Headstash's FIREFLY 2012 Review Guide
- By Hannah Epstein
- Published on July 25, 2012
July 20-22 - Dover, Delaware
1st year – Estimated Attendance: 35,000 each day
Weather and Atmosphere
The weather could not have been better. Despite predictions of rain, there was only a light drizzle on Friday and some scattered clouds throughout the weekend.
"I Cut Like A Buffalo." Jack White, the former lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes, led his own band in a raucous, powerful and inventive version of The Dead Weather song. White formerly played drums in the band, but shredded on guitar on Friday, as he raced through a mixture of songs off his latest solo album, "Blunderbuss," as well as classics from his other projects.
"Everlasting Light." As the first song of their encore, The Black Keys, made up of Patrick Carney on drums and Dan Auerbach on guitar and vocals, came out swinging with this hit from their 2010 album, "Brothers." The song was fleshed out with auxiliary musicians on bass and guitar. Despite Auerbach's admission that the band had not planned on playing an encore, they released a giant disco ball that lit up the stage during a slower version of the tune.
"Daydreamin'." Lupe Fiasco brought a much-needed hip-hop dance party to Firefly. Fiasco has a tremendous amount of energy and performed with a stellar group of musicians who updated and brought a new vivacity to this classic hit.
Ben Gibbard. The guitarist and lead singer for Death Cab For Cutie was the festival MVP, powering through a cold to bring the audience's favorites from their vast catalogue. During the middle of the set, the band members switched instruments, ending with Gibbard playing another drum set and jamming with usual drummer Jason McGerr much to the delight of the crowd. The band closed with "Soul Meets Body" and "Marching Bands of Manhattan" and sent the audience into the night more than satisfied.
Smooth flying. The first annual Firefly went off without a hitch. Despite a few sound problems here and there (let's face it, that happens at every event), it was extremely well organized with several clever touches. The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway served as a great home, complete with a hammock area, kites and lights in the woods between stages and ample beer at the Dogfish Head sponsored tent.
Loud and clear. The sound at every stage was phenomenal. With so many different types of artists rotating through the stages with varying styles, instruments and expectations, it was impressive that their were so few hiccups.
Dogfish Head Beer Tent. The air-conditioned tent by the main Firefly stage provided a respite from the blaring sun and music. Dogfish Head brewed a special (and delicious) Firefly ale and also sold their perennial favorites like the 60- and 90-minute IPA and Midas Touch. For sports fans, the eight flat-screen TVs showed the British Open as well as Phillies and Nationals baseball games
The food at the festival left a little to be desired. Long lines and mediocre offerings, especially compared to the organic, vegetarian options at other festivals, were a little disappointing.
The Wallflowers - Elvis Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding"
John Legend - Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground"
The crowd was relatively well-behaved with more hipsters than hippies. Most people seemed to be in their late-20s/early 30s but there were certainly older rock fans in attendance as well.
Considering it was the inaugural event, it went remarkably well. The headliners all delivered standout performances and the festival provided fans from D.C., Philly and NYC with a local, outdoor event in All Good's absence.
Cake - Photo Credit: Hannah Epstein Photo Credit: Hannah Epstein
Check out our coverage of all your favorite summer festivals in our 2012 Festival Guide.
What did you think of Firefly 2012? Highlights, lowlights and surprises. Let us know in the comments below . . .