Words & Photos by Rod Snyder
This past weekend marked the sophomore edition of the Hall & Oates HoagieNation Festival at Festival Pier in Philadelphia. Started by Philly’s own Hall & Oates in 2017 and featuring all things Philly, the festival has been a great success. In addition to the duo headlining the show, other top billed acts were Train and the extremely popular Fitz & the Tantrums, followed by Marty Stuart & his Fabulous Superlatives, Tommy Conwell & the Young Rumblers, Mo Lowda & the Humble, Beano French and Down North.
The day started off bright and sunny, but the sun soon gave way to the clouds and the occasional rain shower. There were some brief stoppages to the concert due to lightning in the area. This unfortunately cut into some of Tommy Conwell and Train’s set. By the end of the evening, the lightning and rain had moved out and smooth sailing the rest of the night.
HoagieNation 2018 started out with the band, Down North. These guys came to funk it up. Lead singer Anthony “Renegade” Briscoe, danced & jumped around onstage during the entire set. Flashes of James Brown & Prince had shown through. He was even sporting a Purple Rain T-Shirt for good measure.
West Philly’s Beano French played a short set, but poured his smooth R&B voice all over the crowd. The trio, Mo Lowda proved to be the last act before the sun and clouds moved in. Tommy Conwell was up next and his set was cut short unfortunately, but he packed a TON of energy in what time they had. Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, were first up on the North Broad Street Stage and came out to play some country and honky tonk music. As they started their show, Stuart said he was from Philadelphia….Mississippi. The crowd gave him a good laugh.
Fitz & the Tantrums closed out the South Philly Stage with a set that made you tired just by watching them. Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs took the band through a musical journey that spanned their catalog thus far. Patrick Monahan and Train, took to the stage next and started off strong. After the third song was over, Monahan told the crowd that there was lightning in the area and that they would have to pause the show. The houselights came back on and the break lasted about 20 minutes. When they came back on, he told the crowd that they were going to have to cut the set short, but was going to play what he hoped the crowd wanted to hear. Despite the short set, the band was well received in the end.
And last, but not least, Hall & Oates were up. Their set started a little after 9:00 pm. Hit after hit was played and the crowd loved every minute of the hometown duo’s set. Towards the end of the set, Patrick Monahan came back out and played a few songs with the band. The first one they played was a song Hall and Monahan wrote just for the festival called “Philly Forget Me Not”, a catchy tune that clearly had that Philly Soul sound. They also did a nice version of “Wait For Me” and Train’s “Calling All Angels”. H & O closed their set with “Rich Girl and had a seamless transition into “You Make My Dreams Come True”, the last tune of the night.
Despite their age, these guys can still rock and show no signs of slowing down. Whatever Mother Nature has in store, the show must go on. I know I’m looking forward to the third year of HoagieNation!
TheWaster.com | Festival Pier