Tuesday, September 6, 2011

WHYY Connections Festival at Great Plaza at Penn's Landing 9/3/11

Having locked myself in my apartment since the beginning of August for serious studying purposes, needless to say I've been going a little stir crazy without live music. I'm excluding the Frightened Rabbit and Deer Tick Free at Noon's that I've attended, because they don't count as actual concerts. Just a little something to hold me over. Enter day two of the very first WHYY Connections Festival.

I knew that I wanted to go to this, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to "cover" it. You know, take pictures and notes for a review to publish here on my site. I decided to bring my camera. Just in case. While I started off just snapping a few photos here and there from where I was sitting, I ended up letting the thrill and excitement of a photo pit draw me in and away from my seat for the final two acts. I just couldn't help myself.

Kuf Knotz and Dr. Dog were the only two acts that I was actually familiar with in a live setting, so I was very much looking forward to seeing new acts live for the first time. My favorite was definitely Toy Soldiers. I know the name well, living in Philly and following various local media sources, but I just never got around to catching one of their shows. Not only did I enjoy their bluesy folk rock sound, but it was their energy and stage presence that won me over. I think they would have been better off further down on the bill for this reason. But hey, that's just my opinion.

While I enjoyed watching/listening to Birdie Busch, The Baseball Project and Justin Townes Earle, I found myself a little bit bored in the middle of each of their performances. I think Birdie Busch should have performed before Toy Soldiers, as it's often quite difficult to go on after such an energetic act. The Baseball Project was interesting and entertaining enough, but how many songs about baseball can a fairly loosely titled baseball fan (me) listen to before losing interest? Apparently not many.

Justin Townes Earle is certainly talented. Unfortunately, the two girls he brought on stage with him didn't do much for the performance. Not that they aren't talented, don't get me wrong. I just felt that he was much stronger solo. The cellist could have smiled a bit more if you ask me...

As usual, Dr. Dog killed it, with "Mirror Mirror" and "I Only Wear Blue" being personal favorites from the set. It's been six months since I saw them at the Electric Factory for the first time, and I forgot how freaking awesome they are live. The packed Great Plaza, as well as the packed photo pit, was an accurate testament to their talent. I was seriously bummed when I saw what time it was and had to leave to head over to Sigma Sound Studios for Vitamin Water's Uncapped show featuring Work Drugs and Sun Airway. Don't worry, it was worth it. Look for that post in the near future.

Anyways, check out some of my photos from this event, with links to full Flickr sets below.



Random dude getting his groove on to Kuf Knotz.