Arrested Development is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the start of the band! They formed in 1988, and their debut album – 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of… – was released in 1992.
Of all the musical genres out there, I’ve always considered hip hop/rap to be low on my list of favorites. When I hear a lot of it today, I just don’t get it.
But, when I went to see Macklemore last year (under duress from my husband), I REALLY enjoyed the show. In fact, it ended up being one of my favorite concerts of the year in 2017. You can see my full list here:
And, while I loved some of the big hits that came off Arrested Development’s debut album in the early ‘90s, I was a little concerned about seeing a whole concert with them. But, I loved it!
What dawned on me after the show, is that it’s not the genre of music that I don’t like. It’s the negative message that so much of it contains. Both Macklemore and Arrested Development send positive messages in their music, with a little light-heartedness mixed in. When you combine the positive message with great music and musicians that love what they do, it makes for a great show!
Keep reading to find out more about the concert!
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WORLD CAFÉ LIVE
World Café Live is an independent music venue in downtown Philadelphia. Located in the University City area, it brings in both local and national artists, as well as hosting a variety of other private and public events. The venue opened in 2004, and hosts over 500 shows per year between its upstairs and downstairs space.
The idea for World Café Live started when Hal Real heard David Dye’s contemporary music program called World Café. Broadcasted on local public radio station WXPN, the program highlighted no frills artists who were dedicated to their craft and appreciative of their fans. Hal knew that a venue to support those types of artists was missing from the Philadelphia area. Hal’s company – Real Entertainment Group – and WXPN joined forces and moved into the space that became World Café Live.
World Café Live consists of two main areas. The “upstairs” is a restaurant and bar that also has a small performance area. They have a full sit-down dinner service. The “downstairs” is the larger performance area. With a capacity of 650 people, it also has a full bar in the back along with an elevated seating area. A lighter food menu is available downstairs.
Tip #1: The food at World Café Live is fantastic! If you are going for a show “downstairs”, come early and enjoy dinner “upstairs” beforehand. You can make a reservation on Yelp or by calling the box office at 215-222-1400.
Tip #2: There are several parking options near the venue. If you get there early, it is usually fairly easy to find street parking right on Walnut Street in front of the venue. Be sure to pay attention to the parking signs when parking on the street. If you can’t find a spot on the street, there are several parking garages close by. The Cira Center South Garage (129 South 30th Street) is only $8 in the evenings (enter after 5 p.m.) or on weekends.
Tip #3: As mentioned above, radio station WXPN shares the building with World Café Live. When you come for a show, be sure to walk around and check out the radio station studio.
Tip #4: If you want to avoid ticket fees, buy your tickets during World Café Live’s “happy hour”. Between 5 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, go to the box office and get your tickets with no fees. Cash only and tickets for the mezzanine area are excluded.
World Café Live is located on the outskirts of the University City area. There are lots of choices to grab dinner before the show if you don’t want to eat at the venue. Before this show, we went to Wahoo’s Tacos and More. It’s a great place with good food and reasonable prices.
Tip #5: Wahoo’s is located on Chestnut Street, just a couple of blocks from World Café Live. If you’ve parked in front of the venue on Walnut Street, you have to walk down the stairs to get to Chestnut Street.
Tip #6: When you get to Wahoo’s go up to the counter to order your food. They’ll give you a number. Find a seat, and they’ll bring your food out to you. The bar is also self-service.
ABOUT THE BAND
Hardwork Movement is a hip hop band based out of Philadelphia, PA. The band consists of members Sterling Duns (MC, guitar), Jeremy Keys (vocals, cello), RB Ricks (MC, DJ), Rick Banks (MC, production), Marty Gottlieb-Hollis (trumpet, arrangement), Becca Graham (trumpet), Dani Gershkoff (flute, vocals), Jeremy Prouty (bass guitar), and Angel Ocana (drums).
Hardwork Movement took the stage at 8:30 p.m. They walked onstage one at a time, with Becca Graham and Dani Gershkoff starting the music off with the trumpet and flute respectively. As other members joined them, the music built and built until everyone was on stage.
These guys were high energy from start to finish! I have also never seen as many costume changes in an opening act – and they were all the guys. Duns particularly had some very interesting outfits. They ranged from an acid-washed jean jumpsuit, to footy pajamas and a bathrobe, to a t-shirt with Will Smith’s face on it!
