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: The Ting Tings @ 9:30 Club — 4/11/15

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The Ting Tings bang the drums at 9:30 Club in 2009

Katie White, in a space age dress with a sweater around the waist, was all about destroying the stage with dance. Nothing was safe from her furious motion. Not the microphone stands or the cords that got twisted and unplugged or the drum, the drum, the drum that fell after repeated banging.

After awhile, she gave the stage hand a shout out for being the hero of the night, repeatedly putting things back in perfect order, until she danced back through.

After a 3-year absence, Katie White and Jules de Martino, who make up The Ting Tings out of Manchester, returned in full dance mode to the 9:30 Club with their new album, Super Critical, and tour. The new songs are part disco and a few, like “Only Love”, are reminiscent of their first album, We Started Nothing.

This marked he fifth time I’ve seen The Ting Tings play live, and this was most certainly their best performance yet. With three albums worth of material to play, they took the packed club on a 13 song odyssey.

They spent much of the night doling out gems from Super Critical and We Started Nothing. They largely skipped their second album except to play “Hang It Up” and “Give It Back” early on in the show.

New songs like “Communication”, takes one back to early 90’s electronic dance, and “Green Poison” gives off a whiff of funk. Katie opened the latter by requesting the light crew to shine the nastiest green lights they can find.

The crowd was constantly in motion, feeding off of Katie’s smooth vocals and the peppy beats from Jules.

The Ting Tings are back. You need to pick up their new album and start your own dance party.

 

KANEHOLLER opened for The Ting Ting’s during this early Saturday show. The electro singing-songwriting duo of Chelsea Tyler and Jon Foster formed in Brooklyn in 2011 under the name “badbad” and are now based in Venice, CA.

This was their first show ever in DC. They seemed pleased to be here and played a number of catchy electro-dance songs like “Paper Games” and “Evermore”. Chelsea Tyler often resembled an electronic version of Alanis Morissette in motion.

A fine set that got the crowd loose and ready for The Ting Tings.

 

The Ting Ting’s Set List

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Don’t Miss: The Ting Tings @ 9:30 Club, 4/11/15

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Jules De Martino and Katie White go disco with Super Critical.

A few years ago, Katie White and Jules De Martino took to the island of Ibiza. There, the pop duo known as the Ting Tings found Andy Taylor, formerly guitarist of Duran Duran.

The Ting Tings enlisted Andy to assist with producing their third studio album, Super Critical, which finally saw release last fall. And frankly, it was a match made in heaven.

The Ting Tings were looking for a different sound, and Andy comes armed with a deep love and admiration for the music of David Bowie and Chic, among others. And so they produced a wonderful little dance album of nine tracks that remind you of why you fell in love with the band when they debuted in 2007.

Now, Super Critical is not the same lightning bolt of glossy electropop that is debut album We Started Nothing. But the smooth funky tracks like “Wrong Club” and “Do It Again” make equally good use of Katie White’s alluring vocals and Jules De Martino’s ability to strike a perfect note on almost any instrument. The sound fits them very well, and Katie’s upbeat, kinetic voice and Jules’ beats make for a perfect dance record.

In a press release, Katie said of the track “Wrong Club,” “It’s about what happened to nightclubs that made them not sexy, how the tempo became so fast that nobody moves any more, they just jerk, its gesture not rhythm. We wanted to make a song that felt exactly like the opposite of that. It’s very Ting Tings to do a sad song with uplifting music. That’s just who we are.”

The Ting Tings have launched a tour in support of Super Critical, and they visit the 9:30 Club on Saturday, April 11 in an early show. Take our word for it, this is going to be a great show.

Brooklyn soul duo Kaneholler open for the Ting Tings.

The Ting Tings
w/ Kaneholler
9:30 Club
Saturday, April 11
Doors @6pm
$25
All ages