Baltimore City Paper

City Paper's Firefly Music Festival live blog

Credit: Facebook

1:13 a.m.
And thus ends the Firefly Festival. What a time it was. We hope you enjoyed reading our grousing about the state of music on display here in the muddy fields of Dover, Delaware. But we're not done, of course. Here are our last two dispatches, on the delightful Killers and the by-the-numbers Snoop Dogg. Until next time... (Brandon Weigel)

How long does it take to become a nostalgia act? For the synth-y rock band The Killers, it's 12 years, the amount of time since their debut album, "Hot Fuss."


This is not a complaint, because The Killers have maybe two albums of great material amongst their four recorded albums, and they played just about everything you'd want to hear from a Killers set and then some.

As if putting the crowd on a dare, the Las Vegas band started the set with their biggest single, the incredibly catchy pop-rock tune 'Mr. Brightside.' But they went on to deliver a cavalcade of anthemic New Order- and Bruce Springsteen-indebted songs that were heavy on bombast and arena hooks. They didn't have a new album to promote, their last release being 2012's "Battle Born," from which that they only played 'The Way It Was' and their best Bruce rip-job, 'Runaways.' Everything else was an exercise in crowd-pleasing, from 'Spaceman' to 'Smile Like You Mean It' to 'For Reasons Unknown' to the unfortunately named 'Bling (Confession of a King).' If there were rafters at Firefly, everything the Killers played would have reached for them.


In fact, the band seemed determined to make up for the rain-out of southern-rockers Kings of Leon, covering the band's hit songs 'The Bucket' and 'Use Somebody.' And they threw in a cover of 'Bad Moon Rising' by Creedence Clearwater Revival, a far superior southern-rock band, for good measure. Anything in the name of a good show. (Brandon Weigel)

Snoop Dogg is a perfect Sunday performer for this Firefly Festival. While Hozier might reference literal salvation, but climbing no spiritual ladders to get there, Snoop is all materialism and no aspiration. Weed is the order of the day, and Snoop Dogg knows where we want to be. Snoop is ready for festival life. However, his set rose no higher than the smoke three feet above concert goers heads. And what a thick smoke it was. Calling out to the audience, Snoop managed to provide himself a huge blunt for the evening. It was a ritualistic conclusion for a festival based around white people's privileged consumption of [some] drugs. Snoop gave us 'Gin & Juice' and a verse out of Jason Derulo's 'Wiggle,' acknowledging all ends of his pop stardom. From porn producer, to reggae artist, to '80s R&B imitator, to P-Funk sampler, Snoop has really cornered the weed market. Long may it last. (Brian Line)

7:50 p.m.
UPDATE: There hasn't been much worth covering, so Brian and I are chilling in the press tent for a spell. The bar is shutting down, and the very courteous bartenders, who have been terrific all weekend, gave us some of the leftover wine. Thank you, Based God! (Brandon Weigel)

7:06 p.m.
One of the biggest hurdles for a songwriter whose single is suddenly thrust into the spotlight is avoiding one-hit wonder status. Such is the case of Hozier, the Irish singer-songwriter whose gospel-y soul tune about homosexuality, 'Take Me to Church,' became a Grammy-nominated sensation. Dude performed the song with Annie Lennox at the awards ceremony, for crying out loud.

But I must confess I knew little about Hozier beyond this song before he and his backing band took the lawn stage before a huge crowd, the largest I've seen at this stage. It seemed I wasn't alone, as a few people in the crowd said something about 'Take Me to Church' as Brian and I pressed our way closer to the front

The Irishman impressed early, playing some songs that blended funk, soul, and blues, including standout 'To Be Alone.' That tune prompted Brian to compare Hozier to a Rolling Stones-Coldplay hybrid, which made perfect sense.

But most of the rest of Hozier's songs plodded along, offering very little in the way of, you know, interesting music. Sure, his blue-eyed soul crooning is impressive, but the sparse arrangements and lack of rhythmic or melodic oomph did little to showcase the singer's talents.

At one point, Hozier introduced a song "for funsies," and the band went into a funked-up cover of Warren G's 'Regulate.' Ugh.


At the end, they delivered the song most everyone wanted to here, and the half-hearted--okay, maybe they were three-quarters-hearted--vocals on 'Take Me to Church' took any wind they had going in their sails. It sounded like he was a bit tired of playing the song, and really, who could blame him? But it would help a great deal if he had something else to back it up.

