All photography credit: Ken Schuler
(PCM) With Firefly Music Festival expanding to four days this year things got off to an amazing start on Thursday afternoon. It was the perfect way to avoid the major traffic jams that occurred the prior year and allow campers to get in and get settled between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
When we arrived, we were able to catch some amazing performances from Kodaline, Amos Lee and Local Natives which provided the perfect soundtrack for getting our weekend off to an incredible start!
One of the true stand-out moments from Lee’s set was definitely his closing which was an instrumental rendition of the “Game Of Thrones” theme song. It was amazing to watch everyone’s face light up once they reached the conclusion that, that was what they were listening to!
After a good night’s sleep we were back at Firefly bright and early on Friday. Day Two brought us performances from bands such as Kongos, Hunter Hunted, New Politics, The Mowgli’s, Iron and Wine, American Authors, Airbourne Toxic Event, Arctic Monkeys, Chance The Rapper, Young The Giant and Foo Fighters to name a few of the various performance we caught throughout the day.
While there was a little bit of overlap between stages a few times during the day, we were definitely able to catch the majority of the acts that we wanted to see throughout the afternoon and evening.
I was absolutely blown away by Friday evening’s headliners the, Foo Fighters as this was the first opportunity I have had to catch the band performing live. There has always been some bragging rights for Delawarians that singer Dave Grohl has a connection to the state, as he and his family have been spotted vacationing several times in the Rehobeth Beach area. Grohl even commented on stage that there was nothing like the smell of some fresh Grotto’s Pizza!
The band played a set that was chock full of hits including the set opener “Times Like These” and others such as “My Hero”, “Best Of You”, “Monkeywrench” and more. Just prior to “Monkeywrench” Grohl left the stage, ran out into the crowd and then came back sipping on a can of Rolling Rock he had grabbed from a fan before climbing on some scaffolding to start the song.
Despite the fact that Grohl revealed that the band has a new album “in the can” there were no new songs featured in the band’s set and I have to give all the credit in the world to the Foo Fighters’ guitarist Chris Shiflett who played the entire two hour set seated in an office chair off to the side of the stage due to a broken ankle. When introducing him to the crowd, Grohl jokingly said to Shiflett “You know how you did it?…By being f**king old”!
When it came to the band’s encore they returned to the stage as a Delaware cover band with the name “The Holy Sh*ts”. They performed incredible covers of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”, the Rolling Stone’s “Miss You”, Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin About Love” and the David Bowie/Queen classic “Under Pressure” before launching into a “cover” of their own song “Everlong” to close out the evening.
My other performance highlights throughout the day included the early afternoon set for South African band “Kongos” which was the perfect wake-up call to get the crowd up and moving around. There is absolutely no way that if you found yourself anywhere within earshot of the band’s current single “Come With Me Now” you were not dancing around like a happy fool.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the performance from New Politics who project so much energy off the stage it is absolutely intoxicating. The band’s stage show comes complete with break-dancing, call and response choruses and epic showmanship. I can’t wait to catch the band again out on the road for the Monumentour opening up for both Fall Out Boy and Paramore in a few weeks.
Other noteworthy performances came from both Arctic Monkeys and Young The Giant who each had massive amounts of people attending their shows. Arctic Monkeys provided the fans with a solid mix of both old and new material and the crowd ate up every moment of their fantastic set. My day was made hearing “I’ll Be You Look Good On The Dancefloor” live for the very first time!
There was also a broken bone injury in Young The Giant which unfortunately forced guitarist Jake Tilley to not join the band on-stage, however vocalist Sameer Gadhia told the crowd that the injury was not overly serious and he would be rejoining the band back out on the road in a few weeks.