Rock On Philly’s Top Music Moments of 2013

While Rock On Philly isn’t quite a year old yet, we still had some amazing music moments this year that we want to celebrate. The Philly scene gets better by the day thanks to an abundance of talented musicians as well as all the movers & shakers who are constantly creating new opportunities for artists and fans here. So without further adieu, I give you Rock On Philly’s Top Music Moments of 2013.

10. Interview with Melanie Martinez of the Voice.
I don’t watch a whole lot of television so I’m not terribly familiar with talent from The Voice. However, a good friend of mine encouraged me to check out Melanie and I’m so glad I did. Her presence and vocal style are one of a kind and getting the chance to interview her before her show at the Hard Rock Café this summer was a real treat.

9. Budweiser’s Made in America Festival
Being invited to cover Budweiser’s Made in America Festival was a dream come true. Two jam- packed days filled with music ranging from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to Fitz & the Tantrums to Nine Inch Nails to Beyonce to Haim- what more could  a music junkie ask for? And to have the whole world tuned into Philadelphia for two straight days for the second year in a row was a huge boost for our wonderful city. Yes, Philly ROCKS!

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8. Hanging Out with Toy Soldiers at their Secret Show
Toy Soldiers is a Philly band that is going places. With Ron Gallo on lead vocals/guitar, Bill McCloskey on bass, Luke Leidy on keys, Matt Kelly on guitar, and Dominic Billet on drums, this band has some serious soul, stage presence, and impeccable musicianship. Here’s a clip from our Mic Check interview taken at their Rehearsal Studio a few minutes before their Secret Show.

Note: Toy Soldiers are the backing band for Wanda Johnson tonight in DC! They’ll be opening for Dr. John. How cool is that??

7. Exponential Fest 2013
I am a HUGE fan of WXPN. I love their music programming and their dedication to supporting local talent. Not many cities are lucky enough to have an outlet that’s so authentic, community- oriented, and committed to quality. That being said, how freakin’ cool was XPoNential Fest this year? WXPN curated 2 days of music wonderfulness, featuring artists like Dr. Dog, The Lumineers, and Bob Dylan. Yup. Bob Dylan. Pretty amazing. We can’t wait for next year. 🙂

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6. Brett Fest at World Café Live
The Philly music community is super supportive of each other and you could really feel the love at Brett Fest back in August at World Café Live. Brett Talley of the Band IKE was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and 15 bands played for 5 hours straight to raise money for his treatment. The benefit was a huge success and a truly magical moment for Philly music in 2013.
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Feelin' the Philly love, Brett Talley saying thanks to all the friends and fans that came out to support him. And also to say "F*** Cancer!" What a great night for Philly music!

Feelin’ the Philly love, Brett Talley saying thanks to all the friends and fans that came out to support him. And also to say “F*** Cancer!” What a great night for Philly music!

5. So Far Sounds Concert Series
The So Far Concert Movement has been active in Philly since 2011 and every event is memorable. There is no cost to attend and artists from Philly as well as touring artists perform intimate living room showcases. You meet so many cool people, hear some amazing artists, and fuzzy wuzzy feelings abound.

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4. Kurt Vile Day
As of this year, it was official- August 28th would be Kurt Vile Day in Philadelphia by mayoral decree. This is just so darn cool. What other city has this much love for their artists? (And we have Kurt Vile! Wootwoot!)

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3. Make Music Philly
On June 21st of this year, Philly took part in World Music Day for the first time with Make Music Philly. Concerts were performed by local musicians all over the city, from the Constitution Center to Love Park to City Hall Courtyard. We’re looking forward to Make Music Philly 2014 and seeing it grow even more.
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2. Boot & Saddle Reopens
Thanks to R5 Productions and Four Corner Management, Boot & Saddle reopened on South Broad Street in October of this year. It’s an incredible venue with fantastic live music and equally fantastic food & drink. (Vegetarians rejoice! There are so many options here. Roasted Pumpkin & Kale Soup. Cauliflower Croquettes. Holla!)
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1. Bands & Bites Grand Finale at the Hard Rock Café
So this event was Rock On Philly’s big moment this year and it was a great night thanks to the power of community, awesome music, and teamwork! 5 Finalists competed to become Rock On Philly’s Artist of the Year and win the Grand Prize Package. Hopscotch Jefferson won the audience vote and the competition.
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That concludes our Top Music Moments of 2013. We are so excited to see what 2014 will bring for Rock On Philly as well as all of the lovely people, places, and sounds who make up the Philly music scene.

Do you have any favorite music moments of 2013 that we may have missed? If so, please comment below! And HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🙂

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