Day 3 at Firefly Music Fest in Dover, Delaware: the flower-crowns were in bloom, the sun was shining (big time), the mud was (slightly) less muddy, and the Treehouse Sessions were in session! Presented by MixRadio, the series offers fans the chance to experience up-and-coming artists in the most personal way possible, while in the midst of a gorgeous secluded forrest clearing. Today, Dirty Heads, Broncho and the Griswolds treated fans to intimate acoustic sets. Well two of them were acoustic, but we’ll get to that…
Dirty Heads kicked things off, with their infectious blend of hip hop, ska and harmonies. The mix created the ideal summer BBQ soundtrack, custom built to make everyone feel alright. Lead singer Jared Watson greeted the sweaty Firefly-ites by stripping off his shirt, and soon a distinctly fragrant smoke was wafting through the trees. Is it possible to hotbox a forrest? Maybe. In any event, the guys got it started with “Your Love,” before spitting smooth harmony-soaked rhymes in the Goonies-themed “Sloth’s Revenge.” By the time they got to their closer, the title track to their 2014 album Sound of Change, they’d left the crowd singing and swaying in their wake.
Ryan Lindsey of Broncho kept things moving. Although he apparently didn’t get the memo about the whole “acoustic” vibe of the set, Lindsey performed stripped down versions of his band’s gritty rock. He looked every inch a goth punk as he walked onstage in all black and a matching black Silvertone electic guitar that he used to (lovingly) assault the crowd with crunchy distorted tones. How do you be punk at an acoustic show? Bring an electric guitar and distortion pedal, of course! Hey, we’re all for it. It was definitely an unusual choice for the middle of the woods, but his raspy witchy vocals added to the coven-like atmosphere, like a long-lost scene from The Blair Witch Project.
The Griswolds rounded out the day still high on their triumphant set on the Backyard Stage earlier that afternoon. The Sydney imports bounded onto our smaller stage, attractive as every 20-something Aussie seems to be by law, and the crowd proceeded to lose their minds. Although admitting that they don’t usually do acoustic sets (“Let’s hope we don’t f-ck it up, but we probably will.”) they launched into “Right On Track,” with lead singer Christopher Whitehall resplendent in a tiger tanktop that became the envy of literally every person in the crowd. They took it back old-school (well, as old-school as three-year-old band can) with “Mississippi,” a track from their first EP, Heart of a Lion, and funked up their recent single, “If You Wanna Stay.”
Indeed, we wanted to stay, but the miniset was over far too soon and it was time to get back to the “real world” of Firefly. Which, in case you’re wondering, is nothing at all like the real world.