The Hampton Roads Show

A Weekend in The Woodlands – Firefly Music Festival 2015

June 23rd, 2015 at 12:28 pm by under THRS Live Music

Firefly-logoThe fields were alive across the Dover International Speedway with the sounds of sweet music.  Firefly 2015 is in the books and it was bigger and better than ever.  In it’s 4th year, the festival is still getting started but acted like it’s been a veteran on the scene with a vast lineup of talented artists topped with Sir Paul McCartney.  Campers rolled in Wednesday and dealt with some muddy conditions – Saturday night had to be cut short as strong storms moved in, forcing the cancellation of that night’s headliners Kings Of Leon – but that didn’t hamper anybody’s spirit.

My wife and I arrived Friday afternoon to catch the start of Walk The Moon’s set.  They are riding high on the charts with their very catchy tune, ‘Shut Up and Dance’, and made the most of their 60 minute set keeping everything up tempo and ending it with their hit song.  We then moved on to peruse the grounds and hitting one of my favorite spots, The Brewery.  Dogfish Head creates a special brew for this event – appropriately named the Firefly Ale, a refreshing English-style pale ale.  Delicious!  Friday night’s headliner was Sir Paul, so we grabbed our Fireflys and went to secure our spot by the main stage.  Just before Paul, Morrissey hit the stage for his set and opened with his hit ‘Suedehead’ and ripped through 16 songs  from his more recent catalog.  The crowd of 90,000 that was spread around the festival grounds quickly headed for the main stage to catch the Beatle and at 10:00pm, Sir Paul and his band emerged on stage and opened with Birthday as Paul’s 73nd birthday was the day before.  Macca blistered a 2.5 hour set full of Beatles, Wings and cuts from his latest record and really set the tone for the rest of the festival.

The heat was on for Saturday as we headed to down to the festival site at 12p.  The crowd was pretty light early on and a good majority of the McCartney crowd missed a great main stage set from Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness.  Australian pop-rock band, The Griswolds, electrified the crown at the Backlawn stage with a set full of tune from their album, Be Impressive.  Phoebe Ryan packed the StubHub Coffeehouse with a soulful, pop set that featured her hit Mine.  Phoebe just released her video for her single, Homie – Check it out!

The artist that really blew me away and turned me into a fan was Betty Who.  I didn’t know much about Betty other than that she had a catchy tune in Somebody Loves You and had opened up for Katy Perry.  I noticed her catching Phoebe Ryan’s set and I thought about checking out Betty’s gig a few hours later – I’m sure glad I did.  The fun, energetic Who commanded the stage and had the crowd dancing and singing along – even if they didn’t know the words.  The only problem I had was that her set wasn’t long enough!  She is definitely one to keep an eye on in the pop scene as I can see big things for her.behind

Saturday was cut short due to the storms so we had headed back down Rt. 13 to Hampton Roads.  Firefly is definitely one of the best music and festival experiences that I’ve ever had.  If you have never gone and thought about going – you really need to get up and go.  It’s quick drive and I saw a lot of 757ers there – it seems that I see more and more each year I do and there’s no doubt that the camper caravan will be twice as long next year.

 


The Road To Dover – A Preview Of Firefly 2015

June 15th, 2015 at 11:35 am by under THRS Live Music

Firefly-logoEvery year around this time, campers, RVs, and cars of all types head through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and up Route 13 to The Woodlands in Dover, Delaware for what has become the premier music festival on the East Coast: Firefly.  2015 marks the 4th year of the festival and it is bigger and better than ever.  A great mix of today’s hit makers and up and coming artists, Firefly really gives the unknowns a chance to share the stage with major artists and rock royalty as is the case for this year’s big headliner: Sir Paul McCartney.  Sir Paul will headline Friday night with Kings Of Leon Saturday and Snoop Dogg and The Killers finishing it off Sunday night.

Now as all of the 757ers that are preparing to head up have their schedules set on which artists they’re going to see, I’m going to give you my list of the must-see acts that might not be on your radar.  I promise you that after seeing them perform you will be a fan for life.

Thursday

Young Rising Sons – The Lawn Stage (5:30-6:15p) The Coffee House (7:15-7:45p)

This New Jersey band alt-rock band formed just two years ago and quickly gained recognition with their single, ‘High”.  The song has been featured on MLB Network, NBC and Fox’s Red Band Society.

X-Ambassadors – The Backyard Stage (10:45-11:45p)

I don’t think I really need to describe this band as they have been a long-time favorite in Hampton Roads.  They just announced that they will be performing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Wednesday, June 24.

Friday

The Hunts – The Lawn Stage (12:15-1:00p)

The indie-folk band from Chesapeake just released their debut full-length album, Those Younger Days, which features their hit single “Make This Leap”.

