Brockhampton makes a comeback with new album

Michael Poggioli | Editor

This past September, one of the biggest up and coming boy bands, Brockhampton, released a huge comeback album after months of anticipation. The group had a rough year after a former member, Ameer Vann, left the band because allegations of abuse and assault surfaced on social media. The group struggled to collect themselves as they canceled the rest of their summer tour after Ameer left. However, their new album, “iridescence,” shows a growth and maturity that previous releases from the band have not.
Many of the tracklist’s song structures are sporadic and contain multiple sonic ideas in a single track. While the band has done this masterfully in past albums (ex. “Alaska” from “Saturation III”), in many songs on “iridescence”, the production comes across as crowded and even overwhelming at times.
However, while some songs are overbearing with their production, there are still songs that balance the soundscape with the lyrics in a compelling way.
The appropriately titled “Weight” allows the members of the group to reveal different personal issues they’ve struggled with throughout the past year ranging from identity, critics and fame. The song opens with a intimate verse from Kevin Abstract while a string section accompanies his lyrics about sexuality and self acceptance.
The calming intro transitions into a fast drum breakdown seamlessly while another member, Joba, delivers a high energy verse about how obsessive thoughts about money and wealth has occupied his mind as he raps, “We’re born with a dollar sign attached to our temple / Life is a dish served cold most times.”
But the transitions don’t stop there, as the track slows down again for a moody verse from Dom Mclennan. This is one of Dom’s most well crafted verses from the entire discography of the group as he writes, “Don’t let ‘em treat you like a window, you know you’re a jewel / This world is cruel and not as simple as they teach in schools.”
The biggest highlights on the tracklist include “Weight,” “Tonya,” “J’ouvert,” and “San Marcos,” a stadium ballad that has a outro reminiscent of something that John Lennon would produce. Overall, while the album satisfies the band’s fan base, it is probably not the best introductory album for newcomers.
There are a lot of great tracks on the record, and it will probably one of my favorites of the year, but the classic cuts from the Saturation trilogy are hard to be topped.
The group recently started touring and are coming to the Fillmore Philadelphia next week on the 17th and 18th, and it’s sure to be a wild show, so buy tickets while you can.

Bruno Mars ‘hires’ Ed Sheeran

Jackie Anderson | Editor

A few days ago, pop icon Bruno Mars turned 33. While in Nashville, Tennessee, the star made Ed Sheeran serenade him. Mars posted a clip of Sheeran singing him “Happy Birthday” and captioned it, “You know you’ve made it when you can hire Ed Sheeran to sing you Happy Birthday #ExtraForever! #HappyBrunoMarsDay!”
In the video posted on Instagram, you can hear Sheeran belting out the lyrics, while Mars munches on a cupcake and wearing a gold party hat. As the song came to an end, Mars demanded that Sheeran start over, to which Sheeran happily obliged.
Mars was in Tennessee for his 24k Magic Tour, which kicked off in September. In August, Mars added Ciara after Cardi B dropped out after giving birth to her daughter, Kulture.
“As of today, I’ve decided I won’t be joining Bruno on tour this Fall,” Cardi, 25, wrote on social media. “I thought that after giving birth to my daughter that 6 weeks would be enough time for me to recover mentally and physically. I also thought that I’d be able to bring her with me on tour, but I think I underestimated this whole mommy thing.”
Mars was more than understanding and responded by saying, “Most important thing is you and your family’s health. I know the fans will understand. You are absolutely doing the right thing.”
In addition to Ciara, Charlie Wilson, Ella Mai and Boyz II Men will also be joining him on the road. The 24k Magic tour is set to come to an end on December 31 of this year.
This is only just a scratch on the surface of the two stars’ bromance. Clearly these two enjoy each others company, so the chance of a collaboration or even a tour together can be seen in the near future. One can only hope.

