Marco Benevento tees up the weekend at Ardmore Music Hall - WXPN
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Marco Benevento | photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN | ellencm.com

For show number two of his east coast tour dates, keys wizard and showman extraordinaire Marco Benevento was back on the Ardmore Music Hall stage Thursday with his three-piece band, vibes galore, family in the crowd, and local opener Sonni Shine on hand to tee the crowd up for a solid weekend.

As the crowd filtered in to the club, Sonni Shine started her set solo before bringing up her band and getting the early arrivers dancing and engaging with her music. Sonni played songs from an EP she put out last year called reconcile and made it clear that she’s an advocate for artists (particularly musicians) not to give up as they work on moving down their creative path.

Sonni Shine | Photo by: Ellen Miller | ellencm.com

Sonni Shine | photo by Ellen Miller | ellencm.com

With the floor filled in with fans ready to dance, the lights dimmed and Marco Benevento took a seat at his piano in his pink shades and sparkling jacket. The show got on straight away and the audience stayed right with him the entire time. It felt like one big midweek jam session filled with Benevento’s sweet rock star piano playing, killer bass and drums, and fans who were grooving the whole night (whether it was just a foot tapping or full out dancing).

Marco Benevento | Photo by: Ellen Miller for WXPN | ellencm.com

Marco Benevento | photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN | ellencm.com

Benevento also mentioned that he had a bit of family in the audience; his cousin, his cousin’s son Sam and his Uncle John enjoying the show from the front row. Towards the end of his set, when he starting getting up from the piano to dance around the stage, he also made his way into the audience to dance with fans and of course give cousin Sam a nice hug before going back to his perch at the piano.

Benevento’s set list contained a mix of older and newer songs, and he mentioned at one point that he has a new record due out in September. He pulled out some oldies-but-goodies, going all the way back to his 2008 album Invisible Baby for “Bus Ride,” and he also did his own version of “Heartbeats” by The Knife. As the set came to an end, we were sent back to reality, but not before the band went to into a brilliant encore performance featuring Benevento standing atop his piano, and then jumping off.

Check out a full photo gallery from the night below.

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