Tag Archives: D. Jacob Miller Photography

Bassnectar Electrifies Fans During Back to Back Sold Out Shows at The Factory

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If Bassnectar drops bass in your face then Philadelphia must be two faced. That’s because the god-father of bass music opened the month of May with not one, but two sold out shows on back to back nights at the Electric Factory.

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To his intensely loyal fan-base, Bassnectar is more than just a performer, he is a way of life. Much like Dead-Heads went on tour across the country following the Grateful Dead, Bass-Heads trek far and wide to get as much of Lorin Ashton as their minds, bodies, and wallets will allow.

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The Bassnectar family is a community of people that look out for one another and those in need, evidenced by the two night clothing drive that took place outside of the Electric Factory. Fans were encouraged to donate items which were then provided to the less fortunate members of Philadelphia.

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As further proof of Ashton’s respect for his fans and their well being, all concert-goers were permitted to bring a sealed bottle of water into the show to aid in their hydration. Once inside, water was also for sale but numerous free-bottles were also given away through-out the night by the Bass Ambassadors working at the show.

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Once you factor in that his DJ and production skills are out of this world, his lighting and visuals are are a show in and of themselves, and that he routinely plays for well over two hours per event, it’s easy to see why he was one of the top three ticket selling DJs in 2012 (along with Tiesto and Deadmau5) topping out near a quarter million tickets sold.

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Having seen Bassnectar numerous times, interviewing him at Ultra Music Festival 2012, and being admittedly big fans of his large music catalog, we were excited for the double dip of bass to kick off the month in style.

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The first show, on Wednesday May 1st was sold out weeks before the doors opened to fans at 7pm.

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The opening set of the night was given to Thiftworks. The California based DJ with ties to our area did a nice job of setting the stage the for the rest of the evening. It would be unfair to say that he warmed the crowd up as the audience members were already hot with anticipation before they even set foot inside the venue.

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Up next was Detroit”s Griz who seems to be everywhere these days. We had to chance to catch him at SnowBall Music Festival back in March and were anxious to see him again on our home turf. With the venue already packed, Griz took over around 9pm and showed why he is a heavy-hitter in his own right.

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His soulful, funk-infused bass sounds had the Electric Factory charged up and going hard. He’ll be making the rounds across the U.S. this summer and we highly suggest checking out his set if you have the chance.

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Just after 10pm, with numerous Bassnectar logos already emblazoned on the gigantic digital wall behind the turntables, Bassnectar hit the stage with the image of a huge fluffy puppy on the screen behind him.

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Playing his signature mixture of hip-hop, rock, and just about everything-else infused bass music, Bassnectar took Philadelphia on a journey into the far reaches of euphoria and sanity.

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To say that the Bass-Heads lost their minds for the next two and a half hours would be putting it lightly, very lightly.

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With the Electric Factory so packed that it was nearly impossible to move throughout the balcony, let alone the main floor below, the night became one big, hot, sweaty, head-banging affair.

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Night two, on Thursday, May 2nd, had many similarities to night one but several differences as well. Griz was replaced by Michal Menert, who rocked the mic as well as the decks.

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Night two also had a “Red, White, and Blue” theme and fans came out adorned in patriotic gear and sporting patriotic Bassnectar totems.

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Because Bassnectar has such a strong following, he wouldn’t disrespect his fans by playing the same set two nights in a row. Yes, there are some elements that carry over from one night to another, especially his signature hits, but everything from the track selection to the visuals were unique to each show.

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Once again on night two he played for more than two hours, in which the audience, energized by every single bass drop, returned the vibe ten fold. Even those few people we spoke with who had been dragged to the show by their friends, admitted that by the end of the evening that they were full Bassnectar converts.

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There is just something about the man, his fans, and the way everything comes together at his shows (especially the smaller venue performances as opposed to larger festival ones) to form a magical experience that will make a fan and a believer out of almost anyone.

Don’t take our word for it. When he comes to your town, grab your friends, grab a ticket, and go experience Bassnectar for yourself.

