Highnoon’s sunny rising indie pop welcomes the XPNFest crowd on day two


Day two of XPoNential kicked off in full swing with local favorites from Philadelphia Midday. The dreamy quartet led by songwriter Kennedy Freeman played a short but effective set, doing the important job of welcoming festival-goers to the waterfront green.

Starting at noon, which was either a conscious decision or a funny coincidence, Highnoon played a full set of new songs under cloudless blue skies. Freeman’s fat Gretch orange hollowbody was the perfect vehicle for their steady, upbeat strumming in warm alternate chords. Lead guitarist Brendan Simpson punctuated their beat with bright, punchy riffs, while the rest of the band controlled the tempo and volume of their soaring pop tunes.

“It feels like being at the beach today,” said Freeman, who admitted the setting sun made it difficult for them to see the glow of their guitar pedals. Regardless, Highnoon looked amazing. From Philadelphia basements to mid-size venues like PhilaMOCA to Philly Music Fest ’21 to XPoNential, Highnoon proves their brand of indie pop is accessible to many different audiences.

The highlight of the set was their closing song, “Tomorrow”, which turned into a sprawling jam. The glitchy guitar and high-intensity drumming reached a roaring climax that kept river stage audiences on the edge of their beach blankets. Stay tuned for more from Highnoon in the months to come. Although there are no show announcements on the horizon, their brand new set shows that they have some big news to share soon.


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