On August 4, 2023, the second to last day of the ‘Bittersweet Daze Tour’ featuring friends grantperez, Ricky Montgomery, mxmtoon, and Cavetown, stopped in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show was outdoors at the Skyline stage popular event space called The Mann. Fans were lining up hours before the tour to secure their spot in the general admission space, to buy merch, and to take photos in front of the oh-so-cute and welcoming memorabilia and photo props spread across the entrance and grounds of The Mann.
Prior to the tour’s kickoff, Cavetown, mxmtoon, and Ricky Montgomery came together to craft the single “Nobody Loves Me” (released June 29). Following that release, on July 14, Cavetown and grantperez came together to release the track “When We Were Younger.” The friends and longtime collaborators’ creation showcases their complementary styles with a soft, indie sound and further emphasizing the fun and welcoming environment that this tour had even before it hit the road.
One of the most popular photo opportunities at the entrance was with “Lemon Boy,” an inflatable lemon inspired by Cavetown’s 2018 fan-favorite “Lemon Boy.” The tour title itself hints at “Lemon Boy,” too, with the opening line of the track being “There once was a bittersweet man and they called him Lemon Boy.”
Along with that, Cavetown has been working with Bittersweet Media, a company that provides artists, labels, and small businesses with the tools and support necessary to connect with their communities while standing out in today’s overly saturated digital world. And yet, another hint at the title of the tour. They have been working with Cavetown and his This Is Home Project on creative direction and brand management along with some social media and digital marketing.
Founded by Cavetown himself, This Is Home Project channels funds towards organizations that support LGBTQ+ youth in need. A portion of ticket sales ($1 from each ticket) were donated to This Is Home Project and at the event, there was a table set up where you could learn more about the project.
Though I wasn’t able to take photos in the photo pit as I usually do at other shows, this was still a fun event to experience. It was one of the cutest shows I have ever been to and my first time attending a show at The Mann. It was a welcoming and inclusive environment. It was truly wonderful to see so many different humans coming together for one show, all happy and in a safe space.
Outside of the tour lineup itself, The Mann was truly a good pick for this tour. The staff themselves were inclusive and welcoming. When it came to the bathrooms, they told some of the non-male guests that they could use the male labeled bathroom. They were also handing out cups of cold water during and between the sets to make sure everyone was staying hydrated.
Sydney, Australia based singer-songwriter grantperez kicked off the performance. It was one of the most fun and energetic opening sets I have seen at a show. It was truly welcoming and authentic. There was a lot of dancing, too (even from the stage manager).
grantperez performed with two band members, who were just as authentic, engaging, and fun as Grant himself. Grant made sure to include them too as much as possible. The trio were simply just all excited to be there, even on the second to last day of tour. They meshed together well creating a memorable first performance of the night.
Songs like “Cherry Wine,” “Clementine,” and “Confusing Girl” were performed. grantperez recently released a seven track EP called When We Were Younger and I would absolutely recommend listening to it.
His photographer was Christian Waite and it was his first tour ever. In a tour recap post on Instagram he shared that “I think I did pretty good… I felt right at home every show.” If you are looking for a new photographer to follow, we recommend Christian. His comments prove, once again, that this tour package was nothing but kind and welcoming to everyone involved.
Set two of the night came from American singer-songwriter Ricky Montgomery. A recent indie-pop viral sensation on social media, his music and story has reached the homes of many. Music always lures him back, and that’s obvious. He’s been working releasing music since 2014 but recently found more love through platforms like TikTok (and it’s well deserved, too). Throughout his whole performance, you could tell that he was honored and happy to be performing in front of such a lovely crowd.
One of the most memorable moments of Ricky’s set was his new invention of sharing merchandise with his fans. It is a slingshot, but for merch. Ricky called the idea a “work in progress” still, but he, with the help of some of his team, were successfully able to get some fans in the crowd free Ricky merchandise.
Ricky’s performance was the one I was most impressed with overall because of his interaction with the crowd and humor with the slingshot. He ran across the barricade at least two times, interacting with fans in the crowd. In his setlist, he included a performance of the newest track “Black Fins,” that was released on July 14.
