Tag Archive | "Firefly Music Festival"

PVRIS Announce Headlining Tour; To Play Lollapalooza In July

PVRIS Announce Headlining Tour; To Play Lollapalooza In July

Alex Babinski, Lynn Gunn, Brian MacDonald - Photo by: Lindsey Barnes

Alex Babinski, Lynn Gunn and Brian MacDonald are Pvris – Photo by: Lindsey Barnes

Fans that might’ve missed PVRIS’ recent U.S. arena tour with Fall Out Boy are in luck: the indie buzz band will return home after their near-sold-out European dates for a North American headlining run that’ll kick off May 11 at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 1st at 10am local venue time. In June they’ll join Florence & The Machine, Ellie Goulding and Disclosure on the Firefly Music Festival, then head to Chicago in July for Lollapalooza alongside Radiohead, Lana Del Rey and The 1975.

Among the songs in the band’s set will be new single “You and I” from the deluxe version of their White Noise album, out April 22nd. Available for pre-order on iTunes by clicking HERE, this double-disc set includes a DVD with all 10 of the band’s videos and a CD that has full and unplugged versions of “You and I,” along with fan favorites like “St. Patrick” (which has over 6.6 million Spotify streams), “Holy,” (over 4 million streams), “My House” (which has racked up over 7 million streams), “Fire” (a BBC Radio 1 “Track of the Day”) and another new track titled “Empty” (both new songs were recorded with White Noise producer Blake Harnage).

The just-released “You and I” video, which can be seen HERE, was shot in Sacramento with director Raul Gonzo, and has amassed close to a million views in just a few short weeks. The band recently performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”and were featured on “Last Call with Carson Daly” and have spent the past year and a half playing to packed-house crowds around the world, stealing the show on last summer’s Warped Tour (founder Kevin Lyman called them the tour’s breakout act) before joining the likes of Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar and Deadmau5 on the Reading and Leeds festivals.


May 11 @ Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN

May 12 @ Center Stage – Atlanta, GA

May 13 @ House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL

May 15 @ House of Blues – Dallas, TX

May 16 @ House of Blues – Houston, TX

May 17 @ Alamo City Music Hall – San Antonio, TX

May 19 @ Livewire – Scottsdale, AZ

May 20 @ Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

May 21 @ Vinyl @ Hard Rock Hotel – Las Vegas, NV

May 22 @ House of Blues – San Diego, CA

May 24 @ Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA

May 25 @ Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR

May 26 @ Neptune – Seattle, WA

May 28 @ The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT

May 29 @ The Summit – Denver, CO

May 31 @ Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN

June 2 @ House of Blues – Chicago, IL

June 3 @ Bunbury Festival – Cincinnati, OH

June 4 @ St. Andrews Hall – Detroit, MI

June 5 @ Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON

June 6 @ Corona Theatre – Montreal, QC

June 8 @ Webster Hall – New York, NY

June 10 @ Royale – Boston, MA



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Til The Casket Drops: ZZ Ward Discusses Her Album, Touring And Much More!

Til The Casket Drops: ZZ Ward Discusses Her Album, Touring And Much More!


An artist born with music flowing through her veins, ZZ Ward comes fully equipped with an amazingly soulful voice that truly sets her apart. By all accounts, 2012 was a banner year for the up-and-coming blues-hop/soul singer. Releasing the mixtape ‘Eleven Roses’ in February, the ‘Criminal’ EP in May and her full-length debut ‘Til the Casket Drops’ in October proved she was nothing if not prolific. Ward’s hard work and tireless dedication to her craft have established her as an artist to watch in the coming years, alongside note-worthy peers such as Allen Stone, Gary Clark Jr., and Alabama Shakes who are making old-school blues and soul their own. Since her debut release, she has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, had her music featured on ABC Family’s ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ MTV’s ‘Awkward’ and in promos for ABC’s hit series ‘Nashville,’ and completed a 50-date headlining American tour with sold-out dates in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Denver and Nashville. Ward is still in awe of the buzz that has continued to build around her and her music this past year and looks to keep it going throughout festival season in the US. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with ZZ Ward to discuss her musical roots, the creative process involved in bringing ‘Til The Casket Drops’ to life, life on the road and much more!

Thanks for taking time out to talk to us today. We are very excited to spread the word on your amazing music.

My pleasure!

Tell us a little about your first memories of music and how it came into your life?

My Dad was always into music, so that was probably the main reason I got into it. He was always singing and listening to music. He really appreciated music and it was something that was exciting. To see that growing up, it made me respect music a lot and develop a love for it. My parents would always listen to blues and my brother listed to hip hop. I just got into it all through them and discovering all types of different music. I loved listening to authentic, sincere artists. I guess that is what inspired me to start with.

ZZ Ward

ZZ Ward

What was it about music that made you pursue it professional, as opposed to taking a different path?

I don’t know. To say that music is a huge part of me seems like a huge understatement! Music is everything to me, so there wasn’t really anything else I ever wanted to do. If I would have always been into medicine or something like that, maybe I would have gone another route. For me, I went to school every day by an hour bus ride because I lived in the country. I would listen to music and look out the window, thinking about how much I wanted to be a famous singer, which is hilarious considering where I lived! [laughs] I was staring off at cow fields! [laughs] How the heck am I going to do that? It is what I have always wanted to do.

Who were some of the artists or people in your life who kept you inspired through the years?

I was very blessed to have people around me that were really supportive of what I was doing. People who were in my family and close to me would see me sing and recognize that I had a very big voice. The power I have in my voice today, I also had when I was twelve or thirteen. I am definitely much better now but even back then, I did have powers! [laughs] I feel my voice really touched people around me. I think I felt that and it is what got me going at first because people around me started to act like I was talented and started to say I was a good singer. I don’t think it is something I would have recognized if they hadn’t said anything. It’s jot something you say to yourself, ya know! “Oh my gosh! I am really great at this!” [laughs] I think it is something other people have to tell you.

You released ‘Til The Casket Drops’ in October of 2012. It is truly a remarkable piece of work. How has your life changed since that release?

Thank you. I have certainly been on the road a lot. That is the biggest change! I have gotten to see the country in a way I have never gotten to see it before, so that has been really cool. I have been able to visit a lot of cool places and having fans is really wild! After putting out a record, I now know I will have people listening to my music for the rest of my career. That is an amazing feeling because up until this point, I was always writing for me. Now I know when I write, other people are going to hear it. That is really cool and the biggest change overall.

I was curious to learn from where the title of the album originated and what it means to you personally.

“Til The Casket Drops” basically means going to war for someone you love. It is an album about a relationship and the ups and downs of that relationship, that there is no relationship that is perfect and there are many different sides to it. That is really what the album is all about.

zz-ward-1-2013What can you tell us about your songwriting process and how they came together for this album?

My songwriting process usually brings with me writing something that means something to me in terms of a storyline. I usually try to write about the things I am going through, that is the main thing. That makes it easier for me to be really authentic in my work. I think anybody who writes songs, whether it is Jay Z, Nas or Willie Dixon, the people who write songs that I grew up listening to were genuinely feeling these things they went through and writing about. I think that is the most important thing. I was really fortunate to work with a lot of amazing producers on the record — Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, Neff-U Ron Feemster, who did over half the record, and Ryan Tedder also produced on it. It was a really wonderful process.

Looking back on the process, what do you consider the biggest challenge in bringing it to life?

Honestly, finding the right team of people to work with was the biggest challenge. You probably wouldn’t think of it as the biggest thing but it is. Finding the right people to work with, especially with creative stuff and being able to respect each others talents, can be challenging. I say that because not everyone is on the same page with what you want and not everyone has the same ideas. That being said, I worked with a lot of people before I found the right people to work with on this album.

