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Posted Jun 23rd, 2015 (4:49 pm) by James Hughes
Firefly Music Festival 2015: Day 1
Image by Bethany Rees/DOLA Photography

In the wake of the mud-pocolypse that was Thursday, Firefly Music and Arts festival was ready to begin with the sun in the air and the ground beginning to harden. With a hearty first day planned, the festival attendees would have the chance to see; Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Modest Mouse, AWOLNATION, Run The Jewels, Sylvan Esso, ODESZA, Chiddy Bang, and many others – the day was sure to be good one.

With the day basically free for me until the “art project” that is Run The Jewels, exploring new acts was the name of the game. The day began with hard rock group Manchester Orchestra, who provided a healthy dose of ass-kicking rock and roll on The Firefly Main Stage.

Los Angeles DJ duo Goshfather & Jinco hit the early crowd with deep house bass and a stage presence that emitted a positive attitude. The duo projected an appreciation for the show they were performing and for those who showed up to see it. With a plethora of original, and remixed, content, Goshfather & Jinco pushed the crowd into a dancing fervor. Moving from deep bass to a lighter hearted dance scene, there was Sylvan Esso.

Sylvan Esso snuck in as one of my surprise acts of the day. The duo’s stage presence was engaging and made it hard for anyone who was walking by to not stop and give at least one or two songs a listen. Vocalist Amelia Meath danced harder than many in the crowd, and was properly applauded for it, which made for a fun atmosphere for a first time viewer of their live show. Cage the Elephant hit the Firefly Main Stage with a passion to please their audience. Right away, the energy was noticeable when lead singer Matt Shultz jumped into the crowd to bring the festivities right to the fans. The group performed a hit-heavy set for the Firefly nation.

As night fell, the festival was in full swing and the Pavilion Stage was prepared to host the smash hit project – Run The Jewels. Killer Mike and El P brought their socially conscious, politically driven, and straight punk rock attitude. As a short shout-out break to the crowd began, a young man was called upon stage for his creative flag he had brought for the show. The Run The Jewels flag featured a cartoonish painting of Killer Mike’s head dead center on a baby blue canvas, and all he was instructed to do was to wave that flag like his life depended on it. The hour long set ended just in time for the man of the hour, and recent birthday boy, Paul McCartney.

What looked to be everyone at the festival in attendance, the Beatle had a proper audience for what, essentially, was a birthday show. McCartney performed fan favorites the entire night with numbers like “Valentine” and “Blackbird” that brought the crowd into the classic sing-along mentality. McCartney’s material from his 2013 album, NEW, even made appearances as the night continued on. Closing down the Firefly Main Stage with fireworks and thunderous applause, Paul McCartney finished what would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for a majority of the people there.

With a star studded day one in the books, day two will have a hard time topping the inaugural day.

Photography by Bethany Rees/DOLA Photography

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