If you aren’t familiar with Free at Noon, it’s a wonderful music program from WXPN and recorded at World Cafe Live in front of an audience. The shows take place almost every Friday. During NonCOMM, there is always a special Thursday set as well. For most Free at Noon shows, a band that is in town for a full gig will come by World Cafe Live and do a short, one-hour set. These are, of course, free and open to the general public, but you must sign up in advance to attend.
For NonCOMM 2017, the Free at Noon shows included Nancy & Beth and the Pixies on Thursday, and Ala.Ni and Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band.
Nancy & Beth is Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt. Together, with their band, they perform a very entertaining variety show. From synchronized numbers, a bit of comedy, some seriously beautiful gospel, and tambourines, this is a wonderful duo to see live. Megan’s husband, Nick Offerman, even showed up to steal the show a bit. Nancy & Beth will be back to headline Philly Pride on June 18th. Download their album in the meantime.
The Pixies! Yeah, they broke up nearly 25 years ago, but giving it another go back in 2004 was a great decision. It was incredible to catch them live. Their set started with “All the Saints” from last September’s release, Head Carrier. You still have time to see them yourself, they’ll be at the Electric Factory TOMORROW (5/23) night!
On Friday, the London-based Ala.Ni won over the crowd. She’s beautiful and charming, in voice and as a person. Her jazzy, sweet music was the perfect way to ease everyone into Day 3 of NonCOMM. Her album, You & I, will be out on June 9th. Hopefully she’ll do a US (preferably east coast) tour soon because I wish she could have played longer. Please come back to Philly soon!
Lastly, Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band took the stage. Their set was filled with fun and funk, a cover of “Hollywood Swinging” by Kool and the Gang, and guitarist/vocalist Felicia Collins (with Philly roots and family still in the area) lead the band with some Michael Jackson songs. I’d love to see a full show from this group! For 33 years, they were the house band for David Letterman. Now they’re back after a hiatus with the release of Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band via Siren Records. Guest vocalists on the album include Jenny Lewis, Bill Murray, and Shaggy among others.
And with that, my coverage of 2017’s NonCOMM concludes. I wish we could have been there Thursday night where the lineup included Baskery, Laura Marling, Real Estate, Ron Gallo, Kyle Craft, Mondo Cozmo, The Mavericks, Gov’t Mule. Hopefully I’ll catch some of these artists next time they’re nearby. We’ll be at the Mavericks show at SugarHouse on June 10th and you can look for a recap in our summer issue.
Check out our next post for Matt’s Day 3 recap.