Phil Collins returns to Philadelphia for ‘One More Night’

Peter Elliott | Editor

On Monday, Oct. 10, people packed into the Wells Fargo Center to see 80s pop singer Phil Collins. The concert on Monday marked the first time Collins has held a concert in Philadelphia in eight years.
Collins opened up the concert with a soulful rendition of his 80s hit single “Against All Odds.” The choice for the opening song is quite appropriate for his “Not Dead Yet” tour, which Collins said is about not only reflecting on his musical career, but also to show that he is still willing to perform and entertain. While he sat in a chair for most of the concert due to an injured foot and back, Collins brought a great amount of energy and passion into each song he sang.
Along with playing many of his popular songs, such as “In the Air Tonight” and “Easy Lover,” Collins also played some of his lesser known tracks, including “I Missed Again” and “You Know What I Mean,” songs which appeared on Collins’ first album, “Face Value,” but were not played live through the years.
After playing some of his hits, Phil stopped to talk to the crowd about his history with Philadelphia. He talked about concerts he performed with former band Genesis at the Tower Theater and the Spectrum, along with his appearance at Live Aid. Collins was the drummer for Genesis and took over as lead singer when Peter Gabriel left the band.
He played some of the Genesis songs including pop hits “Invisible Touch” and “Throwing it All Away,” a song that was last performed by Genesis in 2007. The highlight Genesis song Collins performed was “Follow You Follow Me,” which featured clips from the band’s music videos along with concert clips from when Peter Gabriel was lead singer.
Collins’ singing was complimented by a four-piece horn group and four back-up singers which helped hit the high notes in his songs. These additions provided Collins with a funky, energetic sound which had some people dancing in their seats. Some songs, including “Easy Lover” and “Invisible Touch,” were given a more funk-style sound compared to the original recordings.
While Collins received great applause after each song, it was his son Nicholas that stole the show with his incredible drumming. The 16-year-old drummer kept up with of his father’s hits, along with nailing the iconic drum solo in “In the Air Tonight.” In addition to playing on the drums, the young Collins also played the piano during “You Know What I Mean” and participated in a drum solo with his father and another percussionist.
The concert setlist ended with a performance of “Sussudio” which featured blasts of confetti and party streamers, along with vibrant, colorful lighting that would not be out-of-place at a New Year’s celebration. Collins closed the concert with “Take Me Home. He stood up to sing, which received its own standing ovation from the crowd. Once the encore finished, Collins and the performers took a bow as the curtain around the stage was lowered.
Although some will argue his glory days may be far behind him, Phil Collins proved that can still deliver an energetic and entertaining performance after all these years. For more information about future shows and tickets, go to

Cameron Monaghan to leave ‘Shameless’

Brianna Nardo | Editor

Showtime show “Shameless” is losing yet another actor, after Emmy Rossum announced her departure after season nine on August 30th. On Monday October 9th, Cameron Monaghan announced in an Instagram post that this upcoming week’s episode will be his last. He will not even be finishing out the season.
Monaghan stated that this has been a decision that he has known about since last year, but he did not want to “give it away too early as I wanted this season to be a surprise for the audience, allowing them to experience Ian’s unsure journey with his character.”
Monaghan has played the third eldest Gallagher child, Ian Gallagher since the pilot when he was fifteen years old. His reasoning for leaving the show seems very similar to that of Rossum’s. Ian’s storyline is done, and Monaghan would like to pursue other projects.
It appears that Ian’s story will end with his character’s sentencing after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity in last week’s episode “Black-Haired Ginger,” after he had been arrested for blowing up a van filled with a family who wanted to put their son through gay conversation therapy. He was off of his bipolar medication at the time and operating as “hot gay Jesus.”
Many fans are hoping that Gallagher’s old boyfriend Mickey Milkovich return, and they run away together back to Mexico where Milkovich has been living since season seven.
In his farewell post, he stated, “All good things come to an end. An old cliché, but one that rings true with a sincerity and clarity especially in moments like these. Everything ends.”
He concludes his post by saying, “This role has been a joy to inhabit, a wild and special ride, and I’d like to thank #Shameless as well as you, the viewers, for being there with him. Goodbye, Ian Clayton Gallagher. We’ll meet again?”
It is unclear if “Shameless” will return for a season ten, but with viewership down and two of the show’s main character’s leaving it seems unlikely to be renewed for next year.
Monaghan has done other projects besides “Shameless.” He has played a reoccurring role as Jerome in Fox’s “Gotham,” played James in “Amityville: The Awakening,” and he played the main character and did some behind the scenes work in “Anthem of a Teenage Profit.” He also has several projects that are currently in pre-production such as “Wake,” “Deliberation,” and “The White Devil.”
Monaghan has stated that he is incredibly passionate about his work and is constantly going after roles that are considered “challenging.” He is willing to work hard and go outside his comfort zone in order to create art. His hardworking, passionate nature combined with his talent will ensure the longevity of his career.
Tune in on Sunday, Oct. 14th to season nine episode six of “Shameless,” – “Face it, You’re Gorgeous” – to watch Monaghan’s departure from the show and to see how Ian Gallagher’s storyline ends.