Our stream of negativity continues. (Brandon Weigel)

5:43 p.m.
As I walked across the lawn toward the backyard stage to catch the last half of Benjamin Booker's set, I overheard the performing Bahamas say, "Leave now and go get water. Don't watch the set. [Water's] more important." Heeding his advice, I continued onward, not spending a moment more with his pleasant folk pop. I was on a mission to see Benjamin Booker, a man who was influenced by T. Rex, according to Wikipedia. When I arrived, Benjamin was also kind enough to remind us about the importance of staying hydrated, warning of "beer dehydration," swilling a beer all the while. I thought this ironic twist was promising, and in line with a stated love of T. Rex and the Gun Club, but I left disappointed. Instead of someone who brought humor as a source of energy to his music, I witnessed another colored-in-the-lines retread. Sure, there were tempo changes, crescendos, and stop-starts to build energy, but the bluesy garage rock was decades old and not fun enough to carry it over. Booker relied on heavy vocal affectation that begged us to believe instead of entertaining. When a mandolin and fiddle were broken out, I felt I'd been trapped in yet another New Sincerity scam, where "real" feelings are supposed to trump interesting ideas. Booker was at least charming in between songs and seemed to be enjoying himself. He invited his friend Doug onstage to dance. Doug, sadly, was a sub-Bez level dancer, and he didn't even have the decency to be the titular character from the '90s cartoon.

Festival Fashion Update:

  • A 30-something white, bearded gentleman wore a sombrero with the top cut off to pull his dreads through. In the dreads rested a single feather. Countdown until this is Johnny Depp's new look: 45 minutes.
  • The headdress/Native appropriation count remains delightfully low on the whole. Good job, Firefly attendees. (Brian Line)

4:26 p.m.
Everyone knows DJs are the new rock stars. Amongst the headliners rained out last night, electro house DJ Steve Aoki was the biggest name to reschedule. Good on ya, Steve. He was moved from a prime midnight slot to a midday set in the sweltering heat. Not exactly the best time for a dance party, but the huge crowd that showed up to the backyard stage was undeterred.

Aoki's performance was built around the repetition of one trick: he'd spin a mid-tempo house number and escalate the beat until it reached a near frenzy. Then, the sound would drop out for a brief instant before Aoki released a wall of thumping bass. This is a very basic, dad-like description of what the kiddies call "the drop."


And what a trick it is. As if under a spell, the crowd would throw their hands up and jump about once the drop hit. A few people launched rolls of toilet paper into the air or held cardboard cut-outs or inflatables aloft, including one fan near the front row who waved a blow-up pepperoni pizza. Even people who appeared to be moms and dads were spotted flailing about and attempting to wave their hands to Aoki's beat, as if in a trance.

Aoki would give them a minute or so of the ecstatic dance party before bringing the song back down and yelling "Make some fucking noise" and the like. Build back up, repeat.

But that's a bit of an overly simplistic explanation. Aoki would also work in samples, such as the first verse and chorus Oasis' 'Wonderwall,' the hook from Reel 2 Real's 'I Like To Move It,' and the chrous of 'The Circle of Life' from "The Lion King." He'd then isolate a part of the song and start stacking sounds and beats, turning these cultural touchstones into dance anthems, before launching into the drop all over again. Mr. Aoki is a populist, you see.

And part of this populist appeal is launching full sheet cakes into the crowd. To be clear, Aoki's fans want the DJ to cake them--some even brought signs asking to be caked, and Aoki had an amazingly accurate cake toss, seemingly always hitting his intended target. There's even a song called 'Cake Me.' It appears to be a ritual of some kind. Or maye it's a nod to comedian Gallagher.

Geez, I can't help but feel this post reads like your parent or guardian trying to talk about EDM to show you they're "hip to it." But can I just say I went into this thing expecting to snark on it and came away seeing how legions of partying kids could be really into this? You could even say I enjoyed it. What have I become? (Brandon Weigel)

3:11 p.m. (Our Day 3, Festival's Day 4)
And so we return to the soaked fields of Dover, Delaware, to cover the final day of the Firefly Festival. A smell akin to rhino dung still hangs in the air. It has been present for all three days, but the humidity and heat really brings it to the fore. I have been assured it is "organics" from the wet woods this used to be before it became the stomped mud pit it is today. After last night's storms, there are puddles all over and trash is scattered about the grounds, but wood chips have been set down in places. Firefly continues to be a well run festival. Steve Aoki and the Chainsmokers were the only acts able to reschedule after last night's evacuation, meaning festival goers were robbed of the Kings of Leon, Kid Cudi, and a full set by Sublime with Rome by the weather. God Is Great.


