Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 10:08 AM

Jam Band 101:

1. Classic Grateful Dead medley (Winterland, San Francisco '78)

POSTED: Saturday, July 5, 2014, 12:05 PM
Filed Under: Celebrities & Gossip

Kanye West will be rethinking his second night as London's Wireless Festival headliner on Saturday after he faced booing and hecklers on Friday.

The rapper, who agreed to fill-in for Drake after the ill Canadian announced he wouldn't be able to perform on Saturday, had a less than smooth experience on the opening night of the Finsbury Park event as music fans took exception to his ranting onstage.

Kanye was booed and heckled by festival-goers as he took aim at the media during a break in his set. He told the crowd, "I'm not particularly angry but they've taken the idea of celebrity and tried to make me seem like I'm stupid or something. People keep looking at me like I got a problem or something, like I'm not doing something I'm meant to. The lies, the media, they want to make you feel like you're less to them in their eye."

POSTED: Friday, July 4, 2014, 11:03 PM

After one more winning Roots jam featuring "The Seed 2.0" and a James Brown funk workout, the 4th of July Jam came to a close with Ed Sheeran, the wildly popular ginger singer-songwriter who hails from the country the United States declared independence from in Philadelphia 238 years ago.

Sheeran, whose new album X (which stands for multiply), usually plays solo, supported by his own foot-pedal-triggered loops. With The Roots behind him, the crafty songsmith and guitarist benefitted greatly, his sound filled out and muscled up, on songs of his own like "The Lego House," "Sing," and the singalong tear-jerker "The A Team," which inspired massive waves of smartphone waving, lighting up the sky in advance of the fireworks explosion to come.

The highlight of Sheeran's show, though, was a loosely funky version of Anthony Hamilton's "Comin' from Where I'm From." Not surprisingly, it proved to be right in the Roots' wheelhouse and, unexpectedly, also in Sheeran's.

POSTED: Friday, July 4, 2014, 10:07 PM

All of the acts were well received, but during pauses in the show, the crowd repeatedly let it be known whom they primarily came to see with chants of "Nick-ee! Nick-ee!"

The pneumatic Trinidad and Tobago-born rapper didn't disappoint, with a five-song set that demonstrated her ability to spit hyper-speed rhymes with rat-a-tat precision on "Super Bass" while also displaying a softer pop side on "Pills N Potions."

"Is Philly in the building? Everybody knows I love y'all, I love your energy," Minaj said. "Happy Birthday, America!"

She then launched into the sentimental uplift of "Moment 4 Life," whose beats some fool in the crowd decided to punctuate by popping off their personal supply of fireworks.
Nicki Minaj performing at the Wawa Welcome America Jam on the Parkway, Friday, July 4, 2014. (Elizabeth Robertson / Staff Photographer)
POSTED: Friday, July 4, 2014, 9:46 PM

Jennifer Hudson chose to play with her own sizable backing band rather than The Roots, and -- once Wayans got through drooling over her in a between-the-music segment -- the slimmed-down singer strutted her stuff in a runway that extended into the crowd. Her big moments were "Spotlight" and her show-stopping, powerfully sung Dreamgirls number "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going." After that brought down the house, she went.

The trouble with these Roots-hosted shows is that you often don't get enough of the Philadelphia hip-hop group and Tonight Show Band. They are surely the hardest-working ensemble in show business playing on their own.

On Friday, the band made the most of its time although, in true collaborative spirit, even their solo time featured special guests.

Jennifer Hudson at the Wawa Welcome America Jam on the Parkway, Friday, July 4, 2014. ( Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer )
POSTED: Friday, July 4, 2014, 8:07 PM

The Wawa Welcome America! Fourth of July music festival opened on a surprisingly soft, clear evening (after a day of lowering clouds), promising a night of celebratory, A-list entertainment.

The show kicked off with the Vicci Martinez Band, the five-piece outfit fronted by 2011 The Voice finalist and CeeLo Green protegée. Sporting a partially bleached blonde faux-hawk, the Tacoma, Wash., singer and guitarist warmed up the crowd with an agreeable enough five-song set of soul-rockers that peaked with her 2012 single "Come Along."

She then thanked the still-assembling crowd for letting her warm up the stage, and introduced a closing power ballad by saying, "This is about not wanting things to end." And in the song, she repeated the words "I don't know how to quit you" like a mantra.

Black Thought sings with The Roots performing at the Wawa Welcome America Jam on the Parkway, Friday, July 4, 2014. ( Elizabeth Robertson / Staff Photographer )
POSTED: Friday, July 4, 2014, 11:37 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Ariana Grande performs onstage at the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party presented by VISIT FLORIDA at Fontainebleau's BleauLive at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on June 27, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Due to a personal crisis, Friday’s “Welcome America Concert” on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be absent of pop star Ariana Grande.

Roots drummer Questlove first tweeted the news, which was shortly followed by an official update from Wawa Welcome America.

POSTED: Thursday, June 26, 2014, 12:51 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Musician Ingrid Michaelson performs at Malaria No More's International Honors Gala honoring Hilary Clinton in New York on November 11, 2013 in New York City. (Getty Images for Malaria No More)

The end of July marks the annual XPoNential Music Festival at the Susquehanna Bank Center, and XPN has just added two exciting acts to the already incredible lineup.

Ingrid Michaelson and Philly’s own Strand of Oaks will join the 30+ roster that includes Beck, Ryan Adams, and Rodrigo y Gabriela. In addition to this exciting news, the station has released this year’s schedule of performances from Friday, July 15 through Sunday, July, 27. Tickets are still available.

Friday, July 25 

Wiggins Park gates open at 5 PM

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