The rock and roll community took to Twitter on late Thursday night to pay their respects to former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland. Weiland was found unresponsive on his tour bus and pronounced dead at the scene. Read tributes below from members of Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Velvet Revolver, Guns N’ Roses, Blink-182, and many more.
East Coast based Firefly Music Festival have released their 2016 lineup
Tuesday afternoon, Firefly made the announcement of their 2014 lineup via Facebook and their official site, Blink 182 and Tame Impala being the major rock performers along with Kings Of Leon who will have a second chance at redemption after bad weather forced them to cancel their headlining set last year. Death Cab For Cutie and Flogging Molly are also notable acts.
Tickets for Firefly go on sale Friday, Nove. 20. This year’s festival takes place June 16-19 in Dover, Delaware.
You can view the whole lineup as well as our review of last year’s festival below:
I’ll let this cat out of the bag early: if last year’s Firefly Music Festival was a dry dust bowl forcing everyone to dress up like the Fremen sand people of Frank Herbert’s Dune, Firefly 2015 might as well be the polar opposite, with the festival grounds completely saturated and muddy from a series of recent storms, exasperated by Saturday night’s thunderstorm that led to the cancellation of Kings of Leon’s set.
Of course, weather-related phenomena is outside of the organizers’ control, and it can be said that mind over matter could be applied to the environment and make the festival experience much more memorable. Indeed, there were mudfights and people dancing around barefoot, and tons of unintentional comedy (more on that later). Though some have illogically voiced their complaints about the muddy grounds, many seemed to be really enjoying themselves.
Anyway, onto the part of the festival that really matters: the music. Here’s highlights from some of the sets we attended…
Paul McCartney headlined a particularly marshy Friday of the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, customarily putting on a show of lifetime for anyone present. Celebrating his birthday, he kicked the set off with the Beatles classic “Birthday”.
It was quite an emotional night, with Paul reminiscing on his friendship with George Harrison (dedicating a touching ukulele rendition of “Something” to his memory), honoring the victims of the Charleston tragedy with “The Long And Riding Road”, and calling a woman up to stage holding a sign indicating that it was her dream for Paul to sign a tattoo of his face located on her arm. After some fidgeting and determining the proper place to sign, Paul left an autograph on her arm and gave her an extended hug, after which he jokingly yelled at her to let him go.
With a first set closing out with a three-punch knockout of “Let It Be”, “Live And Let Die” (featuring cannons and firework), and “Hey Jude” and an encore featuring songs like “Carry That Weight” and “Helter Skelter”, culminating in the Beatles classic “The End”, Friday at Firefly 2015 was one for the books.
Sunday headliners Brandon Flowers (also celebrating his birthday, having turned 34) and company took the stage a bit late, reportedly in order to add covers of “The Bucket” and “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon (“You like Kings of Leon?) to the set last minute, which they played alongside “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (“You like CCR?”). Brandon took the time to highlight each of the band members, allowing Dave Keunig and Ronnie Vannucci extended solos and praising bassist Mark Stoermer’s playing, noting it was him that would get the audience “hot and bothered”.
Otherwise, the band played through most of their hits in a very Day And Age heavy set culminating with “All The Things That I’ve Done”. A rousing rendition of “When You Were Young” off of the criminally underrated Sam’s Town closed out Firefly for most of its attendees.
Already making some radio waves this year with their single “Moaning Lisa Smile”, this four piece North London band took to the Porch stage on Friday afternoon. Their grungy yet poppy songwriting won over their audience, who were among the first to be able to purchase their debut record, My Love Is Cool. You can say that Wolf Alice were so awesome that Alternative Nation reporter Mike Mazzarone lost consciousness, since I found him sprawled out on his stomach at the end of the set. Thankfully it was declared simple heat exhaustion, and props to the extremely helpful medical staff in seeing to him.
Cage The Elephant
After storming the main stage in 2014 during Imagine Dragons’ set, Cage the Elephant played their first proper main stage show at Firefly on Friday, blasting through their impressive singles discography of the past six or so years and rousing the crowd to celebrate Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday. Guitarist Brad Shultz also offered some sage-like advice: “Don’t ever wear a flowered shirt to a festival. This fucking bee has been following me all day trying to get pollen from my shirt!” You can watch Alternative Nation’s short documentary on Cage the Elephant shot partially at 2014’s Firefly Festival here.
“Paul McCartney told me this is one of his favorite songs of 2015”, mused frontman/honorary Trent Reznor of AWOLNATION, Aaron Bruno before he played “I Am”, his latest single. “Just kidding. He’s probably never heard of this.” AWOL’s electrified set (markedly more rock-oriented than their studio output) leaned heavily on material from the latest album, Run, with tunes like “Bad Wolf”, “Dreamers”, and “Like People, Like Plastic” being played. You can read our pre-Firefly interview with AWOLNATION here.