Expect set reviews through out the day and some grand reflections tonight! Stay abreast on Twitter by following @brandon_weigel and @DickProblems. (Brian Line)

1:04 a.m.
So there were lots of signs that a big storm was coming around 9 p.m.. Friends in Baltimore, west of us, texted about heavy rains and tornado warnings. Not long after, Firefly organizers announced they would push up set times in order to get all the headliners in. But it was not meant to be. Minutes after I arrived at the main stage for the family band of southern cock-rockers, Kings of Leon, an announcement went out telling attendees and campers to scram.

Everyone left in an orderly fashion. As the large crowd and I trudged through the mud in the forest, a group of millennials started singing Twisted Sister's 'We're Not Gonna Take It.' They were soon outmatched by a group of just-as-young folks shouting Biz Markie's 'Just A Friend.' It was a truly strange thing, but I didn't really have time to appreciate the surreal scene around me because I wanted to get the hell outta there. A distant flash of lightning would streak across the sky and the crowd would let out a loud cheer--one of the loudest cheers of the night.

I met up with Brian and we walked with a mass of people out to the parking lot. After we got in our car, the rain started pouring down... and traffic remained at a stand-still for an hour and a half. Sweet fucking Jesus. An hour of that was spent in our motherfucking parking spot, listening to Bruce Springsteen, Kate Bush, and The Jam, just to name a few. It reminded me of the ninth circle of hell that is the Nissan Pavilion parking lot. I wanted to carve my eyeballs out with a spoon, but apparently I didn't have it as bad as Brian, who caught a bit of the Phil Collins-influenced jam-band Vacationer before seeing ska-rock '90s-nostalgia-trip douche-bros Sublime With Rome. I saw some twenty-somethings skanking to Sublime With Rome, which was both weird and upsetting. Anyway, here's what Brian has to say. (Brandon Weigel)

Tonight I got the invitation I'd been waiting my entire life for. I was invited to "take a ride on the chill coaster." Vacationer, some band from somewhere playing Firefly, dared us to take a break from it all after alluding to their drug use with a literal "you know." I'm shocked they hadn't budgeted a giant winky-face emoticon for that Historic Moment in Stage Banter. An idea for next time, guys. Another idea: Let us off the "Chill Coaster" before we reach Tedium Central in Boredomland. Vacationer's primary influence seems to be Phil Collins' "Tarzan" soundtrack. As their set ended, the crowd grew with the thunderclouds for Sublime With Rome.

I know next to nothing about Sublime. I know even less about Sublime With Rome. Maybe their songs are escapist corollaries to class struggle, but to me they sound like masculine posturing with noxious results. Any group of assholes opening with a "joke" song about date rape, where the rapist is raped himself in prison as a redemptive plot point, is a slight on the human project. Any band competent and catchy enough to get thousands of people to sing and skank along with such a shit concept is a blight. Don't forget-- Hitler was popular. Sublime With Rome wasn't built in a day, but maybe they'll smoke themselves stupid enough to never perform on another one. (Brian Line)


8:45 p.m.
Spoon is known for its sleek, artful take on minimalist indie rock, but at the outset of their set on the lawn stage at Firefly, they seemed open to experimentation--adding weird twists of sound, keyboard fills, and extended guitar solos to some of the staples of their catalogue. The first third or so of their set was an exercise in pulling the band's tightly wound compositions like taffy and finding the spaces in between to mess around with extra flourishes.

Around the time they got to 'Do You,' off the excellent 2014 album "They Want My Soul," the five-piece reformed the pieces and brought back the crisp constructions they're known for. Such spare, hook-heavy favorites as 'The Beast and Dragon Adored,' 'I Turn My Camera On,' and 'The Underdog' seemed effortless while able to draw in big crowds of fans singing along or dancing to the basic-but-excellent melodies. Such are the benefits of catching a live set from a band that excels at keeping it simple while also keeping it interesting. (Brandon Weigel)

6:56 p.m.

