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Music Tea w/X Ambassadors

Whether throwing down a hard-hitting electronic pop groove or blessing us with their incredible stage presence, New York based X Ambassadors--Sam Harris(vocals),Casey Harris(keyboards)and Adam Levin(drums)–certainly know how to keep it musically moving in all directions.

Just ask their many legions of fans who’ve followed these fine music gentlemen since their plugged in debut almost a decade ago. Tonight, their Philly fans are certainly in for in a treat when they put it all on display at The Fillmore for a show that’s guaranteed to be a truly rockin’ good time. However, this evening’s X Ambassadors affair is someone of a special night for the guys the as it marks the first official U.S. stop for their latest road venture, The Joyful Tour (it officially kicked off in Montreal last night), in support of their soon-to-be released set, Joyful, which will be dominating headphones across the globe later this spring. 

But what it really comes down to when it concerns X Ambassadors is that they’re simply ready to straight up give it to all of their fans with their upcoming tour and what better place to light it all up other than in Philly, right? Absolutely.

Before they own The Fillmore tonight, they were gracious enough to stop by Philly Mixtape for a spot of music tea, breaking mugs about what fans can expect from their latest stage spectacles, their words of wisdom for all aspiring musicians and whether or not they’ll be able to check out Philly while they’re here. 

Hint–they will…..so, read on and get to know X Ambassadors below.

Oh, and go see them on The Joyful Tour this spring in your city! 

Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with Philly Mixtape. First up, how have you been feeling leading up to the big tour kick off? A lot of the dates are already sold out, so it must feel pretty awesome. Feeling good! We had like a month off for the holidays, so we’re all itching to get back in front of our fans. To know that a lot have already sold out is pretty amazing too.

What can fans expect from your upcoming shows? We’re so excited to be playing a bunch of NEW material for our fans… songs from our upcoming album that haven’t been released yet, in addition to the couple that have already come out.

Which musical artists inspire you guys the most? Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Mavis Staples and Drake.

Any pre-show rituals you do before hitting the stage? SH-I always warm up my voice for about 45 minutes, then I use a steam inhaler for about him 20 minutes, then pick out an outfit, then hit stage. I’m pretty regimented when I’m on tour.

Are you guys going to be able to check out Philly while you’re in town? We love Philly so much. We always stop by Tony Luke’s– we’d always stop there on our way back to Brooklyn when we were touring in our van & trailer– and I personally love to run up the Rocky stairs. I don’t know how much time we’ll have to explore while we’re in town, but hopefully we will.

Lastly, what words of advice would you guys to any aspiring musician in this crazy world right now? Whatever you do– don’t stop. Perseverance is key. And never forget that, as the artist, you have all the power. This is a very tricky industry to navigate and there will be a lot of people who will pretend like they know what’s best for you… but no one is going to be as passionate, or know what’s best for you and your career, than YOU.

For much, much more with X Ambassadors, get down with their official website right here. 

Cover photo courtesy of AXS.com 

 

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Review/ Firefly Festival 2015

Imagine being handed a pass to go to the best music festival the East Coast has to offer…(I hear you Governors Ball). The only directive given: take some photos and go have fun. By the end of your 4 day weekend you’ve acquired 5 additional passes (all rightfully so), wound up with 4 interviews, lots of new friends, and lots of mud on your shoes. This is what happened when Mixtape went to Firefly. And here’s what we have to tell you about it:

It’s All About The Music

Billboard has already told you that Betty Who stole the show…only second to Paul McCartney…they’re wrong on both accounts. Both of those artists blew us all away. Paul brought me to tears. Spoon was spot on as ever. AWOLNATION won my saving grace.

But there were two acts you probably missed because you were busy charging your phones or seeing Snoop. These two bands are going to have a huge impact in the next year: Empire of the Sun and Glass Animals.

I can’t say enough good things about these two acts. And being in a sea of people during their sets, you could feel the good energy reverberate off into the atmosphere. Not to mention the insane talent and fresh sounds that came from them.

Conflicts

Like any festival, there were many conflicts of interest. Snoop was on the same time as Empire,  Modest Mouse the same time as Kygo…yet we were able to see both floating in between (thank you VIP pass).

The biggest conflict was Thursday night. X Ambassadors (who tore. it. up. another act you need to hear), TYCHO (brought a full band complete with ocean scenes and many many shirtless bros), and The Kooks (who stole the night with their insanely catchy melodies). All three acts were on point, great openers for the weekend, and all worth mentioning.

Kygo was a full on feel good party. The energy, the vibes, the happiness. The same went for Aoki, a living legend, who seems even more relevant today by his Firefly set.

Festival Layout

Firefly’s a huge festival and it’s getting even bigger. As far as stages go, Forest, Backyard, and Lawn all seemed to be the most accessible. Pavillion…was a great idea with a terrible execution (it was a muddy pond the entire time complete with agitated security guards). Apparently there were two hubs for food, confusing interviewees when they tried to meet up with us…staff and security had NO idea where we were or were trying to go…this was a recurring theme the whole weekend. Best hangover food we tried was at one of the food vendors outside the venue (mac and cheese, sausage, bacon, chicken, in a roll…yes this is a thing and it’s called the Dr. Lector).

Backstage

The amazing talented people Mixtape met along the way was due in part to the equally awesome staff behind the stages that drove golf carts around the entire weekend…god bless them. The rides were a cross between being in Jurassic World and Entourage as we were chauffeured around in the muddy Woodlands.

PM_YNOT Backstage

Expect some awesome Music Tea this week. This Firefly experience was truly one for the books.

PM_YNOT Firefly Experience

See all photos over on Philly Mixtape’s facebook page here.

And share your favorite moments from the festival in the comments section below !!