10 Rock Bands From Philly You Should Totally Care About

When Philadelphia does something, we do it with a distinct kind of passion. The rest of the country may look at us as a bunch of Rocky-loving, cheesesteak-eating, sports-bar-fighting, animals, but one thing is for sure- you can’t deny our music scene is great. Philadelphia knows how to do rock ‘n’ roll.

“I would say if you look at the history of Philadelphia, the musical roots are there. It’s been one that’s been a long home for rock music” says Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM station manager Derek Jones. “I think the scene will keep evolving over the years. There will never be a time in Philadelphia where the music scene is dead. There’s too many people involved and tons of great venues.”

Chances are you’ll never forget your first concert experience in Philly, whether it was at Lincoln Financial Field or in some dingy basement on 32nd St. So many great bands have gotten their start right here in the city of brotherly love and it’s time we give our the scene some credit.

Here are 10 Philly bands that you should totally care about:

[View the interactive timeline here!]

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Yellowcard: The Final World Tour

One strike of the violin and I am instantly eight years old again. I’m sitting in the backseat of a 1998 Dodge Caravan. My parents’ chatter is muffled by Ryan Key’s voice blaring out of the headphones connected to my brand new CD player- a rare and unique treasure I found in Dollar Tree.

Back then I didn’t think of Yellowcard as real-life humans, just rockstars I watched on MTV. I never imagined I’d see them in concert. That was only something cool teenagers like my sister could do, so I’d like to think 8-year-old me is proud now that I’ve seen them play live on three different occasions. What I know for sure is that both 8-year-old me and 21-year-old me are each a messy mixture of grateful and heartbroken as Yellowcard plays for the final time in Philadelphia.

Looking at their faces as they take the stage, I can’t help but think they are feeling the same way.

I watch Key’s eyes scan the crowd, focusing intently on each face as though he’s trying to take a mental picture or something. He opens his mouth to sing the emotion-packed lyrics to “Believe.” Every single fan sings right along with him. It’s going to be a good night.

Yellowcard has been playing shows in the city of Philadelphia for the past sixteen years. “It feels good to be back,” says Key after the final note of the opener. “I see some familiar faces out there. Some that we’ve seen recently and some we haven’t seen in years.” He goes onto joke, “If you’re just here to stand in the back and yell for us to play Ocean Avenue, don’t bother wasting your time.”

“Here’s what I want you to do,” he says. “I want you to dig way deep deep down tonight and figure out what it is that you want to sing to us about. If at any point you don’t know the lyrics to our newer songs, just sing about anything. But DO NOT stop singing. I want everyone to leave this show without a f*cking voice!”

The band is aware they’re most popular for their older music, but as their glory days wind down, they maintain a level head. In their official breakup letter, they state “ The decision was an incredibly difficult one for us to make. We considered so many things – our families, our health, our future endeavors. In the end we realized that this was the right time to step away and preserve the legacy and integrity of the band.”

The pop punk pioneers have crafted a legendary career, releasing ten studio albums and touring six out of seven continents.

Despite a mixed response to their most recent albums, Yellowcard fans made sure they came out to support the band’s final world tour. The sold out show had the Electric Factory booming with positive energy. Even before the bands took the stage, the whole venue came together to sing the best pop punk hits from the early 2000’s. I made friends with every person around me as we jumped up and down shouting the words to “The Best of Me” by The Starting Line.

New Jersey’s own indie rockers, DryJacket opened the show, followed by Like Torches, a pop punk group from Sweden. Throughout each set you could hear shouts of encouragement surface from the crowd. “I like your beard!” “You rock!” “Nice flannels!” “We love you!” The bands played along. “Hey thanks!” “You guys are great!” “We’re having too much fun up here!” “We love you more!”  The dynamic felt more like a casual reunion with close friends rather than a famous rock band playing to a mass of fans.

This attitude carried into Yellowcard’s set, especially within the audience. Everybody had each other’s back. Anytime things got crazy in the pit, my neighbor would give me a thumbs up checking to see if I was okay. At one point I saw a bunch of people come together to clear space and help a kid find his glasses. After my friend got kicked in the head by a fallen crowd surfer, they both rushed to make sure the other was okay, unworried about their own self. A total stranger even helped me take off on my own crowd surfing endeavor, and afterward I was ambushed with hi-5s from every direction, even from the security guards who were shamelessly jamming in front of the stage.

Yellowcard trucked through twenty six songs, making for a special two hour long set, nothing short of energetic. Their setlist was a strategic balance of classic hits and brand new songs that have just been released. Inevitably they closed the show with the song that started it all. Pure bliss took over the venue as everyone went back in time with “Ocean Avenue.”

For one night, we got to forget about the madness taking place outside the four walls of the Electric Factory. No politics, no divisions- just music.

Philadelphia – GRAMMY U Joins Kaleo for Soundcheck

On Sat. Oct. 1, Philadelphia members of GRAMMY U headed over to Kaleo’s soundcheck at the Theater of Living Arts. The Icelandic rock band is currently touring North America in honor of their second studio album, A/B.

