So over the weekend, the local weather forecast called for early morning snow storms as ‘Winter Storm Juno’ sweeps across the North-East. As 2-3″ of snow fell upon Philadelphia overnight, we kept hearing news that a 2nd winter system was coming later in the afternoon. Good thing. Because it wouldn’t be Winter Jam without it!
Saturday was the annual Radio 104.5 Winter Jam. Instead being held at the Piazza at Schmitdt’s where’s it’s hosted many of their previous blocks parties, it took place at the Xfinity Center. Tickets (which were available FREE through various ticket raids) were required to attend. It’s a departure from years past where anyone could just walk up and attend.
The first act was Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. If you’re not familiar with his name, you might recognize the previous acts he’s been involved in (Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin). Winter Jam was the last date of his 3-day weekend tour, as he banged out songs off of his current band’s self-titled debut album, ‘Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness,’ to a few Jack’s Mannequin songs (“Dark Blue”, “The Resolution”, “La, La, Lie”) as well as a classic Something Corporate (“I Woke Up in a Car”).
All across the barricades were faces painted with neon paint. Clearly, these kids were here for the next performer: Walk the Moon. Unsurprisingly they got their biggest crowd response from their top singles “Tightrope”, “Shut Up and Dance” and “Anna Sun”.
Running into a slight technical delay, the crowds began to grow restless. Eventually the Cold War Kids took the stage and then everything was ok. With a vast catalog of releases under their belts, I was curious to see what they’d play within their 45 minute timeline. All of the chosen parts were not a disappointment. Some highlights from their set were: “Miracle Mile”,”First” and “Hang Me Up to Dry”.
Closing the night off was New Brunswick, NJ’s Gaslight Anthem. Fan have been waiting all day to see them and as the lights keep fading, the temperature continues to drop as well. They kept their set upbeat and continually interacted with the audience between songs. Some of the highlights of their set were the opener “The ’59 Sound”, “American Slang” and “45” which got the most crowd interaction.
In the end, there was no snow. There was no blizzard like the previous year. And though we’re no longer at the Piazza, but at least the Xfinity Center has cheesesteaks and crab fries inside and parking was free. The crowds were way smaller than their previous block parties seeing as a ticket is required for entry now. But at the end of the day, was Winter Jam a success? I’d say yes it was. Could it of had been better? Of course. But seeing as this is the first time being held at this location, they’re allowed to have kinks that needs ironing out.
If you were the lucky few that managed to score a ticket, congrats and I hope you had a good time. If you missed it, then fear not, there will be more event throughout the year. My only hope is that they are able to increase the number of attendants for their next few events.
This post was written by:
Henry Chung – When Henry’s not busy updating this page and speaking in third person, he’s busy shooting and editing pictures from concerts and designing logos for bands.