June 22, 2013
Firefly Music Festival, Dover, DE
The Firefly Music Festival - held on four stages over three days at the 87-acre Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware - is a relatively young festival in just its second year but has amassed an impressive lineup for its 2013 edition.
Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined the festival on Friday night and Foster the People was slated for Sunday, leaving Tom and the band atop Saturday night's bill with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Alabama Shakes, Jim James and Japandroids preceding them with great sets on the Main Stage.
The band's compound backstage was buzzing with activity and anticipation leading up to the 10:10 showtime. Karen O and the rest of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs dropped in for a visit with Mike Campbell before the show, Benmont Tench and Ron Blair visited with friends and Steve Ferrone kicked the soccer ball around with family. Just before house lights were scheduled to drop, everyone congregated in Tom's bus for a last-minute huddle. Making their way up to the Main Stage, Tom and the band passed by Jim James, members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and other artists who'd gathered sidestage to watch the band's set.
For much of this tour (especially the residencies in New York and Los Angeles), "Free Fallin'" has been conspicuously absent from the setlist, so much so that Mike Campbell declared in a Rolling Stone interview last month that the band was "free from Free Fallin'." And while it's been nice to see the band dig deep into their songbook and play some of tunes by their favorite bands and biggest influences, everyone knew when the band hit this run of festival dates that Tom's biggest hit would likely return, and return it did on Saturday night.
With the super moon hung directly over the Main Stage, Tom and Mike stepped into the spotlight at the center of the stage, two red Rickenbackers hanging from their necks.
"This next song's another love song," Tom said. "We're gonna dedicate it to anyone here who's cheating on someone tonight."
With that, Mike and Tom strummed the opening chords to "Free Fallin'," and the 60,000-plus at the Main Stage exploded into a full-on sing-a-long, bathed in the white house lights. From atop the light tower above the soundboard, people stretched out as far as the eye could see, and their collective voices could be heard harmonizing along with Tom.
Saratoga, we're excited for tonight! Keep checking back for more from the 2013 Summer Tour!
Rock & Roll Star
Love Is A Long Road
I Won't Back Down
Baby Please Don't Go
Mary Jane's Last Dance
Woman In Love
Cabin Down Below
Tweeter & The Monkey Man
Learning to Fly
You're So Bad
I Should Have Known It
Runnin' Down A Dream
You Wreck Me