I imagine working with this very talented group of people was a great experience for a young artist. What did you take away from the process?

I think the biggest lesson learned was that everyone is different and it is an art to work with other people. A lot of the people I worked with taught me that it is possible! They were all fun to work with! Neef-U, for example, is an incredible producer and is so inspiring. He is so positive and makes the process a lot of fun. Even having people like Kendrick Lamar or Freddie Gibbs in studio, you see that everyone has a different process. If you are able to learn from other people, then there are so many other people to learn from in this industry!

You mentioned some of those terrific guest spots. How did those originate? Where the planned early on or something that came about during the process?

It definitely happened through the process. I have been a big fan of both Kendrick and Freddie. They both liked what I was doing, so I asked them if they would like to be a part of my record. I was definitely very excited by that! I look forward to collaborating with more people in the future!

You are getting ready to hit the road in support of the album but where are you in regard to new material. Are you an artist who is always writing?

Yeah, I am definitely writing, when I am into it. Right now, I am a brand new artist and I just put the album out in October. We have only released the first single from the record and I know there will be more songs. It is interesting because sometimes I think “Gosh, these people who have heard my record have been my fans for a year but a lot of people have still not heard my record. We are definitely going to go out and promote this record a lot. I will be hitting a lot of the festivals this summer as well. Getting the word out on the album is definitely a priority for me right now.

Absolutely! Speaking of your live show, what do you have in store for fans when it comes to a live performance?

You know, what I tell people about my live performance is that me and my boys, we have fun! That is the main thing we really enjoy playing! I think that is what it all comes down too. When you watch bands at peak of their success start to fall apart because they aren’t getting along anymore, I think that is when the live shows start to go downhill. It is a little different for me because I am a solo artist but my guys and I really get along well. We are all friends, we have fun out on the road and we love playing! It is amazing! Touring can be hard because it is such a different lifestyle and a new hotel room everyday. At the end of the day, you get to go out there, see fans, play your music for people and we all love it! Every time you come to see us play, you are going to see an energy, a great energy you can feel. It will be an experience!

With such a heavy duty tour schedule ahead of you, are you doing anything differently to cope with life on the road?

The biggest change for me is that I will be bringing my dog this time! It is going to be really different! [laughs] That is the biggest change for me — the new addition to my family! She is pretty wild. Her name is Muddy Waters and she is a Border Terrier. She is so full of energy!

ZZ Ward

ZZ Ward

Do you think the road will take a little bit of the puppy out of her? [laughs]

I don’t know! I don’t know! [laughs] The cool thing is I have played a couple of shows where I have brought her along and she has been on seven plane rides already, she is only 16 weeks old! Everybody loves having her around. I always thought people would be like “Oh Gosh, not a dog!” That is not the way it is at all. People are so excited and people can’t wait to come off-stage and see her. It is really funny!

You and your band seem pretty tight at this point. Do you guys have any pre-show rituals you take part in? I know a lot of people do.

Yeah, we have this one little cheer we do before we head out to the stage. We all put our hands in, I say something specific about where we are playing to get everybody into the right head space and we say “L7’s!” Which means “square”. L7, if you hold your fingers up and make L and 7, it means your square. At the end of the day it means you are a good person. That is what we always try to remember before we go onstage — we are all good people and shit happens! [laughs]

Speaking of shit happening, have you had a Spinal Tap moment yet?

Yeah, I have definitely had some of those moments! [laughs] I have played live so much through my life, I think those moments kind of add something to a live performance!

How do you feel you have evolved as a musician since your early years?

I think I am a lot more comfortable on stage, for sure. That just happens with time. Also, I think the more you go, the more you realize what your sound is and what kind of artist you want to be. That is a really nice thing that starts to happen. I couldn’t have had that after my first record. There are so many people you meet that are trying to help decide what you should be or what you should sound like. At some point, what I did with this record, was decide I was just going to sound like me. That was it. Now, I feel that way even more!

ZZ Ward

ZZ Ward

What is the best piece of advice you can pass a long to aspiring artists looking to you as an influence?

I would say to try to do as much on your own as you can. Write your own songs. I think the biggest mistake that people tend to make is waiting around for someone to make a career happen for them. There are so many things you can do to get your music out there and off the ground. There are so many music websites and even sites like Kickstarter where you can get people to help fund your project. There are so many things you can do on your own. That is the biggest thing I would tell people because you have to believe in yourself before other people will believe in you.

What else do you have in store for us for 2013?

There is probably going to be a new music video. That would be pretty cool. There are definitely going to be a lot of live shows coming up. I would definitely encourage people to come out and see me in your city! If you can’t see me in your city, make a road trip out of it and feel what it is like to be on tour! [laughs]


There are always new things coming up and it is quite a ride!

Great! Thanks for your time today ZZ! We look forward to talking with you again soon and we will be spreading the word on your music!

Thank you so much!

For the latest news, information and upcoming tour dates, visit ZZ Ward’s official website at www.zzward.com!



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CAPITAL CITIES: Sebu Simonian Discusses The Band’s Debut Album And More!

CAPITAL CITIES: Sebu Simonian Discusses The Band’s Debut Album And More!


Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, the frontmen behind the breakout alt-dance group Capital Cities, are a success story spawned by the Internet that has continued to blossom. Ryan first met Sebu in 2008 after responding to an ad that Sebu had placed on Craigslist offering his music production services. Little did they know upon first meeting that their creative collaborations would lead them to the heights it has. The Los Angeles-based act took both the blogosphere and the shores of California by storm with their self-titled debut EP which featured the breakout hit “Safe and Sound.” The worldwide attention led to the band amassing a sea of dedicated fans and quickly led to major label interest. In December 2012, Capital Cities signed to Capitol Records.“Safe and Sound” became a A Top 10 Modern Rock radio hit and has already been heard in promotional campaigns for HBO, Smart Car, Microsoft and more than half a dozen other spots. RollingStone.com hailed “Safe and Sound” as “a song that merges high-energy dance beats with unbridled optimism and joy” while Neon Gold pronounced it a “sonic head rush…an easy, breezy, beautiful slice of effervescent-electro-pop that absolutely kills it.” The band’s recent success is just the tip of the iceberg as the duo as the Spring of 2013 finds them readying their debut album, ‘In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery,’ which drops on June 11th, as well as bringing their “Dancing With Strangers Tour” to music fans around the globe! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Sebu Simonian to discuss his musical roots, the formation of the band, the challenges they have encountered along the way and what they have in store for us all in 2013! 

We love to get a little background on the artists we interview. Can you tell us about how music came into your life?

Yes! I have always been into music, as far back as I can remember. The first exposure I had to pop music was probably through Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” performance at Motown’s 25th Anniversary, that classic clip! Stevie Wonder and early Madonna were big influences as well. I have always sang. I sang in choirs as a child, took piano lessons and started cover bands as a teenager. I have always surrounded myself with music from the pop rock side, as well as classical training.

What was it about music that made you pursue it as a career?

I think the first time I would actually do the whole band thing was in my teenage years when bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the psychedelic side of the Beatles made me feel certain things and made me feel high on life. I just wanted to be able to recreate that since I felt like I had enough talent to recreate it on piano. I started covering all of these songs with friends and bands and realized it was so much fun to do. I decided to try and make a career out of it.

Capital Cities

Capital Cities

For people who may not know, how did Capital Cities form?