Let's get it out of the way: Sturgill Simpson is a new traditionalist. He worships at the Church of Outlaw Country, whose dual messiahs Waylon and Willie are both omnipresent in his music. Also, Sturgill's vocals are completely incomprehensible in a live setting. This doesn't matter in the slightest. Sturgill Simpson's group can bring it as a groove outfit alone. Folks boogied down to honky-tonk, or whatever-the-hell-it's-actually-called-in-this-day-and-age, in 2/2 time. Sturgill's guitar player could pick out solos, grooves, and play slide with a touch of psych like he was in the Flying Burrito Brothers. The rhythm section was propulsive, and was winning fans across the lawn as ironic dancing turned into just dancing. The group looked like they were moonlighting members of Sunn O))), disrobed and ready to emphasize the beat. As far as I could tell, the only thing Sturgill ever said other than, "Errrr," and "Aaaaarrrr," was, "sex is cheap and talk is overrated." That dull and dull-witted line didn't matter during the song, and it doesn't bear much reflection. When his band broke into a country-funk groove that reminded me of Talking Heads doing Al Green's 'Take Me to the River,' it definitively did not matter. Though his claims of being "tired of the same old country song" might be a bold-faced lie in the face of his indebtedness to Waylon Jennings, his conviction regarding the importance of the beat carried him a long way with Firefly's crowd. (Brian Line)

Meanwhile, over at the backyard stage just through the woods, Australian singer Betty Who and her backing band played a glop of synth-pop that felt like it was reaching for Madonna or Miley Cyrus but fell closer to Katy Perry, only more bland.

She had some tricks, like dividing the crowd to sing along with different parts of her vocal hook, and a natural presence on the stage, getting many of the onlookers in front of the stage waving her hands in the air. But it lacked the best elements of pop that merit attention.


The biggest cheers came when dyed-blonde, buzzed-hair lead singer tried to take off her shirt--literally drawing cheers of "Take it off!" "Take it off!"--to perform in a multi-strap black bra. Maybe it was misogyny, maybe it was more like burlesque, but the crowd didn't seem to care either way. (Brandon Weigel)

5:17 p.m.
The enthusiastic but small crowd in front of the lawn stage seemed to be loving every moment of Zella Day-- a performer heretofore unknown to your intrepid drunk. Zella wanted a lot of things. She wanted to "go back to the world we had," according to the unfortunately titled '1965,' seemingly unaware of how fucking awful 1965 actually was for so many people. Zella wanted us to "worship the sun" with "a little bit of reggae." Sadly, Zella's reggae had all the riddim of Marley-branded lemonade. Zella's stage presence was indebted to flower children, but her sound was more like a revisionist take on nu-metal's atmospherics. She provided us with a cover of the Zombies 'Time of the Season,' which sounded like Evanesence meeting Marnie from Girls. Posi-shit: The atmospherics weren't bad-- including Eno/U2 guitar with sub-bass is a not-obnoxious idea, Zella can carry her dramatic melodies, and it was actually sunny out. (Brian Line)

5:14 p.m.
Morrissey Firefly Note Dump:
For the dyed-in-the-wool fanbase Morrissey enjoys, here is a collection of tidied up notables that I scribbled during his Firefly set Friday evening.

Moz starts set quoting Public Enemy, saying, "It takes a nation of millions to hold us back."

'First of the Gang to Die' is the second song of the evening and features an altered arrangement with a steady kick drum pulse and shakers, adding a sort of Latin house feel to the beat. During this song the smell of weed permeates the air, causing me to wonder if the crowd knows who Morrissey is.

Morrissey ties his shoe. I cry. A crowd member near me repeats a few times that Moz is a "pretentious asshole." He sees me scribbling, asks who I write for, repeats his claim, and then adds, "but he is a legend."


Someone in the crowd presumably mentions the weed to Morrissey, who responds, "Yes I know... I can smell it!" Breaking: Morrissey, a 56-year-old man, has smelled weed before, probably.

As the band begins 'World Peace Is None of Your Business,' there are some immediate cheers, although I think they are more likely cheering the didgeridoo--it's that kind of festival. This song begins the political portion of the set, and it makes me wonder if Morrissey knows who his audience is stateside, or at least who is attending this festival, as surely none of these white concert goers are likely to experience "police [stunning] you with their stun guns". Also, the song's diss of voting seems naive, condescending, and flat out wrong in an American context, where black Americans have been, and continue to be, systematically denied their voting rights.

'Ganglord' comes on and is one of the band's most vital numbers so far. The YouTube videos projected on the stage show police brutality from the past few years across the United States. Audience members around me begin to notice the video. The message of the song, "Ganglord... I am turning to you to save me" in the face of police abuse reminds me of the actions of the Bloods and Crips during the unrest in Baltimore.

Dude who looks like a lacrosse bro with muscles on his tan arms absolutely loves 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris.' He tries to throw his arms around the heavens with every instance of the chorus. Everyone else seems bored.

