Phillip Phillips returns to Philadelphia on the Magnetic Tour, in support of “Collateral”

“I haven’t been to Philly in a while” Phillips announces only a handful of songs into the show. He proceeds to announce he’ll have a cheesesteak after the show, to which the audience, unprompted, screams suggestions of where he can find the best one in town. This exchange symbolizes a great part of the evening – a humble, talented artist and an enthusiastic audience eager to make that moment as special as possible.

Phillip Phillips is less than a handful of dates into his Magnetic tour, and his newest album Collateral hasn’t even been out for a month, but the audience greets him with a warm familiarity. I guess that comes with having the whole country watching your star being born on national television, as he did in 2012 when Phillips participated in and proceeded to win American Idol. His single, “Home”, first performed at the show’s finale, is a staple to this day.

Phillips is a veteran on the guitar, delivering an impressive and energetic performance during the almost whole hour and half he was onstage for. He changes guitars often, switching between electric and acoustic and different models of either, but treats the instrument as an extension of himself. Despite his relatively large band, comprising of another guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist who also plays the saxophone, the stars of the show are Phillips, his guitar, and his voice.

He opens with “Hold On”, off his debut album The World From the Side of the Moon, followed by the hugely popular and heartwarming “Raging Fire”, off his second record Behind the Light. Then comes “Miles”, the lead single off his recently released third album Collateral. The night goes on like this, with Phillips telling his own story as an artist by constantly jumping from one record to the other, stitching a connection between all different phases of his career. The beautifully executed show seems like a breath of fresh air for Phillips, a release of some sort – it is clear that the artist is showing himself in his truest form onstage, and the audience responds with awe and adoration.

Visually, the show is spectacular. Colourful strobes of light dance around the whole of Union Transfer, almost uniting the floor to the stage, audience to artist. Phillips asks people to sing along, mimmicking the music lessons he said he once tried to give but failed at (“left side of the room, you sing ‘change you’, right side, ‘tame you'”).

When he leaves the stage after a superb rendition of “Fly”, it takes less than 10 seconds for people to clamour “One more song! One more song!”. Phillips attends to the request promptly, delivering a delicate and beautiful stripped back version of “What Will Become of Us”, followed by “My Name” where the full band return and appear to have the time of their lives while improvising solos and exchanging excited looks – it’s their last burst of energy that night, and they live it right through to the end. It appears that nothing can stop Phillip Phillips now, and nothing should, because leaving his show there’s only on thing you can securely state: it was worth every second.

Nicole Almeida
Nicole Almeida is a music photographer and writer in Philadelphia, PA. See more of her work at nicolecalmeida.com and instagram.com/nicolecalmeida.

Phillip Phillips returns to Philadelphia on the Magnetic Tour, in support of “Collateral”

“I haven’t been to Philly in a while” Phillips announces only a handful of songs into the show. He proceeds to announce he’ll have a cheesesteak after the show, to which the audience, unprompted, screams suggestions of where he can find the best one in town. This exchange symbolizes a great part of the evening – a humble, talented artist and an enthusiastic audience eager to make that moment as special as possible.

Phillip Phillips is less than a handful of dates into his Magnetic tour, and his newest album Collateral hasn’t even been out for a month, but the audience greets him with a warm familiarity. I guess that comes with having the whole country watching your star being born on national television, as he did in 2012 when Phillips participated in and proceeded to win American Idol. His single, “Home”, first performed at the show’s finale, is a staple to this day.

Phillips is a veteran on the guitar, delivering an impressive and energetic performance during the almost whole hour and half he was onstage for. He changes guitars often, switching between electric and acoustic and different models of either, but treats the instrument as an extension of himself. Despite his relatively large band, comprising of another guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist who also plays the saxophone, the stars of the show are Phillips, his guitar, and his voice.

He opens with “Hold On”, off his debut album The World From the Side of the Moon, followed by the hugely popular and heartwarming “Raging Fire”, off his second record Behind the Light. Then comes “Miles”, the lead single off his recently released third album Collateral. The night goes on like this, with Phillips telling his own story as an artist by constantly jumping from one record to the other, stitching a connection between all different phases of his career. The beautifully executed show seems like a breath of fresh air for Phillips, a release of some sort – it is clear that the artist is showing himself in his truest form onstage, and the audience responds with awe and adoration.

Visually, the show is spectacular. Colourful strobes of light dance around the whole of Union Transfer, almost uniting the floor to the stage, audience to artist. Phillips asks people to sing along, mimmicking the music lessons he said he once tried to give but failed at (“left side of the room, you sing ‘change you’, right side, ‘tame you'”).

When he leaves the stage after a superb rendition of “Fly”, it takes less than 10 seconds for people to clamour “One more song! One more song!”. Phillips attends to the request promptly, delivering a delicate and beautiful stripped back version of “What Will Become of Us”, followed by “My Name” where the full band return and appear to have the time of their lives while improvising solos and exchanging excited looks – it’s their last burst of energy that night, and they live it right through to the end. It appears that nothing can stop Phillip Phillips now, and nothing should, because leaving his show there’s only on thing you can securely state: it was worth every second.

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