Taylor Swift causes surge in voter registration in fanbase

Jackie Anderson | Editor

Taylor Swift has finally opened up about her politics in a post on Instagram. Her Instagram has 112 million followers and tens of millions of followers on her other social media platforms. She pushed for her fans to support her choice for the upcoming elections on November 6th for Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen over Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
The singer usually remains silent when it comes to politics, but she was “appalled and terrified” after noting Blackburn’s record. In the post, she states, “I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent,” and that, “As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry.”
Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for, told BuzzFeed that the organization had seen 2,144 new registrations in the last 36 hours, and 5,183 so far this month. Those numbers far outstrip the 2,811 new Tennessee voters who signed up during the entire month of September.
Swift’s post has also caused an uproar in the far-right community, many of which assumed that she was a closet Republican party supporter. President Donald Trump himself said Swift likely didn’t “know anything” about Blackburn, ending his comments with a subtle dig at the singer. “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now,” the president said Monday.
Many fans have also since posted about their support of the singer as well as their accounts of their own registration for the upcoming election. It is fair to say that while many politicians disregard icons such as Swift, the fan base of such icons can surely change the tides.

Schools need to do better in protectcing kids from cyberbullying

Rissa Delpuerto | Staff

Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other in our everyday lives. In a few seconds, a message can be typed out and sent that cannot be taken back. With this kind of technology at our disposal, we can readily access any information we might need in the blink of an eye. We can communicate with people all over the world, and share any ideas or opinions we might have. However, this instantanious form of communication can also cause problems. One specific problem that has grown in prominence is the epidemic of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is the use of electronics to bully or harass another person. Anyone can send an anonymous message meant to hurt another person. In recent years, studies have shown that an increasing number of adolescents face cyberbullying on social media, where many people have the chance to see the message and can respond to it with a simple click. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Cyberbullying has become the common online risk for all teens and is a peer-to-peer risk”. According to a study by, in partnership with the i-SAFE foundation, “over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyberbullying.” One of the worst aspects of cyberbullying is that it follows you home. If a child is being bullied at school, they can escape it when the school day ends or they can change schools. With social media, a threathening post can be made at anytime of the day. Most kids refuse to delete their social media because they want to know what is being said about them.
While schools have attempted to address the issue, students are still being harassed online. Students who are cyberbullied are encouraged to tell a trusted friend or adult; however, they rarely disclose to anyone what is going on. Adolescents who are being bullied do not speak up in fear of retaliation. If they tell a parent or teacher, the bully could come back with a vengence out of revenge for being told on.
Schools attempt to solve the issue of cyberbullying by banning electronics during school hours and by holding anti-bullying assemblys. Still, the problem persists. There is only so much control a school can have over their students when they are sent home for the day and laws are progessing too slowly to keep up with ever changing technology. This often means that the bully is let go with a slap on the wrist and they are free to continue to harass their victim. Teachers will let acts of bullying slide because they do not want to get involved. The advice given to victims is to just ignore bullying; they will get bored and go away. Both the school systems and the law have to do better in protecting children from all acts of bullying, including cyberbullying. Bullying no longer looks like the jock shoving another kid into a locker and demanding lunch money. It is sneaky, anonymous posts online. It is harsh words and rumors being spread. The isolation could cause young teenagers to end their own lives. Bullying is now more emotional, than physical.
As social media and technology continue to evolve, it is important that as human beings we remember to be careful what we say to others online. It is important that parents, friends and staff stay vigilant and take notice if a child is suddenly becoming withdrawn. It is important we teach children that their actions have consequences. Too many people will turn the other cheek even when witnessing a child showing the symptoms of being the victim of cyberbullying.
For more information on cyberbullying, visit

