Another weekend, another city, another music festival making its debut.
This Friday marks the inception of the Firefly Music Festival (not to be confused with the Firefly Festival or Fireflies Festival of Music, which are things) at Dover International Speedway in the fine state of Delaware.
At a quick glance, Firefly looks a whole lot like the other jams going on this summer: big names like Jack White, The Killers, The Black Keys (and Death Cab going for the sweep!), a variety of genres, games, food, hot air balloons (wait, hot air balloons?) and so on…
But from the look of it, Firefly is not really like that. There are four stages, just shy of fifty bands total (all the big ones book 100+), and looking to draw around 30-40k in human attendance each day (via Delaware Online, sidenote: I was really hoping there was a DE newspaper called the Daily Delawarean but no).
Odd as it may seem, those figures show some restraint (intentional or not) and that restraint might make Firefly a cool exception to the summer festival rule that "more is better."
So let’s go ahead and say Firefly is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. And we'll celebrate as we always do, with a list of daytime performances from bands you don’t know or don’t know well enough.
Friday, July 20: Blind Pilot, 3pm @ The Backyard
Blind Pilot broke out with their 2008 debut 3 Rounds and a Sound and have been baroquing their way around the indie charts (whatever those are) ever since. Sound-wise, these folks (six of ‘em, sometimes more) fall under restrained, pretty folk music with a crystal-clear knack for composition, dynamic and acoustical charm. Poke around their Soundcloud, find some of their live videos online and come on board.
Recommended Track: "Go On Say It"
Saturday, July 21: Moon Taxi, 11am @ The Porch
Moon Taxi is a band from Nashville who call themselves “indie-jam-rock,” but before you get to groaning, just know that they’re much more than that. There’s definitely something jam-ish about their music, but it’s far from jam-band. Moon Taxi is catchy by the books without being hookocentric, they’re smart without overplaying their smarts and about as likeable as a highly touted young band can be. Set your alarm for this one.
Recommended Track: "Mercury"
Sunday, July 22: Reptar, 1pm @ The Porch
Reptar (not to be confused with Reptar) is a band from another Southern indie hotspot (Athens, GA) who falls on the electronic side of the Firefly bill. There’s a vague M83-y sound to the whole thing: appealing, synth-heavy pop songs with token guitars and no shortage of “chill” to keep your vibes where they need to be. The debut in form of Body Faucet (love that name) is nothing less than stellar and for a Sunday afternoon slot, there's a pretty killer chance for a great show. Plus, they have one of the best homepages I’ve ever seen.
Recommended Track: "Three Shining Suns"
OK that’s it for now. Have fun and be safe. Or you’ll end up riding the police blotter in Monday morning’s Daily Delawarean.