Ryan [Merchant] and I originally met through Craigslist. He was looking for a producer to help him with his solo project. I had put an ad on Craigslist saying that I was a producer available to work and he was the only one who responded to the ad! He came over and we hit it off really well. The chemistry was really good and we worked a little bit on his solo project. Then we fell into commercial composing and got some gigs to do some jingles. We worked in that capacity for a few years. The collaboration and the chemistry led to us writing more and more like a band. We decided to start the band in 2010 and called it Capital Cities. We put out our EP the following year.

How did you guys come up with the name for the band?

To be honest, it was a chat brainstorming session. We were throwing out random suggestions. I think Ryan threw out the suggestion of Capital of Maine. I said, “How about Capital Cities?” We both gravitated to that suggestion and felt it had this universal appeal, it looked good, it had a broad meaning so people could interpret it however they wanted and we stuck with it!

You mentioned you guys worked together for quite a few years before the start of Capital Cities. How has your relationship evolved creatively?

It has evolved quite well! Our chemistry was there right off the bat. Since then, we have been writing and producing in a very 50/50 kinda way where we would both do a lot of production, songwriting and lyric writing. We input on all different parts of the creative process.

Off The Wall With Capital Cities

Off The Wall With Capital Cities

I was curious about that aspect of your work. What is your typical songwriting process for Capital Cities?

It varies but usually it will start with one of us coming up with an interesting drum beat and chord pattern or an interesting sound. We try to experiment with the sound and come up with some cool stuff. We do use an old Juno 106 analog keyboard from the early ‘80s. A lot of our sound is inspired by that keyboard. After we have a cool bed of music, we would write melodies or riffs over it, whether they are vocal or instrumental. Then we would probably focus on the lyrics last but the order is always interchangeable. Sometimes, someone might come up with an interesting lyrical line and we could base an entire song around that.

Are you the kind of artist who is always thinking about and working toward new material or is there a set time where you sit down to bang it all out?

It is a mix. If we are super busy with a string of dates or shows, it is obviously more difficult to sit down in the studio and work on new material. To be honest, the last three to four months have been a whirlwind for us with a lot of shows and we worked on a music video. The video involved a lot of dancing, choreographed dancing where Ryan and I had to learn all of these new moves with a really cool choreographer. Her name is Mandy Moore, not the famous pop singer, but a famous choreographer who is all over TV. She is really cool. It was a challenging experience that took time away from creating in the studio but whenever we do have free time we do work on our music.

You mentioned releasing your self-titled EP, which generated a nice buzz for the band. How has your life changed since that release? Has it had much of an effect on you?

Yeah. It has been a gradual climb, so I wouldn’t say it has been an overnight change but definitely over time as the numbers rise and we see more people connecting with us globally, it is encouraging! It is thrilling and flattering. Obviously, things get a lot busier, hectic and there is a lot more traveling because we are playing a lot more shows than we ever did in the past, so there are a lot of lifestyle changes. So far, so good! Everything has been a positive experience. We are really looking forward to releasing the debut album, which is coming out in June. Some of those changes revolve around the pressure of having to wrap up the album but it has been a very positive experience.

Available June 4th!

Available June 11th!

Where are you in the process of putting your full length release, ‘In A Tidal Wave of Mystery,’  together and what is the biggest challenge you faced so far?

We are putting the final touches on the last song on the album. It is practically complete and we have 12 songs on there. The biggest challenge? I wouldn’t say there is one specific challenge. It is just one huge project. It is really a balance, ya know? Collaborating with various people outside of the band is challenging but only from a logistical standpoint. Everyone we have worked with has been amazing and we are excited to work with some really cool people for the album. Of course, putting together the artwork and making sure the final product is the right artistic representation of us is a challenge. I think we are going to be very proud of it when it comes out!

For fans who heard the EP and for those who haven’t, how does the album compare or contrast sonically? What can we expect?

The EP is going to be up-streamed to the album, so you will hear all the songs from the EP on the album, plus an additional seven songs. It is an extension of the EP. The newer songs, some of them are going to be quite similar to the songs from the EP and some of them are going to be experimental tangents. We are hoping the album as a whole will feel like a musical journey with a lot of ups and downs along the way.

I know you are lining up a lot of tour dates for spring and summer. For those who haven’t been able to catch you live, what can you tell us about your live performance?

The live performance is high energy and fun. First and foremost, we are all about the songs and the songwriting, so we try to deliver the songs in their original form and make sure our vocals are well heard. We do a lot of dual, unison singing. It is kinda like we are dual frontmen. We both try to energize the crowd. It’s a dance party!

Capital Cities

Capital Cities

One cool thing you guys do is a bunch of really fun cover songs. What elements make a good cover song for Capital Cities?

For me, a cover song needs to be a classic that everybody knows but might be kind of under the radar in current times because the original production might not be as modern as it could be and nobody has been able to do a proper cover at this point. We try to find obscure tracks that are still quite familiar. The artist also has to be someone we truly respect and deserves that homage. We also like to pick songs that are going to be challenging in that we want to change it and present it in a new light, instead of just redoing it the same way.

How are you preparing yourself for life on the road?

Well, this is going to be our first official bus tour! We have done a lot of touring but up until now it has been short runs. We have gone to the East Coast a couple of times, Europe once and South America twice. For this one, it is a headlining tour and we are going to be on a bus. It is a bigger production and we are taking a crew with us. We have a little prop that we will be setting up behind us onstage, a pair of giant sunglasses that light up! So we have production preparation and we have been rehearsing new songs and new covers. That is about it, aside from thinking about wardrobe! [laughs]

Looking at your career so far, both the pop music side and the commercial side, how do you feel you evolved as an artist?

Personally, I would say my sound has changed alot over the years. I think that is natural because an artist grows and changes over time but also he or she collaborates with different sets of people over time. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with a lot of different people and as that happens, the style and the music changes. Hopefully for the better!


Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant

What else do you have in store for us in 2013?

The focus is on the album release and touring. Hopefully, we will be playing a lot of the festivals this summer and many are already being planned. We are super thrilled that we are going to be going to Asia and Japan at the end of the summer. Hopefully, that will lead to more opportunities out there. We will also be doing more music videos. The current one we are working on is for “Safe and Sound.” Then when that is done, we will hopefully work on a few more over the course of the year.

You seem like a great person to ask this question. What is the best piece of advice you can pass along to someone looking to make music their career?

Two things — write really good songs and work your butt off! You really have to work your butt off to promote it. Make sure first and foremost you have something nice to present. Scrutinize it. Don’t just release something when you think it is done. Get people’s opinions and get people involved. Then promote it as much as you can, all day, every day. If you do both of those things, you are destined to succeed.

Where is the best place for people to learn more about the band and what you guys have going on?

If you go to our website, www.capitalcitiesmusic.com, there are tour dates, links to videos and more. We like to have fun and connect with our fans. We try to interact with them as well with our creative process. If you connect with us online, there are a lot of opportunities to have fun with what we do. I have this idea that our next video might involve some fan participation. We like that! Our fans are actually going to appear on the album on one song which I recorded some voice messages from our fans and we are going to put them on there.

Very cool! I want to thank you so much for your time today, Sebu. We look forward to seeing you on the road soon and catching up with you again!

Thank you so much, Jason!

