Audience at Firefly (Photo by Theo Wargo, Getty Images)
The second annual Firefly Music Festival grew impressively this year, spreading its wings in The Woodlands, located behind the Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. Located roughly 100 miles from Washington, DC, Firefly is poised to become the biggest east coast festival of all next year.
I attended the Coachella Valley Music Festival for the first time this year as well in April, and I can attest the grounds for the three-day Firefly are even larger and more diverse than the grounds for Coachella. Via The Woodlands, Firefly offers four large stages; several wooded entertainment areas for hammocks, films and dancing; and huge tracts of land where businesses like the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery literally can build a barn and run half a dozen beer bars inside.
The festival itself was orderly and well run but at the same time the atmosphere seemed a lot more rock and roll than the manicured polo lawns of Coachella. About 30,000 people attended Firefly in its first year and festival organizers were calling for twice as many this year.
Dragonette are well on their way to finding a much deserved wider audience.
The band is about to put out its third record on Sept. 25 on the heels of a crossover dance hit, “Hello,” from their collaborations with house DJ Martin Solveig. The combination of Solveig and Dragonette has been nothing less than inspired, as the French producer has been able to write very catchy songs and sultry Martina Sorbara has been able to sing them with a now trademark sweet sophistication.
Dragonette has taken their lessons learned from collaborations with Solveig and others and applied them to their third album, Bodyparts, which really is a terrific dance record. They debuted those songs to Washington at the Black Cat Saturday with a sold-out audience that embraced the material new and old and left buoyantly as happy and giddy as the sound of the album.
Electro good time gal Martina Sorbara and her synth-savvy husband Dan Kurtz brought their attitude drenched, dance-pop band Dragonette to Rock & Roll Hotel on Sunday night to keep a party-packed weekend rocking into Monday morning. Joined by beat-maker and human time-piece, drummer Joel Stouffer, the husband and wife team wowed the small but dedicated crowd full of electro fanatics, pretty boys, and dancing queens. Their late-start set covered the deepest cuts from their albums, “Galore” and “Fixin’ to Thrill”, and blew the roof off when they launched into the three excellent new songs from their latest EP, “Mixin’ to Thrill”.
This summer has seen a string of excellent, female-fronted, electro-pop acts in concert so far and the action continues on Sunday night at Rock & Roll Hotel with Dragonette. Much like the record temperatures have been driving the mercury higher and higher, each awesome electro-pop show to hit town has raised the stakes for the next. The Golden Filter, Goldfrapp, and Robyn have all delivered phenomenal shows in DC and each one has been better than the last. For Sunday night, Dragonette are on deck and I’m expecting it to be a hot, humid, sweaty dance party when they make their bid for the Summer 2010 Electro-Pop crown. Continue reading →
Every band’s gotta start somewhere. Last month, we took a look at local acts at local venues. The homegrown groups got some sweet, sweet lovin’ via your attendance at their shows. April, the first full month of spring, calls for a savory new way to titillate your aesthetic sense. Here are five concerts to catch at the hometown venues you’ve learned to love with up-and-coming east coast (and Canadian!) musicians, air guitar pros, and a personal favorite of mine (aka live jazz). Continue reading →