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From June 19-22, I gallivanted around the Woodlands in Dover, Delaware for the 3rd Annual Firefly Music Festival.

This was my second visit to Firefly (see what happened last time). I may say more about it, but for now, here’s a playlist of most of the bands and artists I saw.

  1. ‘I’m Not Your Hero’ by Tegan and Sara
  2. ‘Hash Pipe’ by Weezer
  3. ‘Come With Me Now’ by Kongos
  4. ‘Laredo’ by Band of Horses
  5. ‘All The Days’ by Haerts
  6. ‘Red Hands’ by Walk Off the Earth
  7. ‘Dreaming’ by Smallpools
  8. ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ by Arctic Monkeys
  9. ‘Where It’s At’ by Beck
  10. ‘Think of You’ by MS MR
  11. ‘I Believe’ by Basic Vacation
  12. ‘Money Tree’ by Caroline Glaser
  13. ‘I Got’ by Young the Giant
  14. ‘Paris’ by Magic Man
  15. ‘Never Let You Go’ by Third Eye Blind
  16. ‘Harlem’ by New Politics
  17. ‘Twisted Tongue’ by Misterwives
  18. ‘Hell and Back’ by Airborne Toxic Event
  19. ‘Tom Sawyer’ (Rush cover) by Imagine Dragons
  20. ‘All My Life’ by Foo Fighters
  21. ‘Ways To Go’ by Grouplove

 

Encore

  1. ‘Buddy Holly’ by Weezer

 

Jam on!
Don't stop the music!

Don’t stop the music!

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Music. Makes the people come together.

Continue for a random round-up of a musical year.

Notables: I burned 62 new albums into my iTunes library. I attended 28 concerts (or 73 music sets). I invaded the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in California. I shot up my 90’s fix by rocking to Soundgarden twice and Pearl Jam.

Top Albums Listened to in 2013*

  1. ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ by The National
  2. ‘Heartthrob’ by Tegan and Sara
  3. ‘The Bones of What You Believe’ by CHVRCHES
  4. ‘Night Visions’ by Imagine Dragons
  5. ‘Sweet Sour’ by Band of Skulls
  6. ‘Wolf’s Law’ by The Joy Formidable
  7. ‘2nd Law’ by Muse
  8. ‘Days Are Gone’ by Haim
  9. ‘Paramore’ by Paramore
  10. ‘Bankrupt’ by Phoenix

Honorable mention: ‘Secondhand Rapture’ by MS MR

*Does not have to have been released in 2013.

Bonus #1: Top Concerts of 2013

  1. Coachella Music and Arts Festival Day 1 (Empire Polo Club) – highlights: Metric and Of Monsters and Men (both of whom I also saw later in the year)
  2. Pearl Jam (Baltimore Arena) – the second time I’ve seen them, last in 1998.
  3. Soundgarden (DAR Constitution Hall) – I saw them twice this year!
  4. Muse (Verizon Center)
  5. The National (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
  6. Metric (Ram’s Head Live)
  7. fun. with Tegan and Sara (Merriweather Post Pavilion)

Bonus #2: Most Listened to Songs in 2013 (According to iTunes)

  1. ‘Stubborn Love’ by The Lumineers (46)
  2. ‘Amsterdam’ by Imagine Dragons
  3. ‘Closer’ by Tegan and Sara
  4. ‘Underdog’ by Imagine Dragons
  5. ‘Sunset’ by The xx
  6. ‘Sweet Sour’ by Band Of Skulls
  7. ‘I Love It’ by Icona Pop
  8. ‘Sea of Love’ by The National
  9. ‘Proof’ by Paramore
  10. ‘Recover’ by CHVRCHES
  11. ‘Anything Could Happen’ by Ellie Goulding
  12. ‘I’m Not Your Hero’ by Tegan and Sara
  13. ‘Drove Me Wild’ by Tegan and Sara
  14. ‘Gun’ by CHVRCHES
  15. ‘Shock To Your System’ by Tegan and Sara
  16. ‘Now I’m All Messed Up’ by Tegan and Sara
  17. ‘Hear Me’ by Imagine Dragons
  18. ‘Heavenfaced’ by The National
  19. ‘I Was A Fool’ by Tegan and Sara
  20. ‘We Got the World’ by Icona Pop
  21. ‘Entertainment’ by Phoenix
  22. ‘Go With The Flow’ by Queens of the Stone Age
  23. ‘Oblivion’ by Grimes
  24. ‘Fixed’ by Stars
  25. ‘Panic Station’ by Muse (17)

