We hit up World Cafe Live Wednesday for the penultimate go-round of WXPN’s 2018 NON-COMMvention. at World Café Live. The day brought an assemblage of some of the best and emerging indie and world-music acts, such as Brandi Carlile, Jade Bird and Philly’s own Hop Along stopped by for a set before their sold-out show at Union Transfer Saturday. Check out some photos and highlights from the day below, and don’t miss our coverage of days one and two.
1. The award for most spine-tingling NON-COMM 2018 performance goes to Angélique Kidjo
The NYC-based, Benin-born singer-songwriter (pictured up top) played selections from her forthcoming album, Remain in Light, in which she has reimagined the songs from the 1980 Talking Heads album of the same name with her own sense of danceable beats and flowing rhythms. It was pure musical joy.
2. Brandi Carlile put on a multifaceted performance full of special guests.
The songmaster opened with a brilliant “The Eye,” playing with her brothers Phil and Tim Hanseroth, before moving on to full-band mode for “The Joke.” But the familial stage appearances didn’t stop there: Later she brought out her daughter for “Mother.”
3. Jade Bird wowed.
Showcasing superb songwriting skills and a stunning voice, the British songstress spun tales of love and loss in the Americana vein. The set concluded with a rousing performance of the brilliant “Lottery,” certainly one of the year’s best songs. We nabbed Bird for a quick portrait session before the show.
4. Hop Along set the stage on fire with songs from their phenomenal new album, Bark Your Head Off, Dog.
Starting with “How Simple,” the one-of-a-kind voice of Frances Quinlan electrified, while the band etched rock soundscapes into the soul. This was a great taste ahead of their sold-out Saturday Union Transfer show. Hey, we just chatted with Quinlan about teh new album. Check that out here.
5. The Record Company brings the essence of the rock genre to life.
We got a taste of some of their new songs, like “Life to Fix,” from their June sophomore release All of This Life. Then we met them backstage for a quick portrait.
6. Sweet Spirit ended the night with a bang.
Powered by the superb vocals of Sabrina Ellis, whose dress swayed in sync with each propulsive beat, songs like set closer “The Power” certainly won over a legion of new fans.
More highlights from the day included…