too!
Keep us tuned in all week to see who we’re talking to, and be sure to participate when we ask for your feedback. Your input helps dictate where we go. Consider yourselves our tour managers. Now grab your tickets and let’s go!

Gathering of the Vibes
Bridgeport, Connecticut
7/30/2015 – 8/2/2015
Gathering of the Vibes is an annual 4 day music, arts and camping festival that is celebrating its 20th year this summer. Vibes, initially conceptualized in 1996, was designed as a way to bond and entertain music minded folks feeling the void left by the death of legendary Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia the previous year. After a stint of a few years in New York due to renovations on the original site, Vibes is back home in Bridgeport. This year’s lineup, as in previous years, features a virtual who’s who of the jam band scene and more. With artists like Warren Haynes, String Cheese Incident, Wilco, and Greg Allman taking the stage this year, it promises not to disappoint the die-hard vibe tribe. Check out all the info and the full lineup for this year at Gathering of the Vibes website.

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All Good Festival 2011 Photo Courtesy of Joseph Adams

The All Good Festival
Summit Point, WV
7/9/2105-7/11/2015
2015 marks All Good’s return to its West Virginia roots. Tim Walther, All Good’s creator, has said that it was created, much like Vibes, in the spirit of the Grateful Dead’s legacy of music, magic and a communal atmosphere. All Good prides itself on its laid back atmosphere and scenic backdrop(s) as a compliment to the musical experience. This year’s eclectic lineup that features Primus, Moe, Soja, STS9, Lotus, Cake, and more, promises to be, well, all good. Grab all the details at the All Good website. 

High Sierra Music Festival
Quincy, CA
7/2/2105-7/5/2015
One of the coolest festivals around is now in it’s 25th year. High Sierra takes place in Quincy, CA.  Located in the Feather River Canyon, where the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges meet, it is a picture perfect location in beautiful northern California. This festival prides itself on being more than just music on a stage. Family events, featuring arts and crafts, games and more. Yoga and movement, craft vendors, food and a variety of philanthropic ventures are all part of this unique festival. But at the end of the day the real star is what’s going on on the stage. Never a disappointing lineup, this year features String Cheese Incident, Umphrey’s McGee, John Butler Trio, Galactic, Lotus, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and a lot more. Find out more at the High Sierra Festival website.

The Peach Musical Festival
Scranton, PA
8/13/2015-8/16/2015
Affectionately known as Peach Fest or The Peach, this late summer festival returns for a 4th year to The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA this August. The Peach is an Allman Brothers Band (ABB) inspired music festival featuring four days of music on multiple stages along with camping, plus a water park and all of the attractions of beautiful Montage Mountain. Peach’s outstanding lineups have made this festival a legend among music lovers and festival goers. This year will not disappoint. Greg Allman, Bob Weir (with Billy (Kreutzman) & the Kids), Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson, Warren Haynes (featuring Railroad Earth), Trombone Shorty, G Love, Dark Star Orchestra, Rusted Root, Old Crow Medicine Show, and this is just to name a few. Camping costs include full access to Montage’s water park attractions and RV, VIP as well as ADA approved camping are all available. Definitely head on over to see what’s going on this summer at Peach Fest.

Reggae on the River
Piercy, CA
7/30/2105-8/2/2015
If reggae is just what the doctor ordered for your summer festival cravings, then Reggae on the River is the place to be. A full-scale, globally recognized, reggae festival event in an absolutely stunning locale, this iconic festival has been livening up crowds for 31 years now on the banks of the Eel River at French’s Camp in breathtaking Humboldt County, CA.
Possibly the best part of this fest is that Reggae On The River is a non-profit event! Your ticket money directly supports the varied programs and services of the Mateel Community Center in Redway, CA. This year’s festival includes Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Cham, Alborosie, and 20+ more talented reggae artists. If reggae is on your radar and California is calling you, this is one you need to check out more about. Do that at the official Reggae on the River site.

Lollapalooza By David Silverman CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lollapalooza
Chicago, IL
7/31/2015-8/2/2015
Lollapalooza touts itself as more than just a concert or a festival, but as a “cultural experience”. While some people don’t get the full “festival” effect without the overnight or multi-night camping experience, what this festival lacks in on-site accommodations it more than makes up for in activity and in talent. Not to mention it’s one of the most easily recognized names in music festivals and events. With 3 jam packed days of music by some of today’s most notable artists, blended with some genuine ‘old school’ talent, Lollapalooza continues to excite and delight concert goers as it has done since its inception. Once a traveling sideshow of sorts, it now holds court each year on 115 acres between Downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan in historic Grant Park. With multiple stages all 3 days, headliners Paul McCartney, Metallica, Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith, and Alabama Shakes are ably backed by a plethora of talented artists like Of Monsters and Men, Gary Clark Jr. and Bassnectar. Visit the Lollapalooza site where you’re sure to find something for everyone with the over 100 (yes, really) acts performing.