Bonus #3: All Albums Acquired in 2013

  1. ‘Danse Macabre’ by The Faint
  2. ‘Night Visions’ by Imagine Dragons
  3. ‘Master of My Make-Believe’ by Santigold
  4. ‘Business Casual’ by Chromeo
  5. ‘Sky Blue Sky’ by Wilco
  6. ‘Away From The World’ by Dave Matthews Band
  7. ‘Shrines’ by Purity Ring
  8. ‘Songbook’ by Chris Cornell
  9. ‘Sweet Sour’ by Band of Skulls
  10. ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Bruce Springsteen
  11. ‘Pines’ by A Fine Frenzy
  12. ‘Oceania’ by The Smashing Pumpkins
  13. ‘All You Need’ by Duran Duran
  14. ‘Roses’ by The Cranberries
  15. ‘The Lumineers’ by The Lumineers
  16. ‘Iconic EP’ by Icona Pop
  17. ‘Baby Darling Doll Face Honey’ by Band of Skulls
  18. ‘2nd Law’ by Muse
  19. ‘The Temper Trap’ by The Temper Trap
  20. ‘Halcyon’ by Ellie Goulding
  21. ‘Grow Up and Blow Away’ by Metric
  22. ‘Visions’ by Grimes
  23. ‘Heartthrob’ by Tegan and Sara
  24. ‘Tré’ by Green Day
  25. ‘Lifelines’ by Andrea Corr
  26. ‘Youth Novels’ by Lykke Li
  27. ‘Comedown Machine’ by The Strokes
  28. ‘The North’ by Stars
  29. ‘Mosquito’ by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  30. ‘Bankrupt’ by Phoenix
  31. ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ by The National
  32. ‘Modern Vampires of the City’ by Vampire Weekend
  33. ‘Once Upon Another Time EP’ by Sara Bareilles
  34. ‘The Peace of Wild Things’ by Paper Route
  35. ‘Random Access Memories’ by Daft Punk
  36. ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’ by Alice In Chains
  37. ‘Give You The Ghost’  by Polica
  38. ‘The National’ by The National
  39. ‘Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers’ by The National
  40. ‘A Ghost is Born’ by Wilco
  41. ‘The Five Ghosts’ by Stars
  42. ‘Songs for the Deaf’ by Queens of the Stone Age
  43. ‘Cedar + Gold’ by Tristan Prettyman
  44. ‘Abbey Road’ by The Beatles
  45. ‘Revolver’ by The Beatles
  46. ‘Girl Who Got Away’ by Dido
  47. ‘People, Hell and Angels’ by Jimi Hendrix
  48. ‘Wolf’s Law’ by The Joy Formidable
  49. ‘Delta Machine’ by Depeche Mode
  50. ‘The Blessed Unrest’ by Sara Bareilles
  51. ‘Paramore’ by Paramore
  52. ‘Nocturnes’ by Little Boots
  53. ‘Tales of Us’ by Goldfrapp
  54. ‘Gravity the Seducer’ by Ladytron
  55. ‘The Bones of What You Believe’ by CHVRCHES
  56. ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions’ by Franz Ferdinand
  57. ‘Reading, Writing & Arithmetic’ by The Sundays
  58. ‘Days Are Gone’ by Haim
  59. ‘Secondhand Rapture’ by MS MR
  60. ‘Bitter Rivals’ by Sleigh Bells
  61. ‘In Rolling Waves’ by The Naked and Famous
  62. ‘Let’s Be Still’ by The Head and the Heart

Rock on!