'Speedway' features a faster tempo and every member of the band switches instruments, with Morrissey giving up his vocals to his keyboardist, who sings in Spanish. Morrissey takes his turn behind the keys only to play... tambourine. All hopes for another avant-jazz piano solo, a la the coda of 'Death of a Disco Dancer,' are dashed. I cry again.

An older man asks me, "Do people actually like this? A woman who I was talking to who left to get a drink told me this is music to commit suicide too." I responded, "Yes."


The only song he introduces tonight is 'The World Is Full of Crashing Bores.' Is he trying to tell us something?

Right before playing 'Everyday Is Like Sunday,' Morrissey asks, "Would you like us to leave?" Some of the crowd shouts "No!" It is enough, and the following song results in the second, and final, sing-along of the evening.

'Meat Is Murder' comes on and the band is really up for it. A video starts with either a pussing tumor or a calf being born-- it's hard to tell. Over time, the slaughterhouse video begins to affect the crowd with people asking, "Is he a vegetarian?" "Oh my god, what is this?!" The song ends, and there is a hilarious and awesome silence. Morrissey plays 'What She Said' with the coda of 'Rubber Ring' and leaves without a word. (Brian Line)

5:03 p.m.
If yesterday's Moz-Macca dichotomy proved anything, it's that Firefly Festival goers are more inclined toward comforts of classic rock. Today, on the main stage, Gary Clark Jr. delivered the goods, playing a throwback set that walked the line between bluesy-rock and psych and felt distinctly '60s. The crowd ate it up.

Each of the songs was north of five minutes--or at least it felt like it--with ample room for riffage and Clark Jr.'s fuzzy, highly skilled solos. Dude's got chops, and his wide vocal range even gives the music a bit of a soul feel at times when it seems like he's really feeling it.

So tracks like 'Bright Lights' and 'Ain't Messin' Round' may feel a bit like retreads, but they are imminently enjoyable. And Clark Jr. and his band--even the guitar player dressed in the flat-brimmed cowboy hat and poncho that looked straight out of an American Apparel catalog--know how to please a crowd. (Brandon Weigel)


3:10 p.m. (Our Day 2, Festival's Day 3)
So we're back at the Festival grounds! Today festival goers were greeted by pro-life protesters at the entrance of Firefly who reminded us all that bunches of cells are in fact innocent gifts from God Almighty who deserve more care than actual, alive women.  

We're going to be providing more live updates to the blog today after getting a grasp of the ins and outs of these expansive grounds. Expect only the hottest takes, vivid descriptions of the festival atmosphere with a specific focus on the rich cornucopia of humanity that has $500 laying around for an entertaining drug jaunt to Dover, Delaware, and set reviews. (Brian Line)

2:06 a.m.
Hey, so you're probably wondering why this live blog wasn't updated like a, um, live blog. Well, it turns out the press tent is something like a mile from the main stage. And there are six other stages in this expansive, muddy park! Holy shit. So the idea of jumping from place to place and filing updates on everything we see proved to be kind of impossible. Sorry, we're learning.

At first this task seemed a little less ridiculous. Members of the press have VIP access, you see, and we were told golf carts could escort us from VIP area to VIP area. Lifestyles of the rich and famous, etc. But when we tried to board said carts for a return trip, our wrist bands scanned as "invalid." No matter.

We arrive at the main stage for Morrissey, where the video boards display a series of curated YouTube videos of vintage performances from the likes of the New York Dolls. Morrissey takes takes the stage at 7:50 p.m., and the band breaks into 'Suedehead,' his first post-Smiths single. The cheer it garners is the biggest of his set. The rest of the show is a descent into blunt political sentiments-- songs that examine the abuses of state and capitalist violence on animals and humans alike--focusing on his new, leaden "World Peace Is None of Your Business." The set is propped up by fine performances of the Smiths' 'Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before,' and 'What She Said'/the coda from 'Rubber Ring.'

However, the majority of the songs are stuck in a mid-tempo morass, humming along like sad golf carts never arriving anywhere of consequence. It was a set for diehards with "Ringleader of the Tormentors" b-side 'Ganglord' impressing those who knew what they were hearing. Shortly after asking the crowd, "Would you like us to go?" in response to another muted round of applause, Morrissey's band ripped into 'Meat Is Murder,' the most convincing moment of the night. Above the group played an extended clip of slaughterhouse violence that caught many in the audience audibly by surprise, evoking bemused scorn, awkward jokes, and sheer discomfort in almost equal measure. Festival goers, presumably unfamiliar with Morrissey's life choices, chanted "KFC, KFC," and Morrissey left the stage without a word a song later. It was a stark reminder of how iconoclastic and provocative of an artist he remains when exposed to mainstream audiences, even while churning out middling material.

