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Review:Andra Day Lit Up The Ardmore Music Hall Last Night

Out of the many reasons why Retro-soul diva Andra Day‘s ravishing set last night at The Ardmore Music Hall was just everything, there was one element that truly stood out above the rest (besides THAT voice, of course)–it was how real she kept it with her audience throughout the entire evening.

Entering the brightly lit stage decked out in true Soul 2 Soul fashion form, an oh, so fierce turban that was matched with big gold hoop earrings for days, the red-hot Day instantly became one with her sold out crowd. In fact, the songstress felt the chill audience vibe so much that right when she strutted on and began belting the golden tracks off of her critically acclaimed Cheers to the Fall album, she straight up took a seat on the stage and reeled us all in with her keeping-it-real-like-that life presence. Also, in case you didn’t know, a handful of Ms. Andra’s debut set was produced by Philly’s own rap legends The Roots and DJ Jazzy Jeff, which is another reason why the singer could truly feel the love. Well, that and the fact that there’s nothing better than a Philly live music crowd.

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Also on the fun, funkdafied music ride, Ms. Day took time out to chat and laugh (which is absolutely insatiable) with her eager audience, showed lots of music love for her incredible backup band (who were just as much the stars of the show as she was), and also brought out opening acts Conrad Sewell and Seleka back on the glowing stage for an encore while the songstress took a brief break in between singing slays.

Ms. Day’s brother was also in attendance, but instead of cheering her on from the audeince, he kept busy on stage playing drums all night for his sister. All further proving that there’s truly nothing better than the good old fashioned family music love.

But indeed it all comes back to the way Ms. Day truly felt her crowd last night (especially during her three song tribute to Michael Jackson and when we all joined her on her trademark ballad, “Rise Up”), and how her sense of keeping it real was in full effect. You could feel that she wanted to be there and had so much natural love for her fans, which made everyone feel comfortable right out of the live music gate.

In a music industry that’s loaded with music artists that have teams and teams of people around them tending to cloud them on what kind of music artist they’re supposed to be (we all know who they are), it’s very easy to tell that Andra Day is not that type of music artist, or will she ever be that type of diva. She’s a true, down to earth, extraordinarily talented musician, and that element was on absolute fine display at the Ardmore Music Hall last night.

If you haven’t gotten the chance to revel in everything Ms. Day has to musically offer, take a seat at the music tea table and get lost in Philly Mixtape’s exclusive chat with the incredible singer right here.

 

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Review:Cedric Gervais Brought “Summertime” Heat to Coda on Friday Night

Although he didn’t hit the decks until 1 a.m., world-renowned DJ Cedric Gervais certainly brought his fortress of funkdafied fire to the anxiously awaiting crowd at Coda on Friday night. With a throbbing set that included his dance hits, “Molly,” “Love Again,” and one insane rewerk of the classic Technotronic track, “Pump Up the Jam,” there wasn’t a fist that wasn’t pumping in the air for Mr. Gervais. 

But the real question that was on everybody’s music minds was how long would we have to wait until he ripped out his globally dominating remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness?” Well, lucky for everyone, our wish was not only granted once, but twice! The first was just as a tease right from the get go once he took the helm, only to get through his powerful set by fully loading Lana at the tail end of his electrified romp. Obviously, you can imagine that the esteemed remix got the crowd even more hype (as if that were possible) and jumping up and down for their lives. (Seriously, that floor was shaking). 

While Mr. Gervais exudes a very serious vibe when he’s serving up dance music life, after the set, the DJ took a number of selfies with audience while interacting with them quite a bit throughout the evening. (Check out his official Facebook page right here). While his thunderous catalog features a collection of mostly hard-hitting grooves, the crowd at Coda ate it up as Mr. Gervais served it out, all while he created an atmosphere that brought everyone together. And being that it’s a crazy f$%king world out there these days, it was right when we needed it most. 

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Show Review/Ezra Furman Owned the MilkBoy Stage on Saturday Night

Electric chaos is the word I’d use to describe Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends show this past Saturday night at MilkBoy. It was a family affair but you know…the dysfunctional kind.

First song “Cherry Lane” was a rough start between the sound going haywire and Ezra’s guitar breaking multiple strings. The packed house paid no mind as all faces were eager for Ezra’s return. I met a young lady who came all the way up from Virginia, having seen them perform in D.C. the day before. She told me it had been so long since they had been in the states, having toured Europe and then readied the release for Perpetual Motion PeopleEzra’s newest release (3rd album, but 6th if you count his albums with The Harpoons…of which I do). Everyone in that space had a similar story. These are true fans and they are growing in numbers.

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His backing band, The Boyfriends, were more of a staple than hired guns with saxophone solos throughout, a jack-of-all-trades keyboardist/guitarist, and a bassist who really looked like he was your boyfriend. By the 3rd song the band had gotten comfortable and the crowd upfront were getting wild. By the last song everybody in that venue was dancing: a mix of 1920s swing to and psuedo-mosh-pit (really just one guy and a few fist pumps here and there).

Highlights of the show included their newest hit single “Restless Year” that was too short you just wanted it to be played again, “Wobbly” a strange awkwardly catchy tune about feeling…awkward, the sing-a-long to “Lousy Connection,” and huge admiration and applause for “Mysterious Power,” a song from his previous band The Harpoons.

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The best part…I’ve never seen a band at MilkBoy where the crowd demanded an encore, trapping the band in the middle of the crowd until they went back on stage…only for them to play four more songs including “I Killed Myself But I Didn’t Die.” 

Philly’s own Danny Newport opened the show as well as Chicago-based band, J Fernandez. As I usually say but mean it more than any other time…you really should’ve been there. We missed you.