Four days is a long time to commit to a festival, but it actually buzzes right by when you follow your festival roadmap of bands to see.
The final day of the Firefly Music Festival, Sunday, June 22, was a short day for me as my compatriots and I determined to return to DC from Dover at a reasonable time (say, around 9pm instead of midnight or later).
I’ll wrap my festival diary then with a short nod to the three bands I caught on my last day, starting with Misterwives, who performed on the festival’s small forest stage.
The New-York based quintet is a young band that’s been around for not quite a year and a half. But they got a record deal pretty quickly, even if they don’t yet have a Wikipedia page. Vocalist Mandy Lee is total sweetheart, chatting with the audience from stage and then breaking into equally sweet, fast-paced song, such as with the band’s single “Reflections,” also the title track of their only EP so far. “Reflections” lyrically reflects Ms. Lee’s sunny attitude — maybe there’s some possibilities still ahead? And it’s neo-psychedelic rythms speak to a band that likes to whip up a good dance number — a band that includes guitarist Marc Campbell, drummer Etienne Bowler, bassist William Hehi and keyboardist Jesse Blum.
Misterwives performed a bright, upbeat cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” which the forest stage audience embraced quite quickly. There was much dancing. Misterwives have an upcoming show where they support Bleachers at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Sept. 3, if you’re interested in checking them out.
Following Misterwives on the forest stage, dreampoppers Haerts descended on the stage like sparkling snow after the sunny fields of their fellow New Yorkers. This was my third time seeing Haerts (after a performance at the Sweetlife Festival in 2013 and as an opener for London Grammar at the 9:30 Club in April), and the band is just consistently good. Vocalist Nini Fabi looked like she just stepped on the stage of a fancy nightclub at dusk and sang with the sort of quiet confidence you would expect from an international pop chanteuse. I’ve been waiting a while now for the debut full-length album from Haerts, but meanwhile the band played welcome selections like “Wings,” “All the Days,” and “Hemiplegia” — selections from their Hemiplegia EP.
I closed out my Firefly experience with one of the biggest surprises for me personally — Weezer. I say suprises because while I was never compelled previously to see the Los Angeles quartet, they were really quite good performers. They drew and kept the attention of a very large crowd at the main stage, where they revived favorites like “Hash Pipe,” “Island in the Sun,” “Beverly Hills,” “Say It Ain’t So” — and in the encore “Undone (The Sweater Song)” and “Buddy Holly.” Again, to my surprise, I knew the words to all of these songs and recalled them all instantly the moment they dropped onto the stage. Isn’t that a good measure of an effective musician? “Hey Mickey, you may think you have forgotten Weezer, but we are here in the recesses of your memory all along, and you’re going to sing along loudly to everything that we play now.”
Weezer also charmed me with a raucous cover of Blur’s “Song 2,” which had me jumping across the field like a madman from its first note.
Weezer recently announced they will release their 10th album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, sometime in the next year, so I expect we will be hearing more from them soon.