It was a very rainy and uncharacteristically cold Saturday during the first weekend of Radio 104.5’s 10th annual birthday celebration at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ. That did not stop the many droves of fans equipped with ponchos and umbrellas from all over the tri-state area. Now, unfortunately, due to the excess rain, most of the artists on the New Music Discovery Stage could not play, but Texas’ The Unlikely Candidates was able to play during a brief reprieve on the outside stage.
In a great (almost) hometown story considering Philadelphia is right over the bridge from Camden, PHNTMS opened up the main stage as the winners of the Radio 104.5 contest. Reminiscent of electronic/rock band, PVRIS, the band shared their atmospheric brand of rock to many fans who showed up early.
U.K. soul singer Rag ‘n’ Bone Man brought his style of music reminiscent of old R&B/soul that had particular highlights with a stripped down version of his song, “Skin” and his well known song, “Human.’ Bringing up the tempo was Fitz and The Tantrums who bring a contagious dance party wherever they go. “The Walker” had the entire BB&T Pavilion shouting during the “here we go!” part of the song.
Before The 1975 started, there was a mad dash to the front of the stage by their younger fans trying to fit like Tetris pieces to get a glimpse. The band is known for their relentless tour schedule, but there was no shortage of charisma as they weaved through songs like “Love Me” and “The Sound.” Australia’s Empire of the Sun was the band that caught me by surprise. It’s hard to entice a crowd in your own aesthetic with time constraints. The band managed to do that with an elaborate set complete with dancers in costumes and video packages. Lead singer/guitarist Luke Steele destroyed three guitars in a show that straddled the line between catchy pop and hard rock at some points.
When nightfall hit, the horns from “Send Them Off,” the single from British pop band, Bastille’s 2016’s Wild World , lead singer Dan Smith lead a rhythmic triumph to those who braved the elements . You would think that after a relatively cold and dreary day, that fans would lose a lot of energy, but many of them came to the Radio 104.5 show just for Kings of Leon. If you look at previous lineups, they are well put together to where the energy level is meant to build up to the headlining act. There’s a certain aura that is kept. Starting with “Waste a Moment,” off of their latest album Walls, an hour and a half song brought the songs that everyone should be familiar with in “Use Somebody” and “Sex On Fire.’ The weather was a bit uncharacteristic for May, but a great entry into the two-part celebration of the 10th anniversary of Radio 104.5’s Birthday show.