Cool nights, soaring indie rock, Strawberry Mansion’s pastoral Dell Music Center: the annual Make The World Better benefit concert has become a staple of summertime in Philly.
This year, the show starred left-of-center Philly singer-songwriter Alex G and his stellar band, along with Toronto dreampop sensations Alvvays; both artists were playing music from their acclaimed recent releases, God Save The Animals and Blue Rev, respectively — albums that both ranked high on WXPN’s Best of 2022 MEGA-LIST. Gritty Bay Area trio Tanukichan opened the night, with proceeds from the show going to Make The World Better’s latest project: a complete overhaul of Vare Recreation Center in Grey’s Ferry.
This is the fourth community project the organization has undertaken since former Eagle Connor Barwin founded it upon his move to Philadelphia a decade ago. As he told the crowd, his idea at the time was to partner with independent local promoters R5 Productions to bring together music fans and sports fans and help the city. His first benefit starred Philly son Kurt Vile — whose manager, Rennie Jaffe, also works with one of this year’s artists, Alvvays — and over the years, MTWB has renovated Point Breeze’s Ralph Brooks Park, Smith Playground in South Philly’s West Passyunk neighborhood, Waterloo Playground in West Kensington.
As Alex G’s longtime lead guitarist Sam Acchione told the crowd, parks and playgrounds like this are essential to a community, and truly are for everybody: “I was never an athletic kid, but I’d still spend a lot of time in my neighborhood park, running around, fighting imaginary orcs,” he said.
Check out photos from the concert below and keep up on MTWB’s projects and progress, and consider making donations, at their website.