Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Firefly Music Festival 2014 - the music

I fell off the face of the earth, but it was for good reason: I was busy getting my face rocked off.

Firefly has been held in Dover, Delaware since 2012. It's a 4 day festival with camping and tons and tons of bands. I'll talk about camping and that whole experience in other posts, mostly because I want to remember what did and did not work well. Today, let's focus on the music.

Arrival day. After packing, driving, traffic, checking in, setting up camp, getting our bearings, trying to charge our phones, and generally being exhausted and stressed, we were excited to get to the concert. Well, first we had a 30some minute walk to the venue plus the 90 minute wait in line. We were so, so spent by the time we got inside. We missed Kodaline (boo) but arrived just in time for Phosphorescent. I'd never heard of them, but they turned out to be cool, chill music. It was nice to finally sit down and relax and enjoy what we came for. The next band we were interested in, Local Natives, wasn't on until 10:45. I wasn't really ready to stay up that late on the first night, so we headed back (long walk. always with the long walk) and crashed early.

Epic Friday. We saw New Politics and were blown away. Such a great performance! I knew a couple of their songs, but did not know the band would put on such a good show. The lead singer is a break dancer and did some dancing in the middle, which was awesome. The crowd was huge and enthusiastic, and the atmosphere was great. Definitely one of the highlights for me. I don't know what we did after them, I think we just milled around, ate, and tried not to get too sunburned. Next up was American Authors in the small venue, the Coffeehouse. This was my favorite 30 minutes of the whole festival. We were about 30 feet away from the band, and they were rocking out. They had just performed on the big stage, which we missed, but they still put on an energetic and incredibly fun show for the smaller crowd. Their music is so peppy and feel-good. It was great.

But it didn't end there! Next up was Young the Giant, who did not blow me away. It just wasn't anything special, or maybe I was getting burnt out by the whole thing. We only hung out for a little while and heard a few songs before heading toward the main event.... Foo Fighters! I was looking forward to this the most, and I wanted to get close to the stage. We ended up maybe 100 meters back, flush with the scaffold, and a little off to the side. We were definitely in the thick of the crowd, and it was amazing. I saw the Foo Fighters when I was young (14!) and have loved their music for what seems like my whole life. They put on an amazing show. We didn't stay for the whole thing because we were dead on our feet, but the hour and a quarter we did spend there was worth all the waiting time we spent squished in with all the other fans. Dave Grohl is the man. He was funny, charismatic, and just generally put on an amazing show. So happy.

Crappy picture that shows how close/far we were from the stage.

Dave Grohl is totally right there on the scaffold. I die.

After a long and exhausting Friday, we wanted to just lay around a lot on Saturday. Unfortunately, we also wanted to see 8 bands. So we compromised. We went in a little late and saw the end of Twenty One Pilots, who were great. Then Third Eye Blind came on. I was really, really looking forward to them, but I wasn't blown away. They talked about how they weren't on tour right now, this was a one-off show, which is cool, but they felt a little unenthused about the whole thing. It was still great to hear classic songs and some new stuff, but meh overall. Next, we scooted over to MS MR. They put on a fun show, although I don't remember being blown away. It was good, but not great. We were going to see Grouplove, but it was just too much walking and too much effort to get over to their stage, so we hung out and headed toward Imagine Dragons. So good! They played a nice long set. Their music was a lot of fun, but they saved ALL of their hits for the very end. I'm not a fan of that, I like to have some songs that I know to keep energy up. When they did get to their hits, it was excellent. Then, Teagan and Sara. I wasn't expecting a lot since I only know one of their songs, but I was pleasantly surprised. Their music was chill and fun, and they were funny as well. And last but not least, we saw Outkast. They had the most production value of anyone we saw all weekend. So much energy, and they are definitely performers instead of just musicians. Lots of dancing, graphics on the backdrop, and funky outfits. Lots of fun, but we still didn't hang out the whole time and headed out before they finished.

I sort of just wanted to go home at this point since we'd have a long drive ahead of us, but I rallied and we made the trek into the festival. We got in in time for NONONO, who put on a good show. A lot of their songs sound nothing like their radio hit, which was confusing, but their music was still really good. The lead singer was high energy and seemed pleased to be there with a good-sized crowd. We then relaxed in the shade while listening to City and Colour, who I'm sure are great, but from a far away distance their music is chill and all sort of sounds the same. Meh. Finally, time for Wild Cub. They were on a smaller stage and we got to be super close. Their music was good, they had a ton of energy, and once again seemed so happy and excited to be there, playing for us. Great attitude, and a great way to end our festival.

Thus ends my first Firefly post. More to come on the experience as a whole.

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