Dave Grohl at Firefly (Photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)
Yesterday’s list of summertime cover songs by bands playing at the ever-growing Firefly Music Festival was by no means exhaustive, as you’ll see below.
The second day of Firefly, Friday, June 20, started around 12:30pm and stretched until 2am. (And for morning people, unlike myself, Red Bull sponsored a breakfast series where you could awake even earlier and catch some up and coming bands.)
My day, however, began with neo-psychedelic band Basic Vacation, hailing from New York City. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Greatti, bassist Jon Paul and drummer Mike Montalbano formed a snappy trio, playing their established songs like “I Believe” as well as new songs like “Sirens.” They also played a damn catchy cover of Tears for Fear’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Greatti said at the time that the band would not play it again after Firefly, but c’mon, guys! That was a really good cover, and you really put your own spin on it.
It was during the performance of Basic Vacation on the lawn stage that I began to notice an odd phenomenon. Lots of kids were carrying large cut-out heads of random celebrities, like Nicolas Cage and David Bowie and Bryan Cranston. I have no idea why they carried them, but these large cut-out heads showed up on the viewscreen monitors surprisingly well when the cameras cut to the audience during any particular show. If anyone can explain to me how this got started, I would be very interested in knowing.
courtesy of Man Alive!
The Psychedelic Furs have not put out a new album since 1991’s World Outside.
That has not stopped the English post-punk group from touring the United States non-stop since the year 2000. Indeed, they have been through the Washington, DC, metro area several times in the last year or so, playing The State Theater in Falls Church, Va., and the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Md. Now they make their first trip to the newly renovated Howard Theatre tonight, performing perennial favorites such as “Love My Way,” “Pretty in Pink” and “President Gas.”
Opening for the Furs are The Lemonheads, the Boston post-grunge rockers known for goofy drug songs. The pairing of The Lemonheads and the Psychedelic Furs may appear to have little rhyme and reason at first glance, but Lemonheads’ bass player Juliana Hatfield long has been an admirer of new wave-tinged 80s rock groups like the Furs and even sang a duet with lead singer Richard Butler in the past several years — so perhaps the genesis of the pairing occurred with her. Unfortunately, Hatfield dropped out of the tour after initially planning to participate.
Still, the Psychedelic Furs have a well-earned reputation for being one of the most engaging live bands ever to tour, which has helped them sustain the band quite easily in the past decade. Tickets are $30 plus fees. See you there!
Psychedelic Furs w/ The Lemonheads and The Chevin
Tonight! Monday, Oct. 22
doors 6pm; show 8pm
The Howard Theatre
photos by Santiago Gamboa.
Last week, in the midst of their US summer tour, Seattle-sound vanguards Soundgarden proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they still rock…hard. The band reunited last year after a 13-year hiatus and I was super-bummed to miss their first show back together at Lollapalooza in Chicago. But I waited, patiently, hanging on any of the few and far-between missives they sent to their fanclub members for news of a tour. Finally they announced their US summer 2011 tour, along with plans for recording a new album.
First of all, to lay some foundation down, I will disclose that I am a huge Soundgarden fan. I have been a devout follower since I heard their song “Somewhere” (from their 1991 album ‘Badmotorfinger’) on a mix-tape my friend gave me in 7th grade. I was lucky enough to see them three times before they broke up in 1997. Time has only made me appreciate their music more.