All photos by Joy Asico (firstname.lastname@example.org/www.asicophoto.com)
If you were alive and even moderately tuned in to radio, MTV, music mags…OK, they were EVERYWHERE, in the early aughts (that’s the 2000’s to you Millenials) then there’s not a chance in hell that you didn’t rock out to the sounds of Fall Out Boy. Starting with the 2003 mini album Take This To Your Grave the group, made up of Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley, this gang of “post” punks brought not just the thunder, but the songwriting chops, on a run of albums that lit up airwaves and eardums worldwide. Take This To Your Grave,From Under A Cork Tree, Infinity On High -ALL HITS. But then in 2009 the the group announced an indefinite hiatus, and it seemed that the band lovingly named after a Simpson’s character might be done for good.
Ben Harper’s first American city tour stop was at The Filene Center at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA. In a rare solo performance, his set was entirely acoustic – a career first for Harper. With all of his instruments laid out in a circle, he kicked things off with,“Trouble Man” and “Indifference” both well known hits by the great Marvin Gaye and Pearl Jam respectively. Framed by only his soulful voice and a marimba, the true beauty of Harper’s music was quickly revealed and by the time he picked up his guitar to strum the familiar chords to “Burn One Down.” the crowd was going positively wild.
I’m sorry, Sunday, but why you gotta come so early? We missed Delaware’s lower case blues, Penguin Prison, and J. Roddy Walston, and offer 10,000 apologies, but it’s kind of your fault, Sunday, for starting at 11:20 in the morning...
On the Road with Chunky Glasses: Firefly Music Festival
Dover, Delaware 7/20 - 7/22
Part Three: Sunday, July 22nd
1:00 - 2:15 p.m. The Head & The Heart vs. Reptar. Verdict: Reptar
So who’s b-a-n-a-n-a-s and can suck energy straight from the universe to pour all over a live audience? R-e-p-t-a-r, that’s who. I came in the gates with every intention of heading to the main stage for H&TH, but walked straight into the buzz saw of noise coming from Reptar on the Porch Stage, and couldn’t leave. Magnetic, this band is live. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve had Body Faucet sitting in my inbox for three months, and didn’t like the first three tracks enough to give it a full listen, but that blinding oversight was cured after their Firefly set. Damnation those kids can play.
Unless you were battling a sasquatch all weekend for the last strip of beef jerky in your backpack, you probably already know that a shiny new mega-festival was born on Friday in a clump of woods next to the Dover Downs racetrack. Wait a minute - a rock festival in Delaware? There's nothing sexy about Delaware. But after the line-up for Firefly was posted this spring, we'd be fools to pass up an opportunity to see this much music, this close to DC. So Friday morning, we loaded the Chunky Mystery Machine with PB&Js and a weekend’s worth of D.C. Brau, and made the trek to what was being billed as “The East Coast’s Premiere Musical Experience.” And while Newport, R.I., may have something to say about that designation this weekend, we are absolutely sure of one thing: after three solid days of spectacular bands, delicious beer, and even a few fireworks, the First Annual Firefly Music Festival put all the other colonies on notice. Delaware, you’ve officially earned your RAWK merit badge.
Any festival is a series of choices and chances for redemption. Make a bad choice, you get the next time-slot to make up for it. Firefly set up essentially four widely-spaced main stages instead of a bunch of small ones grouped around two mains, with no more than two bands playing at any one time; it was ideal for anyone who wanted to listen to one band at a time rather than a mash-up of a bunch of bands playing over the top of each other. An amazing line up is always going to lead to conflicts, and the wide layout made you really think about what you are going to do, as it was difficult in the huge crowds to quickly drift from one stage to another. The organizers picked sound quality over convenience, which as a listener and a writer, I truly truly appreciate. It’s not for the commitment-phobic, and it did make for some conundrums, but here’s how it went down on Day One: