If you read my previous article you know what a fan I am of the Treehouse Stage. But there are two other small stages where you can get up close and personal with your favorite bands. The Coffeehouse Stage and the Toyota Music Den.
Each stage has a limited schedule with select artists. If you want to see the full schedule for each stage please check out https://fireflyfestival.com/schedule/. Below are some bands you should make time to see at each stage.
The Treehouse –
The Treehouse is loaded this year with shows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The Saturday and Sunday schedule is particularly appealing. On Saturday I would absolutely check out Andy Frasco & the UN at 5:15. They are a super high energy band that puts on a tremendous live show. They will be fantastic in this venue. Also on Saturday is the very intriguing Sunflower Bean playing at 7:30. They remind me of the Sundays with a psychedelic lean. I am continuing to find more of their music that I like and am very curious to see their live show.
Sunday is a can’t miss day as all four shows at the Treehouse stage should be winners. Lawrence plays at 2:15 a piano driven singer/songwriter with a vibe that draws you in quickly. Secret Weapons plays at 4:00 PM and if you want to get your high energy bounce on, you should not miss this band. They aren’t a household name yet, but it feels like only a matter of time before this band breaks through. Bishop Briggs plays at 6:15 and is one of the artists I am most excited to see this year. She has a giant voice, leaves every ounce of herself on the stage, and by all accounts was absolute fire at Coachella. Nahko and Medicine for the People play at 8:30 and this should be a perfect venue for them, I mean they actually have a song called Budding Trees for goodness sake.
The Coffeehouse Stage –
This stage has performances all four days. I saw the Arkells at this stage last year and it was one of my top five shows of the weekend. So get to this stage at least once if you can!
Thursday has a pretty good line up with The Social Animals, Salt Cathedral, Jared & The Mill, and O.A.R.
I really like the song Cold by Social Animals and would definitely take a chance with them. Salt Cathedral is a band from South America, electronic leaning, with a female vocalist whose voice walks the line between beautiful and ethereal. I am super excited to see Jared and The Mill. If you like Mumford or Judah and The Lion you should go see these guys. They have been one of three or four bands in this lineup I hadn’t heard of previously who have really gotten my listening attention. Check out Messenger and Keep Me Going. Finally the small stage of the Coffeehouse seems like a fantastic place to catch O.A.R. on a Thursday night in June.
Friday highlights at the Coffeehouse include Shaed, alt/pop with powerful female vocals. Check out the songs Perfume and Thunder, or their ridiculously awesome cover of Starboy. The other don’t miss Friday is Judah and the Lion, a band that puts some funk and hip hop stylings into the banjolin genre. Take it All Back has been one of my go to songs for the last two months. Both bands should be top notch and are high on my list to see here.
Saturday the only band I will go out of my way to see would be Magic Giant, another entry into the banjolin genre, with a lot of songs that catch your ear right out of the gate. Check out Set On Fire and Let’s Start Again.
Based on feedback from several bands playing at Firefly the main highlight Sunday is Hamilton Leithauser.
Toyota Music Den –
Toyota Music Den is a very small stage in the main festival area with shows Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
On Friday I would absolutely go out of my way to catch Hamish Anderson. A sound reminiscent of Big Head Todd and the Monsters dipped in honey. Check out the song Trouble to see what I mean. Also on Friday one of my favorite new bands in this year’s lineup Foreign Air plays at 8:15. A band that somehow manages to have a moody backdrop with a dance beat, I love these guys and am looking to forward to seeing them live.
On Saturday I will catch Savoir Adore at 1:30. Savoir Adore is a really fun alt/pop band whose song Giants has been in my regular rotation since the early days of the Firefly artist release. The Sunday highlight for me would be NAWAS, a band who defies genre, mixing pop, industrial synth, and undertones of rap/hip hop. I am extremely curios to see what this band brings live. Check out their song Wrong to see what I mean.
There are lots of great opportunities at the smaller stages this year. You can’t be everywhere at once and sometimes you have to make tough choices, but it’s worth noting that three of my top five shows from last year were either at the Coffeehouse or the Treehouse stages. You just can’t beat the intimacy and energy at the small stages. Make sure you catch at least one.
Less than one week to go peeps! Anyone else getting excited?!?