Hardwork Movement | photo by Ashley Gellman-LaLima for WXPN
Free at Noon Flashback: Hardwork Movement puts on for their city
Remember last summer, when the weather was warm, and Hardwork Movement filled the XPN Fest Marina Stage with their sunny, vibrant energy? Life seemed pretty good back then. But even now, in the dead of winter, things aren’t looking that bad — it’s 2018, the Eagles won the Super Bowl, and, conveniently, Hardwork Movement was here to help us celebrate.
And celebrate they did. Those who survived Thursday’s parade and were looking to keep the party going came to the right place this afternoon, because Hardwork Movement, still jazzed from the city’s big win, brought all the Philly spirit we could ask for right here to the World Cafe Live stage — and Hardwork Movement is a group that knows how to fill a stage. Nine members strong, their presence is magnetic, and managed to turn a quiet morning audience into a dance party by the end of their set.
Hardwork Movement released their first full-band EP, For the People, last fall, and played an assortment of old crowd favorites and “new jawns” at today’s Free at Noon. And though the MCs had to keep reminding themselves that it was, in fact, just 12 o’clock in the afternoon, their set was jam-packed with the kind of relentlessly energetic tunes that defy time or place. It’s not too often you see costume changes during a Free at Noon set, but Hardwork Movement managed to include several — including MC Jeremy Keys donning an Eagles jersey and garb, which then led to an audience-wide chant of the fight song.
Some of the set’s other highlights included a rousing rendition of For the People standout “Becca’s Jam” — named for trumpet player Becca Graham, who most certainly did jam. Fan favorite “Living Legends,” from Hardwork Movement’s 2016 album Good Problems, came alive toward the end of the set, as the MCs encouraged everyone in the crowd to turn to the person next to them and reassure each other that we’re all living legends, breaking down any remaining barriers in an audience that had already bonded as as community and celebrating all the good fortune that’s been coming our way here in Philly.
Listen back below, take a look at some photos from today’s performance and check out “ESPN,” the new jawn the band premiered in the off-air encore.
Dance With Me
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