By the fourth day of Firefly 2014, everyone looked like a dust bandit. With 80,000 people kicking up the soil, everyone and everything was covered in a fine layer of Delaware dirt. Many festival-goers resorted to wearing bandanas to cover their nose and mouth to keep from breathing all that dust in.
Despite the heat and grime, fans still had a ton of music to enjoy on Sunday, including Jake Bugg, the young English rocker whose sound I will describe as a little bit rockabilly mixed with Oasis. Jake Bugg started his set on an acoustic guitar to play a few songs with a honky-tonk flair. He then traded his acoustic for an electric guitar and launched into “Messed Up Kids.” Bugg continued to rock even harder towards the end of his set.
There’s nothing better than a being in a festival setting, singing along to the songs that you know every single word to. At least that was the case for me, for the third time this weekend yet another band was taking me back to the late 90’s with Weezer on the Main Stage. They rolled through “My Name is Jonas,” “Hash Pipe,” and “Perfect Situation” even throwing in a cover of Blur’s “Song 2” (the Woo Hoo song).
For Ziggy Marley at the Backyard Stage, some people chose to lounge the afternoon away on a blanket, while others chose to dance along to the reggae music. Either way, it was the perfect kind of vibe for the last day of a weekend-long festival. Marley jammed and sang about love, rebellion and consciousness. The lyrics to his song Conscious Party say, “everyone is happy tonight…” and how very true that statement was in the moment.
Back to the Main Stage for The Lumineers, who were scheduled for this year’s festival after cancelling their appearance last year. Firefly fans were eager to see The Lumineers and welcomed them with loving arms. They opened with “Submarines” and “Flowers In Your Hair.” And honestly, I can say I’m glad that The Lumineers played this year instead of last year. Because enough time has now passed that “Ho Hey” is fun to listen to again, after it got so played out in 2013.
Phantogram and Broken Bells had overlapping sets, but I was able to catch a little bit of both bands. Phantogram, the electro-rock duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter hypnotized us with their trance-like beats. And honestly, could there be two more attractive people in a band? The answer is no. Broken Bells, the indie rock duo of Brian Burton (a.k.a. Danger Mouse) and James Mercer (The Shins) created a danceable, emo rock vibe that spaced out on some songs including “Holding On For Life.”
As the sun was starting to go down, people’s energy lifted back up, everyone trying to squeeze every possible moment of Firefly magic out of this last day. Jack Johnson closed down the Main Stage with his mellow singer-songwriter style. He opened with “Sitting, Wishing, Waiting” into “Taylor” and “Flake.” Towards the end of his set, Jack Johnson brought The Lumineers back to the stage to collaborate on his tune “Breakdown.” The addition of The Lumineers to Jack Johnson’s band created such a rich sound, it was fantastic. Next, they all played a chill-inducing cover of The Band’s “I Shall Be Released.” After Jack Johnson’s set ended, fireworks erupted over the Woodlands, bringing loud cheers from the crowd. It was the perfect ending to another amazing Firefly Music Festival.