Category Archives: TVD Philadelphia

TVD Live Shots: Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, Bouncing Souls, and Jake Burns at Festival Pier, 8/3

On Thursday evening at Festival Pier in Philadelphia, a perfect storm materialized when the “From Boston to Berkeley” tour rolled into town, bringing with it 4 solid acts to remind Philly concertgoers that “Punk’s not dead.” The package tour which includes Stiff Little Fingers frontman Jake Burns, Bouncing Souls, Rancid, and the Dropkick Murphys, brought with it intense circle pits, as well as frenetic pogo-ing and sing-a-longs galore.

Jake Burns, frontman of the legendary Belfast, Ireland punk band Stiff Little Fingers played a short set of acoustic selections from the band’s catalog which stretches thirty-nine years, but stuck to early-era Fingers hits. Burns talked and joked in between songs which included takes on “Gotta Getaway,” “Nobody’s Hero,” before closing with their first single, “Alternative Ulster.” Burns ran out of time to tell his story about the band’s most well-known song, but promised fans that he would tell them all about it in a few months when the full band would be returning for a fall tour.

After a very brief pause, the Bouncing Souls tore into a fast paced set which included fan favorites like “Hopeless Romantic,” “Sing Along Forever,” and “East Coast F*** You.” Souls’ frontman Greg Attonito told the crowd that they always have great shows in Philly, but they wanted this show to be the best one yet.

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TVD Live Shots: Metallica at Lincoln Financial Field, 5/12

Heavy metal giants Metallica brought their “WorldWired” tour to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia last Friday laying claim that they are still the best at what they do—music that’s faster and heavier than any other band in the business.

Metallica is one band that needs no introduction. They are perhaps the biggest metal band on the planet and their name is synonymous with thrash and metal. Through their 35+ year career, Metallica has been truly a pioneering force in music, almost solely responsible for bringing the metal genre to mass audiences in the ’80s and ’90s. And in 2017, they have only gotten better with age.

Touring for the first time since 2009, Metallica’s “WorldWired” tour kicked off in Baltimore, MD last Wednesday and was followed by Friday’s night two in Philadelphia. The band is touring to promote their 2016 album, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, their first studio effort in eight years and the band’s tenth studio album, released as a double vinyl set on Blackened Recordings.

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TVD Live Shots: Public Enemy at the Dell Music Center, 8/14

Having been to a few live hip hop shows, I don’t have much desire to see more. There’s a DJ not doing much, one or two rappers, and maybe a hype man. So even if the music sounds good, the shows are usually really boring. Public Enemy defies these norms. Their live show is electric, politically-charged, and visually very entertaining.

There’s so much happening onstage that it’s hard to know where to look. The S1Ws moving in unison, posing militaristically and periodically doing push-ups, DJ Lord spinning from on high, live guitar, bass, and drums, Professor Griff prowling the stage with his customary stern glare, Flavor Flav being goofy and wild cementing his reputation as the greatest hype man ever, and Chuck D bouncing around, swinging his mic like a bat, all the while commanding the stage like the hip hop preacher the world still greatly needs. At one point he reminded the crowd that Pennsylvania is spending more money on prisons than education. Angry boos followed.

For all the gravity of the politically charged show, Flav closed the show with a message of love. He encouraged the crowd to raise their hands and first make the sign of peace and then make a fist. “This stands for peace and togetherness. Make a fist like this, this stands for power. With peace and togetherness, we will all have so much power. If we all stuck together and built a wall of unity, it would be so strong, no others could drop in and tear down what we got.”

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TVD Live Shots: Jane’s Addiction, Living Colour, and Dinosaur Jr. at the Fillmore, 7/20

I was excited to attend and photograph this show for a few reasons. First, it meant a road trip from DC to Philly. I love road trips. Second, I’d enjoy a cheese steak. And third, I’d get some quality photo time mere feet away from Dave Navarro, a talented and beautiful man.

Everything was going according to plan until I arrived at the venue. The tour management made some last-minute changes. The security barrier near the stage was removed, so there would be no up-close photography, which meant no seducing Dave from the photo pit. Alas. On top of that, photography was limited to the sound board, which was not elevated. The other photographers left. They were either too short to even attempt to shoot over people’s heads from the back or they didn’t have a big lens. I doubled down, determined to make it work.

Living Colour opened and they sounded great. They were very clearly enjoying themselves and in turn, the crowd was engaged and feeling it. I had to stop shooting after the third song and instead of watching the rest of their set, I put on my hustling shoes and tried to work with various members of the Fillmore event crew to finagle a better spot to shoot. A fellow named Eric was particularly helpful, trying to find me at least a stool to stand on. No dice. I gave up and returned to see the last song, “Cult of Personality.” It sounded exactly the way I wanted it to. Tight musicianship, dynamite vocals.

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TVD Live Shots: Generation Axe at the Tower Theater, 5/5

The Tower Theater in Philadelphia played host to some of the world’s greatest guitar talents this past Thursday. Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi are Generation Axe.

