This past Saturday, September 17, at Festival Pier, Radio 104.5 took all of us on a musical adventure around the world. Bands from several different countries came to participate in the last Radio 104.5 Block Party of the 2016 season, and none of them disappointed.
To start the day off, local band ‘Andorra’ took the stage full of energy. Andorra won the opportunity to open this show through a contest held by Radio 104.5, and this is not the first time this band has done so. Both last year, and again this past June, Andorra was voted to play at the Radio 104.5 birthday show, and has opened for bands such as ‘Florence + the Machine’, ‘The Lumineers’, and ‘Silversun Pickups’. Along with winning these contests, Andorra has also performed on “Live at 5” on Radio 104.5 and at the ‘New Music Discovery’ live show at Xfinity Live.
Andorra started the show off with their song ‘Ain’t It a Shame’ from their first album, and followed that up with their new song, ‘Four Corners’, which has not only been featured on Radio 104.5, but has also won ‘Majority Rules’ multiple times. It was easy to tell that this band knew what they were doing, as they were relaxed on stage yet kept the audience engaged and excited as they played throughout their set. They ended with a currently unreleased song of theirs, titled ‘Habits’, then threw some Andorra t-shirts into the audience and cleared the stage for the next band.
We then “traveled” from Pennsylvania to Australia as the ‘Griswolds’ took the stage. They immediately instructed the crowd to jump along to their opening song, ‘Down and Out’. The audience did not hold back in showing excitement in the form of high pitched screams each time the lead singer announced what song they were going to play next. Their guitar player got closer to the crowd several times by jumping down off of the stage onto the speakers directly in front of it, which also received a response of screams from fans. The Griswolds then played their new song, ‘Out of My Head’, as lead singer Christopher Whitehall moved about the stage while waving around the mic stand, and the crowd all clapped along to the beat. During the last song of their set, Whitehall hopped off of the stage and stood against the railing near audience, giving everyone there a memorable moment before the end of their set.
The next destination we were taken to was to Hawaii, via the band ‘Iration’. This performance was much more relaxed compared to the previous two sets, but it did not lack energy. Iration plays a mix of rock and reggae, and they fall under a genre called “sunshine reggae”, which was very fitting for a beautiful, sunny day. As we wandered through the crowd, we saw people dancing, drinking, playing games, and relaxing in the sand, all of which were perfect activities for the laid-back music coming from onstage.
In a somewhat stark contrast, the music transitioned from Hawaiian sunshine reggae to Swedish indie pop as ‘Miike Snow’ took the stage. Miike Snow is comprised of three members, two of which are from Sweden, while the lead singer Andrew Wyatt hails from the United States. The band started with their well-known song, ‘My Trigger’, and followed that with their extremely popular song ‘Genghis Khan’, with everyone present singing along enthusiastically to both tunes. Wyatt was a very eclectic performer, traveling the stage as he pleased, and even singing portions of songs while sitting on the ground or simply laying on the floor. It made for a highly entertaining show, with his unique and beautiful falsetto never wavering. Miike Snow ended their show with ‘Animal’, a song that currently has over 57 million plays on Spotify, and all of their fans there sang every single word as loudly as they could.
The last stop on the musical journey of the Radio 104.5 Block Party was across the pond in Scotland as the band ‘CHVRCHES’ from Glasgow finally took the stage. They took their places as the sea of people in the sold-out crowd below them yelled and cheered for the band they had waited all day for. As they performed, lead singer Lauren Mayberry hopped and spun around the stage and stood on the speakers at the front of the stage to tower over the crowd, even though she is very petite in stature. Mayberry revealed to the audience that the last time that CHVRCHES had played a Radio 104.5 Block Party, the crowd had been much rowdier, and that this performance was going much smoother. However, CHVRCHES then played their new song ‘Bury It’ and the crowd quickly departed from their state of calm and collected. This energy remained high throughout their set and they saved the best for last, ending with their most popular song, ‘The Mother We Share’.
From Philadelphia, to Australia, to Hawaii, to Sweden, and finally to Scotland, everyone present at the Radio 104.5 Block Party got a taste of music from many different genres and cultures. There was never a dull moment as the performers engaged with the audience and danced around the stage, taking full advantage of the set times they were given. It was the perfect show to conclude another successful season of Radio 104.5 Block Parties and we look forward to the shows the plan for Summer of 2017.
[Photos by: Josh Campbell Photography]
[Article by Emily Holmquist]
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