Another fall means another chance for the Philadelphia music scene to flex its melodic muscles during the anticipated Philly Music Fest.
The second annual event will host four nights of local acts beginning Sept. 27-30. Famed Fishtown venue Johnny Brenda’s (1201 Frankford Ave.) will open the festival with performances from Soul Glo and Pissed Jeans on Thursday, Sept. 27, before moving to Friday and Saturday for the main event at the World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut St.).
The World Cafe Live performances will feature some of Philly’s music heavyweights, such as Katie Crutchfield’s indie rock band Waxahatchee and the sleazy barroom piano rockers Low Cut Connie on Friday night. Headlining Saturday night will be former indie rock boy wonders, The Districts, who’ve since become (young) adults but are still kicking out awesome sound.
Aiming to be more than a weekend of great tunes, the festival also serves as a nonprofit organization supporting “local musicians, local music education programs and local independent music venues, according to its website” After last year’s launch, the festival donated approximately $15,000 to local music education programs
In addition to funding homegrown musicians, the fest provides an opportunity for locals and fans to hear some of Philly’s most revered acts and discover new talent. Among this year’s lineup, a number of notable up-and-comers stand out.
The Mysteries is one such group, steadily climbing their way up the local music ladder with their psychedelic surf garage rock (think The Ventures mixed with The Sonics). Then there’s Secret American, which features former Cheers Elephant lead singer Derek Krzywicki and his keyboard-driven rock. Also taking the stage is The Whips, a band that plays a song about riding the Broad Street Line – which gives you a glimpse into their Philly roots.
This year’s installment also features a number of bands you may not know but should. For instance, there’s the energetic Hardwork Movement, a hip hop group who’s played everywhere and anywhere throughout Philadelphia, from Spruce Street Harbor Park to opening for Bernie Sanders at his Temple University rally in 2016. There’s also Hurry, a local pop-rock band whose music is as enjoyable as the group’s Instagram account (check out @hurryband for yourself). Finally, there’s Ruby the Hatchet, a psychedelic doom metal band that came to Philly via New Jersey.
Milkboy rounds out the trio for Philly Music Fest all local jazz artists, headlining the bill is Derrick Hodge’s Philly State of Mind, presented by DL Media. The show features James Poyser of The Roots, Rich Medina, Eric Wortham, Rashid Williams, Jaleel Shaw and more.
Tickets for the Sept. 27 show at Johnny Brenda’s, which starts at 9 p.m., will run you $15. An all-day ticket for the Sept. 28 event at World Cafe Live beginning at 6 p.m. goes for $25 and $30 for the shows on Sept. 29 (starts at 3:30pm.). On Sunday, Sept. 30, performances at Milkboy begin at 6pm and are just $20. For more information about the event, including the full music bill, to purchase tickets or more, check out phlmusicfest.com and follow @phlmusicfest on social.
GO SEE A SHOW
Sure, summer concerts are great, but this is fall. We have to prepare for chillier climates, but these acts are sure to keep things fire around here.
Jesse Colin Young
Lead singer of the acclaimed rock band “The Youngbloods” hits the Philly stage. With more than 15 solo albums under his belt, Jesse Colin Young has released chart-toppers, such as “Song for Juli,” “Light Shine,” and “Songbird.” | Oct. 5. 8pm. Prices vary.worldcafelive.com/event/1625053-jesse-colin-young-philadelphia
All about Maroon 5 and their latest album “Red Pills Blue”? Well, you’re in for a pop rockin’ good time, because the famed band is on tour with Julia Michaels, promoting their sixth studio album. Make sure to catch them live if you know what's “Best 4 U.” | Oct. 12. 8pm. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.wellsfargocenterphilly.com/events/detail/maroon-5
Dark Tranquility and Amorphis
More into progressive metal than mainstream tunes? Get ready to thrash, bash and mash, because Dark Tranquility and Amorphis are co-headlining a tour. Joining the tour is Portuguese gothic-black-metal Moonspell and Finnish, melodic-death-metal Omnium Gatherum. | Oct. 12. 7:30pm. $29.50, advance general admission.thetroc.com/event/1644872-dark-tranquillity-amorphis-philadelphia/
Storm Large: A Crazy Kind of Love
A large storm, or more appropriately Storm Large, is blowing into town, and it couldn't be more welcomed! A musician, actor, playwright, author and interpreter of American popular music, Storm Large is a tour de force of talent. Singing with POPS Philly orchestra, her renditions of classic staples, including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Somebody to Love,” and “Forever Young,” will have you on your feet in no time. | Nov. 9-11. Times vary. Prices vary. Single tickets available.kimmelcenter.org/events-and-tickets/201819/philly-pops/popsstormlarge
The Tallest Man on Earth
If raspy, folksy vocals that conjure up sounds of the 1960s is your jam, then The Tallest Man on Earth has got your name on it. The Swedish singer is coming over to the States with his When The Bird Sees The Solid Ground Tour. For a listen of the new album, he released his first song this March, called “Ocean.” | Nov. 10. 8pm. $30. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. utphilly.com/event/1656507-tallest-man-on-earth-philadelphia
It’s been 15 years since the ska punk band released their debut album "Everything Goes Numb." To celebrate the anniversary, the seven-member group will be performing the full album that started it all. | Nov. 30. $27.50, advance. $30, door. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. electricfactory.info/Event/11/30/2018/streetlight-manifesto
He’s bringing “SexyBack” with his Man in the Woods Tour. Supporting his fifth and latest album “Man in the Woods,” vibe out to old and new JT songs. Nashville-based R&B/pop band The Shadowboxers will open for Timberlake. | Dec. 17. 7:30pm. Prices vary. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.wellsfargocenterphilly.com/events
A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season!
When celebrating the Christmas season in Philly, A Philly Pops Christmas is a must. With more than 300 performers, enjoy the tradition with all your favorite holiday music. Back from Broadway, Todd Ellison conducts The POPS Philly Orchestra and the extravaganza that features Mandy Gonzalez, actress in Broadway’s hit show “Hamilton.” For added Christmas cheer, more vocals will be provided by The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, the award-winning African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and the Philadelphia Boys Choir. | Dec. 1-22. Prices vary. Single tickets available. Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, 200 S. Broad St.kimmelcenter.org/events-and-tickets/201819/philly-pops/popschristmas
New Year's Eve with Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Ring in 2019 with an orchestral delight. Leave 2018 behind, and enter the New Year with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor and musical director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Fabulous Philadelphians. | Dec. 31. 7:30pm. Prices vary.philorch.org/concert/new-years-eve-5?date=2018-12-31_19-30#/