Mr. Britt’s Firefly Lineup
Delaware here we come!
April 30, 2014 | Festival | May 2014
EDITORS’ NOTE: Nolan “Mr. Britt” Britt was our high school AP Environmental Science teacher. He’s into bird watching and introducing his students to bands like Wilco and the White Stripes. Being that he’s an avid festival-goer, we got him to write this up.
If you are attending the third instalment of the “East Coast’s Premier Music Experience,” you are in for more awesomeness than should be permitted in the state of Delaware. Firefly Music Festival has expanded to four days this year, June 19-22nd, and with over 100 artists to sort through, it can be hard to figure out who you need to see. Here are ten artists to plug into your personal Firefly schedule that are guaranteed to provide satisfaction.
(Artists are listed in order that they appear on the lineup, and the day of performance is provided.)
Don’t be fooled by his down-tempo SNL performance or his folk-heavy latest album Morning Phase; the funky Scientologist knows this is a festival and will be ready to MC one of the biggest parties of the weekend. Beck brought the hits to Coachella this Spring and expect him to sprinkle in a few more with the longer set time at Firefly. Dust off your turntables and your microphones, step inside the Hyundai, and get ready to party with the ‘90s most successful Loser.
Tegan and Sara (Saturday)
The Canadian twins’ Friday evening set should be one of the best attended sets at Firefly and also one of its most intimate. Tegan and Sara’s racy stories, commentary on the crowd, and aw-shucks happiness to be there make a crowd of 10,000+ feel like they are sharing a night in a small theater. Be ready to dance and sing to your favorites from 2013’s Heartthrob and 2007’s The Con; Tegan and Sara aim to please.
In 2012, I missed Grouplove’s Firefly set to see a band that sucked. My advice: don’t miss Grouplove’s set to see a band that sucks. The LA 5-piece brings a good type of weird to a festival and who doesn’t want to get a little weird? Even if you only know “Tongue Tied” and “Ways to Go,” you’ll still want to drunkenly belt those songs with thousands of your best friends whom you just met.
Sleigh Bells (Saturday)
Sleigh Bells may have added an additional guitarist and a live drummer to their stage performance over the last few years, but the core of a Bells’ show remains the same: loud guitars, tons of lights and smoke, a wall of amps, and Alexis Krauss’ bad girl/sweet girl act working the crowd into a frenzy. Even the hipsteriest of hipsters will be dancing their asses off to this set.
Washed Out (Sunday)
Chillwave pioneer Ernest Greene may have produced the chillest hits of the genre with 2009’s “Feel it All Around” and 2011’s “Eyes Be Closed.” Greene tours with four musicians to bring those hits to life along with cuts from 2013’s lusher, warmer Paracosm. It’s great music to relax and dance to a little while saving up energy for the last couple of shows of the festival.
Sky Ferreira (Friday)
After introducing Miley Cyrus fans to quality music for two months as a Bangerz tour opener, Sky Ferreira will presumably play to more appreciative fans as part of an international festival tour that makes a stop at Firefly. Ferreira’s combination of ‘80s synths and ‘90s angst sounds excitingly modern and is perfect for a large festival stage. Since suffering a vocal hemorrhage and shin laceration on recent tours, fingers are crossed that one of the most anticipated acts of the festival arrives in Dover in one piece.
It’s Thursday night. You’ve sat in the entrance line for several hours, set up your tent/canopy in the hot sun, checked out the festival layout, and got a good buzz going. Now you want to dance, dance, dance. RAC’s Andre Allen Anjos provides the music to do just that with hits such as “Let Go” from the debut album Strangers and expert remixes of tracks by Lana Del Rey and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Get your groove on.
Saturday afternoon checklist for Firefly: Exquisite harmonies? Check. Tasteful and tight instrumentation? Check. A band that sounds even better live than it does on record? Check. A cool summer breeze blowing through the Woodlands is the only thing left to make Lucius’ set of Americana-tinged pop and your Saturday afternoon perfect.
Swedish electro pop trio NONONO has yet to headline a tour of the US, but they generated quite a buzz at CMJ and SXSW 2014. Lead single “Pumpin’ Blood” is so good that you’ll still want to dance to it no matter how many times you’ve heard it in a Garnier commercial (official sponsors of Firefly!). All of NONONO’s songs are expertly crafted; you wouldn’t expect anything less from the Swedes.
White Denim (Friday)
Austin rockers White Denim are an anomaly in today’s music world. Not only do they make guitar rock, but their guitar rock includes solos and fills of a quality that typified the guitar-hero heyday of the early ‘70s. With catchy melodies, lively percussion, and polished vocals, White Denim are sure to make fans of many folks seeing them for the first time. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Corsicana Lemonade to crank in your car and at the campsite.
NOTE: If you see the author at Firefly and would like to thank him for his suggestions, he accepts reimbursement in the form of high fives, hugs, and beer.
Illustration by Ilenia Madelaire.
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