Spoon Rock through the Rain, Pharrell Kicks it Old School, Kings of Leon Shred

Wow, day two. What a blast. Rock On Philly arrived right in time for Spoon and the rainstorm! Two songs into Spoon’s set, the skies opened up and the band had to leave the stage. Soon after, the entire crowd was evacuated from the festival grounds due to an impending severe storm with the promise that gates would re-open and the bands would play on once the storm passed.

An hour later, the rain had stopped enough for the crowd to come back in. Spoon returned to the Rocky Stage, but yet again the rain came down during their second song. Through the downpour, the crowd went wild and nobody was about to leave. When frontman Britt Daniel cried out, We go out in stormy weather during “The Way We Get By,” the crowd cheered as the rain came down. Their set was exhilarating, their riffs and solos stronger, the crowd and the band feeding off of each other’s energy.

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Rocking out to Spoon in the rain. It’s something else, man.

Pharrell played an extensive and exhaustive set right after. Not only did he pull out some hits from his recent album G I R L, but he went back to perform some of the greatest hits he’s produced over the years — from “Hollaback Girl” to “Hot in Herre.” He built the crowd up before finishing off with “Happy,” declaring how much he wished the press could come back on stage to photograph the audience so the world could see what “10,000 happy people looks like.”

Unfortunately, Kings of Leon were an unorthodox choice for a finishing act. Half of the crowd left after Tiesto‘s set. Not unsurprising considering the general popularity of EDM over rock in the twenty-something demographic, but disappointing all the same. Kings of Leon played a killer set and half of the crowd wasn’t there to see it.

Kings of Leon have been around a lot longer than most listeners realize. The band came together in 1999, three brothers and a cousin, and have been through their fair share of ups and downs through six studio albums and fifteen years. Thanks to their longevity and experience, their sound is tight and polished. They bounced between their albums, playing both the hits and their lesser-known songs. “Use Somebody” took the audience by storm. After a day of torrential rain, epic music, and boundless energy, “Use Somebody” capped everything off at the perfect peak without overdoing itself. Kings of Leon somehow managed to keep the song subtle while absolutely shredding. They brought such power and such grace to the track, transforming it into something else entirely. Encore finale “Sex on Fire” ignited the audience with the first guitar riff and finished the night off with astonishing force.

So all in all, the weekend had its great acts, weather delays, dancing in the rain, Kanye rants, and pure rock heart. What more could Philadelphia really ask for?

Image credit to Kyle V. Hiller.

2 Comments

  1. Lauren Silvestri

    September 2, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    It’s a shame that younger people today do not appreciate rock music as much as EDM these days, but I’m glad to hear Kings of Leon killed it anyway!

  2. Devon O'Connor

    September 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    PHARRELL! Wish I had made it out – sounds like this year was awesome!

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