Run the Jewels, one of the few hip-hop acts on this year's bill, played the nearby Pavilion Stage immediately following Morrissey's set. Like Morrissey, many gestures were made towards the world's current political climate, with shout outs going to victims of police violence and sing-a-longs sarcastically suggesting everyone "lie, cheat, steal, kill, win," because, "everybody doin' it". In contrast to Morrissey, however, Run the Jewels' El-P and Killer Mike established themselves as commiserating with the audience instead of condescending to or correcting them by apologizing for those who couldn't make it to the front of the packed pavilion, and for what was about to happen to the sneakers of those who did manage to get those prized standing positions. Run the Jewels' between song banter lightened the mood of an otherwise intense show full of mid-range frequencies undercut with heavy beats.


Midway through Run the Jewels' set, we saw a wave of people making their way back to the main stage for one Sir Paul McCartney. We decided to go in that direction and the wave soon became a sea. Vertical video boards on both sides of the stage showed a continuous stream of old Paul McCartney photos, album covers, and paraphernalia for a good half hour before the est. The soundtrack? A playlist of McCartney-penned tunes, including a bizarre club remix of 'Twist and Shout.'

The former Beatle and his backing band came on promptly at 10:30 p.m., and they launched into the "White Album" classic 'Birthday.' Right from the start, it was clear that Paul McCartney enjoys being Paul McCartney. His enthusiasm, constant crowd acknowledgments, and hammy showman stage presence are the hallmarks of a professional entertainer. And that's not a slight or a veiled jab, because he put on an absolute clinic on rock 'n' roll. They could--and probably should-- end Firefly right here and now.

Maybe this is a case of late-night post-music festival delirium leading to a bit of hyperbole, but let's consider this: You have one half of the best songwriting tandem in pop music history reeling off hit after hit, and Sir Paul, who just turned 73 years old, seemed as enthusiastic as ever to play songs he made famous some five decades ago.

Was it an exercise in nostalgia? Absolutely. But who fucking cares? I mean, 'Got To Get You Into My Life,' 'Let Me Roll It,' 'Paperback Writer,' 'The Long and Winding Road,' 'Maybe I'm Amazed,' 'I've Just Seen a Face,' 'We Can Work It Out,' 'And I Love Her,' 'Blackbird,' 'Here Today,' 'Lady Madonna,' 'Eleanor Rigby,' Being 'For the Benefit of Mr. Kite,' 'Ob-la-di Ob-la-da,' 'Band On the Run,' 'Back in the USSR,' 'Let It Be,' 'Live and Let Die,' 'Hey Jude,' 'Can't Buy Me Love,' 'Helter Skelter,' and the goddamn 'Golden Slumbers'-'Carry That Weight'-'The End' medley from "Abbey Road." Jesus, what more could anyone ask?

There were times when the trip down memory lane bordered on the ridiculous, like when the video accompanying 'Got To Get You Into My Life' looked like it was pulled from "The Beatles: Rock Band' video game. Or when McCartney brought out a ukelele for the first half of the George Harrison-penned tune 'Something.' Or when McCartney trotted out the worst song on one of the best Beatles albums (cough, 'Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite,' cough). Or when Macca did a few solo acoustic tunes and the small piece of the stage he was standing on lifted 15 feet into the air. Best of all, the main set-ender 'Live and Let Die' was a WWE-size pyrotechnic display of fireworks, flame-shooting cannons, and lasers.

It was pure schtick. But all anyone in the crowd of thousands seemed to care about was soaking in all of the timeless songs, and Sir Paul was more than happy to deliver them. (Brandon Weigel and Brian Line)


7:16 p.m. (Our Day 1, Festival's Day 2)
Greetings from Dover, Delaware. After parking near a giant NASCAR track and crossing a major highway, we--we being City Paper blogs editor Brandon Weigel and sometimes-contributor Brian Line--have arrived at the Firefly Music Festival. Morrissey is about to play the main stage in 30 or so minutes. The field is a bit muddy and smells like a barn after some earlier rain--hopefully these Millennials don't know anything about the mud fights of Woodstock '99.

We'll be filing dispatches about the music and the other sights and sounds here at The Woodlands Park. Mercifully, the press tent has free booze. Thank sweet Jesus.

Oh, and here's this. Native American head dress count: 1. (Brandon Weigel)