Music-2013

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I stormed the second weekend of the 2013 Coachella Music and Arts Festival (Indio, CA) last April. They couldn’t contain me, but they sure did try.

Check this space for all available knowledge on this topic. During the three days of rays, desert heat attire, libations, wind turbines, epic tunes and the artfully weird, I managed to partake in 25 different concert sets. 17 of those were acts I saw for the first time.

Here is my complete run down, a list of ‘Highs’, ‘Lows’ and ‘Regrets’ and some photo bombs! Listen up!

Friday’s concerts

  1. Poliçia (6 songs)
  2. Stars (5 songs)
  3. Metric (full set)
  4. Of Monsters and Men (full set)
  5. Palma Violets (5 songs)
  6. Sparks (full set)
  7. Beach House (3 songs)
  8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs (full set)
  9. Band of Horses (6 songs)
  10. The Stone Roses (full set)
  11. Foals (6 songs)
  12. blur (8 songs)
Saturday’s concerts
  1. Vintage Trouble (5 songs)
  2. The Savages (full set)
  3. Dropkick Murphy’s (full set)
  4. Violent Femmes (full set)
  5. The Make-Up (full set)
  6. Hot Chip (full set)
  7. The Postal Service (full set)
  8. Franz Ferdinand (full set)
  9. Phoenix (full set)

Sunday’s concerts

  1. The Lumineers (8 songs)
  2. Joris Voorn – DJ Set (2 songs)
  3. Maya Jane Coles -DJ Set (2 songs)
  4. Tame Impala (5 songs)
  5. Vampire Weekend (full set)
  6. OMD (full set)
Highs
  • Metric, Phoenix, Of Monsters and Men, blur, Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip, Dropkick Murphy’s
  • Strange art and exhibits. Notably the giant moving snail and a recycling T. Rex.
  • Concertgoers were presented with a quaint speakeasy to wile away precious minutes out of the sun. It came complete with dueling pianos, Red Bull sponsorship, staff and bartenders dressed as if we were living in 1923, a wall screen displaying tweets from the twits using the #speakeasy hash tag (like me), and a password to get in (hint: Dances with Bulls).
  • You could choose from three beer gardens. Two nestled the main stage – giving you ample opportunity to nurse your brew and vibe the music.
Lows
  • Heineken and Red Bull took on the major sponsor duties. This meant Red Bull was plentiful (gross) and the ONLY BEER AVAILABLE WAS HEINEKEN!!! Sorry for shouting, but I’m still vexed by that.
  • The giant snail went right up to the front of the stage before Of Monsters of Men and completely blocked the stage for half the crowd. Until it finally crawled away. Stupid snail.
  • Concert fatigue. There is a point in a day, when you’ve had it with music. That happened a couple of times, but I endured.

Three acts I most wanted to see pre-Coachella

  1. Metric
  2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  3. Postal Service
Five acts to check out post-Coachella
  1. Beach House
  2. Savages
  3. Tame Impala
  4. Poliçia
  5. Palma Violets
Pleasantly Surprised
  • Hot Chip: I’ve seen them once before and I only like a few of their songs. It wasn’t a show I was targeting to see, but they were full of energy and really got the crowd dancing. More so than many other acts.
  • Poliçia: I saw her at the Firefly Music Festival last year, but that show was nothing memorable. Glad I gave her a second chance. Playing in a smaller space and me being up close changed my perception. It also didn’t hurt she was the first act I saw at Coachella and had my full attention.

Slightly Disappointed

  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs: I enjoyed their show, but I was lukewarm on the new songs (need to listen to the new album) and it didn’t ‘live up’ to my pre-show hype. Good. Not great.
  • Band of Horses: I like a number of their songs. But never really had a sense of how they performed live. The lead singer was more like a goofy redneck trucker and didn’t endear me to their live show. They kept interrupting during one of my favorite songs by them (The Great Salt Lake), but my other favorite (Laredo) was spot on.
  • The Stone Roses: They seemed bored. Like me. (Interestingly enough, all three of these shows happened consecutively early Friday evening…while the best shows I saw happened earlier that afternoon…is my attitude a factor?)