Capital Cities – Upcoming Tour Dates

4/23 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
4/24 – Tucson, AZ – Solar Culture
4/26 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q
4/27 – Frisco, TX – FC Dallas Stadium/Edgefest
4/28 – Houston, TX – House of Blues – Bronze Peacock
4/30 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues Parish
5/2 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern
5/3 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
5/4 – Washington, DC – RFK Stadium-Lot 9/ DC 101 Chili Cook Off
5/5 – Virginia Beach, VA – The Jewish Mother
5/8 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
5/9 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
5/10 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of the Living Arts
5/11 – Albany, NY – The Bayou
5/13 – Toronto, ON – Virgin Mobile Mod Club
5/14 – Cleveland, OH – Cambridge Room @ House of Blues
5/15 – Detroit, MI – The Shelter
5/21 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep
5/22 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up
5/23 – Fort Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
5/24 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
5/26 – Quincy, WA – The Gorge Amphitheatre/Sasquatch! Music Festival
5/28 – Vancouver BC – Venue Live
5/29 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
5/31 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
6/1 – Santa Barbara, CA – Soho Restaurant & Music Club
6/5 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
6/6 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
6/18 – St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre
6/19 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits
6/21 – Atlantic City, NJ – The Social @ Revel Resort & Casino
6/23 – Dover, DE – Dover International Speedway/Firefly Music Festival
6/25 – Columbus, OH – The Basement
6/28 – Kansas City, KS – Kanocksas Fest

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Announce 2013 North American Summer Tour

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Announce 2013 North American Summer Tour


Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers will play shows throughout North America this summer, including headline appearances at major festivals, arenas and amphitheaters, plus multi-show residencies at the intimate Beacon Theatre in New York City and The FondaTheatre in Los Angeles.

Festival stops include headline appearances at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, The Hangout Music Festival and Firefly Music Festival.

The very special New York and Los Angeles residencies are composed of five concerts at New York’s historic Beacon Theatre and six concerts in the cozy confines of Los Angeles’ Fonda Theatre.

Over the years Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers have enjoyed returning to the intimacy of small venues such as their historic twenty show run in 1997 at the Fillmore in San Francisco, their five night stand at Chicago’s Vic Theatre in 2003 and, more recently, two nights in 2011 at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall at Cal State Northridge to benefit LA local public radio station KCSN.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ 2013 Summer Tour comes as the band takes a break from the studio where they are recording their highly anticipated follow up to 2010’s Mojo. The as-yet-untitled new record will be released on Reprise Records in 2014.

Members of The Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Highway Companions Club will have special opportunities to purchase tickets to concerts on the upcoming tour. Club members will have access to exclusive ticket lotteries for the New York and Los Angeles shows and exclusive presales for the shows in other cities.

Premium Ticket Packages, which include premium seating and exclusive band merchandise, will also be available for all upcoming Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers concerts. For more information about Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Premium Ticket Packages please visit TomPetty.com. 

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers 2013 Tour

May 16 Evansville, IN Ford Center

On Sale: March 16      

May 17-19 Gulf Shores, AL Hangout Music Festival

On Sale Now

May 20 New York, NY Beacon Theatre                          On Sale March 25
May 21 New York, NY Beacon Theatre

On Sale March 25

May 23 New York, NY Beacon Theatre

On Sale March 25

May 25 New York, NY Beacon Theatre

On Sale March 25

May 26 New York, NY Beacon Theatre

On Sale March 22

June 3 Los Angeles, CA Fonda Theatre

On Sale March 22

June 4 Los Angeles, CA Fonda Theatre

On Sale March 22

June 6 Los Angeles, CA Fonda Theatre

On Sale March 22

June 8 Los Angeles, CA Fonda Theatre

On Sale March 22

June 9 Los Angeles, CA Fonda Theatre

On Sale March 22

June 11 Los Angeles, CA Fonda Theatre

On Sale March 22

June 15 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center

On Sale: March 9

June 13-16 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

On Sale Now

June 18 London, ONT Budweiser Gardens

On Sale: March 8

June 20 Pittsburgh, PA Consol Energy Center

On Sale: March 15

June 21-23 Dover, DE Firefly Music Festival

On Sale Now

June 23 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center

On Sale: March 16

June 28 Milwaukee, WI Marcus Amphitheater/Summerfest

On Sale: March 8

June 29 Minneapolis, MN Target Center

On Sale: March 15

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Firefly Music Festival Announces Impressive Artist Lineup For 2013!

Firefly Music Festival Announces Impressive Artist Lineup For 2013!


Firefly Music Festival is returning to The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway for the second year, June 21-23. The 2013 lineup includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, The Avett Brothers, Calvin Harris , Yeah Yeah Yeahs and 64 additional acts performing across four stages. Tickets go on sale Feb. 21 at Noon ET on FireflyFestival.com.

“We set out to make Firefly the East Coast’s premier music festival and delivered in our inaugural year, with more than 30,000 individuals experiencing 48 performances over three days,” says Firefly Music Festival Director Greg Bostrom . “We couldn’t be more excited to add to last year’s success as we bring Firefly to life for a second year. Between our star-studded lineup, enthusiastic fans and great partners at Dover International Speedway, we plan to bring an even bigger and better festival to The Woodlands this June.”

This year’s lineup includes:

  • A Silent Film
  • Action Bronson
  • Alabama Shakes
  • Amanda Palmer
  • Atlas Genius
  • Azealia Banks
  • Big Gigantic
  • Blondfire
  • Calvin Harris
  • Capital Cities
  • Conner Youngblood
  • Crystal Fighters
  • Dan Deacon
  • Delta Rae
  • Dispatch
  • Django Django
  • Dr. Dog
  • Dragonette
  • Edward Sharpe and the
    Magnetic Zeros
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Foster the People
  • Foxygen
  • Grizzly Bear
  • HAIM
  • Hey Marseilles
  • Imaginary Cities
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Japandroids
  • JC Brooks and the
    Uptown Sound
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Kishi Bashi
  • Kopecky Family Band
  • Krewella
  • Leagues
  • Lord Huron
  • LP
  • Manufactured
  • Matt and Kim
  • MGMT
  • Passion Pit
  • Public Enemy
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Robert DeLong
  • Selah Sue
  • Sister Sparrow
  • St. Lucia
  • The Apache Relay
  • The Avett Brothers
  • The Chevin
  • The Joy Formidable
  • The Last Bison
  • The Last Royals
  • The Lumineers
  • The Neighbourhood
  • The Royal Concept
  • The Spinto Band
  • The Walkmen
  • Tom Petty and the
  • Toro y Moi
  • Trails and Ways
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Wheeler Brothers
  • White Panda
  • Wild Belle
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Young Empires
  • Youngblood Hawke
  • Zedd
  • ZZ Ward

Firefly is adding new attractions to the festival experience this year, along with the returning Arcade, Hammock Hangout, the Dogfish Head Brewery featuring Firefly Ale and The Vineyard. Additions to the festival experience will be revealed through FireflyFestival.com and Firefly’s social media outlets: Facebook.com/FireflyMusicFestival and @LiveAtFirefly on Twitter.

Firefly is partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the second year through their Music Gives to St. Jude Kids program. Festival attendees can support the lifesaving work of St. Jude on-site and leading up to the event through a variety of digital, mobile and live donation opportunities.

Firefly Music Festival is the East Coast’s premier music experience. Firefly offers three days of unforgettable musical performances, dining and interactive entertainment set among The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway. For more information on Firefly Music Festival, go to FireflyFestival.com

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1zX5q)

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The Wallflowers Announce US Tour Dates In Support of “Glad All Over”

The Wallflowers Announce US Tour Dates In Support of “Glad All Over”

In conjunction with the release of their new album, Glad All OverThe Wallflowers have announced that they will be hitting the road to embark on a full tour this fall. Tickets are set to go on sale this week for the 22-city outing that kicks off in San Antonio, Texas on October 6th.