Narnia to come to Netflix, Disney to leave

Peter Elliot | Editor

Netflix announced on Wednesday, Oct. 3, that they will be creating new movies and a TV series based upon the “Chronicles of Narnia” book series. The books, originally written by C.S. Lewis, follow four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, as they discover the magical world of Narnia through a portal within an old wardrobe. The series has previously been adapted into theatre productions and audiobook editions.
Disney started their own film adaptations with “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” in 2005. Disney’s “Narnia” films would gross over $1 billion in box office earnings.
“C.S. Lewis’ beloved ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix. “Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
“Narnia” is not the first Netflix adaptation of a well-known book series. Lemony Snicket’s series of novels, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” were adapted into a Netflix TV series starring Neil Patrick Harris in 2017.
Netflix also announced a live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” cartoon on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The new series will be overseen by the original creators of “Avatar,” Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, after the last adaptation of the series, M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender,” was a critical and commercial flop.
While these new adaptations are welcome additions to the service, not all news for Netflix has been positive.
In August of 2017, Disney announced that they would end their partnership with Netflix. Disney made the decision when they decided to launch their own streaming service in 2019.
Since this announcement, Disney has slowly removed new films from Netflix, with “Moana” and “Star Wars: Rouge One” set to be removed by January.

‘Kinky Boots’ to close its curtains for good in April 2019

Jackie Anderson|Editor

After 2,500 performances, it’s almost time for curtain call for the Broadway hit “Kinky Boots.” On April 7, 2019, the cast will take a bow one last time.
By the time the curtains close, the musical is set to be the 25th longest running show on Broadway with a closing date just shy of its 6 year anniversary. The musical, based off of the 2005 film, follows a man who hesitantly takes over his father’s shoe factory. His lack of interest in the company causes it to tank until he meets a drag queen who inspires him to make outlandish footwear instead.
In 2013, Kinky Boots received six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Original Score, Actor in a Musical, Sound Design of a Musical, Choreography and Orchestrations.
In the early years, the musical was grossing upwards of $1 million dollars a week and later reached those heights again when stars such as Brendon Urie, Wayne Brady and Jake Spears joined the cast. However, in the most recent months, gross sales have significantly dropped.
For the week ending Sept. 23, the show made $658,509, or 51 percent of its gross potential.
By announcing the closing of the show, producers plan to double their current gross, especially since the holidays are coming, which is the busiest time of year for the Broadway calendar.
“When we first set out to make this show, we never could have imagined the success it would have here on Broadway and around the world,” co-creators Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper said in a statement.
“We speak on behalf of the entire company when we say how grateful we are to the fans who have embraced our work across four continents and counting!”
Tickets are currently on sale for the popular musical starting at $55 apiece, but ticket prices will soon rise based on the demand of the now-closing show, so get them while you still can.

