The Struts, Albert Hammond Jr., Manchester Orchestra headline the rock station's two holiday concerts

For as long as I can remember, CD102.5 has put on an annual holiday show, and this year the locally owned, independent rock station split the festivities into two concerts at Express Live. Headliners the Struts and Albert Hammond Jr. will take the stage alongside Just Loud and local band Radattack for Side A on Friday, Dec. 7, and Manchester Orchestra tops a bill with the Front Bottoms, Shannen Moser and local act Souther (one of Alive's 2018 Bands to Watch) on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The lineups are a pretty good representation of CD102.5's playlist these days — a mix of established indie(ish) rockers (Albert Hammond Jr.'s name recognition comes from his time in the Strokes, and Manchester Orchestra seems to have steadily grown in popularity for the past dozen years); up-and-comers (I was previously unfamiliar with Moser, a Philly-based songwriter with a strong new record, I'll Sing) and a dash of local rock. It's a formula that has worked for the station for some time; these holiday shows routinely sell out.

Manchester Orchestra and the Front Bottoms also recently teamed up on a pretty, downtempo new song, “Allentown,” with a dual-vocal chorus that proclaims, “I am on a journey to discover what it's like to be free of all my demons.” Seems like a worthwhile trip. (Safe bet)