In addition, the band will be making a series of TV appearances to promote the release of the album. Be sure and tune in to Good Morning America (10/1),The Late Show with David Letterman (10/5) and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (10/8) to catch The Wallflowers performing on the small screen.The band can also be seen on Live From The Artist’s Den, which will premiere on public television on 10/12.  Watch a preview of the episode (including new song “Love Is A Country” and classic “One Headlight”) at www.theartistsden.com/thewallflowers.

The Wallflowers Tour Dates

October 6 – San Antonio, TX – ALT Universe Festival

October 9 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre

October 13 – Mexico City, MX – Corona Capital Festival

October 24 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre

October 25 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown

October 26 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s

October 27 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue

October 29 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre

October 30 – Green Bay, WI – Meyer Theatre

October 31 – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall

November 2 – Chicago, IL – Park West

November 3 – Detroit, MI – Royal Oak Music

November 4 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall

November 6 – Toronto, ON – The Phoenix

November 8 – Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero

November 10 – Rahway, NJ – UPAC

November 11 – Huntington, NY – Paramount Theatre

November 13 – Homestead, PA – Carnegie Music Hall

November 15 – Kansas City, MO – Midland Theatre

November 16 – Dallas, TX – Palladium

November 17 – Winnie, TX – Nutty Jerry’s

November 18 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits



Recently wrapping up recording in Nashville, TN at Easy Eye Sound studio, the new album and tour finds frontman Jakob Dylan joining original band membersGreg Richling (bass) and Rami Jaffee (keyboards), with The Wallflowers’ longtime guitarist Stuart Mathis and drummer Jack Irons (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam) rounding out the lineup.


Formed in Los Angeles, The Wallflowers rose to fame with their 4x platinum album Bringing Down The Horse, which featured four top charting singles including “6th Avenue Heartache,” “One Headlight,” “The Difference,” and “Three Marlenas.” The two-time Grammy Award winners went on to sell over 7 million records worldwide with a series of critically acclaimed albums before going on hiatus in 2007. During the group’s break from recording, Jakob Dylan released two solo albums, which also garnered significant praise,  2008’s Seeing Things and 2010’s Women and Country.

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The Wallflowers Premiere New Video for “Reboot The Mission”

The Wallflowers Premiere New Video for “Reboot The Mission”

The Wallflowers have announced that the video for the band’s new single, “Reboot The Mission” premiered TODAY on VICE.com’s Noisey Music ChannelThe first single off of the band’s new album, Glad All Over, which hits stores October 2nd, is a Clash-inspired track featuring Mick Jones on vocals and guitar. The video was directed by Sam Jones and shot this month in the city where the band got their start- Los Angeles. “Reboot The Mission” features a lively group of street dancers from San Francisco (Turf Feinz) and several B Boys (Legacy, Energetic) and Krumpers (Miss Prissy, Ruin, Lil Bad Newz) from Los Angeles. The dance crews add an exciting and unexpected element to the video.

Watch the video for “Reboot The Mission” here:


The Wallflowers rose to fame with their 4x platinum album Bringing Down The Horse, which featured four top charting singles, “6th Avenue Heartache,” “One Headlight,” “The Difference,” and “Three Marlenas.” The two-time Grammy Award winners went on to sell over 7 million records worldwide with a series of critically acclaimed albums before going on hiatus in 2007. During the group’s break from recording, Dylan released two solo albums, which also garnered significant praise, 2008’s Seeing Things and 2010’s Women and Country

The band recently completed an exclusive club tour of the U.S. giving fans a preview of their highly anticipated sixth studio album.<

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Firefly Music Festival To Make A Triumphant Return To The Woodlands in 2013

Firefly Music Festival To Make A Triumphant Return To The Woodlands in 2013

Firefly Music Festival delivered as the East Coast’s premier music experience and will return to The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway in 2013.  This year’s 48 performances took place over three days with headliners The Killers, Jack White and The Black Keys, as well asJohn Legend, Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips and more.

“The event was wildly successful and we’ve found our home on the East Coast. We’re excited to be amongst the leading festivals in the country,” says Director of Firefly Greg Bostrom.

A limited quantity of 2013 general admission presale tickets will go on sale through FireflyFestival.com on July 25th at noon ET with the lineup and date to be determined.

For more information on Firefly Music Festival, go to FireflyFestival.com

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The Wallflowers Debut New Single “Reboot The Mission” And Offer Free Download On 7/24!

The Wallflowers Debut New Single “Reboot The Mission” And Offer Free Download On 7/24!

The Wallflowers have announced that the band’s new single, “Reboot The Mission” is available to stream on RollingStone.com TODAY, and a FREE mp3 download will be available tomorrow at thewallflowers.com. The first single off of the band’s new album Glad All Over,which hits stores October 2nd, is a Clash-inspired track featuring Mick Jones on vocals and guitar. Check out the track here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/song-premiere-the-wallflowers-reboot-the-mission-20120723

The Wallflowers recently kicked off an exclusive club tour of the U.S. On these dates the band are giving fans a preview of the new material, which finds them rediscovering their sound while reflecting the varied influences they have accumulated over the years. “It’s been a while since we’ve felt this energized and creative. We haven’t changed our stripes so much as we’re continuing to redefine the animal,” says frontman Jakob Dylan.

Formed in Los Angeles, The Wallflowers rose to fame with their 4x platinum album Bringing Down The Horse, which featured four top charting singles including “6th Avenue Heartache,” “One Headlight,” “The Difference,” and “Three Marlenas.” The two-time Grammy Award winners went on to sell over 7 million records worldwide with a series of critically acclaimed albums before going on hiatus in 2007. During the group’s break from recording, Dylan released two solo albums, which also garnered significant praise, 2008’s Seeing Things and 2010’s Women and Country.

For more information please visit www.thewallflowers.com.

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Summer’s Hottest Ticket: Live From The Firefly Music Festival In Dover, Delaware!

Summer’s Hottest Ticket: Live From The Firefly Music Festival In Dover, Delaware!

It was early mid-May of 2012 when thumbing through the current issue of Rolling Stone, I came across an good looking advertisement for the Firefly Music Festival. It was the color scheme that first caught my eye but then it was the location of the event that really jumped out at me — Dover, Delaware. To those outside of the area, Dover is known best for playing host to some of Nascar’s most ferocious action at the Dover Speedway. Certainly, I couldn’t be reading this correctly! Without missing a beat, I was off to my trusty workstation to get the lowdown on this mysterious new event. I fired up the laptop and within a few clicks I had arrived at the official online source for all things “Firefly” — www.fireflyfestival.com.

The official site offered up a wealth of information. The lineup for the event jumped out at me immediately and is nothing less than stellar for a inaugural run. Firefly boasts an impressive lineup of heavy hitting acts such as The Killers, Jack White, The Flaming Lips, The Black Keys, John Legend, Silversun Pickups, OK Go, Death Cab for Cutie, AWOLNATION and Girl Talk, just to name a few. Billed as “the East Coast’s premier music experience,” Firefly runs an impressive three days from July 20 -22. The site also promised “three days of unforgettable musical performances, enhanced dining options and interactive entertainment set among lush wooded landscapes in the heart of the East Coast.

Having done the research and being blown away by detail and planning that clearly had gone into the planning stages of this potentially monumental event, I decided I was all in! I had to experience this event for myself and bring our readers closer to the heart of the event. I got on my Zack Morris-like cellular phone and made the hot call to our writers to spread the word. Almost instantly, Steve “Stomper” Johnson declared his allegiance to the trip and we ordered up two tickets and cleared our schedules for the trip.