Leon Bridges rocks sold out shows at Fillmore

Elyssa Loughlin|Editor

Oh, the ‘60s. A time that is idealized for its big dresses, excessive use of hairspray and going to dances on Friday nights with your sweetheart. It is also, of course, infamous for racial struggles. Listening to Leon Bridges’ first album, “Coming Home,” you may have thought that you were in the ‘60s. His soulful, untouched voice crooned over tracks such as “River,” “Lisa Sawyer,” and of course, “Coming Home.” Even the singer’s unique, vintage style added to the nostalgia and reminiscence of a slightly more racist time. Bridges’ first album garnered him two Grammy nominations, comparisons to artists of the likes of Sam Cooke and, most importantly, a fanbase. However, it wasn’t necessarily the fanbase he wanted.
According to an interview with GQ, Coming Home found predominantly white audiences. “It’s uncomfortable, live, to look out into the crowd, and during my song ‘Brown Skin Girl’—that’s part of my patter, the whole thing is like, ‘Where’s my Brown Skin Girls at?’—and…there aren’t any,” Bridges told the magazine. People told the young singer that his music wasn’t “black enough,” “which is a crazy thing to hear,” says Bridges, who is surprised at some people’s ignorance.
Bridges’ new album, dropped in May of this year, almost three years after the release of “Coming Home.” His sophomore album, “Good Thing,” is an entirely different animal. While it still has ghosts of decades past, “Good Thing” has a modern sound and Bridges’ influences can be heard, “Usher, Ginuwine, James Blake, Portishead, R. Kelly, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson,” all influenced him for this album, he told GQ. The Texas native’s unique style, both musically and with regards to fashion, sets him apart from the rest of the artists these days.
This past Sunday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 1, Bridges and his band full of Texans took the Fillmore stage to perform two sold out shows. His new contemporary style is working for him. Among audience members were people of all ages, creeds and stature. From high school students attending with a chaperone to a couple who had been married for 40 years (and were likely my age when “Coming Home’s” genre of music was popular), Bridges’ new sound has clearly allowed him to reach a much broader audience.
Bridges kicked off the set with “If it Feels Good … (Then it Must Be),” a song that got everyone twisting and grooving. After almost two hours of non-stop singing and dancing from Bridges and his band, they left for a few minutes before coming back for the encore. To kick off the encore, Bridges came back with Brittni Jessie, his backup singer, to sing their duet, “River,” acoustically. He then welcomed back the other members of his band before introducing each of them and allowing each to perform his own musical solo, all of which the audience ate up.
The entire night was nothing but genuine fun, and it featured even more genuine music. Despite a massive overhaul in the style of his music, the 29 year-old Texan managed to stay true to himself. He didn’t lose the heartbreaking honesty in his lyrics or his authentic and lyrical dancing, all while being the frontrunner of a concert that fostered a feeling of community and encouraged each member of the audience to enjoy their time at the Fillmore. Bridges recently released the dates for a spring 2019 tour, and I highly encourage everyone to find a city in the south that he is preforming in and enjoy some good old-fashioned funky music.

Ed Sheeran performs at Lincoln Financial Field

Selena Bemak|Editor

When it comes to entertainment, Ed Sheeran is like no other. The British singer performed at Lincoln Financial Field last week to a crowd of over 60,000, his largest show in Philadelphia yet. Although this concert was just one of many stops on his North American tour, Sheeran made the experience feel unique for concert goers through constant interaction with the crowd between (and during) songs.
Sheeran performed some of his top hits, including “Castle on a Hill,” “Sing,” “Perfect,” “Thinking Out Loud” and “Shape of You,” interspersed with classic tunes such as “The A Team” and “Give Me Love,” which made for a diverse setlist.
Perhaps the most significant and impressive part of the concert was that Sheeran played as a one-man show, performing entirely with his voice, guitars and a loop pedal. Sheeran is a master vocalist and lyricist, but the level of entertainment he produced through his talents alone is unbelievably impressive to the point that it’s absurd. The 27-year-old also used the audience as a tool in show by encouraging fans to sing along and telling them to hum certain melodies, creating an interactive experience for those in attendance.
Sheeran also connected with the audience on a personal level by expressing his love for Philadelphia and congratulating fans on the Super Bowl win. The star even wore a Brent Celek Eagles jersey for the encore of his show, which resulted in an eruption of applause and cheers from the crowd.
He also paid homage to what he referred to as “the two percent” of people who did not want to be there, most of which are dads and boyfriends, but attended his concert out of their love for someone who did want to be there.
Overall, Sheeran made a sold-out stadium filled with thousands of strangers feel like an intimate setting in a pub, which used to be the typical venue for his concerts. The personalization of the show in conjunction with his interaction with the crowd made for the ultimate concert experience. There are few performers who can create such a unique experience without a band or tracks supporting them, yet he manages to pull it off. If given the opportunity to see Sheeran in concert, whether at some point during the Divide tour or his next album tour, take it – he can turn a song that’s overplayed on the radio into a lifelong memory.