Saturday

The Griswolds – The Backyard Stage (2:15-3:00p)

A great pop-rock band from Australia, The Griswolds are embarking on their first headlining US tour and are selling dates out like crazy.  They have a great ’80s sound that just makes you happy and gets you singing along to their catchy hooks.  Check out their great video for their single, “If You Wanna Stay”

 

Phoebe Ryan – The Coffee House (3:00-3:45p)

The 24 year-old songwriter from LA who has written for Oh Honey, Skizzy Mars and Bea Miller has stepped out in front of the spotlight with her debut EP, Mine.  Released just last week, it is quickly gaining buzz and has a great synth-pop sound that really gets you going.  I absolutely love everything about this 5 song EP.  Download it now and make sure you get to The Coffee House early for her set as I’m sure it will be packed.

 

Sunday

Bad Suns – The Porch (5:00-5:45p)

The California-based alt-rock band, with a great post-’80s punk sound, are currently on their way back from across the pond where they sold-out venues across the UK.  They will release their debut full-length album, Language & Perspective, on iTunes June 24th.

 

I’ll be heading up to Firefly on Friday and will give you an up close look at the festival and interviews with some of the above mentioned artists.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @TheBloomBoys for all things Firefly this weekend!


Sunny & Gabe’s ‘Downtown’

June 9th, 2015 at 11:11 am by under THRS Live Music

Every summer has it’s song, it’s groove, it’s anthem and today I’ve found the song for the summer of ’15.  Norfolk’s funky, groove duo Sunny & Gabe have just released their new single, ‘Downtown’ and it’s accompanying video.  And it’s awesome.

Described as ‘Rouge Time Travelers’, Sunny Gicz and Gabe Niles first met in 2012 with a no-limit sense in their creative musical journey.  They released a single in February featuring rapper D.R.A.M and guitarist Brandon Jarod (Check out Brandon’s Live Music Friday appearance on The Hampton Roads Show) and the video was scene over 78,000 times on YouTube.

Sunny & Gabe are a group to definitely keep your eyes on.  With head-bobbing beats and soulful hooks, they are going to be going places – and soon.

Facebook – SunnyNGabe

Twitter @sunnyandgabe

Instagram @sunnyandgabe


The LMF Album Review: Jennifer Hope – Love Blooms to Black

June 5th, 2015 at 8:03 am by under THRS Live Music

JenniferHope2

I was first blown away by Jennifer Hope’s voice when I listened to her Velvet Fire release – it instantly grabbed you with the first note.  I had the same feeling when I hit play on her latest album, Love Blooms to Black.  A 5-song collection of covers, Jennifer puts her own blend on them that really makes them shine.  It opens with Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love and Hope really owns it with a slowed down tempo with an electric twist.  It was hard to pick a favorite track on the EP as they were all beautiful and fantastic but I would have to pick the closing track, Yellow.  I’ve always loved the Coldplay tune but Jennifer’s take on it really hit me and had me hitting the repeat button.

This EP, as well as the rest of Jennifer’s catalog, is a must-have.  She really has a sound of her own and she owns it – She knows exactly how to approach a song and takes full command of it.  Love Blooms to Black is available now on iTunes.  Get it!

JenniferHope.com

Facebook – Jennifer Hope Music

Twitter @JenHopeMusic

 

 


ICE In The Summer

June 4th, 2015 at 8:14 am by under THRS Live Music

icefest

The end of summer in Hampton Roads is filled with great music from with bands from near and far filling the stages of ECSC and the American Music Festival.  Well get ready because another great festival is coming your way and it’s one that you will definitely need to attend.

ICE (Innovation, Culture, Extreme) will hit the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Friday, August 28 and will be tantalizing your senses until Friday, September 4.  It’s not just a music festival, it’s a festival that will cover a wide range of culture – from music to films to extreme sports to innovating conversations with expert speakers from the world of entertainment, finance and technology.

Over 10 indoor and outdoor venues will host a array of local and national artists.  Among the artists scheduled to perform are Breathe Carolina, Unwritten Law, Bam Margera, Agent Orange, The Jane Doze, Live Music Friday’s The Wet Boys and The Reset and many, many more.

This is sure to be the festival of the summer and it’s an event you want to put on your calendar.  I’ll feature a more comprehensive feature on hrScene.com and WAVY.com when the event nears to give everything you need to know about ICE.

 


O’Connoroo 2015

May 28th, 2015 at 11:23 am by under THRS Live Music

One of the best things to happen in Norfolk in the last decade was the creation of O’Connor Brewing Company.  Craft brewers were on the rise around the country and we just had two within a 60 mile radius.  Kevin O’Connor had a vision and a plan of producing fine ales in the Mermaid City and on St. Patrick’s Day of 2010, the first pint of Green Can was poured at A.W. Shucks.  Fast forward five years later and you can pretty much find an O’Connor brew in every restaurant and grocery store in the 757.  This weekend celebrates the 1st anniversary in their new building off of 24th Street with O’Connoroo 2015.  After an overwhelming attendance last year – this year’s event has been expanded to two days.  Double the beer, double the food, double the fun and, of course, double the music.