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This is a small sampling of all of the amazing musical festivals going on this summer. If you can’t think of summer without thinking festivals, than please like and share this with others. If you have a favorite festival you wish to get on our radar, let us know. We’ve got a comment section below that is easy to use and as always, our Facebook page is open for your feedback! And don’t forget that later this week we’ll have our local festival summer guide for live music and fun right in our own back yard. So, get out and enjoy the sun. Get out and have some fun. Get out and get your live music fix. Jam on….

Summer 2015 is Underway: What to do in June.

Thanks for helping us kick off the unofficial first week of summer! Sure, we still have nearly a month to go until it’s actually summer, but let’s face it, once Memorial Day has come and gone, we’re all in summer mode. We hope you took the time to check out this week’s interviews and our Memorial Day Wall of Honor.

summertodoguide3It’s hard to believe that June is already upon us. Soon, school will be out, the beaches will be packed, and back yards everywhere will be filled with the smell of chlorine and sunscreen. There is already so much on our summer calendar that we just had to share some of June’s excellent events with you. Check out what you can and please let us know of any events you’d like to share. Leave us a comment or stop by our Facebook page and tell us about it.

Thirsty? Philly Beer Week just kicked off and is under way! Running from May 29th- June 7th, it is abeer 10 day celebration that features pub crawls, beer tastings, tours and more from over 40 local bars, breweries, and more. For tickets and full event info you can check out the Philly Beer Week website here.

Spruce Street Harbor Park opened up last weekend! Set along the Delaware River Waterfront (On Columbus Blvd at Spruce Street), it features a beautiful outdoor oasis. Gardens, a lounge, bistro seating, gorgeous lighting, family events, dining and entertainment, all under the warm, bright sunshine, or moonlit sky. This year there are 2 cool events going on at Harbor Park all summer long.
The Art Star Pop-Up Market which runs every Saturday from 11-4 and features artists, artisans and crafts people selling their wares. And The Punk Rock Flea Market running every Sunday from 11-5, and features locally made products, vintage apparel, new and old merchandise, crafts, jewelry, and more.

June 14th, is Pride Day in Philly. The celebration is marked by the LGBT Pride Parade and Festsummertodopost2ival. The parade kicks off at 13th and Locust at 11:30 a.m. and proceeds through Center City and Philadelphia’s historic district. The parade terminates at the Great Plaza of Penn’s Landing, where the festival is held. The festival features food, drinks, games, entertainment, and over 80 community, sports, and religious organizations. For more information and a schedule of events visit http://www.phillygaypride.org

Of course summer entertainment wouldn’t be complete without music. Summer time is concert time. Philadelphia has something for everyone, of every musical taste this year. Whether pop is your thing, you need a little bit of soul, or you’re ready to rock out, there’s something in June’s concert notables for you. Check them out.

June 7th: Get the party started with the B52’s at The Keswick Theatre
June 10th: Fall for Fallout Boy & Wiz Khalifa at Susquehanna Bank Center
June 13th: Pop’s reigning princess Taylor Swift plays at Lincoln Financial Field or
Barry Manilow croons at Wells Fargo
June 16th: The Divine Miss Bette Midler plays at Wells Fargo and
John Mellencamp brings the heartland to Philly at The Merriam Theatre
June 17th: Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant with Sensational Space Shifters at The Mann
June 19th: It’s a 90’s throwback with NKOTB (New Kids on the Block), TLC and Nelly at Wells Fargo
June 20th: The queen of soul Aretha Franklin appears at Caesars Atlantic City
June 21st: The legendary Sir Paul McCartney performs at Wells Fargo
June 25th: Rock out with Rush at Wells Fargo
June 27th: CCR’s John Fogerty rocks The Mann
and also at The Mann on June 28th: Go old school with Bare Naked Ladies, Violent Femmes, and (Men at Work’s) Colin Hay.
That’s just the first month of summer concert season. Check out Tourbeat for more artists and dates or visit the venue’s websites. If a fun and fabulous summer festival is more your speed, check out Festival Finder or Jam Base’s Festival Guide to find out what’s going on locally and nationally on the summer festival scene.

summertodopostAnd we can’t forget the littlest One Unified fans.
The Dinosaurs of the Deep exhibit continues now through the first week of July every day at Adventure Aquarium in Camden. And the incredible Art of the Brick Lego exhibit is still hanging around this summer at The Franklin Institute. It’s the world’s largest Lego exhibit, made of over 100 creations using over one MILLION Legos!
If you’re looking smithparkto get outside with the kids, a visit to Smith Playground & Playhouse, one of the oldest playgrounds in America dating back to 1899, is a must for every pint sized Philadelphian. The playground, located in Fairmount Park, offers children a free place to play, jump, swing and climb.

We hope you’ll keep it here all summer long for more stories, more interviews, more music news, and new features. Summer 2015 is underway! Make it a great one.