Firefly: Mix of bands keeps cool vibe
Posted July 23, 2012
The weekend's inaugural Firefly Music Festival ended Sunday on a hot and swampy note with muggy summer heat. But the 30,000 fans who turned out each day cooled off with an eclectic mix of music, ranging from hipster favorites Bombay Bicycle Club to high-powered rockers the Black Keys.
Playing from the Heart: Seattle-based indie-rock band the Head and the Heart played its take on swooning Americana to a Sunday crowd of brightly dressed, scantily clad fans. They performed sincere versions of Ghosts and Rivers and Roads.
Bombay Bicycle Club pedals to fame: The London-based band just wrapped up its European tour and have kicked off more dates in the USA. They've written four songs for a new album. "We might try one of them out today," said lead singer Jack Steadman. They played an energetic set to an even more energetic crowd, bouncing through Shuffle and Lights Out, Words Gone.
Glam camping: Or glamping. Yes, it's a thing, complete with beds and chairs inside, private bathrooms and a shower trailer outside, and a lounge serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. At a cool $1,500 for the weekend, it makes for a questionable "roughing it" experience, but probably vastly more comfortable.
Sensory overload: British sensation Tinie Tempah offered an intense set, mixing together hip-hop, rap and dance. His breathless performance of foot-stomping tunes had the crowd in a frenzy.
Grabbing on to a headline: Motown-styled Fitz & The Tantrums brewed a peppy concoction that included hit Moneygrabber. "Some days I'm crawling into the day, but as soon as I get through a couple of songs, my blood gets into it," singer Michael Fitzpatrick says of keeping up with the band's high-energy performances. Moneygrabber grew out of a troubled past relationship. "She knows who she is, and she knows that song is about her — (she) took advantage of me and wanted me to pay for everything," he says. "But it came out at the same time as the national financial crisis, and became the anthem for anyone affected and involved."
Celebrate Firefly: Soul singer Allen Stone, a tall blond man with thick glasses, wowed the crowd with his surprisingly powerful voice. He sang feel-good tunes like Celebrate Tonight and ended the set with a rousing rendition of Satisfaction. Bonus: his soulful cover of Bob Marley's Is This Love?
Stone's star has been rising quickly over the year, and he has been riding it with plenty of touring. "It's exhilarating to work so hard, but in two weeks I'm going on a cruise to Bermuda with my best homies from Seattle."
Mashup madness: But in a good way. Girl Talk, which drew a fair-sized crowd opposite the Flaming Lips, masterfully mixed a flurry of samples together, stirring up a frenzy of dancers and revelers alike.
Seize the moment: With Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla and Ben Gibbard parting ways for solo projects in the next few months, and no mention of the band's long-term plans, it was time for fans to absorb the alt-rock outfit's music. Thousands crowded around the stage, and backstage was stuffed with more fans. The band played everything from Crooked Teeth and I Will Possess Your Heart to love song You Are A Tourist, veering from ballad to bouncy and back again throughout the energetic set.
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