After we survived day one, we were prepared to leave early Saturday to make sure we avoided any outrageous traffic situations. We stopped at a Wawa (sorry Sheetz!) on the way, grabbed some breakfast burritos and Red Bull and we were ready to face the day.
We arrived with plenty of time and we had prime parking close to the walkway to the festival entrance. We got to the gates before they opened at noon which was definitely better than siting in traffic for three hours and walking four miles.
We were able to wander around some of the festival attractions like the brewery, where I had a special Firefly Ale brewed specifically for the festival by Dogfish Head. We spun a huge wheel like the one on the Price is Right and won snap bracelets, glow sticks, and a light up wand that would have been something I begged my parents for at a Disney on Ice show.
I mostly watched bands at the smaller stages, but we did catch a bit of the Japandroids and ZZ Ward before heading to the Porch stage to watch St. Lucia. I knew nothing about St. Lucia before seeing their set, but Tyler and Jithu wanted to check them out and I’m really glad I did! The sun was shining and their set was synth driven and dance-y. It was a perfect combo for their afternoon set. They started crowd sing-a-longs for “We Got It Wrong” and there were beach balls all over the place. I kind of hate beach balls at shows because I hate having fun. I mean, I just think beach balls are super distracting and I don’t like having to be on the defense to avoid being hit in the head with one. I ended up hitting a beach ball during their set because that’s how fun they were! Tyler was giving me a hard time about my irrational hate and he tipped a Disney Princess beach ball in my direction so I gave in and hit it. I’m a people pleaser, what can I say? I really liked a song they played called “The Way You Remember Me” which hasn’t been released yet so here’s a decent live youtube video of it!
Next we checked out Lord Huron. I had listened to a little Lord Huron before firefly and they totally blew us all away. After listening to their recorded stuff Tyler and I expected it to be a more mellow show, which couldn’t have been further from the truth! I loved seeing “Ends of the Earth” live. I would definitely recommend checking Lord Huron out if they come to a venue near you!
At this point in the day, Tyler went to the main stage to see Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Jithu took a nap in the shade, and I went to check out Chvrches. I sat in the shade towards the side of the stage and enjoyed this adorable Brit-synth-pop band. The lead singer was super concerned about crowd surfng, “This isn’t a Limp Bizkit concert!” She exclaimed at one point and then went on to tell her story of getting kicked in the head at a Jimmy Eat World show. She had to leave and get stitches and miss the show which is why she was so concerned about crowd surfing. SO CUTE!
To say that I’m kind of obsessed with Youngblood Hawke after seeing them at Firefly might be an understatement. Every member of their band had so much energy the entire set! The female band member looked like a modern day Sandy from Grease, obviously the made over Sandy at the end of the movie. She was wearing shiny, high waisted black spandex pants, and a black crop top and had long, wavy blonde hair. I love it when you can tell how much fun the band members are having. The lead singer would do this running in place dancey thing, almost like he was doing high knee exercises, the entire time. At one point every single member of the band was playing some piece of percussion: the regular drum kit, two extra floor toms, an extra snare drum, and one member on another symbol. I loved it so much! My favorite songs live were “Stars” and “We Come Running“. (Seriously check out this video.) As I was listening to “Dannyboy” live, something clicked in my brain and I thought, “They remind me of Iglu & Hartly”. I’ll let you know I’m really bad at playing the this band sounds similar to this band game; however, I’m kind of good at voice recognition. Thanks to Wikipedia, I confirmed that two of the guys who started Youngblood Hawke were in Iglu & Hartly! I was really into “In This City” in college and played it frequently on my radio show. Anyway, since being back from Firefly I’ve pretty much been listening to their album, Wake Up, on repeat, and signed up for their email list so I’ll know when they’re coming close enough to Pittsburgh for me to see them again. OK, I think I’m done gushing.
I headed over to the Garnier Fructis Salon, our designated meeting spot, to rejoin Tyler and Jithu after they had watched the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We tagged on to a train of people as they made their way through the crowd for closer spots for MGMT. During this process I ran into a dude who lived in Hanson Hall with me freshman year at JMU. That was 8 years ago, which is just bonkers!
I totally forgot how trippy MGMT is. They showed psychedelic images on the big screens their entire set instead of footage of the band playing. At one point it looked like a rainbow sprinkles donut tunnel and another I felt like I was playing Mario Kart on rainbow road. When they started to play “Electric Feel” the entire crowd started to dance. It was really rad to be a part of such a huge group of people all experiencing a similar feeling, memory, or just simply creating a new one together. No other song makes me think of Camelot house parties or WXJM quite like “Electric Feel“. All my WXJM friends still refer to it as the most overplayed song in WXJM history.
Please enjoy the photographic evidence from this time period:
Later in their set they played “Time to Pretend“, which I totally forgot existed! When I think of MGMT I usually automatically associate them with “Electric Feel” and “Kids“. This is where the nostalgia got even more intense. The first time I heard this song was at Penn State’s Arts Fest summer of ’08. I went up to visit Ida and her friends and we basically listened to this song on repeat. It’s so funny thinking back to how we interpreted lyrics like, “yeah it’s overwhelming, but what else can we do, get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute”. At the time, we had no idea what that would mean or look like in real life, and now we’re all pretty much living some form of that concept. For some perspective, that same arts fest we also had a dance party to Miley Cyrus’s “See You Again“. I’m a well rounded hipster-teenybopper hybrid.
Please enjoy the photographic evidence from this time period:
Before MGMT came back out for their encore, a bunch of people started to sing the synth part to “Kids“, because they still hadn’t played that crowd pleaser. MGMT came back out and did not play “Kids” because they are pretentious mother fuckers who do not give a damn about what people expect from them. Overall I’m really glad I got to see MGMT live for their intense nostalgia inducing songs. There are only a few songs that I can think of that I have equally vivid memories associated with them, but I think the best songs are tied to memories you don’t remember until you’re listening to it.
Good news with not parking at a strangers house four miles down the road is you don’t have to figure out how to get back to your car. The bad news is when you don’t take accurate enough note of where you parked that morning and have to spend 30 minutes searching the parking lot for your car because you don’t have a automatic locks or an alarm on your keychain to help locate it. These are important life lessons, my friends!