The manic weather patterns of the 2015-2016 winter brought early spring to the northeast, making for one of the most beautiful January days in recent memory and turning 104.5’s Winter” Jam, set outside Xfinity Live in Philadelphia, PA, into something of a premature and miniature spring/summer festival. Showcasing several breakout acts of 2015 as the snow from Jonas receded, here’s some of the highlights of Winter Jam.
Folk rock breakouts X Ambassadors made a surprise fleeting appearance on the main stage after openers Coleman Hell, warming up for the night’s show at Wells Fargo Center with Muse by blasting through their two radio hits, “Renegades” and “Unsteady”.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Missouri musicians Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats brought their trademark blend of soulful, bluesy, retro rock and modern indie rock sensibilities to the main stage of Winter Jam. The group are making radio waves with their hit single “S.O.B.” and they proved that their live material is even more fantastic, if not more so than their studio stuff. This was easily one of the most energetic performances of the night. 104.5 DJ Jessie said to me that “In three to four years, these guys will be headlining major festivals” and I am inclined to agree. If you are a fan of early-era Black Keys, you will love Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
Easily one of the biggest artists to emerge from 2015, the Billboard Top 10 cracking Elle King was ecstatic to be back in her former home of Philadelphia. “I developed some bad habits here… I lost my virginity here… just kidding on that on that one!” It would be hard to describe King as strictly “alt rock”, more alternative country. However, with a set that included an electric cover of “I Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd and a very soulful version of her hit track “Exes & Ohs” it’s easy to see why Elle King is one of the top acts to watch in 2016.
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
Closing out the night was Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. The indie rock/pop outlet was the perfect choice to close out the evening blazed through radio friendly hits such as “Cecelia & The Satellite” & “High Dive”. McMahon went from last year’s Winter Jam opener to this year’s closer. Entertaining the crowd with material from his Jack’s Mannequin days through his latest hits, McMahon provided a high energy end to a truly impressive event.