Speak Into My Good Eye

Firefly Festival Day 2: The Killers, CAKE, and Modest Mouse Leave Their Mark On The Woodlands

Chris Rotolo July 22, 2012 Live, Reviews 7 Comments

The morning session on day two of the Firefly Festival was used to embark on an exploratory venture.

The Felice Brother’s too heavy handed for lunch time compositions were observed bar side at the on site Dogfish Head Brewery, while Rarariot’s amalgamation of spacious Indie-Rock and bowed classical string instrumentation offered on the Lawn Stage, coincided with mashing buttons and taking part in a ski ball session inside the free gaming arcade, while Moon Taxi’s guitar-driven expedition on The Porch Stage was viewed courtside, ensnared in a fierce cornhole bout, dancing to “Mercury” while landing bags on the board…however the rest of this stacked roster was nothing to play around with.

The Killers crashed into The Firefly Stage for its sole North American festival stop like a grounded lightning strike, similar to the scarlet bolt affixed to Brandon Flowers’ synth, as the outfit’s laser show washed over the blackened landscape transforming night into day with an explosive opening rendition of “Somebody Told Me,” followed in succession by the subdued synth-laden anthem “Smile Like You Mean It” and the group’s ferocious narrative of a stranded intergalactic traveler simply titled “Spaceman.”

The band featured a series of new cuts from its forthcoming LP, Battle Born, such as the Springsteen-inspired lead single “Runaways” and the Country-infused “Rising Tide” in a setlist that plucked every hit and fan favorite from a catalogue riddled with such, including “A Dustland Fairytale,” “Human,” “Read My Mind,” “Mr. Brightside,” “All These Things That I’ve Done” all complete with strategically placed fireworks explosions at the point of crescendo.

Flowers and friends returned for a three-song encore that opened with another new made-for-stadium anthem, “Flesh & Bone,” and the only pair of classic cuts the group left out of its primary performance “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine” and “When You Were Young.”

“Delaware! We did it!” shouted a smirking Flowers to the massive assemblage. They certainly had.

Lupe fiasco benefited from passion pit’s recent drop from a second tier headlining spot that saw less of a household name, yeasayer, fill the role, as the burgeoning hip hop star captivated an elbow to elbow mass of show goers that bounced and hustled with arms raised to the heavens along with each strike of the bass and every flame licked rhyme to leak from his tongue, while the aforementioned brooklyn-based outfit bedazzled its atmospheric compositions with a glossy layer of bursting disco synths, most recognizable on “ONE,” “skeleton,” and “,” as a multicolored backdrop dressed the group in lush shades that traversed the spectrum of light.

Trampled by turtles was stomped into relative anonymity as modest mouse drew the largest non headlining audience of this middle-aged musical jaunt in Dover, which saw the Washington art-rockers launch into such fan favorites as the mosh pit stirring opening number “fire it up” as well as “satin in a coffin” and “devil’s workday” before seemingly begrudgingly cuing up a crowd-wide sing along with the outfit’s most famous, yet rarely performed live, composition “float on.” Sadly, one member of the audience suffered a heart attack and was carried out by ems. No other information has been released at this time.

The lords of Firefly served its people a 60 minute serving of CAKE on the The Lawn stage that saw the Artful alt-rockers provide a catalogue spanning collection of hits and future classics such as “frank sinatra,” a rousing rendition of “sheep go to heaven” that saw mccauley remove his aviator sunglasses to demand from the congregation a louder chant of the renowned refrain, “rock n roll lifestyle” and “bound away” which had the bravest of couples slow dancing amongst the straw and stamped out confetti remains from friday.

“Let’s put donw our electronic devices and just be here together because well never be in this moment again. This doesnt have to be an aquisitional experience,” said mccauley while leading into “love you madley,” “you dont have to post about this on facebook to have it be real. Im declaring that it is.”

The songsmith followed up by calling for the group’s lead single, “Sick Of You,” off the its 2011 LP Showroom Of Compassion, but not before addressing the tragic shooting that took place on Friday morning in Colorado.

“Id just like to say that our hearts go out to those in Colorado affected by that situation. And we all feel for them dont we? Because were all connected”

“This is a heavy situation to be thinking about at a music festival,” asmited McCauley mid-song, “But I think the situation is softened a bit by the dancing inflatable banana in the middle of the crowd.” It certainly was.

Grafiti Six drew a modest collection of patrons to The Porch Stage as the Indie-Rock deep space exploratory Jam outfit battled the mighty Young The Giant for eyeballs as the main stage guitar maestros met its mass of enthusiasts with such selections from its 2011 self-titled breakout LP as the melodic “Apartment,” the slow trudging “I Got” and a riotous closing rendition of “My Body” which saw both Walk The Moon and Grouplove emerge from the shaddowy wings to swingdance and croon along to the Pop-driven stage quaker that immediately spurred rumors of a massive tour featuring this Indie-Pop mafia.

Prior to its short appearance on the main stage Grouplove’s energized set of Indie-Pop provided an adrenaline filled syringe to the primary artery of a tiring midday assemblage in need of such with “Lovely Cup” followed by a subdued version of “Itchin’ On A Photograph.” However what tempo may have lacked, the band injected back into its set with expedited versions of “Save Your Soul,” “Chloe” and the angelic “Close Your Eyes And Count To Ten.”

“This is very special for us,” admitted Sean Gadd, “Because we believe Firefly Fest is gonna go to the end of time, and we can say we were at the first one.”

Cults performed upon The Porch Stage in a light midday drizzle that played well into the Fuzz-Pop outfit’s hazy aesthetic that saw such xylophonicly enhanced cuts from its 2011 self-titled debut as “Abducted” and the band’s breakout hit “Go Outside,” featuring front-women Madeline Follin’s brother Richie of the Brooklyn-based Guards on guitar. Polica continued the whimsical Pop theme on The Lawn Stage and fronted its two pronged stick wielder assault with the bass laden “The Maker” as a modest crowd of people stood transfixed on sediment stained in rainbows by yesterday’s confetti storm, gazing upon the sultry siren that is Channy Leaneagh as she blazed a hip shaking trail about the platform, weaving between synth samples, to the likes of “The web,” which produced a formidable smoke cloud from the congregation.

The ageless wonder, Charles Bradley, proved that a lack of sun shouldn’t make one with guns hesitate to flaunt them in a black, bedazzled, vest as the R&B maestro led his funky assemblage of bone rattlers through brass laced renditions of “This Love Ain’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us” and a supped up cover of Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold” while shimmying about the The Backyard planks.

Stay tuned for day three coverage of Firefly Festival featuring performances by Fitz & The Tantrums, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab For Cutie, Girl Talk, and The Black Keys.

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About The Author

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May of 2011 with a Bachelors Degree in both Journalism/Professional Writing and Communication Studies. He's held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet’s Arts & Entertainment section as well as Consequence of Sound (http://consequenceofsound.net).

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