Tuesday was day one of WXPN’s 18th annual NON-COMMvention at World Cafe Live. The mini music festival brings together affiliates from non-commercial radio outlets around the country and showcases a lineup of indie musical acts—from rising talents to well-known faves. Keep reading for photos and five standout moments from the day.
1. Mitski (pictured up top) was as stunning as ever
With bass in hand, the Japan-born singer-songwriter delivered powerful renditions of favorites “Francis Forever” and “I Don’t Smoke” while unleashing a new song to end the set: “Nobody.” She recently announced that she’s releasing her next album, Be the Cowboy, in August.
2. The sublime sadness of Phoebe Bridgers continues to amaze.
She played works like “Smoke Signals” and “Funeral” to a silent, awed room. It was a magnificent way to spend an evening. Check out our coverage of Bridgers’ last show in Philly, also at World Cafe Live, in February.
3. Sunny War gave us spine-tingling, heartfelt songs—and a portrait session.
Standing alone and strumming an acoustic guitar, the L.A. folk-punker opened with the brilliant “Tomorrow Someone New,” which was entrancing. Her 2018 album, With the Sun, is one of those you keep on repeat. We also snagged her before the show for a quick portrait session.
4. We got a live taste of Lucy Dacus’s Historian—and it was delicious.
The 2018 album is one the finest records of the year, and it translates beautifully when performed live. It was exhilarating to witness Dacus and her band go from calm to explosive, energetically dredging up emotions, in mere moments.
5. Nilüfer Yanya unleashed a heady mix of jazzy soul-rock that crept under the skin.
Word to the wise: The London-based artist’s complex and pop-y “Thanks 4 Nothing” and “Baby Luv” should be added to your playlists, stat. We also had the chance to shoot a BTS portrait of her.
The other four performers were certainly worthy of acknowledgement—namely…