The Campus Buzz Spotlight: Firefly 2014

Date: July 5, 2014

Join The Campus Buzz as they recap their amazing time at the 2014 Firefly Festival. Sam Nakhoul provides a general overview of the four day festival, while Ryan Stetz goes into detail about his favorite performances. Also be sure to tune into The Campus Buzz every Sunday night from 8-11 PM where they play they the best of indie and alternative!

Firefly Overview:
Sam Nakhoul

To put it simply, Firefly was amazing. It was a solid lineup and they spread most acts out. I only had to choose between acts once or twice, which was great. A lot of people definitely underestimate that aspect of festivals. In addition to Firefly rarely overlapping acts, it was honestly just a great time. However, if you're ever going to Firefly in the future, make sure to bring cash - most of the ATMs were out of money by the last day - and definitely bring an inhaler or a mask of some sort. By the end of the festival, it was basically a dustbowl. Also, do not - I REPEAT - do not forget sunscreen. It'll be your best friend.

Day 1:

Day One of the festival definitely started out slower and more chilled out. It started later and less acts performed. Even though there weren't as many performers, the acts were pretty decent. I'm super bummed I missed RAC, but I catched Kodaline killing the last song of their set and was told Local Natives were amazing. Day One definitely wasn't my favorite day, and I really don't think that first day was necessary to the festival, but it was good start to an awesome weekend.

Day 2:

The second day of the festival, I was definitely floored by a few performances. From Iron & Wine, Portugal. The Man, Arctic Monkeys, Chance the Rapper, Band of Horses, Foo Fighters and Girl Talk, I was dead in that one day. Iron & Wine was more of a religious experience. Sam Bean's voice boomed over more energetic versions of his soothing songs. Arctic Monkeys were everything you would hope them to be and more. I don't think there wasn't one person in that crowd that wasn't singing along. They really meshed their new material and old material nicely into their set  - "Fluorescent Adolescent" will never get old. I wish I saw more of Chance the Rapper's and Band of Horses sets, but from what I heard, both acts were slaying their respective crowds. I really regret not hearing Chance's "Smoke Again" or Band of Horses' "Our Swords" live. That would have been awesome. But to the main act of the night, Foo Fighters were amazing. I really have no other words. Dave Grohl's stage banter was hilarious, the band rocked it and the crowd loved it. I don't think I've seen more people jam out harder than they did to "Hero" and other Foo Fighter classics. Day two might have been my favorite day of the festival.

Day 3:

THIRD EYE BLIND (!!!), Grouplove, Cage the Elephant, Imagine Dragons, Beck, OUTKAST (!!!).

I will always love Third Eye Blind. They killed it. From playing all of the classics, announcing a new album to encountering the most awkward crowd experience I've ever had, it was a great set. Grouplove was entertaining from afar and while I only stayed for a few songs, you could really tell the crowd was into it - especially for that "Drunk in Love Cover"... All Hail Queen Bey. Cage the elephant was insane as always. The lead singer even lost his own crazy-off with the crowd. I'm still bummed Alison Mosshart didn't show up during "Forever." But I was super impressed with Imagine Dragons. I never really got into them and only know of their popular songs that are still constantly on the radio, but their other songs sound great and I'm definitely going to start listening to them. Beck is another artist like that for me. I know all of the popular songs and I really like them, so now I'm actually going to start listening. I definitely want to be like Beck when I'm older. He just seems so cool. But regardless of Beck seeming like he's the coolest human on the planet, his set was beyond awesome. He even covered Michael Jackson and had the best lighting setups of the festival. And I really do not have any words that could come close to justly describing Outkast. Insanity, perfection, dance party. That's really what their set was. Even with a sprained foot, I jumped around like a Lunatic when they opened with "B.O.B." It was worth it. Day three brought back a lot of middle-school nostalgia with Third Eye Blind and Outkast, and it was perfect.

Day 4:

The last and final day. Traffic made me miss Dan Croll, but I did get to see the acts I was most excited for. City and Colour crushed their set. It may have been me having a heat stroke, but Dallas Green's voice -- Oh man, he's an angel. It was the absolute best way to start the final day of this Firefly experience. Weezer was next and ah! Weezer! They played all their hits. Island in the Sun will still be the song I used for every power point presentation. I'm not even kidding. I used that on every presentation in eighth grade from the effects of smoking to Punnett Squares. Hey, I had to keep the class entertained somehow. Everyone knows smoking automatically makes you look at least thirty times cooler! Just kidding, smoking kills. Anyways, Weezer was amazing. I then caught a little bit of Washed Out's set. Even though their computers weren't cooperating with the heat, the band kept playing. I honestly would not have noticed if they didn't say anything. I got to hear "You and I" and I was so, so, so happy. From one electronic-ish set to the next, I headed over to Phantogram for a few songs. Everyone in that crowd was dancing. I'm bummed I missed "Futuristic Casket" if they played it and "When I'm Small," but hearing "Don't Move" was more than good enough for me. I love, love, love that song and it sounded great live. Then it was the closing acts. Ryan and I had to choose between Jack Johnson (who I'm secretly in love with, shhh) and Childish Gambino (who I'm also secretly in love with, shhh). However, I decided getting a custom pair of  shark Toms were more important. I got to listen to the lovely and calming medleys of Jack Johnson while I got some new shoes. I was singing along still, don't worry. I went over to the main stage after my shoes were done for a few songs and I really have to say that Jack Johnson is a great closer to a crazy, hectic weekend. But, my car was over by where Childish was performing so I headed over there and people were going nuts. I definitely should have recorded it. Childish killed it and I walked out to the coolest music to ever walk to. I found my new walking around New York City music and I am beyond pumped.

Firefly really kicked my ass and destroyed my sprained foot, but it was worth it. Ryan and I made some friends, got down with some great music and had a blast! I even made a playlist with all of the songs from the setlists trying to relive the weekend. It's not working, but the music's great.

Sam's Top 5 Acts:
Foo Fighters
Outkast
Band of Horses
Beck
Weezer

My Favorite Firefly Shows
Ryan Stetz, Staff Representative

The last couple of days have been some of the best I have had in a long time. I went to Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware and was able to experience live performances from some of the best musical acts in the world. Here are my top 5 acts that I saw at Firefly! 

5. Jake Bugg – At only 20 years old, Jake Bugg already knows how to put on a lively performance and get the crowd going. With only a bassist, drummer, and his own guitar as support, Bugg ripped through song after song, getting the crowd more excited than any performance I had seen thus far. Bugg is a rising star in the rock world, having great success in the United Kingdom. After his performance at Firefly, I'm sure he gained a lot more fans in the United States.

4. Beck – I've always respected and liked Beck, but I have never seen him live. After his album "Morning Phase" was released, I decided that I needed to finally see him for the first time. You can understand my excitement when after already deciding to go to Firefly, Beck was announced to perform. After seeing his lively performance on Saturday, and hearing him cover Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," I'm going to listen to everything all over again. Beck definitely made me a fan on Saturday.

3. Cage the Elephant – I could not believe the raw power and enthusiasm that this band brought to the stage at Firefly. The band powered through the heat on the Backyard stage at Firefly playing hits off of all three of their albums. When "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" started, I nearly lost it. Cage the Elephant is a band that puts on an excellent show and can get everyone involved, even at a festival level with thousands of people present. Lead singer Matt Shultz challenged the crowd to dance and get wild and no one disappointed. The show was amazing and definitely one to remember.

2. Arctic Monkeys – What is there to say? I've been a HUGE fan of the Arctic Monkeys for a few years now but was never able to see them live. After AM was released, I was extremely impressed with how the band grew as a whole and developed their sound. Each Arctic Monkeys album sounds different than the other, more crisp and cohesive in some, more raw and garage rocky in others. AM was an Arctic Monkeys album like no other, and it was unreal seeing some of the singles live. They opened with "Do I Wanna Know" and played other songs from the album such as, "Snap Out Of It" "Arabella" and "I Wanna Be Yours." They also played some old school hits like "Flourescent Adolescent" "Brianstorm" and my personal favorite, "Dancing Shoes." It's safe to say that Arctic Monkeys have reached the next level of their career.

1. Foo Fighters – How could I not put them at number one. They killed it. Dave They played every song that fans wanted to hear such as, "My Hero" "Best of You" and "Monkey Wrench." Foo Fighters also played a five song encore filled with classic rock hits such as Alice Cooper's "School's Out," the Rolling Stones' "Miss You," David Bowie & Queen's "Under Pressure," and Van Halen's "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love." The band closed the show with a fan favorite, "Everlong." Foo Fighters powered through their songs like nothing I have ever seen, bringing earth shaking energy (literally, everyone was jumping which shook the ground) and excitement. Dave Grohl knows how to get the crowd going and even ran to the back of the crowd, climbed onto a scaffolding, and began playing from on top. The show was like nothing I have ever seen, making it my favorite from the festival.

Posted in: WSOU, Show Review, Campus Buzz