The band played a 45-minute set, which included a few new songs like “Give Up On Me” and “Round and Round”.
Hardwork Movement is not only a lot of fun, but they are loaded with talented musicians. Members of the band alternated between several instruments, and most everyone took turns singing as well. The band really warmed up the crowd well. We even got to celebrate the birthday of one of the guys with a birthday cake!
If you can catch Hardwork Movement around the Philly area, check them out. You can keep up with them on their website at www.hardworkmovementmusic.com.
ABOUT THE BAND
Arrested Development was formed in 1988 in Atlanta. It was founded by Todd Thomas (aka Speech) and his friend Timothy Barnwell (aka Headliner), with the intention of being a positive alternative to the gangsta rap that came to prominence in the 1990’s.
While the band has seen members come and go, the current line-up consists of Speech (lead vocals), Rasa Don (drums), Baba Oje (spiritual elder), Fareedah (dancer/choreographer), Isaiah ‘Za’ Williams III (bass), 1 Love, (vocals), JJ Boogie (guitar), and Tasha Larae (vocals).
The group released their debut album – 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of… – in 1992. The album was a huge success both commercially and critically. It led to Arrested Development winning two Grammy awards in 1993 – one for Best New Artist and one for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Arrested Development was also named Band of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine. The album contained hit songs “Tennessee”, “Mr. Wendal” and “People Everyday”.
Arrested Development followed the album up with two more studio releases – Revolution and Zingalamaduni. Neither album matched the success of their debut. In 1996, the band broke up due to “creative differences”, only to reunite in 2000. Original vocalist Aerle Taree didn’t return to the band due to issues with her voice. DJ Headliner also chose not to re-join the band due to business differences with Speech.
Since reuniting in 2000, Arrested Development has released a number of records. Most of their success has been overseas – particularly in Asia, where they have a large following.
In 2012, Arrested Development released their 10th album – Standing at the Crossroads – and embarked on a world tour celebrating their 20th anniversary. The album, which was given away for free on their website when it was released, was recorded entirely on a Mac laptop.
In 2016, Arrested Development released two albums – Changing the Narrative and This Was Never Home. They continue to make music and perform live around the world, including this current tour.
Arrested Development took the stage shortly after 10 p.m. According to a friend of ours that was working security at the venue, the band was scheduled to play 75 minutes. We ended up getting closer to 90 minutes worth of music, which made me happy during the show, but tired at the gym at 6 a.m. the next morning!
For some bands, after 30 years they are just going through the motions when they get on stage. Not Arrested Development! The show was non-stop energy from beginning to end. You can also tell that they still have a passion for their music and their fans.
Arrested Development took us through a journey of their music catalog. The second song in their set was “Revolution”, which they wrote at Spike Lee’s request for the movie Malcolm X. Speech gave a shout out to Spike at the end of the song.
While the entire band was full of energy, Fareedah – vocalist and dancer – was over the top! Both my husband and I were exhausted just watching her. She danced non-stop the entire show. Based on her physique, I’m guessing she works out frequently, which is the only explanation for the endurance she showed during the show! It also happened to be her birthday, and Speech led the crowd singing and celebrating with her.
Intertwined within the music, was Arrested Development’s message, which is about positivity and shedding a light on things that they feel are important. When Speech spoke about their hit song “Mr. Wendal”, he talked about how they wrote the song because of the homeless people that they saw outside their recording studio in Atlanta. He encouraged the crowd to stop and give a dollar or two to a homeless person if they saw them on their way home.
Towards the end of the show, Speech joked a little about the band being around for 30 years. He said when he runs into a young person now, they say to him “I don’t see you in the club”, and he answers “I don’t see you at the bank.” This led into them performing their song of that name.
Arrested Development wrapped up the show with their hit “People Everyday”. Speech joked that they would see us in 26 years, as that was how long it had been in between the last Philly show. There was no encore, but I definitely felt like I had gotten my money’s worth and more from them. The band shook hands and took some selfies with the fans at the end of the show. I really hope they return sooner than 26 years from now!
Arrested Development is currently touring around the U.S. Check out their website at www.arresteddevelopmentmusic.com for upcoming dates. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this legendary band!
Are you a fan of Arrested Development? Want to know more about them or Hardwork Movement? Comment below or e-mail me at email@example.com.
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