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For a city that’s known for its artery clogging cheese steaks, snowball attacks on Santa and one too many movies on aging boxers, we can proudly add excellent indie musicians to that list. Don’t get me wrong, I die for our cheese steaks and our tough guy persona but it’s nice to see we have some bohemian in us as well.

Philly’s own Rachael Yamagata, Andrew Lipke, and Matt Duke put on an excellent show for a great cause. WXPN’s Musicians On Call is a non-profit organization that brings live music to the bedsides of patients through weekly programs at area hospitals. XPN is a member-supported radio from the University of Pennsylvania. The concert was held at the stations own World Café Live facilities located on Penn’s campus.

Due to a photo pass mishap, I am sad to say I missed Matt Duke’s performance. I can only go by the overheard word, but the buzz around the lobby (as I waited for the powers that be figure out who messed up) seemed to be excellent for the up and coming local artist.

Luckily, the mayhem settled and I was able to catch all of Andrew Lipke’s performance. This young fella’s latest album, Motherpearl and Dynamite, has been getting more and more play on my IPod and his performance last night has me setting it on repeat. A mix of Jeff Buckley falsetto moments mixed with a generous portion of hard rock makes an excellent recipe for a great live performance. What more could a girl ask for.

Andrew’s band mates include; Joe DiVita on Bass/Vocals, Krista Nielsen on Cello/Keyboard/Vocals, Dave Perrin on Drums/Keyboard, and Joe Vasile on Guitar.  Krista’s cello performance on Get It Over With, turned this simple melody with catchy lyrics into a unique experience for the audience. She works that thing like a… Stradivarius?

Hearing Mind Games live definitely was the catapult for my new obsession. Although, the World Café live is an excellent venue, this song begs to be played in a stadium setting. I want to hear more songs like that from this man. Sadly, 30 minutes is way too short for an Andrew Lipke experience but I can say without a doubt Andrew and his band did not disappoint.

After a short video about Musicians On Call, Rachael Yamagata took the stage looking adorable with her variation on a Princess Leia hairdo. It’s hard to believe this petite beauty has a voice that delivers the type of sound that could rattle the rafters but I definitely felt the rumble.

My first thoughts were are there any instruments she can’t play? She effortlessly glided from piano, to electric guitar and acoustic guitar. At one point I could have sworn I saw her heading for the drum kit, but I was mistaken.

Rachael played a healthy portion of songs from her latest album Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart, and her previous album Happenstance. The first song out of the gate was Elephant, a lyrically beautiful song and a perfect start to a progressively superb set. I was happy to hear some of my choice favorites including Faster and Worn Me Down.

Her performance was interspersed with stories of her new found love for the Eagles (a requirement to live in this city), her emotional reaction to our newly appointed President and her regrets for wearing pants that were too tight. The crowd was clearly there for her and graciously laughed at her tales and swayed to her music.

Although, the evening did not look promising to start, it was well worth the effort. Each musician gave a stellar performance and all for a worthy cause. I look forward to seeing what these hometown rockers bring to the table in the future. No doubt something that will make their Philly family proud.

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