Music unintentionally breaks barriers. It has the power to bring people of various backgrounds together through a common interest, temporarily setting aside any conflicting differences. Often times no one seems to care about or notice another’s age or skin color when standing in front of a stage. I am especially aware of this concept every time I attend a Free At Noon concert. These live performances are a series of free shows offered by WXPN in Philadelphia. When at these events, I can look around the crowd and see not one similar group or person. This was certainly the case last Friday when a mixture of fans visited World Café Live to enjoy the sounds of Sea Wolf and Ryan Bingham.
As per the typical Free At Noon protocol, radio host Helen Light engages the audience before going live on the air. A good amount of attendees came to World Café Live on this day to show their support for WXPN and the two talented acts providing the afternoon’s entertainment. As promised, the show promptly begins at noon with Light introducing the bands of the hour. Sea Wolf is to perform first, followed by the closing of the show with Bingham.
Because these concerts are broadcasted live, the stage is set up at a quick pace. Alex Church of Sea Wolf speed walks directly to his guitar and begins to tune the instrument, with the rest of the band following close behind. As soon as the band is announced and applauded, they begin to play. “Miracle Cure” is Sea Wolf’s first song in a scheduled set of six. The band only has three members present for the show, performing as sort of a stripped down version of themselves. Nonetheless, being short of instrumental support proved to work just as well for this half of Sea Wolf. The band captivates listeners with musical tales of romance, hunters, and an old friend. “No goodbyes and no time for mourning. Now we’ll see what this love is for”, sings Alex Church during the band’s performance of “Priscilla”.
Ryan Bingham appears to be a pretty laid back guy who really enjoys what he does for a living. He and his band waste no time rocking the downstairs portion of World Café Live, opening their set with “Heart of Rhythm”. Crowd members don’t hesitate to stomp their feet, clap their hands, and even dance a little soon after the music starts. The band is full of stimulating energy which has clearly spread throughout the audience.
Bingham puts forth a fantastic effort to connect with his audience through song and on a more personal level. He takes time to explain significant meanings behind songs like “I Heard Em’ Say” welcoming all cultures, creeds, and races to partake in this special concert experience.