Wow, we saw so many bands at day two of Firefly Music Festival! To keep this recap from getting too unwieldy (since there’s a whole other day of the festival to get to), we’ll keep our thoughts to one or two sentences per artist.
Japandroids: two-piece garage punk is dicey in a festival setting, and the sound was muffled and muddy, but “The House that Heaven Built” ruled. Hi fives to all crowd surfers as they exited the pit.
Seattle’s string-laden Hey Marseilles was lush, pretty, but kind of boring. The handclap / crowd-participatory “Rio” saved their set.
Jim James‘ Regions of Light was transcendent in the close quarters of Johnny Brenda’s and Union Transfer; it lost a bit of its cosmic potency in open air. But James is still a tremendous performer, showman, dancer and must have been roasting in that suit with the afternoon heat.
Next: a double shot of dynamic front women. Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs has always rocked the stage with an unbelievable energy, whether it was the Church basement for 300 people or this festival for 10,000 people; “Zero” was unreal, the inflatable eyeball bouncing around the crowd was a nice touch. And New York rapper Azealia Banks, backed by a DJ and two dancers, gave a spitfire performance of songs from her 1991 EP, her Fantasy mixtape and the (eventually) forthcoming Broke With Expensive Taste.
Finally, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers headlined the day with an uneven but well-received performance. The singalong hits and moments where the Heartbreakers stayed focused a la “Love is a Long Road” were outstanding, but when the band lapsed into drivelly jams, not so much. Still, there’s no feeling like singing “Free Fallin’” at the top of your lungs with a field of people. Photos after the jump. Continue reading →
Last week, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros released the music video for “Better Days,” the first single from their upcoming self-titled album. This week, the group has released yet another song from their next album called, “This Life.” The new song is just as steeped in soul as the first single, but where “Better Days” was upbeat and bursting with energy, “This Life” is a slow burner, starting quietly and building in volume with bluesy screams from Alex Ebert. A song about being honest with yourself and embracing life head-on, Ebert goes back and forth with a chorus of singers, arguing that he’s finally being honest with himself. Below you can check out the new single. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros play the XPoNential Music Festival this year and recently announced a show for Longwood Gardens members on August 29th.
Earlier this month at the Roots Picnic, our friends from Philadelphia Music Magazine filmed some of the performances and interviews we did throughout the day. Below, watch the videos of Edward Sharpe’s performance and interview with WXPN’s Mike Vasilikos and The Dismemberment Plan’s performance and Bruce Warren’s interview with bassist Eric Axelson.
The Roots Picnic is this Saturday, June 4th, at noon at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. Tickets from Ticketmaster are $79.75 (price includes service charge). Tickets are also available at the Live Nation Box Office (111 Presidential Blvd, Bala Cynwyd), Festival Pier (Columbus Blvd & Spring Garden Street; day-of-show only) or by-phone at 800-745-3000.