And yes, he played his hits “Mr. Loverman” and “Line Without a Hook.”
To bring together the tour roster even more, Ricky Montgomery and mxmtoon have a version of “Line Without a Hook” that they collaborated on in 2021. A must listen if you haven’t checked it out already!
The third performance of the night came from a personal favorite, mxmtoon. It was an honor to finally be able to see her perform. As she was performing, the sun was quickly setting and the rain was slowly falling. This set the mood to her performance, which included a great variety of tracks including some with a full band to back her up while other songs were performed by only her and her ukulele.
Mist fell softly during her performance of “Feelings Are Fatal,” where she had a solo spotlight on her as she sang with her ukulele. During parts of this performance, it felt like we were watching a movie.
Her most recent album, rising (deluxe), was released on September 16, 2022 and features tracks like “mona lisa” and “sad disco” along with two new tracks titled “kaleidoscope” and “plastic pony.” About the release of this deluxe album, mxmtoon shared, “I know that my sense of who I am is ever evolving, and I hope to get that idea across to the people that listen to my music as often as I can.”
Overall, mxmtoon was interactive with the crowd. It was very fun hearing songs like “sad disco” and “prom dress” performed live for the first time. And at one point during the show, she made everyone quack like a duck, which added for some fun and interactive portions.
Maia made a tour vlog sharing some moments from the two week tour. View the video below! It’s very fun and I had to include it in my review.
The Attic Youth Center, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was invited by Cavetown to table and speak at the event. The Attic Youth Center creates opportunities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questions (LGBTQ) youth. They are also Philadelphia’s only LGBTQ+ youth center.
Before Cavetown went on stage, one person from the organization came out on stage to talk about the organization, the honor it was to be included in this event, information about the raffle they were hosting, and to hold a moment of silence. They held this moment of silence in honor of one of their peers who had been murdered the week before in a hate crime while they were dancing.
They then welcomed English singer-songwriter Cavetown to close out the night.
The 12 day tour marked Cavetown’s first tour stateside since spring 2022 and was in support of his highly praised November 2022 album, worm food. Cavetown delivers his most elaborately realized body of work to date on worm food, shaping his storytelling into songs that ultimately give voice to our own most intimate emotions.
Throughout his performance he played songs like “Juliet,” “Wasabi,” “Lemon Boy,” and “Fall In Love with a Girl.” He also performed “A Kind Thing To Do,” the song that has Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil as a featured guest. Fuentes didn’t come out to perform, unfortunately, but it was still great hearing the song live.
One of my favorite parts of the performance was when friends mxmtoon and Ricky Montgomery came out on stage to play the song “Nobody Loves Me.” This performance was a great way to connect the tour together. Instead of just having four “separate” artists perform throughout the night, it was connected. It was also easy to tell they were all having the time of their life and were very supportive of each other and the fans in the crowd.
A fan favorite performance was with the song “Frog,” where some fans in the crowd waved the stuffed frogs they brought. The song “Frog,” about Cavetown’s girlfriend, emerges as a delightfully warped declaration of affection. He also performed the track “Juno,” a song for his cat.
Cavetown’s encore saw two songs, including a performance of the track “Home.” Before playing this song, he asked if anyone in the flag had a transgender flag. A fan waved the flag and then threw it up on stage. Cavetown wore it for the performance and explained that even though he doesn’t exactly relate to the song anymore, he still played it because other people in the crowd might relate to the song still.
And in the words of Cavetown, “Yippee.”
Overall, the show was fun, cute, and welcoming. I would love to attend the show again, if given the chance. The audience’s energy was something to not be ignored and I’m sure so many other fans would attend the tour again if it was possible. Who knows, maybe we will even see a ‘Bittersweet Daze Tour: Part 2’ next year.
Though the ‘Bittersweet Daze Tour’ has come to an end, it doesn’t mean you can’t support the artists in their next venture! Be sure to follow grantperez, Ricky Montgomery, mxmtoon, and Cavetown on your favorite social media platforms so you don’t miss where they might visit next.
If you like these four artists and are looking to expand even further, I would recommend checking out Addison Grace, Tessa Violet, Leanna Firestone, Frances Forever, Olive Klug, Claud, and chloe morinondo.