Since this is a music blog, I guess I should talk about the music.  A lot of great bands and Live Music Friday alums will be entertaining the crowds on their great inside stage and a stage outside.  Richmond’s Murphy’s Kids kick things off outside at 12:30 Saturday with funky jazz band Sharkophagus to follow.  Also playing are Live Music Friday’s DJP and MrT, Mike Lawson and Mimsy along with The Vir, The Framers and Kelsie McNair.  A plethora of great food trucks will keep your bellies full and lots of family entertainment.   Everything kicks off Saturday at 12p and goes until 9p and Sunday 12p – 6p.  Get out there and support your local brewery and local music.

SATURDAY

12:30 : Murphy’s Kids
2:00 : Sharkophagus – Outside
3:00 : Mike Lawson – Inside
4:00 : DJP and MrT – Outside
5:00 : Kelsie McNair – Inside
6:30 : Mimsy – Outside

SUNDAY

12:30: Kelsie McNair – Inside
2:30 : The Framers – Outside
4:30 : The Vir – Outside

oconnor

 


Cinco de Mayo with X Ambassadors

May 5th, 2015 at 11:33 am by under THRS Live Music

It’s Cinco de Mayo! The day in which we Americans celebrate the victory Mexico put upon the mighty French in the Battle Of Puebla.  If you’re looking for a place to celebrate, head up to City Center at Oyster Point in Newport News and enjoy the great sounds of one of the best up and coming bands, X Ambassadors.  Hampton Roads is kind of a second home to the New York-based band as they have been immensely popular here ever since 96X played their first single, Litost, 3 years ago.  Originally just Ambassadors, they were signed by Interscope Records after Imagine Dragons heard an acoustic version of their tune, Unconsolable, on the radio.  They are touring in support of their upcoming debut full-length album, VHS, featuring the single Renegades.  

Tonight’s show at City Center is brought to you by our good friends at 96X and is absolutely FREE!  It kicks off at 5p with Robin Domingo’s Mariachi Band and the always fun AudioStrobeLight!  X Ambassadors will hit the stage at 8:15p.  Get there early, grab a good spot and a couple of cervezas and enjoy a great night of music.

Checkout the clip below of when the band stopped by our studios for a little acoustic performance.


Veer Magazine Local Music Awards Preview

February 10th, 2015 at 11:20 am by under THRS Live Music

microphoneOur localized version of the Grammys take place this week in Norfolk.  The 4th Veer Magazine Local Music Awards will be held Wednesday night at the historic Attucks Theater with a musical theme of Black Music In America.  Our good friends, The Fuzz Band will serve as the house band with a variety of singers and musicians joining them throughout the night.  Among the guests performers are Anthony Rosano , Major and The Monbacks and Myra Smith.

Awards will be handed out in categories ranging from Album Of The Year to Best Musical Retailer and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Lenis Green, one of the biggest contributors to the Norfolk Sound.  Bruce Gray of the Bartones will perform Lenis’ hit “Working For My Baby” with The Fuzz Band.  The winners will be determined from 50% of the online votes from the public and 50% of votes from a panel of judges.  Tickets are available for $10 at Belmont House of Smoke, Colley Cantina, Cogans and Cogans North.  Doors open at 6p and the show starts at 7p. Official after parties will be held Belmont House of Smoke, Colley Cantina, Cogans and Cogans North immediately following the awards show.

 


Monday Musical Happenings

February 9th, 2015 at 8:59 am by under THRS Live Music

microphoneGood morning Monday! It’s the start of a new week and if you’re any thing like me, you’re probably on your 3rd or 5th cup of coffee.  So let’s get that caffeinated brain rolling with a little local music news.

The 57th Grammy Awards were held in LA last night and our hometown star, Pharrell Williams, took home three golden victrolas for Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video.  Former Norfolk police officer turned record producer Mark Carman was nominated for his work on T. Graham Brown’s Forever Change in the Best Roots Gospel Album category but lost to Mike Farris’ Shine for All The People.  

Our localized version of the Grammy Awards take place this week in Norfolk.  The 4th Veer Magazine Local Music Awards will be held Wednesday night at the historic Attucks Theater.  Awards will be handed out in categories ranging from Album Of The Year to Best Musical Retailer.  The winners will be determined from 50% of the online votes from the public and 50% of votes from a panel of judges.  Tickets are available for $10 at Belmont House of Smoke, Colley Cantina, Cogans and Cogans North.  Doors open at 6p and the show starts at 7p. Official after parties will be held Belmont House of Smoke, Colley Cantina, Cogans and Cogans North immediately following the awards show.

 


Fire and Steel

February 4th, 2015 at 11:41 am by under THRS Live Music

microphoneSeth Stainback and Roosterfoot have just released a video for the song, Fire and Steel, off their fantastic record of the same name.  The video was recorded during the recording of the album at Dockside Studios in Maurice, LA and at their release show this summer at the NorVa.  The album was released in July and produced by the great Anders Osborne and is nominated for Album Of The Year in the Veer Magazine Local Music Awards.

You can Seth and the band perform this Saturday at Calypso in Virginia Beach.