August 15, 2015 |
Much has happened to Billy Joel since his sell-out shows last summer at Citizens Bank Park, which was also Thursday night's venue. Once each month, in an amazing display of audience loyalty and personal dedication, Joel has been packing them in at Madison Square Garden. Then on Wednesday, at the age of 66, Billy became the father of a baby girl, Della Rose Joel, after recently having married (in April) his 33-year-old then-girlfriend Alexis. So there was much to celebrate on Thursday night, and Joel hit the CBP in kinetic, fired-up form from the start.
August 13, 2015 |
PHOENIX - Maikel Franco's promising rookie season hit a snag Tuesday night at Chase Field. The 22-year-old third baseman was forced from the Phillies' 13-1 loss in the first inning when he was hit on the left wrist by a fastball from Arizona Diamondbacks righthander Jeremy Hellickson. Franco was diagnosed with a contusion. X-rays on his wrist were negative, the Phillies said. It looked as if it could have been worse. After he was hit, Franco retreated to the grass behind the batter's box and fell to the ground, writhing in pain.
August 12, 2015 |
Walla Fest is a two-day art, music, and vendor festival that moved to Philly after four years at the Centre Theater in Norristown. Last weekend, it was at PhilaMOCA, a space still gleefully referred to as "the mausoleum. " On day two, Sunday, Norwegian Arms delivered folk-infused pop rock with echoes of acts such as Stornoway, Vampire Weekend, and the dream-pop of Philly band Grubby Little Hands. Norwegian Arms is the project of Sellersville-born Brendan Mulvihill, a.k.a. Keith Birthday, who moved to Brooklyn two years ago after a three-year stint in Philly.
July 25, 2015 |
Shania Twain delivered a thrilling, career-spanning concert when her Rock This Country tour stopped Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center. It was a bittersweet night for her fans, though, because they knew they'd never see the "Queen of Country Pop" wrap her fingers around a microphone, throw her hair back, look up to the heavens, and belt out the big hits - or any songs - on stage again. This was the last time. Ever. If we believe the announcement Twain made on Good Morning America earlier this year - and it's reasonable to be skeptical, since many artists retire, and then come back for one last cash-grabbing hurrah - this is the 49-year-old Canadian's final tour.
July 24, 2015 |
Four swift clicks of the drumsticks and an urgent count-off of "1-2-3-4!" to commence another blistering live punk-rock tune - common enough. It's certainly been heard for decades in the band-practice rooms and house-party performance spaces of West Philadelphia. But in crisp, Castilian Spanish? Such was the case Tuesday, when Spain's superfast power trio Sudor (Sweat) blazed through a 20-minute set at Second Empire, providing a dizzying display of top-shelf modern Euro-punk. Sudor, of the Castilla-La Mancha region, is the second highly regarded Spanish hard-core trio this year to play the shifting West Philadelphia underground punk-plus circuit, following Barcelona's Suicidas, which played a memorable local gig in April.
July 21, 2015 |
There is an inescapable survivor's mentality hanging over this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. The eighth annual touring heavy metal festival is noticeably diminished from past years, with three or four stages reduced to two. This year's headliners both recently emerged from difficult periods. Danish singer King Diamond, 59, underwent triple-bypass surgery in 2010 following several heart attacks, while Slayer has regrouped following the death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the firing of drummer Dave Lombardo.
July 17, 2015 |
Denis Leary sports a Daryl Hall haircut as Johnny Rock, an infamously indulgent, self-destructive leader of a fictional 1990s band called the Heathens in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll . In addition to sporting the haircut, Leary also writes for the FX comedy, which premieres 10 p.m. Thursday. The best joke in the first few episodes of the erratic show comes at the expense of the Hall's Philadelphia pop-soul duo. "There's a ton of great long-term couples in the history of rock and whose sexual chemistry made the bands even better," argues Flash, Johnny's former Heathens songwriting partner, with whom he's now reunited.
July 16, 2015 |
* SEX&DRUGS&ROCK&ROLL. 10 p.m. Thursday, FX. * THE JIM GAFFIGAN SHOW. 10 tonight, TV Land. * IMPASTOR. 10:30 tonight, TV Land. * TUT. 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Spike. FOR SEVEN seasons of FX's "Rescue Me," Denis Leary played an alcoholic firefighter whom women inexplicably treated like a rock star. Tomorrow, he's back as a washed-up lead singer named Johnny Rock, in FX's "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. " Karma's come calling in the form of the 25-year-old daughter named Gigi (Elizbeth Gillies, "Victorious")
July 15, 2015 |
In the anthemic title song of his new album, Born on Fire , Ike Reilly is addressing a child. "Don't let nobody try to dampen your flame," he urges. " . . . Hold onto hope and desire, and take your flame to the streets. " "I really had a mission of trying to capture that idea of letting people evolve and find their potential without other people putting them in a box," the underappreciated rocker says over the phone from his home in Libertyville, Ill., outside Chicago, explaining how the song was inspired by his 17-year-old son. It's no stretch to say that Reilly has followed his own advice, however belatedly.
July 14, 2015
YOU'D HAVE thought a rock star was in the ballroom, from the way female members of the NAACP had their camera phones out at the Loews Hotel yesterday. There was a star, actually. Only, Marilyn J. Mosby isn't your typical superstar. She's a big-city prosecutor who in May became an overnight sensation after announcing that Freddie Gray's death had been ruled a homicide and that charges had been filed against six officers in his death. A native of inner-city Baltimore, her bold and decisive actions quelled the street unrest that had dragged on for days in the Charm City, fueled by outrage over the death of Gray as well as those of other black males around the country - Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice.