The Festival Beat: Know Your Lineup
After enjoying 2016, we knew we’d be back. We loved and loathed our first Firefly experience almost equally, but the physical discomforts were outweighed by the sense of community. Initially we were underwhelmed with this year’s Firefly’s lineup. But lo and behold we found a good number of undercard bands that we took a strong liking to. Ultimately, the headliners for this year’s fest were not contributing factors in our decision to shell out the cash – yet, we still totally feel like we got our money’s worth.
Feel free to laugh. Even though it seems like a lot of people weren’t happy with her set (morons…), we think she did a really great job. Legal garbage forced her to do rock covers of her pop songs and that wasn’t what a lot of people wanted, but we thought she put on a good show with awesome energy. Some people prefer artists to just play through their songs, but we like some crowd engagement and banter. Kesha fans were not wanting for interaction with her. She was right there with us.
This kinda hurts to write. Nahko was a band we didn’t know on the lineup, listened to beforehand, and got so excited for. Unfortunately, the turn out for their show was pathetic. The crowd was zoned out, and a band like this cannot compensate for that on their own. There was a point where Nahko asked the crowd to repeat, “I will be the best American I can be.” (or something to that effect), and he had to ask twice because it was basically silent – he had to say, “I hope you guys mean it.” They sound great, but they couldn’t get anyone in to it. The result was a set that made us think “bummer.”
Really, they were almost our favorite show of the day. Despite being so early and at the tiny North Hub stage, their energy was incredible. The “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” cover was amazing, and showed that they absolutely deserved to be in the festival. They are pretty much unknowns now, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them blow up–they’re too talented not to. And, since they’re releasing a single a month for the rest of the year, they have plenty of new stuff coming.
As usual, Firefly offered a laundry list of food options. Standouts of what we ate were pretty much any of the rice balls at Arancini Bros., Island Noodles (so much food for $10, it’s impossible to complain), and the loaded pork BBQ fries at Southern Soul. Sure, prices were a little high for what I got at some of the places (except Southern Soul -- $14 was more than fair for that mound of food), but it’s a music festival; of course prices will be inflated.
Reading through social media, there seemed to be an increase in general crime. This was joined by some seriously hard-hitting sun rays. Yet we think we enjoyed ourselves more this year than I did in 2016.