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[photo credit: Steve Garfinkel Photography & D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view a ton of additional photos from both nights below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 

 

 

 

 

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Jim James Performs for a Sold-Out T-Shirt Clad Crowd at Union Transfer

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The weather was nice and warm in Philly on Saturday, April 27th. Sunny and in the mid-70’s for the better part of the day, many Philadelphians ditched their morning jackets and long pants and spent the day outside enjoying the spring temps in t-shirts, shorts, and skirts.

When evening rolled around, the mercury was running high along with expectations for the sold-out Jim James show at Union Transfer.

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Best known as the front man for critically acclaimed rock band “My Morning Jacket”, James recently released a solo album “Regions of Light and Sound of God” this past February. His tour, which kicked off April 17th in Louisville, KY has been selling out venues left and right, and has at least five upcoming shows in May that are already sold-out as well.

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The doors opened at Union Transfer an hour before the show began so there was already a good sized crowd on hand when opening act “Cold Specks” hit the stage at 9pm.

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Cold Specks, fronted by English songstress Al Spx, has a truly unique sound that incorporates numerous musical elements, not often seen, or heard, together.

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Spx, dressed in a long black cape, looks the part of a goth performer but Cold Specks is much more than a pure goth rock outfit. Despite hailing from the UK, their sound combines the darker goth aspect with touches of southern gospel. The closest thing we can compare it to (for those of you who crave comparison) is PJ Harvey. Their choice of backing instruments is also anything but mundane and included a baritone sax and bass clarinet.

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Spx concluded their set alone on stage, draped in her cape and darkness, she sang a haunting tune that echoed throughout the high ceilings of Union Transfer.

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After a short break for a stage change, Jim James hit the stage with his band to a roar of cheers, opening with “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” , the first track off of his latest CD.

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James energy on stage was undeniably higher than we’d been expecting. He moved about constantly, playing guitar and sax, singing, headbanging, and engaging the audience at every turn.

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By the fourth song, it became clear to us that he was going to play “Regions of Light and Sound of God” in its entirety. When the nine songs from the album were complete, many of which have a Radiohead-like quality to them, James and the band left the stage but quickly returned for a seven song encore that included two “My Morning Jacket” songs and several covers.

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The sold-out crowd that packed the main floor of the venue and the balcony above, loved every minute of it. With warm receptions like that, James should be able to continue to play whenever he sees fit without My Morning Jacket.

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view the entire set list and an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 SET LIST:

State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)

Know Til Now

Dear One

A New Life

Exploding

Of the Mother Again

Actress

All Is Forgiven

God’s Love to Deliver

Encore:

Bermuda Highway

(My Morning Jacket)

Wonderful (The Way I Feel)

(My Morning Jacket)

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

(Monsters of Folk cover)

His Master’s Voice

(Monsters of Folk cover)

The Right Place

(Monsters of Folk cover)

Losin Yo Head

(Monsters of Folk cover)

Changing World

(New Multitudes cover)

The Blockley Plays Witness to The Miracles of Space Jesus

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One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind… just another fucking day on the job for the prodigal son of EDM.

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Space Jesus in the brain child of Philadelphia based producer Jasha Tull. He developed a strong following in the area for with the release of his “Space Jesus” EP in 2011 and his follow up “PLANiTS” had fans from coast to coast drinking the Space Jesus Kool-aid.

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Having already opened for such acts as Zeds Dead, Rusko, Big Gigantic, and a slew of others, it was time for Tull and his flowing locks of Jesus-like hair to take things to new interplanetary heights.

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On Wednesday, April 17th, he kicked off the Space Jesus Live tour at The Blockley in Philadelphia. The show, which has Space Jesus playing with a live bass player and drummer also featured sets from two other members of the Deathwaltz Media roster (Space Jesus’ artist management team), Greenhouse Lounge and Biodiesel.

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The show kicked off at 9pm with an extended set from Greenhouse Lounge. Although there weren’t too many people on hand in the early going, that didn’t stop Greenhouse Lounge from throwing down.

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The electro-funk trio from Florida combines a wide range of musical genres, pulling beats from the world of EDM and infusing it with live guitar, drums, and a smorgasbord of samples.

