June 22, 2009 |
"Don't let anyone tell you to give up on your dreams," Metric singer Emily Haines urged the crowd at the Trocadero Friday night. "We haven't given up on ours. " That kind of sentiment - vague but forceful, generic yet impassioned - is a rock star's stock in trade, but these guys aren't stars, exactly. In a shimmering minidress, her frame silhouetted by fog and blue backlights, Haines played the sultry frontwoman, but she couldn't resist cracking the occasional goofy smile, her tongue protruding in mock disbelief.
August 16, 1989 |
More than anything else, last night's rock and roll show at the Mann Music Center was a lesson in the pros and cons of professionalism. The Replacements, notorious bad boys of the genre, began their opening set five minutes EARLY. Led by a coherent, emotive Paul Westerberg, the band crammed 12 songs into 40 minutes without shortchanging any of them. (Among the highlights: an ironic, twisted-smile treatment of the Rolling Stones' "Happy," and the furiously determined "Alex Chilton.
July 3, 2009
TWO HUNDRED and thirty years ago, John Adams called it the Day of Deliverance. In our hometown of Philadelphia, we begin the celebration of the Fourth of July, appropriately, at Independence Hall with political rhetoric and prestigious award ceremonies and the tapping of the Liberty Bell. The patriotic nostalgia permeates the air while Ol' Glory waves at us from all directions as the sweet sounds of classic anthems electrify our senses. As we remember the Spirit of '76, let us ponder the words of Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that All Men are Created Equal.
March 25, 2010 |
At the height of his hair-metal fame, you'd hardly have pegged Jon Bon Jovi as the type to get nostalgic for simpler times. But age - his and, more to the point, his audience's - has a way of shifting perspective. At the sold-out Wachovia Center on Tuesday night, the bad-boy anthems of Bon Jovi's youth were outnumbered by recent songs built on inspirational nostrums and blue-collar solidarity. (The band also played the venue twice yesterday: another sold-out concert last night, and a late-afternoon show for fans of Bon Jovi's departed arena football team, the Philadelphia Soul.
November 29, 2002 |
Donnie Hathaway, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, N'Dambi . . . there are musicians whose albums we dig out when we desire more than just a groove. Another such artist, Osunlade, will be at Fluid tonight on the Got Soul & R2 Records Tour. Osunlade - producer, house DJ, remixer and Ifa priest - has the ability to reach beneath our layers with either instrumentals or anthems that "say something. " His latest, New Day, under the moniker Atelewo, has rhythms that get your body parts moving - your knees bounce, your fingers snap, and your ears focus on the vocals in hopes of discerning what is being breathed into your soul.
July 29, 2002 |
When playing your trademark flying drum kit isn't an option (former Motley Crue skinsman Tommy Lee is sticking to guitar and lead vocals on his current solo tour), there's always the breast cam to give fans big rock bang for their buck. Two songs into his 75-minute exercise in nu-metal banality at the Trocadero Friday night, the rail-thin and tattooed Lee scanned the half-full house for about 10 minutes with his camera, encouraging female fans to lift their shirts. A handful complied, but in a stroke of Girls Gone Wild meets Spinal Tap hormonic convergence, it was impossible to see them on the giant video screen thanks to a glare from the stage lights.
January 5, 2005
Those NFL national anthems aren't so Super I WISH THE beloved Eagles success on the road to the Super Bowl - but why does the NFL have to overproduce the national anthem every year at that game? Once it would be performed by a man with a trumpet, or one singer a cappella, or a chorus. Now it is a combined marching band and a symphony orchestra. There is not enough time for all those musicians to get on and off the field. (Symphony orchestras are bad enough, but they're even worse when the kettledrums are played by women.
June 7, 2004 |
When the emerging Irish singer and songwriter Simple Kid and his two accompanists took the stage late Saturday night at the North Star Bar, they faced a scene known to most performers who are just starting out: The room was nearly empty, and though a few early adopters sang the words to the songs, most patrons were indifferent. The kid - known to his mom as Ciaran McFeely - made a valiant effort to enchant them. Starting with "Hello," the anthemic introductory number from his just-issued debut, 1, he dispensed stompy drum-machine-based rock grooves set against neatly strummed acoustic guitars and backwaters banjo (from multi-instrumentalist Matt Jones)
July 14, 1997 |
At an age when most performers are inclined to sleepwalk through their hits, veteran belter Tina Turner still goes to extravagant lengths to entertain. Friday at the Waterfront Entertainment Centre, after two hours of near-constant motion, the 57-year-old Turner began priming the crowd for her signature finale, a soul-revue-style treatment of "Proud Mary. " But something caught her eye, and she interrupted her introduction to invite an elderly woman onstage. As "Proud Mary" gathered intensity, Turner held and danced with the woman, Mitzi Goldman, who was celebrating her 90th birthday.
May 22, 1993 |
Consider the facial expressions of the average arena rock star. The bassist's brow furrowed in concentration. The guitarist's pained, mid-solo grimace. The vocalist's patented Mick Jagger megaphone mouth, the better to serve as cheerleader - or drill sergeant. Thursday at the Theater of Living Arts, the six men of Australia's INXS added a few new faces to the repertoire. The look of giggling and belly laughter and genuine surprise. INXS has its share of fun when it plays hockey rinks like the Spectrum, its usual Philadelphia home.