Magical Memories at the Mann with Amos Lee and The Philadelphia Orchestra - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

On a special intimate night at The Mann, Philly native Amos Lee took the stage with what he described as “the world’s best” — the Philadelphia Orchestra — bringing a new dimension to his soulful lyrics and melodies. Under the sheet of a clear blue sunset, Amos Lee and The Philadelphia Orchestra enlightened fans, friends, and family of an incredible evening of live music.

After an introduction, conductor Steven Reineke took a bow and proceeded to direct the orchestra into the overture, welcoming Amos Lee and his band to the stage. Smiling from ear to ear, Lee took his post next to his guitars waving to the applauding fans before kicking his set of with “Wait Up For Me.” Surrounded by the beautiful warmth of the orchestra, Lee collaborated perfectly as a passenger on stage as well as headliner the audience came to see. In between verses, the crowd could see Lee joyfully strutting to some of the funkier compositions and turning back to the orchestra to admire the delicate yet profound sound in unison with his band’s compositions.

Amos Lee and the Philadelphia Orchestra | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN

The first of many shout outs and dedications fell on the shoulders of Jaron Olevsky, Lee’s longtime friend, as well as a composer, and the piano player for the evening with the song “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight”. Following that performance, Lee acknowledged his mother out in the crowd and began to tell the story behind the lyrics of “All You Got Is A Song,” where he cherished his final moments with his grandmother before she passed. After the heartfelt story, Lee assured the audience that “It’s not a sad song. Don’t worry! It’s a funky one.” And Lee’s soulful voice, paired with the grooves of the band, soared through the pavilion, further connecting with the crowd on spiritual level.

Being the great storyteller he is, Lee spent many breaks thanking all friends and family, and reflecting on some events in the past that brought him to the stage that night. At one point he reflected on playing for a Wounded Warrior Project event on the White House lawn back in 2011. Lee admitted that the songs he usually writes aren’t pop-like party songs and they may sound more like sad songs. Staying true to his sound, Lee welcomed guitarist and mandolin play Zach Djanikan to the center of the stage to perform a cover of Paul Simon’s “American Tune” — the same song he played to the veterans and their families on that memorable day. Lee closed out the first set taking vocals on “Madison” with just Olevsky and the Orchestra, before giving love out to Helen Leicht and the WXPN community on “Street Corner Preacher” which Lee said was written immediately after his performance at XPoNential Music Festival in 2008.

Amos Lee and the Philadelphia Orchestra | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN

The second set kicked off with recent listener favorite “Worry No More.” Later into the set, Lee praised bassist Elliot Skinner as he joined in on vocals for a performance of “Violin,” which the crowd applauded with the first standing ovation of the evening. “My relationships in Philadelphia mean the most to me” Lee passionately exclaimed about his local network and family before thanking a long list of people he loves and cherishes, Eagles center Jason Kelce one amongst many celebs to make the list.

Lee turned to Olevsky on the piano and reflected on the love he felt listening to the composition of “Black River” and played an exceptionally beautiful version backed strings of the orchestra which brought forth another standing ovation. Following that, the tempo picked up with the light cheerful tune “Sweet Pea.” The brass and strings section of the orchestra really evolved the fan favorite to new a level to be appreciated and remembered for years to come. Unexpectedly, three people emerged from the right side of the venue dressed in monkey masks and danced their way through the lawn.

Amos Lee and the Philadelphia Orchestra | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN

Rolling off that high, Lee went into “Flower” where some folks in the crowd began to sway and raise their hands and shouted “I like this one as much as y’all” with a smile. Coming out of the first verse, Lee called out to a fan on the balcony “I can see that one light in the darkness! It may just be one light, but I see you!” Sure enough, more and more fans began shining their lights towards the band and the whole pavilion was fluttering with the magical light of the crowd, bringing forth yet another standing ovation for the band. Special guest singer-songwriter Mutlu brought another layer of excitement joining Lee on stage in singing “Arms of A Woman” off his 2005 debut record. Lee closed the evening with an epic performance of “Windows Are Rolled Down” with Andrew Lipke joining on vocals. Fans left their seats standing and singing along to the final song of the evening and showered Amos Lee and the Philadelphia Orchestra on the final bow.

Amos Lee and The Philadelphia orchestra took the audience on an extraordinary journey that seamlessly united folk and classical music. With plenty of heartfelt dedications, impressive instrumental performances, and genuine love connection between the audience, Amos Lee crafted an unforgettable evening full of memories. The fusion of soulful vocals and tender lyrics meshed with lush orchestral arrangements painted a vibrant and emotional landscape, leaving a lasting impression on the fans in attendance. The evening was a celebration of music, relationships, friendships, and the love arts to bring people together in harmony.

Amos Lee and the Philadelphia Orchestra
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts
  • Zion Hort Die Wachter Singen from Cantata BWV140 (Bach)
  • Wait Up For Me
  • Dreamland
  • Jesus
  • Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight
  • All You Got Is A Song
  • Out of The Cold
  • American Tune
  • Piano Concerto No. 5 (Beethoven)
  • Madison
  • Street Corner Preacher
  • Worry No More
  • Crooked
  • Colors
  • Violin
  • Black River
  • Sweet Pea
  • Flower
  • Arms Of A Woman
  • Andrew Lipke
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