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Up next was Biodiesel who are quite literally a drum & bass duo who have been on our radar for the past year since we reviewed their “Two-One-Live” album (a live recording also from The Blockley) in April of 2012. Johnny Rabb is a crazy talented drummer and when you add in the live bass stylings of Clay Parnell, you have a the perfect recipe for some sweet ear candy.

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With fans both young and old anxiously awaiting, Space Jesus took the stage for his headlining performance and dropped some sick beats on The Blockley. In addition to his production and DJ skills, Space Jesus was quick to rock the mic to the delight of the crowd.

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With the live band in tow, Space Jesus made believers out of all in attendance. He may not have walked on water, he may not have walked on the moon, but he walked his way into our hearts. Be sure to catch the Space Jesus live tour, coming to a town near you. The next stop will be in Brooklyn, NY on Friday, April 19th.

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[photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view additional photos below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Markus Schulz Rids Soundgarden Hall of Unicorns

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Markus Schulz’s Scream Bus Tour rolled into Philadelphia on Thursday, April 11th to play at Soundgarden Hall with support from Khohma and M Machine.

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We had spoken quickly with Markus about a week earlier and were looking forward to following up and catching his set on Soundgarden Hall’s killer sound system. With a lot of buzz also surrounding Khohma and M Machine, this show had the potential to be a special one for Trance fans.

u·ni·corn [yoo-ni-kawrn]

-noun

1. A mythical creature resembling a horse, with a single horn in the center of its forehead: often symbolic of chastity or purity.

2. A over-emotional Trance music track, usually laced with cheesy melodies and vocals throughout.

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While we haven’t seen any horned horses parading around Philadelphia recently, we have heard our fair share of the latter. The appropriate cure would clearly be to do away with unicorns altogether. Enter Markus Schulz, the Unicorn Slayer.

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By the time we entered Soundgarden Hall, Khohma was already rocking the crowd, showing everyone why he’s garnering so much admiration from fans and peers alike. From the back of the venue we could see that The Scream Bus Tour had brought in some extra fire power in the form of a sweet LED stage set-up and we were anxious to get up close and check it out.

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But first things first. Markus Schulz had just entered the venue from his tour bus across the street (to the delight of fans waiting in line outside who cheered and shook his hand) and we had some more questions for him. You can check out our interview right here:

From there we caught the end of Khohma from the Hacienda Lounge (21+ area) at the back of the club.

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Up next was M Machine. The San Francisco trio of Ben Swardlick, Eric Luttrell and Andy Coenen, who are touring in support of they newest EP, “Metropolis Pt II”, had SGH going bananas with their multi-genre blending sound and signature light show which is synced to their music.

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We imagine that they’ll be making the festival rounds again this summer and we suggest you catch them if you have the chance.

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At precisely 1230am, M Machine left the stage, the lights went dark, and Markus Schulz’s fans (many of whom either wore Unicorn inspired hats or “Unicorn Slayer” t-shirts) began to lose their minds.

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The Unicorn Slayer (a name he adopted after he was labeled with the moniker by a fan on Twitter) came out with a ton of energy. It was electric.

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Smiling, waiving at at the crowd, and generally enjoying himself, he laid into his set. Perhaps fans thought that the Scream Tour meant they were supposed to scream…because they certainly did a lot of it. Others waived signs at the DJ, danced, and lost themselves in a trance for the next 2+ hours.

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The tour now moves to Buffalo, NY today before hitting State College, PA and Washington, DC on Saturday.

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 

 

 

Netsky Revives Drum & Bass in Philly at Soundgarden Hall

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We had excitedly circled April 10th  on our concert calendar the moment we learned that Netsky was bringing his live band Drum & Bass show to Philly (presented by Steez Promo).

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Back before EDM culture was mainstream, Philadelphia was a mecca of Drum & Bass music in America. Weekly events, like Platinum at Fluid Nightclub, and Concrete Jungle packed fans in to see some of the biggest names in the biz like Roni Size, Goldie, Andy C, Usual Suspects, and Aphrodite.

