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Firefly 2015 - Thursday - part 1
Written By: Melissa Golden
*Click images below to view larger versions.
Firefly 2015 - Thursday - part 1
Young Rising Sons
Firefly 2015 - Thursday - part 1
Hey Rosetta! ! photo courtesy of Sacks and Co. by Scott Blackburn
Firefly 2015 - Thursday - part 1
The Coffee House Stage presented by StubHub
Firefly 2015 - Thursday - part 1
X Ambassadors - drummer Adam Levin & lead singer Sam Harris
     Wow Firefly 2015!! The weekend has come and gone and it still feels a little bit like a dream; one I don’t want to wake up from! In the midst of an intense solar storm, 90,000 sweaty, muddy Firefly fans spent 4 Days in The Woodlands of Dover’s International Speedway in Dover, Del., from June 18 through 21, and I got to be one of them! Even though I was sweating my butt off, I managed to see about 22 amazing performances out of the 130 that were on the original schedule. There was so much to cover that I am going to have to break it up a bit, but this article will be continued until I cover as much as I can!
    I started my adventure off right away on Thursday with an interview from New Jersey based band, Young Rising Sons. They were nice enough to meet me for a quick chat and a few photos before their first appearance. Opening the festival, they were scheduled to start at 5:30 pm on the 2nd largest stage at Firefly, The Lawn. They were all very nice and all of them seemed to be getting excited for the evening ahead.
    Their self titled EP was released in 2014 and the group has been touring constantly ever since, accumulating new fans everywhere they go. A new single entitled “F**ked Up” was released in May 2015 so I asked if there would be an album out soon to follow? They said they were working on one, but had no title, or release date to announce yet. However, they were excited to mention that they are about to go on tour with Hunter Hunted and Cruisr and will be back in our area in August; check out their website for more info:
    After our chat, I headed over to The Lawn for Young Rising Sons' first set of the day. It was awesome and the crowd loved them! Many fans were singing and chanting every word right along with lead singer/guitarist Andy Tongren. The crowd was captivated by their catchy melodic, anthem-like rock. The girls all swooned when lead guitarist Dylan Scott finally decided to take off his shirt after rocking hard all over the stage. Julian Dimagiba was often caught making silly faces behind his bass and drummer Steve Patrick carried them from song to song with his steady, perfectly timed beats. They ended their set with their most well known song to date, their first single “High,” and the crowd went crazy for them!
    Next, I wandered over to The Backyard Stage and found Hey Rosetta! who played from 6:30 to 7:15 pm. This seven-piece Canadian indie rock band incorporates guitars, piano, violin, cello, trumpet and even a french horn, to create larger than life sounding music. Their songs often drifted into instrumental jam sessions that went on for minutes and the crowd seemed to really dig it! Their 5th studio album, Second Sight, was released in January of 2015 and has received rave reviews.
    After jamming out to Hey Rossetta! for a while, I found some dinner and made my way over to The Coffee House for Young Rising Sons’ second set of the day. The Coffee House Stage is a bit more intimate than most of the others and this year was presented by StubHub. is a safe, online market place for fans to sell and buy unused tickets for events such as Firefly. The StubHub crew was there in full force, passing out free sunglasses and helping to direct fans. They were all very nice and I’d like to say thanks again to Jessica and Jessica, who both helped me out a lot over the weekend!
    Young Rising Sons played an amazing acoustic set from 7:15 to 7:45 on The Coffee House Stage, which included a fun cover of Modern Englishs’ classic hit “Melt With You”. I stuck around afterwards and went over to the F.Y.E. tent to buy a few CD’s, including Young Rising Sons’ last EP. The line was already forming for their autograph session so I figured I would say hi one last time and get the full fan experience. Many of the fans in line all knew the band’s music well and were excited for the chance to meet them!
    After that, I headed back over to The Lawn Stage and managed to catch the end of Ryn Weaver’s set who performed from 8:15 to 9 pm. Firefly was the first date on her very first U.S. headlining tour and what I saw of her performance was incredible. The tour is in support of her brand new album, The Fool, which was just released June 16, 2015.  You can catch her in our area again as early as the end of July, so be sure to check out her website soon for more info:
    Ryn Weaver is not just the lead singer or the name picked for the band; she is the singer, songwriter and producer of this incredible album and has also worked hard at self-promoting her music.  In 2013, she released several singles on her SoundCloud account which led to a contract with Interscope records. Her biggest hit single, “OctaHate,” has since been streamed more than 12.5 million times on Spotify and appears again on the new full length album. I was very happy I was there to see her perform it live, as she played it to close out her set!
    Next up, I found Twin Peaks, who absolutely rocked The Backyard Stage from 9-10 pm with an explosive performance which was a lot harder than I had anticipated. Guitarist Clay Frankel had some seizure-like moves that were reminiscent of the late Ian Curtis from ‘80s’ British punk band Joy Division, and bassist Jack Dolan ended their set with a ‘lil crowd surfin’ right over top of me!
    They gained a new fan here but I must stress that their live show sounded quite different from the clean cut, studio album which was released in 2014, Wild Onion. They just announced a fall tour and there are a few dates close to us, either in Philadelphia, Penn., on September 30 or at the 9:30 Club in D.C. on October 7. I would highly recommend them to any pop-punk-rock fan.   
    After Twin Peaks, I decided to just hold my spot at The Backyard Stage and wait for X Ambassadors. A good crowd gathered and continued beyond my line of sight for their incredible set. Lead singer Sam Harris’ vocals sounded amazing as he continually switched between singing, playing his guitar and saxophone, all while keeping up his swaying dance moves. His octave range is very impressive to say the least.
    After their set, lead singer Sam Harris and drummer Adam Levin were nice enough to talk with me for a few minutes before heading back to the artist camp. I asked them how was it playing The Back Yard Stage this year, as opposed to the smaller Forest Stage they played at last years’ Firefly and they both answered, “great, fantastic, it was such a large crowd this year, it was like a whole new beast.”
    When asked what they had planned for their summer, they quickly listed a number of shows and festivals they have lined up including several dates with Milky Chance. They also mentioned Canada’s Osheaga Festival, Radio 89Xs’ Chill on the Hill festival in Michigan and the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas. Luckily, they have two days planned for Disney World; however, touring is really their summer vacation.
    They were also happy to share that their debut album, VHS, is set to release by June 23rd. A video for the single “Renegades” is already available on You Tube through Vevo. The video and the song focus on living with and overcoming disabilities such as blindness. Harris’ brother and X Ambassadors’ keyboardist Casey Harris has been blind since birth and they never let that slow them down. Other members are Noah Feldshuh on lead guitar, and Adam Levin on drums. The four of them all grew up together in Ithaca, New York, and have been friends since kindergarten. How lucky for them to have that connection in their lives; their happiness radiated through their kindness and what a fantastic way to end my first day at Firefly! For info please visit:
    Stay tuned for Friday’s adventure in the next issue with Sir Paul McCartney!
For full Thursday Photo Gallery please click here!!

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