“This is the largest crowd we, as a band, have ever played for.”
Those words came as a collective thought from Kyle Morris, Cole Male, Kevin Goddard, Josiah Maughan and Brenton Carney, also known as the Unlikely Candidates, moments before they stepped into an interview with Radio 104.5 DJ Wendy Rollins. This rising indie band was preparing to take the stage at the final Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party of the year alongside The Airborne Toxic Event and American Authors.
For those of you who have never heard of this event before, Philadelphia’s alternative radio station, Radio 104.5, throws the free summer block party concert series every year at the Piazza at Schmidt’s. Once a month from May to September, Radio 104.5 fans are invited to come down for a day of free music by some of the station’s most popular bands.
I had the chance to intern with Radio 104.5 and its sister stations this summer at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and one of the jobs I had was to work these events. With the summer officially coming to a close, I was asked back to help out with one last Block Party.
Everyone could feel the energy that was rising backstage on Saturday, Sept. 14, as the bands individually got interviewed by Wendy and her fellow DJs. Right after they finished their interview, the bands amped themselves up to go outside and perform for a crowd of thousands that have been anxiously waiting all day.
First up on the lineup was American Authors. They knew how to get the crowd’s blood pumping with their upbeat sound and energetic performance. Their recent single, “Best Day of My Life,” has been making its rounds on Radio 104.5 and when they decided it was time to play it live for the Philadelphia audience, the venue turned into an instant sing-a-long. The biggest shock of their set was when Royal Teeth, former Block Party performers and friends of the group, jumped on stage to join them during “Believer.” When they wrapped up their performance, the crowd was pumped for the bands to come.
The Unlikely Candidates took the stage next and lead singer Kyle Morris commanded the audience’s attention right off the bat by pushing the microphone stand off to the side and flipping his hair on every drum beat of the first song. Morris kept his energy sky high throughout the entire set by running from one corner of the stage to the other and never missed a beat. He and his band mates played off of each other’s charisma and it was evident because as their set went on, the crazier they got. “Follow My Feet” had the crowd screaming along and made everyone even more excited for what was still to come.
The Airborne Toxic Event headlined the show and as soon as they became visible to the crowd, everyone went wild. Their new song “Hell and Back” premiered exclusively on Radio 104.5 on Friday, September 13, so when they began to play it at the Block Party, there was no way the crowd was going to control themselves. Numerous people began to crowd surf as soon as the song started and although security was not too thrilled with that, you could tell the people doing it were enjoying the music. As a final hoorah before their last song, lead singer Mikel Jollett decided to climb the scaffolding that was supporting the stage lighting and sing his heart out from the top. While he was singing at a bird’s eye view, the rest of the band got as close to the crowd as they could by standing on the barricade.
Words could not describe the liveliness at the Piazza at Schmidt’s on Saturday afternoon. The crowd was great, the bands were fantastic and the weather was absolutely beautiful. If you are bummed that you missed out on this or any other of the Block Parties, do not worry! Radio 104.5 will be hosting their Winter Jam once the temperature drops a bit more at the Piazza and it is very likely that the Summer Block Party concert series will return next summer. For more information, stay tuned to radio1045.com.