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Radio 104.5 Block Party
Written By: Melissa Golden
*Click images below to view larger versions.
Radio 104.5 Block Party
Nothing But Thieves - lead singer, Conor Mason
Radio 104.5 Block Party
Nothing But Thieves - guitarist, Joe Langrigde-Brown
Radio 104.5 Block Party
Radio 104.5 DJ, Wendy Rollins
Radio 104.5 Block Party
X Ambassadors - lead singer, Sam Harris
Radio 104.5 Block Party
X Ambassadors - keyboardist, Casey Harris
Radio 104.5 Block Party
X Ambassadors - drummer, Adam Levin
    I am currently sitting on the edge of my seat, getting super excited about some upcoming events that I will be attending, however, I am quickly reminded of the fact that I still have so many other shows to share with you before seeing more! I just can’t help myself, though, and I am ready for more; so I will be attending two more great shows this weekend! The first will be right here in downtown OC at Delmarva Bike Week and then, to make my weekend even better, I get to go to Radio 104.5s’ last Block Party of the summer! I am simply giddy with excitement to see The Griswolds again and I am very excited for headliners Chvrchs as well. Iration and Miike Snow are also on the bill for Sun. Sept 18th and I just can’t wait! However, before I can allow myself to have anymore fun, I have to tell you about one more show, so why not Radio 104.5s’ first Block Party of 2016!

    Radio 104.5 is Philadelphia’s alternative rock station, an affiliate of iHeart radio and now my favorite station on the east coast. Together, they have been hosting some of the best alt-rock shows all over Philly including their free Summer Block Party shows once a month all summer long. I first discovered the station about three years ago and not even through music at first. My love of photography and of the band New Politics led me to a series of photos taken by a Stephen Eckert. They were of a Radio 104.5 Winter Jam show that featured New Politics and Twenty One Pilots and it snowed! These photos of the boys were so beautiful with all the snow coming down around them and the show looked so fun I just had to find out more. Turns out Mr. Eckert shoots a lot of shows for Radio 104.5, which led me to their web page. Then, I discovered that this was a free show and I quickly became addicted to the station! You just can’t beat free shows and the best part is that they play all the best alternative rock music. They rarely repeat songs and play a wide variety throughout the day. From early ‘90s hits, to the newest releases, their selections are always different and they have been bringing some of the best groups to showcase at their free shows! I have been to several now and hope to share them all with you eventually, but for now I would like to start with...

    May 1st, ’16, Radio 104.5 brought another one of my current favorite new bands, X Ambassadors, to their first Summer Block Party as their main headliner! I had to go, of course, and I am so glad that I did! The show was really a lot of fun. The X Ambassadors were amazing, as always, and I was had a chance to check out another brand new, up-and-coming band called Nothing But Thieves. Unfortunately, I did miss the earlier acts: Modern Colour, Run River North and Kaleo. The sky decided to pour down rain that afternoon, which made my travel a bit slow going and when I finally made it into the city, I decided to hang out at Dave & Buster’s for a bit to stay dry, refuel and recharge before heading into the show! Dave &  Buster’s is located on the top floor of a parking garage that is about a block away from the venue. The Festival Pier is really more of a large lot that is located right off of Columbus Blvd. which runs adjacent to the Delaware River. With water views, plenty of food vendors, games and more, this venue is a really nice spot for outdoor summer shows!

    The rain finally did let up for a while, so I headed into the show just as Kaleo finished their set. I really did want to see them and thought I’d have another chance at this year’s Firefly. Sadly, they ended up having to cancel at Firefly and I have still not seen a full performance (Sad Face!) but I am still very intrigued. Their song “Way Down We Go” is currently getting a lot of radio play and has a very catchy beat. The group is from Iceland and has a blues-jazz, folk-rock sound that is really starting to create a buzz. A/B, their first full-length album, was released by Atlantic Records on June 10, ‘16, so back in May, at the time of this show, it was not even out yet but the buzz had already begun. Wish I could have seen more but maybe one day and in the meantime, I can always listen to them on Spotify!

