photos and review by Matt Kelchner
Day Two of the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru came with the same level of surprises as the first – just in different ways. No, there were not any more lengthy rants from any of artists. As temperatures soared and scorched, power failures and weather issues plagued the two stages at Wiggins Park on Saturday. While they made for huge headaches for people working behind the scenes, it allowed for some truly unique experiences for fans and concertgoers!
After another short ferry ride across the Delaware, we arrived at Wiggins Park just in time to catch the rootsy, soulful New Orleans group The Revivalists. Singer David Shaw made it clear that they did not share the same views about entertainment being stupid as another vocal singer mentioned the night before. To really hammer in the point, Shaw later jumped down to crowd level to share and embrace the love. The early afternoon slot proved to be no trouble for The Revivalists as they drew a rightfully deserved large crowd on the River Stage.
Throughout the day, big name acts were slated one after another on the River Stage. That didn’t mean the smaller Marina Stage was a slouch by any means. Two much-hyped acts, Darlingside and The Record Company, lived up to every amount of buzz Saturday. The two acts could also not be further apart from one another. Darlingside, an indie folk quartet, delivered near perfect harmonies throughout their soft and subtle set. On the other end of the spectrum was the bluesy, hard-rocking group The Record Company, who ripped through an electrifying performance full of noisy harmonica lines. Both had the lawn in front of the Marina Stage filled with onlookers.
While there were certainly no low points in any of the performances throughout the day Saturday, it was highlighted by The Felice Brothers. Sound issues started flaring up early and often, leading up to the the entire stage losing complete power. Without much explanation all five members exited the stage, slowly walking their way down into the crowd to finish out their set. Fans quickly gathered around as the band played song after song. Sure guitar solos weren’t as loud and drum beats can only be so full with just a snare drum, but The Felice Brothers sure made it work. After playing a handful of tunes and adding a few more requests from the crowd, and countless photos and videos, the five somberly made their way back to behind the stage. Photos and words can only do so much justice to one of the best performances of the day.
When it came time for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to take the stage, the skies started to take a turn. It only took a few solos into the opening song for the rain to begin. Once over, it was announced that the band would be taking a short break to wait out the rain. Almost instantly after instructing fans to move away from the stage and take cover in the covered parking garages, the few drops turned into a complete downpour. Some fans ran to find dry spots while others celebrated the cool rain.
The quick moving clouds ended up taking a bit longer than expected to pass and eventually ended things at Wiggins Park. The show would still continue at neighboring BB&T Pavilion, but Preservation Hall Jazz Band, David Wax Museum and Josh Rittner were unable to go on at the River and Marina Stages next door. Fortunately, Preservation Hall Jazz Band were squeezed into the lineup at BB&T Pavilion and David Wax Museum were added into Sunday’s lineup. With a bag full of camera equipment soaked and fears/worries mounting, we retreated back home for the day to dry out in preparation for the final day of the XPoNential Music Festival.