Ali Awan | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN
XPN Fest Recap: Ali Awan brings enough energy to the River Stage to power us through the rest of the day
Forget about solar, wind and nuclear; we need to invest in Ali Awan‘s energy. The Philly rocker and his seven bandmates lit up the River stage this afternoon, even more so than the beaming sun. Every song they played exploded with volume and passion, so much that it seemed fully capable of powering our cities.
Instead of pulling crowds in with a fan favorite like “Be a Light” or “Citadel Blues,” Awan opened with an unreleased track. Titled “Hello”, is a typical Awan rocker, complete with rapturous guitars and accessible lyrics. Right after “Hello,” he and the band pulled out “Citadel Blues” which delighted everyone in the crowd, even those unfamiliar with his work. It’s hard to not fall in love with Awan, and even harder to not dance along to his sets.
“Butterfly” saw Awan slowing things down a bit. The song still qualifies as a banger, but it is subdued compared to the thunderous songs that flanked it. “Rubble and the Memories” and “Don’t Wanna Hear It” were both jumpy and energetic. The set’s penultimate song, “Be a Light” was nothing short of explosive. The same can be said of “Beyond The Valley”, which closed the set out. Up until the very last second, Awan and co. played with incredible enthusiasm. Their energy was beyond palpable, and we must start researching how to properly harness it. Until then, the energy soaked up by the eager crowd will have to suffice.
Listen back to Ali Awan’s fiery performance below and check out a gallery from the set.
Pick Me Up
Rubble and the Memories
Don’t Wanna Hear It
Poison and Potion
Be a Light
Beyond The Valley