After members got the chance to observe this event just inches away from the stage, they were able to catch up with the band during an exclusive Q&A session. Kaleo discussed tour life, songwriting, and how far they have come since the release of their very first album in 2013.

The group admitted their writing process has undergone many changes over the past few years. They’ve traded in the luxury of a studio for the experience of the real world. Kaleo says much of A/B was recorded on the road. Though this process is exhausting, drummer, Davíð Antonsson notes that it has allowed them to pick up many special influences that they wouldn’t have gotten to meet at home.

When it comes to musical influences, frontman Jökull Júlíusson says they have an extensive list of artists, Led Zeppelin being one of the keys. He even revealed that three out of four members of Kaleo have Zeppelin tattoos.

A/B represents a band with two faces. Side A serving that classic rock ‘n’ roll edge, while Side B showcases a delicate and more intimate sound.

So far Kaleo is facing extreme success with the album from award nominations to an outstanding performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!  They won’t be stopping anytime soon as in 2017, they are set to join The Lumineers for another North American tour.

Local Scene Says Goodbye to Brad’s Shows

7/24/16

Hundreds of the area’s most devoted music fans swarmed to Skater’s Choice Saturday for one final night of punk rock hosted by longtime staple, Brad’s Shows.

It doesn’t take much for an entire decade to slip by since the very first time teens rushed to  Choice Inline Arena to watch their best friend’s band kick ass on the rink.  Despite the lack of side bangs and excessive black eyeliner, not a lot has changed within our own native tri-state scene over the years.

The same exact vibes flew through the set; some mixture of adrenaline and early 2000’s pop-punk fueled angst… Except this time intertwined with raging nostalgia, forcing each individual to acknowledge the fact that this whole local scene thing has turned out to be a pretty big deal.

“It felt great for me and the guys to play where it all started with Brad” says One Foot Forward and Carry Along the Coastline bassist Vince Ciafardoni, “For me it was my first place that I’ve ever played and it really was a special moment I’ll never forget.”

The final Brad’s Show event lasted roughly 6 hours, featuring the area’s most respected acts from Skank Week to Far Beyond the Sunrise and a special surprise set from Vacate.

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Brad’s Show is set to be taken over by Harry Oelenschlager, who will continue to book shows at Red Dwarf Studios in Sewell, NJ.

Many Bradboozle attendees took to social media after the show, expressing their gratitude for Brad and all that he has done for the scene.

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So thank you Brad Kelsey for providing a platform; on which friends are made, opportunities are presented, and memories are made that will last a lifetime.

 

No Longer Stuck in the Suburbs: Visit Philadelphia… Or Outer Space?

In my last post, we came across a major breakthrough.. Are you ready for this? Okay, here it is:

TRANSPORTATION EXISTS!!

Yes, it’s true! Cars are a thing now, and so we have the ability to, well… go places.

Last time, we talked about Delaware and all the great, fun, cheap, things to do there. For this post I’d like to focus on another out-of-state destination. Just like Delaware, this destination too lies around the corner. It’s Philadelphia.

I’m sure that you’re already aware of the crazy amount of things to do in Philly. I mean let’s be real, the place is packed with cafes, music venues, parks, stores, bars, and so so much more! However, we often forget that Philly is also home to some pretty incredible museums. If you deem museums as “boring” or “expensive”, leave this blog right now. JUST KIDDING but I do ask that you think again, homie!

This past week I had the pleasure of attending an extremely cool event at the Franklin Institute. It was called “Night Skies in the Observatory“. It’s basically an astronomy night! The place was completely filled with people, a majority of them being college students. This is probably because the event only costs $5.00. Yep, that’s right. The price I pay for a single drink at starbucks got me into an event where I got to explore an entire museum, look through multiple telescopes on a city rooftop, and  listen to a guest speaker (follow him on twitter!), who holds a Ph.D. in cosmology and astrophysics. Rad.

Check out these pics from my experience:

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Real photo of the moon I was able to take through the telescope!

 

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Taken from the observatory deck.

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This view was lovely…
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& of course, my inner 1st grader had to visit the giant heart. It was harder to fit inside there this time though…

So have I sold you yet? If so, keep reading! Below are the dates for the upcoming Night Skies events. Turns out they happen on a monthly basis. Woo!

 

April 14th : 7 – 10p.m. – Amazing Telescopes! In the Planetarium: Dr. James Aguirre; Seeing the Invisible – Science and Technology of Radio Astronomy

May 12th : 7 – 10 p.m. – History of American Planetariums. In the Planetarium: Prof. Mark Trodden

June 9th : 7 – 10 p.m. – Worldwide Stories of the Night Sky; In the Planetarium: Ashley Baker

(This information was taken from The Franklin Institute official website)

Bottom line: Philadelphia is cool. Outer Space is cool. Five dollars is cool. Go to astronomy night!!!!