The night began with all five guitar gods on stage together for an all-star jam, then up first was a solo set by Animals as Leaders guitarist Tobin Abasi which really got the crowd primed. For the last song of his set Nuno Bettencourt came out and played alongside him. Seamlessly it transitioned to Nuno’s solo set which included classics from Extreme’s catalog as well as his iconic rendition of “Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee.”

Next was the always entertaining Zakk Wylde. Zakk changed things up a bit when he decided midway through the Sabbath classic “NIB” that he was going to play from the audience. Zakk spent almost half of his solo set in the middle of the crowd walking up and down the aisles of the crowded Tower Theatre. Wylde was truly the crowd favorite, and I must say if Zakk Wylde wasn’t such an amazing player, he should look into stand-up comedy because he has some of the funniest on-stage banter I have ever heard.

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TVD Live: Jonathan Richman at the Andy Warhol Museum, 11/4

Jonathan Richman has been known to play some pretty unpredictable shows over the years, but few as unusual as his appearance Wednesday at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. There, the onetime founder of the Modern Lovers was wrapping up a series featuring bands, including Television and Luna, whose DNA could be traced directly to the band Warhol helped shape, the Velvet Underground.

Richman, appearing on a stark stage with his longtime percussionist Tommy Larkins, said he met Warhol about a half-dozen times when he was a teen, a fan of the Velvets and curious about Warhol’s art.

“I’m afraid I don’t get it,” the young Richman told the pop artist of his work.

“Yes, you do,” Warhol replied.

And so he did, certainly grasping, he says, the colors of the soup cans and Brillo boxes (he marvels at supermarket aisles for product colors too, he said). In the museum, he said he finally understood the floating Mylar pillows in his “Clouds” piece. And though he didn’t understand the films of stationary objects at the time, he says he now gets their textures and subtlety.

Richmond says he was spooked by being in the museum amid so much Warhol work—and spooked too about saying he hadn’t seen some of it for half a century. He was also likely rattled by being interviewed by museum staff earlier in the day—he’s not a guy who takes to interviews well.

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TVD Live Shots:
Rock Allegiance at
PPL Park, 10/10

For any of the naysayers out there who think that rock is dead, Rock Allegiance just proved you wrong. Saturday’s festival  in Chester, PA hosted two side by side main stages and a tent stage featuring some of hard rock and heavy metal’s finest.

Rob Zombie, Korn, Godsmack, and Five Finger Death Punch topped the evening’s bill and was rounded out with support from Papa Roach, Butcher Babies, PopEvil, Bring Me the Horizon, and my current favorites Atreyu and In This Moment. This line up had something for everyone—including an on-site after party hosted by Steel Panther.

Gourmet food trucks provided nourishment for the event which was a huge breath of fresh air compared to the usual festival afterthoughts. An outdoor music festival in the cool autumn air of October was also a refreshing change from the sweltering heat of other rock festivals like Mayhem and the Warped tour.

This was easily one for the record books and it was great to hear that they plan on doing it again next year—and given sold out crowd, they would be crazy not to. This was hands down one of the best-managed festivals this reviewer has ever gone to. Check out some of the sights below and support this festival next year. You will be glad you did.

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TVD Live Shots: Langhorne Slim & The Law at Union Transfer, 9/16

We sent TVD’s Doug Seymour to the Langhorne Slim & The Law’s show at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on September 16th to shoot the band who are currently on the road promoting their brand new release, The Spirit Moves—available on CD and vinyl from Dualtone Records. 

Frankly, these guys put on one of the best live shows out there—miss them at your peril. Check out Seymour’s photos taken during sound check and the show. —Ed.

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TVD Live Shots: Delta Spirit & Friends at World Café Live, 8/5

Fresh off their Lollapalooza performance in Chicago, the Delta Spirit & Friends tour performed on the World Café Live / WXPN stage in Philadelphia on August 5th, 2015. Our own Doug Seymour was there to cover the evening and capture moments during sound check, backstage, and the performance itself.

Delta Spirit was joined on stage by Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Eric Slick of Dr. Dog, and Mike Weiss of Mewithoutyou. Former drummer for Rosu Lup, Jonny Miller made an appearance as well.

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TVD Live Shots: Faith
No More at the Electric Factory, 5/15

After a hiatus of almost 20 years, May 15 marked the return of Faith No More to the Electric Factory in Philly.

Opening the set with their new single “Motherfucker,” Faith No More, clad in all white and surrounded by an ocean of flowers, showed no signs of being 20 years older. The band supplied cuts off of every album in their catalog and still managed to fit in a few covers, such as the Commodores’ “Easy” and the Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke,” which ended the night. New songs like “Sunny Side Up,” ” Superhero,” and “Sol Invictus” where scattered amongst fan favorites like “Midlife Crisis,” ” Be Aggressive,” and “Surprise You’re Dead.”

They even managed to throw in “We Care A Lot” from the 1985 album of the same name, which originally featured Chuck Mosley on vocals before long-time frontman Mike Patton joined the band.

To put it mildly, Friday nights show was nothing short of epic. (Pun intended.)

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