    It remained misting and wet for most of the day and it started getting a little heavier as Nothing But Thieves took the stage. Now that I was in, though, I couldn’t let the weather stop me. I got out my ridiculous looking rain poncho and got in position to grab some really great pics. These kids were awesome live; super energetic and very fun to watch! I had heard their song “Tripwire” a couple of times on the radio (104.5 of course) and it certainly caught my attention but I didn’t know much else about them yet. After seeing their performance, I have been converted into a true fan!

    Nothing But Thieves formed in Essex, London, and were quickly signed to RCA Records by 2014. Vocalists Conor Mason belted outeach note with heart felt power that radiated throughout the crowd. Guitarist Joe Langrigde-Brown was very engaging and funny; rocking out behind a huge, beautiful, classic body, Gretsch Electromatic Pro Jet guitar, he looked like he was truly having a great time! Swaying to the music while flipping his blonde hair around, he made faces and pointed at the crowd, almost as though he were in conversation with them yet never missed a note! Other band members, guitarist, keyboardist Dominic Craik, bassist Philip Blake, and drummer James Price, all had big smiles as their set continued. About halfway through their set, lead singer Mason strapped on a beautiful Fender acoustic guitar and joined in playing for several songs. This included an incredible cover of the Pixies “Where is my Mind,” which has always been a song dear to my heart. Overall, their show was great and I would highly recommend checking them out! They will be playing at The Foundry in Philly with The Wrecks and Civil Twilight on Oct. 21st and I am really hoping to attend! I would really love to see them live again! For more info on Nothing But Thieves, please check out their website @ http://www.nbthieves.com/

    Next up were headliners X Ambassadors and I just absolutely adore these guys! They first popped up on my radar back in 2013 when they played one of the little side stages at Firefly. I have since seen them live five times now and would jump at any chance to see them again! I got to do a lil’ interview with them at Firefly 2014, which can be found on our website @ http://www.coconuttimes.com/articles/Special-Features/Firefly-2015-Thursday-part-1 and I got to shoot them on their first headlining tour. The VHS Tour was an incredible show and you can read all about that one and tons more on X Ambassadors @ http://www.coconuttimes.com/articles/Special-Features/X-Ambassadors-VHS-tour-w-Skylar-Grey-and-Kevin-Garrett.

    I hate to repeat stuff that I have already said before but these guys are so much fun I just had to see them again! Brothers Sam and Casey Harris truly seem to be enjoying the success of their debut album, VHS. They also happen to share an adorable, award-winning smile that is just infatuating. Sam has taken on the role of lead singer while Casey, who just so happens to be blind, has always been most comfortable behind his keyboard. Their guitarist, Noah Feldshuh is also their childhood friend from the little town of Ithaca, N.Y., and these three have been working on writing and performing music since they were kids. They met drummer Adam Levin while at college and their group was finally complete. Again, I hate to repeat too much so if you want to know everything, you will just have to read my last review but as for this show, they were amazing as always!

    The mist and rain finally cleared up and many people jumped into action to get the stage dried off for Casey to way safely over to his keyboards. Once in position, the band wasted no time and almost immediately began performing their opening songs. Their whole set was incredible as always and I’d like to thank Radio 104.5 one more time for bringing them to Philly and for approving me to shoot this show! It was an amazing experience that I am so happy to finally be sharing with all of my readers. For more info on this amazing band please visit: http://www.xambassadors.com. For more info on Radio 104.5 or to stream from any of your digital devices please visit: http://radio1045.iheart.com/. Can’t wait to share even more Radio 104.5 shows with you all real soon, promise!  
 
For more photos in the Photo Gallery please click here: http://www.coconuttimes.com/oc-md-photo-gallery/September-16-2016/Radio-1045-Summer-Block-Party-May-1-2016/images
 
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