by Andi Bricklin
It’s always great to see a show at the World Café Live. It’s a beautiful venue, with great sound, but it’s especially exciting when the air is electrified with the excitement of NonCOMM. We were lucky enough to be able to check out Day two of the 14th Annual NonCOMMvention in Philadelphia on May 15, 2014.
The evening started off with an impromptu hootenanny in the lobby with the band garnering themselves into the favor of the audience by picking up the bar tab (Cheers!) during their performance. The Howlin’ Brothers made a lot of friends that night, and put on a pretty fun show to boot!
The “Rock is Not Dead” set opened with Those Darlins, who rocked the house! The Darlins put on a great show with their style of music that sounds like Joan Jett meets renegade Go-Go vixen Jane Wiedlin. It was, however, difficult to see the vertically challenged lead singer, Jessi, over the crowd.
After the set, we all herded downstairs to see The Felice Brothers. The Felice Brothers, whose song “Cherry Licorice” was recently featured in The Vampire Diaries (one of my personal guilty pleasures) played a fun and energetic set that had us all up and dancing. Also, I dare you to find a hunkier fiddle player. Ladies, am I right?! Looking forward to seeing these guys again at Union Transfer on July 10, 2014.
Meanwhile back upstairs, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires were tuning up and getting ready to blow us away with their old school, bonafide rock songs with all the bells and whistles; great guitar riffs, driving, hard hitting drums, and a lead singer with so much energy that a new t-shirt was needed after the set!
Twitter was all a buzz with the soulful/bluesy performance by Irish singer-songwriter, Hozier. Haunting and mesmerizing, Hozier wowed the audience and left us all reeling for more. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until November 1st to experience the goose bumps again, when he’ll be performing at The Trocadero.
Back upstairs, Ian McLagan and the Bump Band proved to us that “Rock is Not Dead” AND that rock has no age limits! It was an honor to see Mac, Scrappy and the band on stage performing songs off their forthcoming album due out June 17, 2014, and available on vinyl.
We’re pretty sure we caught members of the Counting Crows taking in Mac’s set before taking the stage downstairs, and although Adam Durtiz could learn a bit about class and tact from our good friend, Mac (drop the F-bomb much?), the band played an awesome set of new songs. But the highlight of the night was when the band took us back to the ‘90s with their performance of “Omaha.” Catch them again on June 28th, 2014 when they are back in the area at the Atlantic City Borgata Spa and Resort, and be on the lookout for the new studio album, Somewhere Under Wonderland, due out this fall.
Our carriage turned into a pumpkin promptly at 11:30 p.m., so we didn’t catch the remaining performers of the evening, Benjamin Booker and Shovels and Rope, but we heard great things.
Catch all of the NonComm buzz on Twitter and Instagram using #NonComm and re-live the music at xpn.org/events/non-comm.