This past Sunday, Philadelphia’s Alternative Music Station, Radio 104.5 hosted the fourth installment of the Summer Block Party series, hosted at Festival Pier. This month’s lineup included Commonwealth Choir, Saint Motel, Wolf Alice, Atlas Genius and Matt and Kim and was sure to be the total “Sunday fun-day”.
As per summer block party tradition, local Philly band Commonwealth Choir opened the afternoon festivities. Despite a short set, they did not let the energy fade away. Their summer beach vibes were going strong throughout their performance, playing their newest hit single “Palace” as well as songs like “Rest” off of their 2013 debut EP entitled Shirtless. With their beach-pop reminiscent of other local Philly bands like Cruisr and Cold Fronts, Commonwealth Choir is sure to be going places, fast. The band put on a great show and those who did not know of them before, are definitely fans now.
Los Angeles based indie-pop band Saint Motel was up next. They opened up their set with the song “Feed Me Now” off their debut album titled Voyeur. Saint Motel played a high energy set full of songs that many people in the crowd had not heard before and kept the angst high as everyone awaited the performance of their hit single “My Type”. Closing their set with that song, they made sure to end their performance with unforgettable energy. Dancing across the stage and pouring everything they had left into the song, Saint Motel left the audience wanting more.
The next band to take the stage traveled all the way from London, England to perform at this month’s Summer Block Party. Wolf Alice is an up and coming alternative rock band that is quickly gaining popularity. The band opened their set with their single “Fluffy” from their debut studio album entitled My Love Is Cool. There is a certain vibe to female fronted bands that is unbeatable and Wolf Alice definitely feeds off of those vibes. Front woman Ellie Rowsell has a very soft yet powerful voice that kept the crowd wanting more. The band concluded their set with their “Nirvana-esque” most popular tune Moaning Lisa Smile. Wolf Alice are great performers and definitely have a unique vibe to their music that will surely take them far.
It was time for Australian based indie-rock band Atlas Genius to take the stage. Scheduled to play a longer set, the band did not disappoint. They opened their performance with “Symptoms” off of their 2013 debut studio album When It Was Now, followed by the recent single “Stockholm” off their upcoming album Inanimate Objects. To say that brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery know how to put on a show, would be an understatement. These brothers know how to orchestrate a party and that’s exactly what they did. Atlas Genius wasted no time getting the fists pumping and the feet grooving. Not before long, strangers were dancing with strangers and smiles filled the faces of every audience member. Cheers rang out throughout the crowd as the intro to Atlas Genius’ final song, their hit single from their debut album, “Trojans”, began. It’s safe to say that there wasn’t single person in the crowd who wasn’t singing along to this indie-pop anthem. Atlas Genius did a perfect job at amping up the energy of the crowd for the once in a lifetime party that was about to ensue.
Finally, with nothing but a drum kit and a keyboard, headliner Matt and Kim took to the stage. This was the moment the entire crowd was waiting for. As the sun began to lower in the sky, Matt and Kim took to their instruments and wasted no time getting the party started. The Brooklyn-based duo opened their high energy set with “It’s Alright” from their 2012 release Lightning. I don’t think there are any words to accurately describe what the experience of going to a Matt and Kim concert is like, but I will say that it is pure mayhem in all the right ways. There’s no better place to spend your Sunday afternoon than partying it up with Kim Schifino and Matt Johnson. The band was set to play an hour long set, definitely something that these two party animals could handle. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and after playing a set chock full of songs from their multiple different albums, as well as standing on piano benches and twerking on drum kits, it was time to call it a night. Matt and Kim closed out their unforgettable performance with their hit “Daylight” off their debut album Grand. After taking a bow and thanking the crowd for supporting their endeavors, the afternoon had come to a conclusion.
This month’s block party was arguably one of the best block parties that I have ever been to. It was filled with high energy and some of the most passionate musicians I’ve seen in recent times. There is no better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than at a Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party down at Festival Pier. Did I mention that they’re completely free? It doesn’t get any better than that. So make sure to check out the final installment of the Summer Block Party series next month on September 13th. The line-up is unbeatable: Panic! at the Disco, Joywave, The Wombats and The Front Bottoms… is there really anything better than that? Make sure to download tickets as soon as they go up because they are extremely hard to snag and the Summer Block Parties are what make Philadelphia summers so amazing. Make sure to check out all the bands who participated in this month’s Summer Block Party when they’re in your town, because they all put on a show that is not to be missed.
See more photos from the event here.