Regrets

  • That I didn’t see Tegan and Sara as they played against blur.
  • That I didn’t check out Sigur Rios as they played against Phoenix.
  • That it took too long in the security line on Sunday (one too many intimate pat downs of the family jewels) so I missed Grimes.

Analysis

A good time. Lots of great bands and artists. Would I do it again? Yes. But given the expense, it would have to be another stellar line-up.

Photos

Welcome to Coachella

Welcome to Coachella

Map of the world

Map of the world

Power!

Power!

Signings

Signings

Poliçia

Poliçia

Recycling T-Rex

Recycling T-Rex

Vintage Trouble

Vintage Trouble

Crazy snail

Crazy snail

Metric

Metric

Heineken Dome

Heineken Dome

Get out of the way!

Get out of the way!

Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men

No drugs

No drugs

Me! A twit, tweeting!

Me! A twit, tweeting!

Main stage

Main stage

Do Lab

Do Lab

Out

Out

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In honor of my recent trip to Indio, California for the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, here is a random playlist from many of the bands and artists I saw.

Coachella Playlist

  1. Nobody Told Me – Vintage Trouble
  2. Last of the Summer Wine – Palma Violets
  3. Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  4. Sick Muse – Metric
  5. She Will – Savages
  6. Lay Your Cards Out – Poliçia
  7. Laredo – Band of Horses
  8. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
  9. Don’t Tear Us Apart – Dropkick Murphy’s
  10. Over and Over – Hot Chip
  11. Gone Daddy Gone – Violent Femmes
  12. No You Girls – Franz Ferdinand
  13. Love Spreads – The Stone Roses
  14. There’s No Other Way – blur
  15. Mountain Sound – Of Monsters and Men
  16. Stubborn Love – The Lumineers
  17. Enola Gay – OMD
  18. Elephant – Tame Impala
  19. Fixed – Stars
  20. Walcott – Vampire Weekend

Encore

  1. 1901 – Phoenix

Coachella

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The first annual Firefly Music Festival took place from July 20-22, 2012 in Dover, Delaware. I was there.

I saw 18 sets in three days. 10 of the artists were for the first time, most notable – Jack White and The Killers. There were four stages that rotated acts, so there were always two shows going on at once.

Here, with minimal restraint, is what went down.

The Good

1) The Killers, Black Keys, Jack White, Walk the Moon, CAKE and Grouplove

2) The Brewery – A beer garden that served Dogfish Head beers for $8, including one made for this festival, the Firefly Ale. I was partial to the 9% ABV Midas Touch.

3) Towers Beach – We needed a break after two days of music, so on Sunday morning we drove just south of Dewey Beach for a swim and a few rounds of cards in the sand. Afterwards we had fish tacos at El Dorado. Tasty.

4) The weather – It was overcast the entire time, but no real rain. Only a misting here and there. I expected to be hot and bothered and get some serious sun on my pale skin. This was perfect.

5) Seven Nation Army – After Jack White’s Friday night performance, everyone hummed the refrain from ‘Seven Nation Army’ as we walked through the woods to the exit. Even better, everyone did it again after The Killers’ show on Saturday.

The Bad

1) The Felice Brothers

2) The phone recharging stations – A good idea, but they didn’t have enough ports to keep up with the demand. The generator feeding the power was seriously overloaded. 45 minutes to get 15% more power? Bah humbug.

3) Camping – The three nights in a tent itself wasn’t so bad. But the campsites were tiny and packed together like monkeys in a barrel. One of the workers was so clueless he almost gave away half of our site to park more cars. Luckily someone with sense came by and told him to stand down.

