Over the last few months, there has been a great deal of discussion about the strength (or not) of the Firefly Music Festival lineup this year. Up front I will say that as someone who lives near by I am a huge fan of this Festival and totally drinking the Kool Aid. I understand the concerns people have expressed about their opinions of headliners – but this festival and all festivals aren’t just about the three (or more) names on top of the lineup. Where your experience will really come from is the dozens of band on the “undercard” who you will get to spend most of your day with. Now that I have had time to really dig into the Firefly lineup, I think that it is actually one of the strongest and deepest undercards we have seen at Firefly. This post will focus on some artists you may not have checked out. I encourage you to not only check out my suggestions below, but also to explore the lineup yourself and share some of your discoveries.
Hippo Campus (Saturday)
Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota – Hippo Campus is an awesome indie rock band that you should definitely check out. If you don’t think you have heard of them before, I bet you have heard their music and just don’t realize it. Hippo Campus has been touring and have previously performed at Lollapalooza, SXSW, Bonnaroo, Summerfest, and at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. They have also been on Conan! They have also performed at one of our bucket list venues, Red Rocks – in Colorado.
Firefly has put together a really awesome opportunity to get a taste of the festival before hand, by taking the Festival on the road with Hippo Campus in May. You can come out to check out the band and have an opportunity to win tickets, get a free t-shirt and/or bandana and participate in some fun Firefly related activities. Check out the info below or visit the website for more.
Evan Giia (Friday)
I will be honest, before M3F Festival I had never heard of Evan Giia – but after seeing her perform I am completely sold. She has fantastic stage presence and amazing voice and fun music to sing and dance to. I especially like: I don’t like ur friends, Westworld, and Pull Up. She has a pretty unique electronic sound and just the best vibe.
Half Alive (Saturday)
Of all the acts on the Firefly lineup, Half-Alive is probably the performance I am most looking forward to. Their song “Still Feel” has been a consistent favorite on Alt-Nation for the last few months and if you haven’t heard it yet – you should go check it out. I challenge you not to sing and dance along. I have kept it on my playlist for months and it is definitely staying there.
Half Alive hails from Long Beach California and if you can’t already tell I am super psyched to see them. Check them out on Spotify
Noah McBeth is a German artist, composer and producer who goes by the stage name NoMB. I got the opportunity to checkout NoMBe at M3F earlier this year. This is one funky, groovy awesome performance that you won’t want to miss at Firefly. If you like Jungle – NoMBe is like a funkier cousin. You can hear his music in a ton of movies and tv shows, including on the FIFA World Cup video game. I strongly recommend the following songs: Freak Like Me, Drama, Wait and Man Up.
Mansionair is an indie electronic group made up of a trio of Australian musicians. Their first album, Shadowboxer, was released earlier this month. But they already have several singles that you may be familiar with and if you aren’t you should be because they are a lot of fun.
I had the opportunity to see them perform live at M3F Festival on the day their album dropped, and they sounded just as good in person. Their two biggest hits are: Astronaut (something about your love) and Violet City. Both of these are staples on my personal playlist and I can’t wait to sing and dance along at Firefly. Give them a listen on Spotify and let us know what you think.
Two Feet (Sunday)
Every year at Firefly I have the experience of hearing a band and realizing that I have heard their song before (a ton) I just didn’t know who played it. Now that I am super involved with festivals, that happens less and less – because it is my job to figure out who plays everything. That said – Two Feet is likely to have you yelling out, “oh yeah, I love this song.”
Two Feet is actually a guy named Zachary from New York – and he is awesome. Before becoming “Two Feet” he performed in a handful of local jazz and blues groups and is a singer, songwriter and his own producer. Two Feet’s most famous song is “I Feel Like I’m Drowning” and it is one of my favorites too. Check out I Feel Like I’m Drowning and more on Spotify and don’t miss it on Sunday at Firefly.
If you aren’t living under a rock and own a tv, you have heard Shaed’s biggest hit – Trampoline. It is all over the place, including prominently featured in Apple commercials. Random tangent, but why is that that Apple has such awesome catchy songs in their commercials – genius marketing I guess. In any event, Shaed is going to be all over this summer, including at Firefly and you should definitely make sure not to miss this set on Friday.
This is a just a handful of the artists that I am super excited about personally. I could go on and on: AJR, Sir Sly, Bob Moses, Magic Giant, Yungblood, Flora Cash, Yoko Lore, loveleytheband . . . ok, I will stop now. The point is – don’t sleep on this lineup. Whether you love the headliners or not – Firefly is getting ready to bring us one of the deepest most awesome weekends this summer. You don’t want to miss out!