Although the Firefly Music Festival is only in it’s second year, the promoters, Red Frog Events clearly know what they’re doing. You can almost consider the festival a “mini-Bonnaroo.” It takes artists from such diverse genres, and brings them together for one wild weekend. In his first inception in 2012, the lineup boasted headliners, The Killers, Jack White and The Black Keys. This year, it’s even bigger with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foster the People and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
Red Frog Events were smart. I think they realized that the trek to Manchester, TN, was way too long for some people in the northeast. So why not bring the music to them? Held in Dover, Delaware, the festival is pretty close to a lot of metropolitan areas. It is about 2 hrs and 45 minutes away from New York, 1 hr and 30 minutes from Philadelphia, 2 hours from Washington D.C. and 6 hours from Boston, Mass.
If you can’t get to Bonnaroo this weekend, here are five acts you should check out (single day tickets are still available here!)
1. Vampire Weekend
The boys of Vampire Weekend are on quite the roll. Their new album Modern Vampires City debuted number one on the Billboard Top 200 and has been received very well from critics. Their set at Firefly should be full of new songs mixed with classics like “A-Punk,” “Oxford Comma” and “Giving Up the Gun.” Make sure you show up early for their set at 7:45 pm on Sunday night. Don’t forget your Ray-Bans. Listen to “Diane Young” below.
2. Public Enemy
Public Enemy doesn’t do a ton of concerts anymore, but it might be worth checking out their set to see what kind of clock Flava Flav is wearing. You know their hits, know their attitude, now get to know their performance. Listen to “Fight the Power” below.
3. Action Bronson
Continuing on in “hip-hop acts you should see at Firefly” is Action Bronson. When hearing is music, you might think it’s actually Ghostface Killah. Wrong. Action Bronson is a white Albanian Jew from Queens, NY. Intrigued? Check him out at 5 pm on Friday. Listen to “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” below.
4. Jim James
It might not be My Morning Jacket, by Jim James is the next best thing. As the lead singer for My Morning Jacket, Jim James has a really incredible voice. His solo stuff is much quieter and thoughtful, but lives shows should not be missed. He might even play a James Brown cover if your lucky. Listen to “Know Till Now” below.
5. Alabama Shakes
Formed in Alabama, Alabama Shakes are an extremely cool roots rock band helmed by Brittany Howard. With a powerful voice, Alabama Shakes is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. The New York Times compared her singing to that of Janis Joplin. If that’s not enough, they toured with Jack White this past year. They are playing right after Jim James on Saturday. Listen to “I Found You” below.