“You wanted the best, well they didn’t fucking make it! From Hollywood, Steve Johnson and Jason Price!” Pardon our ode to Guns N’ Roses, but it isn’t often we get to rock an intro! Back to our story: To cover the event, Icon Vs. Icon dispatched in Jason Price and Steve “Stomper” Johnson, part of our dedicated team. Why these guys? Easy! These two men are no stranger to the festival scene and have taken in countless live  shows throughout the years and are grizzled veterans of Lollapolooza, Ozzfest, Warped Tour, Family Values  Tour, Mayhem Festival, Virgin Fest, M3 Rock Festival and Woodstock ’99, just to name a few.

Icon Vs. Icon’s Steve Johnson & Jason Price

While they tend to learn more toward the hard rock and metal side of things, we know that they can take a beating and it’s no secret that a three day music festival during one of the hottest summer’s on record can pack on hell of a punch! Both men agree that the Firefly Music Festival is one of the most intriguing events to hit the area in years and has potential to fuel the music scene in the area for years to come.

Of his impending experience, Johnson said, “I am most interested in seeing what the vibe at the event is going to be. This event is definitely going to attract a diverse crowd, many of which are coming from surrounding metropolitan areas like New York City, DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore and beyond. That will surely give the crowd as unique a flavor as the musical acts that have been brought in to kick this thing off. In short, I am really looking forward to it — I think they have tapped into something special here.” When asked who he was most interested in seeing at Firefly, who he hadn’t seen live in the past, he responded simply with “Girl Talk.”

Steve Johnson Fun Facts: For his next multi-day concert experience, Icon Vs. Icon is sending Johnson and his wife to the 13th Annual Gathering of The Juggalos — five days and nights of music and pandemonium to Cave-In-Rock, IL. You can follow Steve on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dastomper.

A Word On Our Mission:

“As I have mentioned, this show sprung up, on me at least, seemingly out of nowhere. I am glad the event organizers have given us the opportunity to give people the scoop on the event. My favorite festival experiences have been the result of the people surrounding us, the good vibes in the crowd and the memorable on-stage performances. Setting out to experience Firefly for the first time, what I hope we provide our readers with is an overall feel for what we encountered and what they might expect in the future when they attend.” — Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon


Calling All Festival-goers…

Firefly Music Festival takes place at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, a place i must admit I was unfamiliar with prior to the festival announcement. A little research revealed that the Woodlands offer 87 acres of lush, wooded festival grounds nestled within the expansive 840-acre sports campus, offering the intimate feel of a backyard party with all the amenities of the world-class event complex. Located in the heart of Dover, Delaware and steps from shopping, hotels, gaming, and restaurants, the Woodlands are the ideal backdrop for what could soon become the East Coast’s hottest summer festival ticket.

THE SURROUNDING AREA: The official site clued us in to the one of the biggest draws to the area, Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. The complex is a AAA rated four diamond hotel and casino, featuring over 2,500 slots and table games including poker, blackjack, craps and roulette. Interestingly enough, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will be providing endless entertainment when the music ends. Throughout the weekend, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will host official Firefly after-parties in the state-of-the-art, 1,600-person capacity Rollins Center.


The key to the festivities!

Personally, I always get that “kid on Christmas morning” feeling when a mysterious package shows up in the mailbox. Fans of pop culture, cool artwork and kickass packaging, we were blown away by the ticket package revealed when we opened our mystery envelope. The box contained all the information about reaching our destination, what we could and couldn’t bring and last but certainly not least, our 3-day festival wristband. It is an impressive package that assured us that the organizers clearly had their stuff together and that were were getting plenty of bang for our buck! Well done!

On July 12th, the official website for the event announced the release of an app for the Firefly Music Festival. This app is your one-stop-shop for all things Firefly 2012 and brings a new meaning to user interaction with its many specialized features including:

Festival Camera:
You and your friends can take photos throughout the weekend and add fun Firefly Festival filters.

The Woodlands Map:
Pinch and zoom into a layout of the festival with icons for the stages, food and drink locations.

View the complete Firefly Music festival lineup by stage or artist.

Customized Schedule:
Create your personal Firefly schedule and receive reminders about when your selected bands are about to perform. You will also have the ability to “like” your favorite performers, see who other users have “liked” and view the selections.

News and Socialize:
This is an easy way to stay in the loop on the latest Firefly Festival info through push notifications. This feature includes news and updates, links to the official Firefly Twitter and a portal to personal social media accounts. This awesome new approach makes it easier than ever to get your Firefly fix atyour convenience through both iPhone and Android!


Are You Gonna Go My Way: Steve Johnson and his beloved van, “Trixie.” Instagram’d for your pleasure!

“We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.” Wait, that is a different story entirely. Firefly seemed the the perfect time to break in Steve’s newly murdered out van, “Trixie,” which allows us to roll with everything we need for a long trip like this. She is a beast of a machine and only slightly less cool than the van used by a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit back in 1972. The main difference in those two juggernauts is that Trixie doesn’t have a kickass spoiler with awesome pin striping but it does boast a copy of Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning,” which is literally stuck in the tape deck.

Before we could go anywhere, we had to lay the groundwork for the journalistic side of things, as we are professionals. For an hour before we did a little prep for the trip, we opted for the official Firefly Music Festival playlist on the critically acclaimed 8tracks.com. Dubbed as one of the “50 Best Websites” in a list by Time magazine in 2011, 8tracks.com is an online radio station in which users create playlists and share them with anyone who may wish to listen, all for free. The Firefly playlist features songs from the multitude of artists performing at Firefly, ranging from “All These Things That I’ve Done” by headliner The Killers to the soothing hip-hop hit “Paris, Tokyo” by Chicago native Lupe Fiasco. It was a great way to prep for the road trip and you can click HERE to access the playlist and taste of things to come.

Being experienced concertgoers and both in our thirties, we knew to bring the essentials: Water, light snacks, a six pack for parking lot pre-gaming, ibuprofen, Zantac, baby wipes and a snake bite kit. Hey, ya never know. We stuffed our backpacks with the goods, our equipment to bring you live updates from the show, gassed up the van and hit the open road. To get us in the mood, we fired up Girl Talk’s “All Day”.

For those unfamiliar with the album, it is probably the best party mix you could ever hope to unleash. If you haven’t heard it, swing on by www.illegal-art.net/girltalk to pick it up — It’s a free album, so there is no reason not to check it out! It is a brilliant piece of work that clocks in at 71 minutes and 372 samples!

Getting into Dover, DE was a breeze and it seemed the local powers that be had everything under control at the time of our arrival, which is not surprising as the host huge events for Nascar and I am sure it is an equally challenging process.  

