The music festival benefitted a slew of local music organizations including Settlement Music School, Musicopia and Kensington’s own Rock to the Future.
After only three songs into Low Cut Connie’s set at Philly Music Fest Saturday night, Adam Weiner’s curly, stark black bangs were already glued to his forehead with sweat. The music festival benefitted a slew of local music organizations, including Settlement Music School, Musicopia and Kensington’s own Rock to the Future.
“Do what you feel,” he commanded those in attendance at the World Cafe Live.
The crowd, which was as age-diverse as they come, did just that, while bumping and grinding to the South Philly-based band’s rendition of “Boozophilia,” the hit song that put them on the map. Most of the Philadelphia music scene has come to learn that Low Cut Connie shows are more than just concerts — they’re parties. Events. Celebrations. They’re basically glorified house shows since you almost always end up leaving with more friends than you came in with. For one night, the World Cafe Live may have well been renamed the Living Room Live.
In addition to “Boozophilia,” the band went on to play a bunch of other older songs such as “Back In School,” “Rio” and “Shake It Little Tina.”
The crowd went wild for each one, but they were just as crazy for the new stuff. A slew of new songs off Connie’s latest two albums Dirty Pictures (Part One) and Dirty Pictures (Part Two) were also played, such as “All These Kids are Way Too High,” “Revolution Rock and Roll,” “Beverly,” “Oh Suzanne,” and “Dirty Water.”
Back in February, Weiner described DP1 as “grimy” and “messy,” while DP2 is more “emotional” and “cathartic.” It represents a microcosm of the band’s sound since its first album, Get Out the Lotion, released in 2011.
Weiner’s showmanship is all about breaking down the fourth wall between the band and the audience. The frontman lept into the crowd, embracing people up front with hugs, and at one point plucked out a few chest hairs and blew them into the audience.
But Low Cut Connie wasn’t the only headliner at Philly Music Fest, which is now in its sophomore year. Before Connie graced the stage Friday night, Philly’s own Katie Crutchfield, better known Waxahatchee, performed a solemn solo set, serving as the calm before the storm to Low Cut Connie’s madness. The unfortunate part about Crutchfield’s set — and it needs to be said — was the downright rudeness of the bar crowd near the back of the venue, who loudly talked over Crutchfield’s set to the point of almost drowning out her music, ruining the fun for the many people who care to see her. The noise got increasingly louder throughout the set, so much so that Crutchfield shushed the audience during the last song. It made the set a bit awkward to watch, even though Crutchfield’s set was otherwise captivating and enchanting. For those looking for another chance to see Waxahatchee, she’ll be opening for Courtney Barnett at the Fillmore on Oct. 23.
On Saturday night, The Districts, who have some members based in South Philly, headlined the festival, bringing a raucous punk energy to the event. It’s not often you see moshing teenagers at the World Cafe Live, but The Districts incited just that. The band played a set that leaned heavily on newer material from their latest album, Popular Manipulations, released last year.
“Philly Music Fest showcases Philadelphia musicians, supports independent venues, and proceeds benefit music education organizations like Rock to the Future,” said Jessica Craft from Rock to the Future. “At Rock to the Future, we believe that all youth should have access to creative expression and we are preparing youth for all stages of life. We’re thrilled to be a part of Philly Music Fest!”
“I have long been aware of [Rock to the Future] and the great work they’ve been doing in the community,” said Greg Seltzer, the man behind the Philly Music Fest. “When looking at organizations helping kids in Philly through music education — Rock to the Future is at the top of the list.”