While Morrissey put on an incredible performance at the Firefly Festival in Dover last night, the crowd was a bit sparse, about a quarter full for Morrissey standards. He definitely noticed the pot in the crowd, proclaiming, “I can smell it!” There were some rude fans in the crowd, with some booing and a couple even laughing and sarcastically yelling for him to get off the stage, especially during “Meat is Murder.” You can read Alternative Nation’s pre-Firefly interview with Morrissey here.
Matt & Kim
The pop rock duo took the main stage on Saturday night, giving one of the most energetic performances of the entire festival. Audience interaction was key, whether rallying the concertgoers to take off their shirt and twirl it around in the air, having the audience hoist Kim on their hands as she twerked, or asking those who had never crowdsurfed before to cross it off their bucket list that night.
The latter led to an unintentionally hilarious situation for those standing to stage left; as dozens of crowdsurfers funneled by security behind the barrier in front of the stage ran happily back into the crowd, little did they know they were heading straight into a deep mudpit at the end, leading to a scene that looked like the icy patch gag from the Muppet Family Christmas special.
Foster the People
Indie pop forerunners Foster the People ended up being the main stage headliners after Saturday was cut short by a terrible storm, with Kings of Leon flying back home. The group fronted by and named after Mark Foster (who looked conspicuously like Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton that night) blazed through a mix of deep cuts and their radio hits: “Coming Of Age”, “Helena Beat”, “Pumped Up Kicks”, and “Don’t Stop”.
Musixmatch, the world’s largest lyrics catalog recently put together a new, in-depth study regarding the largest vocabulary in all of music. Musixmatch analyzed data from 99 of the top selling musicians across 25 different genres to calculate the vocabulary size of those said musicians over the 100 (or less) of their lengthiest tracks.
The results were pretty remarkable as rappers make up four out of the top five. According to the study, Eminem, Tupac, Jay-Z and even Kanye West have a more extensive vocabulary within their songs then acts such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elton John and even the Beatles. In fact, the only non-rapper to grace the top five? Bob Dylan.
Noteworthy placements: Metallica (29th), The Rolling Stones (30th), Green Day (37th), Led Zeppelin (62nd) The Beatles (76th), Nirvana (83rd), AC/DC (87th)
West and Eminem also bested non rock artists such as Country stars George Strait and Garth Brooks, who come in at 54th and 27nd respectively. The two also topped pop stars like Madonna (24th) & her modern-era dobbleganger, Lady Gaga (43rd).
You can view the full study above an it should be noted that Bruce Springsteen, Chicago, Def Leppard, Journey, The Beach Boys and The Doors from the original list of 99 musicians don’t grant permission to Musixmatch to use their lyrics. Therefore, they couldn’t be included in the analysis. The website would also like to remind readers that “This analysis should not be interpreted as saying that one musician is better than the other, it is just another insight into the work of these amazing artists. It gives us a peek into the minds of different songwriters, some tear your heart with just a few words while others paint an intricate picture with a thousand words
While recently interviewing Marky Ramone for Songfacts, the former Ramones drummer explained the importance of getting a good education:
“So I had to finish high school, and I had to go to night school and summer school, because I was busy rehearsing with the group [the early ’70s proto-metal group, Dust]. So to me, I knew what my calling was – the music business. Being in high school, I really didn’t learn anything. But education is important, and back then, it was different – you could get away with just a high school education. Today – and this is very important for all you young readers – stay in college, go to college, no matter what you have to do, because it’s a different world now.”
Also in the interview, Marky talks about such Ramones classics as “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?”, and “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” playing in the oft-overlooked early punk band, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, and his new autobiography, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone.
In a new piece with Billboard, Blink-182 member Mark Hoppus has confirmed that Matt Skiba is no longer just a part-time, touring member of the band. Instead, Skiba will will be a permanent fixture within Blink-182. Skiba replaces the recently departed Tom Delonge:
In the meantime, Hoppus continues with Blink-182. He said the threesome — with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba replacing original guitarist Tom DeLonge — will head back into the studio in August.
DeLonge served as co-vocalist and guitarist for Blink-182 from 1992 to 2005 and again from 2009–2015. With this quote, Skiba and Blink-182 are now confirmed to start recording new material together starting next month.
AlternativeNation had the chance to interview Skiba back in April, during the interview Matt discussed the pressures of replacing Tom Delonge:
In the punk rock world, nothing like that has ever happened before. When I was just learning the songs, Mark joked, “Don’t worry, everyone’s just going to be staring at you and judging you.” From the time that they asked me to play with them to the first show, all I did was learn Blink songs. When I would go to the gym, for a run, or a hike, I would go over the set. We decided on the setlist early on in rehearsals so I knew what I would be playing. We rehearsed five days a week. As we got better and the date got closer, I got more comfortable with everything. The pressure was always there but it began to feel like a band rather than I was just replacing Tom.
And also addressed if there is any bad blood between him and the former Blink-182 guitarist:
No, I haven’t been in contact with Tom at all, but we have always been friends and had a good relationship. My role as replacing him in these shows is nothing personal. The guys asked me to play with them and I said absolutely and it was nothing to spite of Tom. Every experience I had with Tom was positive while touring with him in the past. So, there is no bad blood between us, or at least not from my end.
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