SHOULD YOU NEED THEM, HERE ARE THE FESTIVAL MAPS! You never know where you will end up on the worldwide web, so if by chance you made it here and are in need of festival assistance, use the links to the official maps from Firefly Music Festival. The Woodlands map will show where all parking, camping and other accommodations will be located. This map will show you where you will need to go to find parking and what direction you will be coming from. It will also show where the festival grounds are in relation to your parking or camping area. For more specific directions on driving to Firefly, click here. The Official Firefly Festival map will reveal the entire Woodlands festival areal. This will show you the location of all food & beverage tents, attractions and stages! Take a close look to see exactly where you will be jamming out hour by hour. Plan your route, see where your pit stops will be, and get the most out of your Firefly experience. On with the show… 

We rolled into Dover, Delaware like nickel sized hail and damaging winds. Well, at least that is how we hope it looked, although it was probably a little less dramatic. We reported to the pre-assigned spot to pick up our credentials and we were on our way to the venue before we knew it. Again, it is clear that the event organizers are on top of their game. To quote Wayne Campbell, they have “crossed the t’s and dot the… lower case j’s.” That is a breathe of fresh air because a lot of these massive festivals and be a real mess behind the scene. Another behind-the-scenes trend I have recently noticed is one that has journalists and photographers wearing laminates from previous concert outings and making it “all about them”. Two can play at that game,my friends. Not to be outdone and never being one to make it all about myself, I took 15 minutes out of our already busy schedule to create our own laminates. Hey, we are potential rubbing elbows with industry bigwigs at a ton of different events this summer, so we needed to look the part!

The “Icon Vs. Icon: Right Next Door To Hell Summer Tour 2012” laminate features artwork by Christine M. Larsen.

Her bio reads: “Originating from the Pine Barrens of central Jersey, Christine is a freelance Illustrator by trade, designing and illustrating for comics, cartoons, book covers, textbooks, textiles, posters and websites. She has worked with clients such as Ape Entertainment, DC Online, Saatchi & Saatchi and Penguin Publishing. Her online comic, La Morte Sisters (written by Tony Trov and John Zito) was nominated for a Harvey Award and her artwork has been featured in licensed properties such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. Christine is also a part time instructor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she teaches undergraduate courses for juniors and freshmen. Christine resides with her two cats, her boyfriend and a sawed off shotgun in a heavily fortified North Philadelphia row home where she awaits the zombie apocalypse. If you’re terribly interested in the comings and goings of her life, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter, or read her interesting blog or even more fascinating Tumblr , where you will find sketches, project updates and other fun stuff.”

Check out her official site and learn more about this amazing artist at www.thelarsenproject.com. Thanks for the use of the artwork Christine! To make it up to you, we will be commissioning you to create a poster for our 7th Annual Season of The Witch Film Festival, which is a coproduction with our friend Thomas Bryce of the Shit Movie Fest. Without further ado, here is a glimpse of the laminates — only two every created! Stay Tuned for more updates as the day rolls on! Live from the frontlines!

As we arrived at “The Monster Mile”, it wasn’t long before the rains came. Not hard driving rains but the sort of mist that tends to put a damper on most parties. That was not the case with Firefly. As the people streamed across the overpass into the general vicinity of the festival grounds, you could tell that nothing was going to get this crowd down. Quite honestly, I found that amazing. Maybe that is the magic of Firefly — the fact these concertgoers are genuinely inspired by magic of the music. No bitching, no moaning, just good spirits all around. We hit the ATM, like a Tyson blow to the dome and made sure they were stocked with cash. It turns out that they were and the fun can now begin. As we entered, we were treated to the sounds of Heartless Bastards and they crowd was very into it. Even the overcast couldn’t stop, hordes of girls from hulu hooping with a vengeance to the beat of the music. I am not quite sure if that is a revival or a new phenomenon or a revival of sorts — either way, I am into it.

Steve quickly made his way to the official booth of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales. Steve is no stranger to partaking in the spirits and his expert opinion was needed for a review of the official/unofficial brew of this experience, “Firefly Ale”. I followed him that far. He ventured in alone and I have yet to see him since. I will say that I am very impressed that the company constructed a mammoth tent to house there flavorful treats. During our separation, The Wallflowers were playing there new single, “Reboot The Mission,” an awesome, bass heavy song that features Mick Jones of The Clash. The Wallflowers brought out the best in the crowd and faces young and old swayed to the beat of jams both new and old. No small feat in these complicated musical times.

Steve here! I apologize for being off of the grid for so long, but leave it to a specialty beer to bring me back from obscurity. Dogfish Head Craft Ales has been a company that for years has delivered some of the best craft brews on the market today. Enter the first Firefly Music Festival. The Firefly Music Festival had made it no secret that they have been working with Dogfish Head to bring concert goers a specialty brew to quench their thirsts in the unrelenting heat of mid-July in Dover, DE. Upon arriving to the festival, I made a b-line to the Dogfish Head Brew Tent. I immediately ordered up some of the festival’s signature brew, Firefly Ale, and were not disappointed. The ale is light and and is very active as far as carbonation is concerned. It is an upbeat ale that perfectly compliments the event it was created for. It is definitely a favorite of the fans in the beer tent as the Firefly Ale line tended to be the longest, although the wait in general was only a minute or so! Kudos to Dogfish Head and their quest to bring innovation top the realm of craft brewing. As far as I am concerned Dogfish Head had hit a home run with this beer. I only hope that non-concert attendees will be able to taste this delicious brew.

I emerged from the Dogfish Head tent energized as John Legend was taking the stage. It was about this time when you could notice the crowd on the field growing with each passing moment.. OK GO had already laid down an explosive set on The Lawn stage in the middle of the afternoon and the crowd was getting fired up. John Legend’s performance was terrific as he ripped through his impressive catalog and did a great cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”. While the addition of Legend may have looked a little out of place on paper, his style, grace and musicianship proved that he was right at home among this list of performers.

After that set, the masses began to migrate once again with a choice between Bassnectar or Silversun Pickups. The bassheavy dubstep grooves of Bassnectar proved irrestible to me,  so I made my way to that area to soak it in. While dubstep is typically what I am into,  have to admit this set was impressive. The crowd was into it from the jump and the music seemed to flow through them. Great energy was all around. I wanted to see what the people who were sitting these sets out where up too. My first stop was the “Hammock Hangout”. It is a large area carved out of the woods that features oversized hammock for your lounging pleasure as well as some swings for those looking for “a natural high”. The forest was illuminated by green lights which gave it a terrific ambience. About 75% of the people visiting the hangouts were taking a breather and discussing the festival, the other 25% were just about down for the count from “party overload”. I really enjoyed this feature of the festival. Had the temperatures been as high as they have been lately, it would have been the go-to spot for even more festival goers.

Headlining Day One was the legendary Jack White, who is currently touring in support of his first solo album “Blunderbuss”. As showtime approached, the mist that had been coming and going began to pick up. It didn’t dampen the spirits of attendees as the masses once again descended on the main stage. With minimalistic white can lighting and a tight layout with the musicians, the stage was reminiscent of an old Hollywood set. It was a rocky start of White and company as the mist began to cause issues with the sound. To the credit of the techs involved, they hammered out the issue within only a few minutes. White never missed a beat, diving into his musical past with material from his past bands and offering up  plenty of material from the White Stripes such as “Seven Nation Army”,  “Hello Operator” and “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”.  Jack White never disappoints at a live show and this was no exception.

Day Two of the Firefly Music Festival found us getting an early start. We again entered the festival parking area with no issues. If anything, things we going much smoother for the event staff, who know knew the drill for getting people to where they needed to be. After we parked, we made our way across the overpass to the festival grounds. What amazed us was the see of campsites that filled the area. Whether it was in a tent or an RV, plenty of people had taken advantage of staying at the show and enjoying the camping experience. Those who hadn’t ventured back into the festival were making their own fun playing cornhole, cooking out and slamming back a few cold pints to prepare themselves for another great day of music. The camping experience surely provides a whole new level of adventure to this event and is something Steve and I both agreed we would have to try next year.