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While today’s electronic music fans in Philadelphia tend to gravitate more towards house, trance, dubstep, and trap, there is a new wave of artists producing and playing top-notch Drum & Bass music for those of us who adore the genre. Of those doing it, none do it quite like Belgium’s Netsky.

His rise to fame has been swift yet well deserved, earning him global praise from fans and peers alike.

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Hours before the doors opened at Soundgarden Hall yesterday evening, we learned that due to inclement weather, his live band gear did not arrive in Philadelphia in time for the show. Our brief disappointment was quickly replaced with the realization that a Netsky DJ set would still give us an ample fix of Drum & Bass we’ve been craving. The show must go on.

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The evening kicked off at 8pm with an extended set by local duo DFG. Playing on four turntables, they were given the duty of warming up the crowd and easily rose to the challenge. With thunderstorms moving through the area, we arrived a little later than intended but still enjoyed the part of DFG’s set that we caught.

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Up next was another local DJ, Mojo Risin, who took over for the next two hours and quite literally set the stage for the headliner with some sweet Drum & Bass selections. The crowd was one of the smaller ones we’ve seen recently at Soundgarden. Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was because the event was held on a Wednesday, maybe it was the fact that it was a Drum & Bass event… whatever the reason, those that didn’t turn out to catch Netsky missed out big time.

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Joined on stage for the entirety of his set by Script MC, Netsky rocked SGH for two hours that we wished would never end. It was hands down one of the best, high energy sets we have heard in Philly in a long time.

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The added room on the dance floor turned out to be an added bonus for those in attendance as they were able to properly get down to the stellar track selection that Netsky offered up to the crowd. Mixing in hip-hop, bass music, and some funky throwbacks from generations past, the young Belgian worked the room like nobody’s business.

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Because he had been forced to play a DJ set instead of his live show, he extended his performance (which was originally scheduled to end at 130am) for an additional 30 minutes to the delight of everyone in the venue.

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When his set finally ended, he signed posters on stage and passed them out to the rabid fans at the front of the stage.

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We hope Philly can really get behind Drum & Bass music again and begin bringing back some of the biggest names in the genre from across the globe. We did it once, we can do it again.

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Twurkaholics: West Coast Flavor at Soundgarden Hall

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On Friday, April 5th, Spring was in the air and warmer weather was on its way to Philadelphia. Perhaps the Summer-like temperatures caught a ride from the West Coast with L.A. based duo gLAdiator who was headlining the most recent addition of Actual Records’ “Twurkaholics” party at Soundgarden Hall.

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Along with gLAdiator, another Trap Music duo, Loudpvck also rounded out the out-of-town performers for the evening.

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The night kicked off as all Twurkaholics parties do, with a heavy dose of local DJs doing their thing. One thing that was different on this night was the low turnout early in the evening. However, as the night progressed the venue filled up to the capacity that we are used to seeing from these parties.

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As always, there was the usual bells and whistles including confetti blasts, amazing lights, dancers, and costumed characters.

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While the crowd size wasn’t huge for the first four acts of the night, Oddzilla, Schmohawk, Ditchdigger, and Ethan Dubb, all four rocked out some sweet tunes and with the added room on the dance floor, people were getting down.

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By the time LoveCityDJs took over shortly after 11pm, there was definitely an increase in the Twurkaholics population and LCDs skills showed everyone why he is a staple at these events.

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After a quick mic rocking by MC Buddy Leezle, it was time for Loudpvck to pick it  up. That’s exactly what they did for the next hour. At several points they were joined behind the decks by gLAdiator who officially took over around 1am.

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The next 90 minutes were a blur of of trap and bass tunes with gLAdiator getting down on stage almost as hard as those in the crowd.

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When the party ended around 230am, there was a small exclusive 100 person after party held for those 21+ by Actual Records in Fishtown.

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**Update for our Soundgarden Hall fans: Starting on Friday, April 12th, all shows at SGH will be strictly 18+ (photo ID required)**

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view an expanded photo gallery of Twerkaholics and the after-party below (click thumbnails to enlarge):