By

Firefly Day Three Roundup: Passion Pit, Vampire Weekend and more

PassionPit
Passion Pit | Photo by John Vettese

The Firefly Music Festival wrapped up its second year in a giant field off of the Dover International Speedway with some rain, considerably more mud, an army of inflatables and a lot of fun.

Haim‘s poppy, percussion heavy set greeted us as we entered the grounds, followed by LA singer LP early on – she had a bright blue suit, a ukelele, a voice reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde, a stylish 90s alt-pop sound and a great command of the crowd; when the skies opened up for the first time in the afternoon in the middle of her set, folks kept dancing. The second rainstorm happened a little later during Matt and Kim‘s set, but their insanely catchy songs and practically mandatory crowd participation won out over the storm clouds just as handily (check out a video of a balloon / beach ball release here). That said, holy cow those are two ridiculously perky people, and not necessarily in the best way.

Thankfully Kishi Bashi was a nice comedown – the versatile indie violinist (Of Montreal, etc) and sound loop artist created a portable chamber orchestra show on the festival’s backyard stage. He worked through his 151a album and shouted out the fan in the crowd waving a Ron Swanson flag apropos of nothing. Next, California band Trails and Ways played an impressive set of wandering, worldly pop-rock on the festival’s (unfortunately) under-promoted Coffeehouse Stage. Through the woods and across a field, Toro y Moi delighted their crowd with a set of synth-groove disco as the clouds broke and the sun beamed in.

Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos bounded on the mainstage with tremendous energy, determined to atone for the band’s cancellation at Firefly 2012 (when, he explained, “I was in the hospital, it was fucked up, I didn’t think I’d ever play a show again”). He grumbled a bit about allergies, then went on to tear across the set, sounding great but maybe overdoing it a bit since his voice blew out near the end. He explained this, and said “I’m really going to need you to sing along on these last few.” Though it initially seemed like gimmick to drum up singalongs, by the ending notes of “Little Secrets,” you could hear his falsetto straining and wheezing. But Angelakos kept pushing it further – poor dude.

Providing the perfect wrap-up before we hit the road, Vampire Weekend played a 90-minute set on the festival’s Lawn Stage, hitting the old favorites (“A-Punk,” “Cousins”), the vibey deep cuts (“Diplomat’s Son,” “Ladies of Cambridge”) and a good portion of the excellent new Modern Vampires of the City (“Everlasting Arms” sounded incredible, “Hannah Hunt” was sweet too). We’re pretty excited for their return to Philly in September. More photos from the festival after the jump, and earlybird preorders for Firefly 2014 (June 20 through June 22) go on sale Wednesday. Continue reading →

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

By

Listen to “Now,” a new song from Matt and Kim song (playing the Electric Factory in October)

Indie pop duo Matt and Kim have released another song, “Now” from their upcoming release Lightning, coming out on October 2nd. In support of their new album, the band are coming to Philly for a show at the Electric Factory on October 7th. For tickets and more information click here; listen to the single below. Listen to the song below and download it for free from Matt and Kim’s Facebook page.

Tags: ,

By

Tonight’s Concert Pick: Matt And Kim at The Trocadero

Matt And Kim sit comfortably atop the heap of indie-pop duos. Unlike other pairs, such as Yacht and Philly’s own Reading Rainbow, the finesse with which they so easily pull off their preferred DIY production model has given the Brooklyn-based pair a distinct advantage. Matt Johnson, with his spastic yelps and punchy keyboard, paired with Kim Schifino’s incorrigibly dancy kick drums and other raucous synth percussion, make for the simple, catchy, frenetic magic. Since 2006, the duo’s style hasn’t changed much, which may not make music critics happy, but certainly keeps concert-goers happy. After their third recording, Sidewalks, was released in November of 2010, their most popular tracks continue to be the most perky and energetic—all the better for a sweaty, dance-your-heart-out good time. Even more reverent tracks, with slightly more cerebral and introspective lyrics (like “Spare Change”), are just jerky and bouncy enough in the same set as favorites like “Daylight” and “Cameras,” their most recent single off of Sidewalks. Matt And Kim perform with Reptar and The Hood Internet at 8 p.m. at The Trocadero; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT. —Danielle Wayda

Tags: ,

By

This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Making Time (w/The Drums and Surfer Blood), Phoenix, The Walkmen, Erin McKeown + more

The Drums

The Drums perform 10/22 at Voyeur

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22
Making Time returns to Voyeur, and Dave P is bringing a few friends with him: Brooklyn-based indie-pop quartet The Drums and West Palm Beach, Florida’s Surfer Blood. Meanwhile, local garage-rock quartet The Spooks will perform in the venue’s Ruby Lounge basement with the RockTits DJs. And, to top it off, Dave P will also be putting together a Making Time RADio local-band mix for us over here at The Key. All of which means Philadelphia’s raddest hyper-rad dance party just got significantly more radically radical. Rad! The Drums perform with Surfer Blood at 9 p.m. at Voyeur; tickets to the 21+ show are $15.

Also playing: Guster + Eli “Paperboy” Reed at Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., all ages, $28); Rocky Votolato + Ha Ha Tonka, P.J. Bond at M Room (9 p.m., 21+, $12); Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit + Langhorne Slim, Jesse Sykes And Phil Wandscher, Mimicking Birds at North Star Bar (8 p.m., 21+, $18)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23
How do we feel about Phoenix‘s now-ubiquitous single “1901″ from last year’s critically acclaimed Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix? Well, we love its beautiful, stripped-down simplicity—quite possibly the band’s crowning songwriting achievement to date. (One that took the French quartet 14 years—and three previous albums—to create.) And we always get a kick out of the way that Thomas Mars’ charmingly imperfect voice cracks when he sings “Eighteen fifty-five, nineteen ooHHH-one” halfway through the song. But, more than anything else, it really makes us want to buy a brand-new Cadillac SRX. After all, why listen to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix on your 1995 Volkswagon Jetta’s crappy tape deck when you could do so in style, driving the world’s only true luxury crossover SUV (modestly priced at $34,155)? Well, other than that whole safety recall thing. Phoenix performs with Jenny And Johnny and Wavves at 8 p.m. at the Tower Theater; tickets are $45.

Also playing: The Walkmen + Japandroids, Blood Feathers at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $21); The Felice Brothers + Adam Haworth Stephens at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, SOLD OUT)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24
Has it really been 10 years since Erin McKeown released her breakthrough sophomore album, Distillation? It must be, because her performance at World Cafe Live is billed as part of her “Distillation 10th Anniversary Tour.” Still, it seems like it was just yesterday that people were asking, “Hey, who is this kooky folk-rock singer-songwriter that started her own label and isn’t Ani DiFranco?” Erin has, of course, made her own name for herself since then, releasing an additional four studio albums of unpredictable, genre-jumping music—including last year’s Hundreds Of Lions (which came out, coincidentally, on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records)—while constantly playing on the road. During this performance, she’ll play Distillation in its entirety, followed by a set of more recent material. Erin McKeown performs at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets are $30-$40.

Also playing: Matt And Kim + Donnis at Starlight Ballroom (7:30 p.m., SOLD OUT); Gentleman Jesse And His Men + The Barreracudas, Woman at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., $10)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,