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Firefly Music Festival Review Day 3 Saturday; Thunder/Rain, Matt and Kim, Betty Who
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/21/15 9:58 am | updated: 06/21/15 9:58 am
Saturday at Firefly Music Festival certainly had a wild, but not totally unexpected finish, thanks to Mother Nature and a remnant named Bill, but more on that later. There was plenty of other action on the seven stages to keep the grounds electric all day.

Andrew McMahon, formerly of Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate, took the Main Stage first. He's been touring as Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. You may recognize his single, "Cecilia and the Satellite" that's been out for about a year but is making it's way around radio. Over on the Backyard Stage, Australian band The Griswolds put in an excellent set. These guys are returning to Firefly for their second year. They are just starting on their own headlining tour and played Milkboy in Philly right before coming down here. They covered fellow Aussie Vance Joy's "Riptide".

Electrifying guitar man Gary Clark Jr. put in a rousing set on the Main Stage. He just melts those guitar licks, and oozes rhythm and blues out on to the crowd. A perfect fit for a festival. I caught two more Philadelphia acts today, I heard Vactioner on the Porch Stage and CRUISR in the Coffeehouse. Good to see those guys down here.

Halsey played on the Lawn Stage to a decent crowd. The whole stage was empty and her band was pushed back for her to roam. She must have recently cut her hair because it was pretty short. She sounded good and commanded the stage well. Another Australian on the bill took the stage on the Backyard Stage. Betty Who, a tall blond with big eyes and a lot of energy, came out dancing and kept moving and shaking without stopping (except to readjust her outfit). She was having a great time. The thing is, she has an incredible voice and she can capture your attention just with that. Later in the day she did a set in the Coffeehouse where she was sitting on a stool and dressed more comfortably. There was only a keyboard accompaniment and it was treat to hear a strong female voice just like that.

If we are going to talk about energy, no one beats Matt and Kim. The set up is just keyboard and drum kit right next to each other in the front of the stage. It gets swallowed up by the huge Main Stage. Show starts, they don't stroll out. They run out full speed, yelling. Kim does a flying jump kick, Matt's jumping up and down. They throw stuff into the crowd, running back and forth on the stage. They hardly sit at their instruments. Kim just bashes on the drums with mouth wide open all the time. Matt is always egging on the crowd. Kim will jump up onto the drum kit at anytime. There could be a dance break at any moment. You have to be ready for a Matt and Kim set, but it is fun.

Spoon played back over on the Lawn Stage and they were more subdued. These indie rock veterans are always great to see. They sounded tight playing “Don't You Evah,” “Do You,” and “The Underdog.” The schedule was moved up due to the threat of rain and Foster the People took the Main Stage a little early. They played hits like “Helena Beat,” “Pumped Up Kicks,” and “Don't Stop (Color on the Walls).” Sublime with Rome played on the Lawn Stage. I've never seen this incarnation before. It's obviously not Sublime, but its a great tribute. They sound really good and this music was made for summer outside. They'll be playing the Festival Pier on July 31st.

Kings of Leon's headlining start time was pushed up to 9:45 pm due to the impending storms. As I was standing there in front of the stage right about show time, the crew starts to pull tarps over the gear, instruments, amps, etc. on stage. A minute later we get the message over the speakers that everyone needed to evacuate. That's when all the masses turned and tried to leave all at once. It took a while but I got to my car. Leaving the parking lot is a different story, but I was inside when the buckets and buckets of rain started. I feel for all the campers. We'll see what the grounds look like after all this water. Anything that was on stage at the time of the evacuation or scheduled later on Saturday was canceled.

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