In all honesty, I’m a Vans girl. Always have been. I visited my local store so much as a teen that they asked me if I wanted to work there. I did… and spent all my money there too, but I digress. I’ve already known and loved Vans and their support of music and local culture with curated events and House of Vans pop-ups, especially at SXSW in Texas, so I knew Philly was in for a treat but.. wow- what an amazing three days.
House of Vans didn’t have to go that hard but they did- creating an absolutely dope venue and indoor skate park filled with artistic and musical representations of Philly and Philly’s skateboarding culture. Three days were jam packed with epic music, gorgeous people, art installations, talks, workshops, skateboarding and a street market of local, dope vendors…what more could you ask for?
Night one started off super strong with DJ sets by Philly dream Naeem & Russell Alexander, and epic performances from Orion Sun, Hop Along, and Tierra Whack.
Philly-based Orion Sun mesmerized the crowd with her gorgeous, soulful voice. She mesmerized the crowd and had everybody moving, setting up an energetic crowd before Hop Along took the stage.
Orion Sun captivated the crowd and had everybody moving before Hop Along took the stage to play an array of our favorite songs from their past two albums- starting heavy with “The Fox in Motion” and even brilliantly covering one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs “Everywhere”.
Philly-based absolute Queen Tierra Whack shut down the warehouse to a buzzing crowd of Philly’s finest. Playing a high energy set of tracks from her 2018 release Whack World as well as new jams including one of my current favorites “Only Child”. She set the bar for the weekend… and she was kind enough to bring out on stage and introduce us to her turtle son, Boots. Love her!!
Luckily, the House of Vans warehouse on 2nd St. was open for three days because every time you went you could discover something new. Filled with art, an indoor skatepark, and live mural painting during sets, House of Vans Philly was an absolute dream you could keep discovering over the weekend.
My favorite parts of the weekend were definitely the live mural painting during different musical sets, being surrounded by so many great art pieces by local artists, all the beauties skating around, and of course the otherworldly and epic Phantogram.
Music on night two started out with bilingual Portland-based gems Y La Bamba, followed by Compton-based producer Channel Tres who rocked our world with his DJ and dancers. Channel Tres might has well have been headlining as he brought Philly an energy that really kicked off the crowd’s dance workout.
Closing out night two, was one of my favorite bands and live music masters Phantogram. Slaying a set of an array of hits from over the years, Phantogram set Philly on fire with an electric performance that left Philly wanting more as closing time approached all too quickly. More Phantogram, more music, and more House of Vans. Lead singer Sarah Barthel launched herself into the crowd the way I want to launch myself back in time to experience that night again.
The most heartbreaking part of the pop-up was that it was a pop-up. The venue ruled, the staff ruled, the most beautiful people I have ever seen attended, the art installations were inspiring. The carefully curated Philly-centric space for music, skating, art and workshops would be such great permanent fixture in Philadelphia- come back House of Vans! We miss you already. xoxo, Philly.
Here’s a list of people who helped make the space super special- give them a follow:
Jonathan Mehring / @MehringsBearings
Day One Musical Performers:
DJ: Naeem & Russell Alexander
Opener: Orion Sun / @CloudGem
Support: Hop Along / @HopAlongTheBand
Headliner: Tierra Whack / @TierraWhack
Day One Workshops:
BJ Betts / @BJBetts
Todd Francis / @ToddFrancisArt
Skatepark Murals curated by Space 1026:
Andrew Jeffrey Wright / @AndrewJeffreyWright
Brian Lynch / @BrianJosephLynch
Eileen Echikson / @SoupyWoman
Jaqueline Quinn / @ JaquelineQuinn
James Bonney / @JamesTheGntPch
Jim Houser / @MisterHouser
Nate Harris / @Procrastonate
Rachel Gordon / @Kundalini_Marinara
Thom Lessner / @ThomLessner
Tim Gough / @TimGough
Will Laren / @WillLaren
Photo Show in Skatepark Entry:
Jonathan Rentschler / @EuroJon
Phil Jackson / @PhilJacksonPhoto