by Samuel Hernandez
Because everyone needs a summer escape and Firefly Music Festival wants you to soak in the sun and go camping.
Of course there are other music festivals that attempt the same convenience, who try to get you to spend all your time outside, or in the woods, but none so conveniently located as Firefly in the gentle town of Dover, Delaware, three hours from all the biggest cities on the east coast. So the decision for the summer is easy: mellow out in your tent, make your way to the festival grounds, soak up both sun and new and old music, and then go back and review all the goodness of the day as you slip into your sleeping bag. These are the bands you should have thought about as you nestled, and the ones you should be looking up now.
Here’s a list of the top five bands at Firefly Festival:
1. Fitz and the Tantrums: Oh you already know the band rocking the classic soul grooves and vocals. During their performance they played through their debut album “More Than Just a Dream,” and before launching into a new song, took the time to thank everyone in the audience. They’re quietly the most charming band, securing commercial spots with their solid soul/pop music. The crowd was on their feet, jumping around, hands in the air.
2. Walk Off the Earth: The band famous for playing Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” with five people on one guitar make infectious ukulele infused pop music. Their performance at Firefly was a chill summer vibe, with pirate flags waving in the crowd, and enthusiastic head waving. Their large group allows them to incorporate non-traditional instruments that deepen their feel-good pop. If you haven’t already, check out their cover of Maroon 5’s “Payphone.” This is in addition to unique original songs like “Red Hands” and “Summer Vibes.”
3. Bleachers: Another band with elements geared towards success. Jack Antonoff has taken his pop sensibility (honed in the band fun.) and deep vocals to start a post punk electronica band. Their performance of “I Wanna Get Better” paid homage to DIY punk bands from the 1970s, the big anthemic vocals destined to get sing alongs started. Antonoff didn’t forget where he’s coming from though, and each new tune was keyboard gooey and dance worthy.
4. Wild Cub: Go listen to this band already. We’ve covered them at Quip before and they’re getting better with each new write up. Their sound is electricity on the tip of your tongue. The lead singer gets into it more than the audience without sacrificing any energy for his vocals. If it’s not for their thunderclap electronica pop music, then go to see the intensity with which the lead singer locks eyes with the guitarist who just won’t look his way.
5. Little Daylight: Fresh off a performance on the Seth Meyers show, the shoegaze electronica pop band is poised to move beyond the Brooklyn scene and onto a bigger stage. In July they’re releasing their first full-length album “Hello Memory.” Their performance at Firefly was enthusiastic. When they finally moved to “Overdose,” the thunderous drum kicked in, followed by the thrilling keyboards, and the crowd was won over. The vocals are charming. The band is charming.
Firefly Music Festival managed to put together a diverse lineup for both the mainstream music listeners and the independent music elitists. Looking up at the stars of Dover late at night, in the immediate silence, gave weight to the sounds of the day.