4) Hammock Hangout – Could be a good idea but way too small. And who knows where the people using the hammocks have been…

The Ugly

1) Glamping – $1000 for 3 nights of pampered camping? We saw no one partaking. It looked like the barracks of a Civil War army. Minus the horses. And the soldiers.

Friday

  1. The Wallflowers – A live version of ‘One Headlight’ to kick us off. ‘She always had a pretty face’.
  2. OK Go – A decent set. They even broke out their treadmills during their hit song ‘Here It Goes Again’.
  3. Walk The Moon – These guys are good. This was the second time I’ve seen them in 2012 and among the top five performances of the festival.
  4. Silversun Pickups – This guys are a bit of Smashing Pumpkins-lite, which I like. Good show.
  5. Jack White – After a bit of sound trouble with the first few songs, they fixed it and Jack crushed us with his guitar riffs. A seven nation army could NOT hold him back. 

Saturday

  1. Imagine Dragons – I had not heard these guys before this, but enjoyed the songs and will definitely check them out.
  2. The Felice Brothers – Ugh. Hated it.
  3. Grouplove – By far and away the most enthusiastic band of the whole festival. ‘Tongue Tied’ really got the crowd pumped up for the rest of the day.
  4. Young the Giant – I was looking forward to seeing these guys at the 9:30 Club earlier in the year – that show was just okay. This show was kind of boring after the energy of Grouplove.
  5. CAKE – In a haze of weed and flower girls dancing, CAKE went the distance. And it was good.
  6. Trampled by Turtles – Was starting to get antsy so probably didn’t give this my full attention. But I was not bowled over.
  7. Modest Mouse – They rocked hard. Not my thing though.
  8. The Killers – The best show of the festival. In addition to the great music, they had the most extensive light show and stage act (with fireworks!).

Sunday

  1. Mariachi El Bronx – Entertaining.
  2. Fitz and the Tantrums – Starting to lose my attention. Too much music. I wasn’t in to it.
  3. Death Cab for Cutie – Good but not the best performance I’ve seen by them.
  4. The Flaming Lips – The most eccentric and biggest spectacle of the festival. Wayne Coyne crowd surfed in a human hamster ball (of course). Stage singers dressed up like the Wizard of Oz characters (hello Dorothy!). Confetti. Beach balls. Although it was entertaining, I’m not a huge fan of the music.
  5. The Black Keys – The second time I saw them in 2012. The first time at Merriweather Post Pavilion was better, but this was definitely among the best sets of the festival and a good way to end.
Welcome to Firefly

Welcome to Firefly

Have a brew

Have a brew

Grouplove

Grouplove

The Lawn Stage

The Lawn Stage

Teeming hordes

Teeming hordes

Crowd

The beach

The beach

No waves today

No waves today

Flaming Lips Exploding

Flaming Lips Exploding

Human hamster ball

Human hamster ball

Human hamster ball 2

The Black Keys

The Black Keys

Group shot

Group shot #

peace

# Photo courtesy of Mike O’Brien

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Here is a good starter kit for enjoying Lollapalooza 2010. I did not see all of these bands (not enough time!), but they all played at this year’s festival. In bold are the ones I did see.

  1. ‘Sweet Disposition’, The Temper Trap
  2. ‘Gimme Sympathy’, Metric
  3. ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, The National
  4. ‘The Cave’, Mumford & Sons
  5. ‘Fell On Black Days’, Soundgarden
  6. ‘O.N.E.‘, Yeasayer
  7. ‘Pick Up The Phone, Dragonette
  8. ‘Islands’, The xx
  9. ‘Lasso’, Phoenix
  10. ‘Know Your Enemy’, Green Day
  11. ‘Walking On A Dream’, Empire of the Sun
  12. ‘Got Nuffin’, Spoon
  13. ‘I Got Mine’, The Black Keys
  14. ‘Last Nite’, The Strokes
  15. ‘Electric Feel’, MGMT
  16. ‘Rebellion (Lies)’, Arcade Fire
  17. ‘Fixed’, Stars

out

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