Don’t Miss: Carla Bruni @ The Birchmere, 2/13/18

Carla Bruni Sarkozy
Carla Bruni (Photo by Claude Gassian)

Carla Bruni was a model, then a singer and actress, and then the First Lady of France! With her husband Nicolas Sarkozy out of office, Carla returned to performing, and she released French Touch, her firth album, last year via Teorema and Barclay Records. With the album comes a US tour, and Carla will perform at The Birchmere on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

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Music Park: Seu Jorge @ Howard Theatre — 11/8/16

Seu Jorge at The Howard Theatre, Washington, D.C., 11/8/16
Seu Jorge performs at the Howard Theatre in DC on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by Theresa Sanchez)

Seu Jorge was home in Brazil, and he received a phone call that would change the direction of his life.

His ex-wife (an apparently amazing woman who suggested Seu take to the road this year) initially took the call, and she told Seu that the caller had a movie offer for him.

Once on the phone, Wes Anderson asked Seu, “Do you know David Bowie?”

“Oh yeah, he’s the blonde guy! He has the two different colored eyes!” said Seu.

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Music Park: The Struts @ Firefly Music Festival 2016 — 6/19/16

The StrutsThe Struts @ Firefly’s Treehouse Stage (6/19/16) (Photo by: Jeremy Bailey)

The Struts are showmen through and through.

This glam rock band from England is certainly channeling Queen, especially with Luke Spiller’s voice as pure and resonate as Freddy Mercury’s. After all, their name is The Struts and that is what they did.

Their music is classic, exuberant rock and roll. They mobilized the Firefly crowd at the Lawn Stage to great heights of excitement and sing-a-longs. Anyone that didn’t know them going in, certainly walked away with full intention of adding them to their playlist on repeat.

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Music Park: Firefly 2016 Music Overview (Day 1 & 2)

Of Monsters and Men - FireflyNanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir from Of Monsters and Men (Photo courtesy of Firefly Music Festival)

Firefly 2016. The fifth annual version of the music festival that takes over Dover, Delaware for four days in June, had a solid number of good bands and artists to choose from. The headliners were not as strong as previous years (I still like the first year’s headliners the best). I spent a majority of the time bouncing between one stage or another, eventually catching 30 full sets and another seven half sets.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day 1 was more about logistics, traveling to Delaware, picking up my credentials (long line!), parking and finding the press tent, but I arrived in time to see a few acts.

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Music Park: PVRIS @ Firefly Music Festival 2016 — 6/18/16

PVRIS @ FireflyLyndsey Gunnulfsen of PVRIS @ The Coffee House Stage

Sometimes it’s fun to just show up to a set with no expectations and no prior knowledge of the band. And walk away having thoroughly enjoyed it.

Maybe copying CHVRCHES, with the letter ‘V’ replacing a vowel, PVRIS (pronounced like the city) brought an incredible energy to their opening set (12:30pm) on Firefly’s Backyard Stage on Saturday, June 18th.

Or as they introduced themselves, “We’re Paris, we spell it with a ‘V’ because we’re third graders that don’t know how to spell.”

I highlight PVRIS (of the 35+ sets that I saw more than half of over four days), apart from enjoying it, because I witnessed two of their sets (they were rockstars and actually played three in total), to compare and contrast the concept of the main stage set and the acoustic stage set. Many bands/performers did this, and I intentionally went to both sets for three of those.

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Music Park: Top 10 Reasons to Attend Firefly Music Festival

Firefly 2016Firefly Main Stage (Photo Credit: aLIVE Coverage)

Like all things, too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, and may even become addicting. With a music festival, the sheer volume of music and sights and sounds and bands and experiences all packed into four days, all the good starts to blur together and ultimately leads to drastic mood swings bordering on exhaustion.

I attended the 5th annual Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware from June 16-19 (now my third time at Firefly) and you get to hear about it over the week. Steel yourself, it may become too much of a good thing.

Let’s start simple. What were the highlights in blurb form?

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Don’t Miss: Mike Peters (of The Alarm) @ The Hamilton Live, 9/8/15

Strength Tour 2015 - Winchester - The Railway
Mike Peters on the Strength Tour 2015 in Winchester at The Railway. (Photo courtesy Mike Peters Organization)

Mike Peters of The Alarm spent much of 2014 celebrating the 30th anniversary of his band’s first full-length album, Declaration. In doing so, he made a solo visit to Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown.

“All in all, Peters put on an incredibly satisfying and entertaining show in a venue well suited for his solo performance and witty recollections,” I reported for the sadly defunct We Love DC on the show, held August 7, 2014.

A little over a year later, Mike is back, celebrating another anniversary! This time around, it’s the 30th anniversary of The Alarm’s second full-length album, Strength. And the celebration takes place locally in a solo show at the Hamilton Live on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

As a “one-man band,” Mike will play the album Strength along with other songs while sharing stories and images to honor the album, his band and their history. The album includes such beloved classics from The Alarm as “Spirit of ‘76” and “Walk Forever by My Side.” The album and much of its material is inspired by Mike’s own fight against cancer.

Watch a somewhat recent acoustic performance of the “Spirit of ‘76” in a video for the song on YouTube:

Mike continues his own cancer fight, but he also fights to help others. Over the last four years, Mike’s Love Hope Strength Foundation:

  • found over 1,500 potentially life-saving bone marrow donor matches;
  • built the first ever children’s cancer center in Tanzania;
  • supported the Bhaktapur Cancer Center in Nepal with life-saving equipment; and
  • registered over 90,000 donors through its “Get On the List” program.

Tickets are available online.

Mike Peters
The Hamilton Live
Tuesday, Sept. 8
Doors @6:30pm
$15-23
All ages

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