by Lauren Rosier
Philly alternative rock band, Civil Youth, has had quite the 2016 so far. The band recently returned to Philadelphia after a slew of tour dates down south in Florida and Georgia.
“The shows down south were some of the best we’ve played yet,” lead vocalist Michael Kepko reveals. “The way the crowds accepted us, got to know us, and hung with us made it all worth it. It was the 1st time playing those venues, but we will definitely be back.”
Next up is Radio 104.5’s birthday show. The annual birthday show is a pretty cool event, but what’s even more exciting, is that they hold a contest for a local band to open the show. This year, the final four bands were Andorra, Tim Williams, The Color 25, and Civil Youth, and they all had the chance to perform at the Parx Casino on May 22nd before the winner was announced live later that evening.
Wendy Rollins announced Civil Youth as the winner to open for Twenty One Pilots this Saturday. As with all of the station’s events, the birthday show is sure to be a crazy, fun celebration of the alternative music scene, Philly music fans, and of course, the radio station.
“I think what we’re all looking forward to most is being able to show much more of our Philly fans what this band and family is about. To be able to reach such a huge crowd is something we will always be grateful for,” Kepko explains.
Radio 104.5 has always been a big supporter of the local Philly music scene and that doesn’t go unnoticed by many local bands. “No other station supports as much as they do,” says Kepko. “Whenever another company is having a contest, it’s usually just a business model to promote their event. Radio 104.5 is so much more than that. Let’s put it like this- while all the bands were performing the night of the announcement, the entire DJ team was there watching, videoing, talking, dancing, and having the best time.”
What’s so special about the Philly music scene is the way that everyone supports each other, whether it be through promotion, buying merch, or going to shows. National bands like Twenty One Pilots, Linkin Park, and 30 Seconds to Mars are just a few that have influenced Civil Youth.
“There’s bands and people from both the local scene and national the always push us to the limits,” Kepko says. “Whether it’s with work, the music, promo, or whatever, bands like All Hope Contained, Five Fold, Jane N’ the Jungle, Glass House Point are keeping us on our toes, but we all have each other’s backs, which makes knowing them even better.”
So now, in just a few short days, Civil Youth will take the BB&T Pavilion by storm and perform in front of a huge audience and open for a nationally recognized band.
“Getting into the final four, let alone winning, was all but humbling. The fact that our fans support us that much is really hard to actually put into words,” Kepko admits. “We happened to be touring during the time the contest was taking place, so there was a lot going on for us which made promo for the contest difficult. This family of ours took it upon themselves to vote daily and getting us to #1. They are truly the only reason why we’re here today, and continue to do what we do. You guys are our family.”