Saturday’s weather was again very mild with a few sprinkles falling sporadically throughout the day. It was slightly more humid than day one of the festival but was a great break from the area’s recent sweltering temperatures. Day two, without a doubt, brought out the masses! By our best estimate, the crowd had easily doubled if not tripled from the first day. That being said, it did not feel cramped at all and spirits were high. Our first stop was a visit to The Vineyard, an area we hadn’t checked out on the first day. The Vineyard sits on the far corner of the events grounds, right before visitors round a corner through the woods to visit the Backyard and Firefly stages. It was packed with many small groups of friends taking in a glass of wine or two. It was definitely a classy affair and a great spot to make the decision on what to see next, as it is centrally located between all four stages. We took a few minutes to people watch and one thing was for sure, if you want to make some loot at next year’s event, get yourself into the hula hoop game. Next to girls wearing “Hunger Games” style leather boots, the hula hoop was THE go to accessory at this festival. They were absolutely everywhere and not matter if you were a chick or a dude covered with glitter, you were looking to take one for a spin — literally.

One of the first full sets we were able to take in on Day Two was by Polica took the Lawn stage and we were not disappointed. The band’s dreamy atmospherics stretched across the lawn attracting droves of fans both new and old. Frontwoman, Channy Leaneagh vocals were hauntingly beautiful as the band offered up songs from their powerful debut album, ‘Give You the Ghost’. I instantly added this band to my “My Download” list and look forward to seeing what they have in store for us in the years to come. While we took in the set, Steve fired up the Firefly App to get more info on the set times. When we had initially discovered the app we were impressed but it proved to be an awesome tool for this concert experience. Kudos to however came up with that idea. We had a little time to burn and we decided to head toward the Firefly Stage to see Michael Franti. Icon Vs. Icon interview Franti last year and we were excited to catch him live for the first time. Onward…

As we rounded the corner to head into The Backyard, we realized we had not ventured down past the stage to check out the hot air ballon rides. Steve was immediately fired up and insistent that we take I hot air balloon ride. I grabbed him by the collar and told him to get ahold of himself — we had a schedule to keep and the Dogfish Head tent was calling my name. We’d be back. Into the Dogfish Head tent we went, once more. We grabbed two pints of their “Midas Touch” and headed out to the stage. It wasn’t long before Michael Franti hit the stage. To be totally honest, this was one of the absolute highlights of the festival, so far. Franti’s music is amazing for an amazing festival and crowd like this. The crowd sang along with him and hung on every word. Several times during the performance, Franti took to the crowd to get closer to the vibe they were putting out. He had made his way back near the soundboard and the entire crowd was facing him, away from the stage. Michael Franti is one of those guys who puts everything into a live performance and this was no exception. If he is an artist you are not familiar with, you should remedy that as soon as possible. Note: A few hours after his set, we stumbled onto Michael and company once more backstage playing a massive pickup game of soccer. For the record, he is almost as good on the field as he is on stage.

It was our intention to do as much live blogging as possible during the show. We have to admit it is a bit of struggle to make it everywhere you need to be and make updates that do the show justice. It has been a lot of fun and hopefully, it is something we will do more often in the future. One thing is for certain, we need more power, WiFi, an extra set of hands and a photo pass.

We spent the morning exploring the grounds and by the afternoon, we felt we had to make our way to see industry legends, Cake. It seemed a lot of people, the majority of people, had the same idea! It was a mass exodus from the surrounding areas as the band readied themselves to hit the stage. Their set was impressive and consisted of a sting of alternative hits and crowd favorites. The crowd was super into it and were singing along at the top of their lungs. It was good to see a band like this get the love they so rightly deserve. Some of the greatest moments included performances of “Sheep Go To Heaven” and “Rock and Roll Lifestyle”.

Modest Mouse was next on the main stage and much like Cake, they drew a massive crowd to their stage well before showtime. Highlights of their performance included “Float On” and “Dashboard”. It was around this time when we headed backstage to recharge the equipment and catch some of that impromptu Michael Franti pickup soccer game we mentioned earlier. There were plenty of family, friends and random bands members involved and although I am not sure there was a clear winner, a good time was had by all.

By the time we took a quick breather and got our recharge, it was time for Saturday’s main attraction —The Killers! As a long-time fan of the band, Steve was excited to see them once again in a live setting.  The band had only played a handful of dates in the past few years and anticipation for that they were bringing to the table was at an all-time high. Frontman Brandon Flowers sounded better than ever on the band’s super hits such as “Somebody Told Me”, “Mr. Brightside” and “All These Things That I Have Done”. They even wet the crowd’s appetite for new music with a performance of their new single, “Runaways”. The show was top notch and featured great video and pyro that would bring a smile to the face of the pickiest concert reviewer. There is on thing I learned from their performance that I will remember for quite some time — they can get the people moving!

All in all, Day Two of Firefly was one of the most satisfying concert events I have had the pleasure of attending in year. This festival truly is one of the best things going on the summer concert scene. I am sure that anyone in attendance would agree! (and they did because we asked a ton of people!)

DAY THREE: The Adventures Continue… 
The sun finally broke free of the clouds and we knew it would be a great day at Firefly. We started the day off by visiting the Arcade, which boasts a plethora of classic video games, free of charge, for your gaming enjoyment. We definitely enjoyed this feature, as did many a festival attendee, as the lines were steady throughout the weekend. Our first must-catch of the day was Cold War Kids, who drew a large crowd to the main stage for a powerful set. The band has a great stage presence and was truly a treat to catch in a live setting like this festival. Notable songs played included “Hang Me Out To Dry”, “Audience”, “Louder Than Ever” and “Hospital Beds”. The crowd was still feeling the vibe, even the battle worn campers who had been in the elements for three days. Only a few of them showed signs of needing a vacation for their vacation! Speaking of vacations, we finally had Steve take his hot air balloon ride, as he had been pestering us like a kid since he saw it. Of the ride, he had this to say “It was definitely worth trying out. I am not a heights guy but I have always loved hot air balloons. It is a cool feature and more than just eye candy for the festival. Overall, a great experience.”

While Steve was taking flight, I checked out Death Cab for Cutie. Ben Gibbard and company we terrific and delivered a great performance of “I Will Possess Your Heart.” The hits didn’t stop there and they delivered, in my opinion, was one of the best performances of the festival. Of course, the best performance of Sunday went to The Flaming Lips. The band brought their amazing live energy to the festival and truly amazed the crowd. There is nothing quite like a Flaming Lips set, so if you have the chance, check them out on tour when it rolls into your town. On the other side of the festival, Girl Talk rocked the crowd with his his mashup-remix style dj set on the Backyard stage. We had been looking forward to this for the length of the festival. If you came to this festival to get your dance on, the Backyard stage was definitely the place to let your freak flag fly throughout the weekend. Girl Talk was a great example of this, as he had the crowd moving at a fever pitch and didn’t let up until his set was over. The end of that set lead to the masses descending on the Firefly Stage one last time for The Black Keys, who were the headlining act for Sunday night. The band certainly did not disappoint as Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney ripped effortlessly through most of their hits including “Howlin’ for You”, “Tighten Up”, “Lonely Boy” and “Gold on the Ceiling”.

With that amazing performance, another three day concert experience was in the books — and boy, did it make an impact! Firefly Music Festival was expertly run and certainly laid the groundwork for an exciting future as a must attend event! The 2012 festival drew an estimated 30,000 guests daily and event organizers have already announced the three-day event will return to Dover in June 2013. The dates of next year’s festival will be June 21-23, so be sure to mark your calendar! The lineup of musical acts has not yet been announced. Pre-sale tickets for the festival are available on the event’s website this week.

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