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Declan McKenna – Union Transfer – Philadelphia (A Concert Review)

Declan McKenna – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA – June 2, 2023

Declan McKenna, 24-year-old English singer-songwriter, made his “Big Return” to the US this spring and summer. The “Big Return Tour” made a stop at Philly’s Union Transfer. This tour is his first in the US since before the pandemic, making his show not only super in demand but sold out!

The crowd of 1,200 waited patiently for Declan to make his entrance while enjoying the company of the opener, The Oracle Sisters. Performing a similar style to McKenna’s music, the crowd loved them! Hyping up the crowd with so many guitar solos and even a flute solo! They got the crowd re-energized & ready for McKenna.

McKenna made his way onto the stage and kicked the night off with “Beautiful Faces,” a hit off his latest album, Zeros. Right off the bat, everyone was jumping and going absolutely crazy for Declan. He played two more songs off of Zeros before playing “Paracetamol” off his debut album What Do You Think About the Car? Hearing the reactions of the crowd the whole night, I think it’s safe to say his debut album was full of songs that the crowd couldn't get enough of.

After some slower and more mellow songs, McKenna said “Who’s ready to dance?” before playing the intro to “Why Do You Feel So Down?” Concertgoers were seen jumping and dancing with their friends and loved ones while screaming the lyrics. The night was a beautiful and tasteful mix of his two albums and the single “My House.”

The moment so many people were waiting for, “Brazil,” Declan’s biggest hit and widely known now for being viral on Tik Tok. The crowd was the loudest it had been all night; phones were out and recording while others danced and screamed the lyrics along with the singer. It was the end of the show, or so the audience thought.

McKenna came backout with two more songs and didn’t leave the crowd hungry for more. With a cover of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” the crowd was in awe of Declan’s vocals and just enjoying his presence. Before leaving, he ended with “British Bombs,” another one of his most known singles. He put his guitar down, picking up the tambourine, jumping and running around the stage while singing the anti-war and politically charged song. The crowd was back to the hype it had for “Brazil” and wasn’t ready for the night to end. Before exiting, Declan thanked the crowd relentlessly and walked off stage.

Leaving the venue, concert goers were heard speaking to their friends about how in awe they were of the show and praising McKenna’s long-awaited performance after waiting so many years for his return to Philly.

Maria Gilles

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: June 4, 2023.

Photos by Maria Gilles © 2023. All rights reserved.

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