Wednesday, July 2: F*cked Up
Toronto punks F*cked Up boast an epically bad-ass name (so bad-ass it can’t be printed here!), and the spirit of rock’n roll revelry to back it up. Combining punk, hardcore, indulgent guitar solos, and literary allusions, F*cked Up are one of the only bands showcased here who have won both a Polaris Prize (top honors in Canada) and a reality TV stint—but will never be accused of selling out. Formed more than a decade back, the band’s made a career out of defying expectations, releasing only singles and EPs for 5 years, then surprising fans with a long, unwieldy debut that turns the loud, fast punk trope on its head. Since then, they’ve released three more LPs, including 2014’s Glass Boys, a more reflective record that still sounds like a bar band being pummeled in the head. Live, they’re known for their energy and antics—particularly front man Damian Abraham, once described as “the world’s most pissed off teddy bear”—who augments his sledgehammer vocals with sweat and hugs (yes, hugs!) They stop by Morgan’s Pier this Wednesday for a FREE show—come sweat it out as you kick off your holiday weekend.
9:00 at Morgan’s Pier, 221 N. Columbus Blvd., free with RSVP.
Friday, July 4: Eight Legged Prawn
If giant packed concerts don’t appeal to you, fear not! Show your brotherly love another way, by supporting the local scene. This July 4th Boot & Saddle plays host to a ridiculous line-up of local talent, including headliners “Eight Legged Prawn,” a very silly pseudonym for a great young band from Lititz, PA we’ve posted about before (we don’t want to give it away completely, so let’s just say their name sounds like “The Mystics.”) The show doubles as a celebration for new label American Diamond Recordings, helmed by Toy Soldiers front man/solo artist Ron Gallo, and named after its location on American and Diamond Streets. All the bands on the line-up (sans the mysterious Prawn) are a part of American Diamond—including the inestimable Gallo. He’s joined by the country-tinged blues of Levee Drivers, the breezy Americana of The Lawsuits, and the whiskey-fueled howl of TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb. Come hang, drink beer, and see why this young label is quickly becoming one of our very favorites.
8:00 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $10. Tickets available here.
Friday, July 4: Party on the Parkway
Philadelphia is America’s birthplace, and at no point is this more obvious than during the 4th, when the entire city is transformed into a carnival of fun, free events. Yet perhaps most impressive is the Party on the Parkway, billed as the largest free concert in America. In the past, the event’s showcased some pretty big names, like Hall & Oates, Boyz II Men, and Earth, Wind, and Fire. This year’s line-up features headliners The Roots, alongside Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheehan, Jennifer Hudson, and more (see the full line-up here)—followed by an epic fireworks show over the Philadelphia Art Museum. And while, yes—the free price tag means this will be somewhat of a mob scene—it’s a mob scene we feel ok partaking in. This is America’s 238th birthday after all—and just like your last birthday, it’s bound to get a little crazy and wake up with a hangover. But dancing with your neighbors to “The Seed (2.0)”? It doesn’t get much better than that.
7:00 at Benjamin Franklin Party, from 20th St. to Eakins Oval, free.
Saturday, July 5: Beyonce and Jay Z
In some ways, there’s no greater success story for America than that of the Queen and King of Pop: her the daughter of a hair-dresser and sales manager from Houston, TX, and him the son of a single mother from a BKLYN housing project—who together joined forces to become one of the most powerful couples the Biz has ever seen. This holiday weekend, they’ll bring their chart-topping tunes to Philly, for what just might be the Concert of the Summer. There are so many reasons to love both halves of this power couple: Bey for her killer pipes, bad-ass fashion, and positive female messages; and Jay for his endless creativity, smooth flow, and philanthropic endeavors. And while the couple have both been known to delight audiences with surprise guest appearances at the other’s shows, this is their first, official, co-headlining tour—and judging from their Miami setlist, it will be epic. Before you go: check out this trailer of the pair rehearsing below, then get ready to fall crazy in love all over again.
8:00 at Citizen’s Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, $55–285. Tickets available here.