Firefly Music Festival

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Firefly Music Festival
June 22, 2013
Dover, Delaware

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This was a three day festival – but we only had one day off to go – Saturday was by far the best lineup – so we decided to make it a one day adventure!

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Michelle & Michela – my two concert girlfriends – loaded into my little Honda at 7am and drove 7 hours straight to get to Delaware – everyone splitting the driving and the DJing in the car. And yes – of course we played some great road trip games! 🙂

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We didn’t actually see ZZ Ward’s set – but it took about 30 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the festival grounds, so we heard most of it while we were waiting in line and she sounded pretty cool. Gonna have to download some songs…
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Once we checked in, we headed straight to the main stage to catch Jim James’ set. Jim James is the lead singer of My Morning Jacket (who Michelle and I have seen many times live) and I was hoping for a great set. Now – he just released a new solo album (Regions of Light and Sound of God) which is very good – it has more of an electronic sound than his band stuff – but I was hoping for at least a few Jacket songs. Alas, no – just solo stuff. He did play one Monsters of Folk song (The Right Place) so that mixed it up a little at least. It was still an enjoyable show, and Mr. James is a great entertainer.

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Then it was time to get serious about beer. Firefly is sponsored by Delaware’s own Dogfish Head Brewery and they were serving lots of different kinds. We tried the Festina Peche – a tarty Peach brew – and the Firefly Ale – a pale ale brewed up just for the festival. Both were very good.
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While walking around the grounds and exploring we stumbled across the Silent Disco. Two DJs set up in the middle of the woods mixing pop & dance hits. They give you a wireless headset and everyone dances along to the mix. It looks pretty comical when you’re just watching everyone without the headphones on though 🙂

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We caught a few songs by Lord Huron too. I don’t know them well, but Michela was a fan – and they sounded pretty cool.

DOVER, DE - JUNE 22:  Alex Ebert of the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros performs onstage at the Firefly Music Festival at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway on June 22, 2013 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly Music Festival)

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros were very popular with the festival crowd. Their show was packed! They started off the set with a bang – literally – by beginning with 40 Day Dream. The rest of their set was very good too – playing Man On Fire and Home.

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I was looking forward to seeing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I’ve heard great things about Karen O as an entertainer – and she didn’t disappoint at all. We had left Edward Sharpe a bit early to get a good spot for this – and we were pretty close to the front. Her songs are rocking, quick and to the point. Gold Lion, Phenomena, Zero, Maps – they didn’t pause long between songs to burst into their next musical attack. I would highly recommend checking them out if you ever get the chance.

We had lost Michela at this point – and our phones were almost dead – so it took a little effort, but we managed to find her and regroup for our next show – MGMT.

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This was an interesting show. I wish I was a little bit more drunk (or some other kind of messed up) to have truly appreciated it. Their fans were definitely on another level than we were. MGMT puts on a unique video and light show – their graphics looking like a 90s video game that is glitching. It was different, and weird, but cool. We got to hear Electric Feel and Time to Pretend which made me happy (I don’t know too many of their songs)
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And then it was on to the Main Event – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers!

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Now I had heard before we came down that Tom was currently touring around the country on a “rarities” tour and was trying to stay away from his hits for awhile. I was fine with this. More than fine – actually – I own every box set and special edition this man has released and hearing his deeper cuts sounded like a great time to me. But he surprised me by mixing it up with festival-friendly hits AND rarities. While it was great fun singing along with 60,000 people to Free Fallin, Mary Jane’s Last Dance & I Won’t Back Down – I also loved getting to hear Rebels, A Woman In Love, Baby Please Don’t Go and he even did Tweeter & The Monkey Man (a song he wrote with Dyaln during the Wilburys sessions) I was excited when they broke into Melinda – but felt that Benmont’s piano solo was not as good as it usually is. (This version’s incredible!) It was getting late – and we had a long drive back home – so we left with a few songs to go – but since it was another 30 minute walk back to the car – we heard everything 🙂

A quick 5 hour ride and we were back home again – 24 hours after we had left.
It was a fun adventure – thanks Michelle & Michela – see you next year! 😛
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