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The Gaslight Anthem, Cold War Kids, We Speak in Sounds, Cheerleader, CRUISR and More @ The Radio 104.5 Winter Jam.

January 28, 2015

Cold War Kids-8826Text by Beth Ann Downey and Mina Lee. Images by Mina Lee.

Radio 104.5’s annual Winter Jam took over new territory Saturday as it brought a full day of live music on two separate stages to South Philly’s XFinity Live!

The free, all-ages music event drew a robust crowd to see a lineup of national alternative rock, like Cold War Kids (above), and dance acts as well as three popular local groups.

Many were there early to catch Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, the new project from the former frontman of both Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. McMahon didn’t hide the hits of these past projects from loyal fans. The band played “Dark Blue,” “The Resolution” and “I Woke Up In A Car,” as well as tunes from In The Wilderness’ self-titled debut album released in October 2014.

“Thanks to you, the fans, for making phone calls and getting the song played,” McMahon said to the crowd during the band’s finale “La La Lie.” He also thanked

Radio 104.5 for “taking a chance” on him because he’s “been doing this for a long time.”

Though they’ve been in the public eye for a shorter amount of time, local indie pop band CRUISR opened the local stage to a similarly adoring crowd. They started off with “Don’t Go Alone,” followed by “All Over” and “Kidnap Me” off their recently released EP.

“If you move your feet you’ll warm up I swear to god,” said frontman Andy States to the crowd.

Weather remained relatively temperate at this year’s Winter Jam, with only a few flurries falling halfway through the day. It’s one of the only outdoor events to happen in the city during the winter months, and one of the few times you can glance around to see people who look miserably cold and other who look like they’re having the time of their life.

Against slight precipitation, electro indie rock band Walk The Moon took the stage, albeit nearly 20 minutes late. Fans with faces painted in the band’s signature neon fashion rocked out to songs like “Shut Up and Dance” from Walk The Moon’s November 2014 release Talking Is Hard, as well as older tunes like “Shiver Shiver.”

Indie pop rockers Cheerleader took the second turn on the local stage, surrounded by a sea of seemingly die-hard followers and curious fans-to-be. Bodies swayed stiffly in the cold, attempting to groove as hard as possible despite rapidly dropping temperatures and the intermittent wet snow.

Indie rock band Cold War Kids entered the main stage to a soundtrack of cheers by already hoarse voices. Starting the set off with hit single “All This Could Be Yours,” the band also ran through their most popular songs such as “Hang Me Up to Dry” and “First.” Several fans took to crowd surfing to the front of the stage, some losing articles such as shoes and jackets as they were carried by the sea of waving hands.

Closing out the local stage, Jersey-based acoustic rockers We Speak in Sounds donned bulky sweaters and fingerless gloves as they successfully battled the wind chill with quick strums and raw vocals.

Headliners The Gaslight Anthem closed out the main stage as day turned to dusk, starting the set off with “The ’59 Sound.” Fans were relentless as security struggled to keep up with the stream of aggressively raucous crowd-surfers, seemingly starting from the first beat of the set. Despite the taxing weather conditions, the audience found some source of renewed energy, as bodies packed in tighter than ever towards the barrier.

This reaction was just one of the many signs solidifying Winter Jam 2015 – with its new digs and a tight lineup – as the best one yet.

One Comment
  1. January 28, 2015 1:32 pm

    I was there. The only problem I had with this show, as I do with many of Radio 1045’s show is that the sound’s always screwed-up. Especially during the Gaslight Anthem, one of my favorite bands. The sound continued to tune in and out for no reason and it makes me wonder if anybody working in the radio-station can hook up a concert. Either way, it was a fun time, but that problem continued to get in my way. Nice post, though!

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