By: Blake Jarvis
ZZ Ward & Co. Wow Crowd
Philadelphia is no stranger to renowned Blues and R&B artists, perhaps making them more skeptical to newcomers than the average listener, but the amount of love and enthusiasm that Ward and friends generated for the performance was more than reciprocated by the audience. James Bay started the show off gently with his bluesy guitar playing and warm, fuzzy vocals, displaying some strong songwriting talents of his own. The Wild Feathers delivered a surprising and powerful performance with a band dynamic very similar to The Eagles; a country/rock band with three guitarists, bassist, drummer, and four lead singers. It was hard to imagine Ward and her band following “The Feathers”, but she soon validated her headliner status with equally impressive vocal, guitar, and harmonica skill. The nearly minute and a half long harmonica solo into a distorted radio microphone and transition from hip-hop to blues genres made Ward’s point: she’s not just another singer/songwriter to written off as a pretender. It shouldn’t be long before Ward returns to what she called her real hometown.