The 2015 Firefly Music Festival was filled with so many great experiences on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in June. Whether enjoying back-to-back sets from the iconic Morrissey and Paul McCartney or meeting Mark Foster, Zedd, Big Data, Steve Aoki, Eric Wilson from Sublime or taking a selfie with Snoop Dogg on Father’s Day… Firefly was incredible, a four day musical wonder, the likes of which will resonate with me forever. Even after two days of a loaded festival line-up marked by stormy rains at night, the intense heat of the Sun during the day, and the muddy grounds left in between, what pure music fan could not be on the edge of their seats for back-to-back sets from Morrissey and Paul McCartney? I am extremely thankful to have attended; it was awesome even in spite of a Saturday night storm of rain, lightning and thunder that required a full evacuation of the festival for safety in the middle of sets by Kid Cudi and Sublime With Rome. Here are my Top 10 Performances From Firefly 2015!
I happened to catch Walk The Moon’s set and they really had the crowd dancing and moving the entire time! The energy coming from the stage sent a charge through the audience that electrified their feet in response, culminating in an explosive reaction during “Shut Up And Dance.”
The Porch Stage was an awesome place and the site where Halsey absolutely provided what I believe to be the biggest and most unanticipated surprise of this year’s installment of the festival with a performance that continuously drew people in from around the grounds throughout, building a large audience mid-set.
Wow. Musical British exports never cease to amaze me, Wolf Alice was no exception. Riding high on the increased radio play and success of their single “Moaning Lisa Smile” the band performed at their first ever American festival and completely rocked the Firefly audience!
The Sierota siblings- Sydney, Jamie, Graham, and Noah, stood before a huge crowd at The Lawn Stage as they boldly and bravely lived up to their hype as new darlings in the indie pop world. The Chino, California band that had joined Taylor Swift the week prior on stage here in Philadelphia had the crowd dialed in and singing along, especially when they brought out their hit single “Cool Kids.”
If you are looking for a fun time, be sure to catch Big Data in concert! The Alan Wilkis and his band entranced The Backyard Stage audience through a rousing romp of his self-branded ‘paranoid electronic pop.’ Full of Midi interludes, recorded narratives and a lively bunch of festival goers, the atmosphere was primed for when the band re-took the stage to close with his hit single “Dangerous.”
Interscope DJ Zedd owned the night after Paul McCartney’s performance Friday evening, spinning to a gargantuan-sized crowd the extended far beyond where the eye can see. Zedd brought beats and bass drops galore to which the electrified, massive crowd obliged each by throwing their glow sticks into the air all at once, throughout a performance which included being joined on stage by Echosmith to perform “Illusion.” By far the best overall EDM set I have seen.
Oh, Moz. I’ve not words. Morrissey was in true form as he lived up to the exquisite and painful repute by which he is known- The crooner, the poet, the antihero, the activist, the man, myth, legend. On account of his penchant for past show cancellations and his battling cancer, it was almost as though I couldn’t believe it happened until it was over. Morrissey performed some of his finest solo material and several Smiths songs, yet left us longing without any “How Soon Is Now?” or “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”, which surely would have captured the hearts of several new generations of music fans in attendance.
Somebody told me… The Killers took the audience on a ride for the final Main Stage performance of Firefly, masterfully navigating through a set of their hits. Like a musical quarterback or point guard, Brandon Flowers served as a maestro of ceremonies whilst game-manager of the audience whom he romanced with elegant vernacular, orchestrating what proved to be one of the more well-rounded sets I have heard, featuring great performances of “When You Were Young” and “Mr. Brightside” and even some Kings Of Leon covers to ease the pain of their fans on account of the King’s Saturday cancellation. The riveting performance of the band beckoned us to only further question… “Are we humans? Or are we dancers?”
Saturday evening on the third day of the festival, Mark Foster and the boys turned in one of the finest performances I have ever seen, entrancing a mass audience with their stage presence, following Foster’s lead and the group’s synergy with the crowd and with each other. An explosive, enormous crowd of people came alive as though it was Firefly’s opening night, especially during “Pumped Up Kicks.” The only problem with Foster The People’s set was that it left me wanting more, to see them perform again as soon as possible! This was a moment that will stay with me for many years to come.
What can be said in a dream, less that dream be a reality. I don’t doubt the favorite moment for most of us who were in attendance was the surreal performance of Sir Paul that left a crowd of 90,000 people in an awe-struck, dream-like state of amazement. I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing, it was a dream come-true, brought to life before my ears and eyes. Macca’s stirring set following his 73rd Birthday featured Beatles favorites galore, peppered with Wings and solo hits amidst tributes to John Lennon, George Harrison and his Wives Linda and Nancy, as well as stories such as how Jimi Hendrix once tried to get Eric Clapton to come onstage to tune his guitar. As I lost my composure, overcome with joy during “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Back In The U.S.S.R.” and riddled with all the feels during a huge performance (and audience sing-along) of “Hey Jude”, I gave way to tears of happiness as he launched into “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End” to close the show. I can only hope to relive this dream again someday.
I hope you enjoyed the festival and Rock On Philly’s recap here. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for the Pre-Sale for next year that begins in just a couple weeks on July 15th, 2015 at 11:00AM ET time on FireflyFestival.com!
Cheers and we’ll see you next year, June 16th-19th, 2016 at The Woodlands in Dover! Be sure to enjoy The Official Firefly 2015 Lineup playlist on Spotify and the Firefly Music Festival 2015 Highlights on YouTube all year round!
Photos by David DeCristofaro