As a new comer to 88.5 WXPN’s Non-Commvention, I was excited to experience several days of new music overload.  Non-Comm has been know to have some impressive up and coming acts, right before their careers start to rocket.  We saw this last year with Hozier, and in the past with many other artists who have graced the Non-Comm stages like John Mayer, The Lumineers, The Civil Wars, among many others.

Non-Comm packed World Cafe Live (both upstairs and down) for three days, with many of the top notch Non-Comm radio DJs, and label reps from around the US, Canada, and beyond.  This is the 15th year Non-Comm has been happening in Philly, and it looks to keep going strong.  One of the biggest changes this year, was the new partnership between WXPN and Vuhaus, as they made sure to be well know in each and every introduction to artists to the stage.

JJ Grey & Mofro | Photo By Carolyn Lederach

JJ Grey & Mofro | Photo By Carolyn Lederach

The Vuhaus partnership, across many of the nations leading Non-Comm stations, looks to bring listeners/viewers a new way to reach artists.  Vuhaus is a site that will feature interviews, intimate in-studio performances, and much more from many of the world’s most up and coming acts as they stop in at Non-Comm stations around the US.  This launch by Vuhaus was filming live and streaming the entire Non-Commvention online through their site..

Thursday saw an impressive line-up throughout the day with Brandi Carlisle at Free at Noon, to Wynonna Judd’s intimate World Cafe taping, and continued with a slew of fantastic acts throughout the evening showcases.

The music showcases kicked off with Philly’s own Son Little, who just announced some opening dates with Mumford & Sons on their upcoming Summer comeback tour.  Other highlights include BØRNS incredible set, featuring a cover of ‘Benny and The Jets’, which I heard whispers from folks saying they enjoyed BØRNS performance MORE than Elton John’s.  Blues Traveler took the stage downstairs and showed us they still got it.  Taking a break from Sharon Jones to do their own thing, Saun & Starr gave an incredibly precious and badass performance with a little help from the one and only Dap-Kings.  Fly Golden Eagle also brought us the true rock and roll we were all craving that night, which included XPN favorite ‘Tangible Intangible’.

Saun & Starr | Photo By Carolyn Lederach

Saun & Starr | Photo By Carolyn Lederach

Continuing to one of the most heartfelt moments of the night, Glen Hansard touched everyone with his intimate songs.  He mostly got everyone’s attention when he had some surprise guests.  Having walked around Philly earlier that day, he came across two impressive, young street performers, which he then asked to join him on stage for a few songs.  If Glen didn’t win everyone over already, this was it.

Other performances included Zella Day, JJ Grey & Mofro, Heartless Bastards, and Jarekus Singleton.

Line-up Recap:


Zella Day

Brandi Carlile


Wynonna Judd


Son Little

JJ Grey & Mofro


Blues Traveler

Saun & Starr (with the Dap-Kings)

Glen Hansard

Fly Golden Eagle

Heartless Bastards

Jarekus Singleton