Pokey LaFarge at World Cafe Life
Wed., July 17. philly.worldcafelive.com
Overall vibe: LaFarge had the pool of different ages in awe as he entertained and amused the crowd with music you’d never thought to love before. His mixture of jazz, blues, country swing and ragtime, alongside his witty banter throughout the night, made for a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience.
Most memorable moment: The constant stream of powerful solos played by each member of LaFarge’s band. The clarinet, washboard, harmonica, trumpet and other instruments made stellar individual appearances throughout the night, leaving the audience feeling privileged to have been witnesses. LaFarge’s strengths as a musical innovator were on full display, brought to life by this crew of talented musicians.
Scene stealer: LaFarge’s interaction with the audience, including girls in their vintage garb and energetic swing dancers, who were nothing short of fabulous. He was in good spirits as one man yelled out, “Where’s your time machine?” lifting up his guitar in an epic rock ‘n’ roll response. (Manon Braciszewski)
Fantasia + Joe at the Dell Music Center
Thurs., July 18. mydelleast.com
Overall vibe: Can you say “heatwave?” It was hot and sticky outside and onstage, with the opening act, Joe, a bit of a melting-pot mixed bag. He didn’t appreciate our candid, not-that-impressed smattering of applause at times—that’s how Philly rolls, Joe!—but maybe because it was hot out there. When ‘Tasia set the stage, though, she really set it on fire, and we forgot where we were. What heatwave?
Most memorable moment: Every bit of Fantasia’s performance. There was nothing lacking, nor a minute of down-time once she hit the stage. There were consistent, continually memorable moments—like when she was dancing to old school songs. Or when she told the crowd to rush the stage and warned security to relax. Or when she blew without the mic, and everyone knew/heard the lyrics she was singing.
Scene stealer: Every eye was on Fantasia; no one cared about poor Joe, who couldn’t steal a glance. ‘Tasia commanded that stage, delivering an explosive show from the second she stepped out to the moment she exited. She stole her own show. (Danielle Mitchell)