Artists worth your attention who aren't playing the main stage this weekend
At Firefly, deciding which acts to see is like experiencing a taco Tuesday at a restaurant with more than eight dozen toppings to choose from.
You want to try it all, but you just won’t (except for that one obnoxious person who’ll do it just to prove it can be done).
With over 100 musical acts, including Dover’s own Amillion The Poet (on the Backyard Stage from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday) it can be tough trying to figure out which shows to check out at The Woodlands Thursday through Sunday, especially if many artists are new to you.
Since the headliners already have big names, we’ve found at least one act per day who won’t be on the Main Stage that you should check out.
WHEN 10:45 p.m. to midnight, Thursday
WHERE Backyard stage
Dripping in ‘80s nostalgia, the electro-funk duo Chromeo keeps people grooving and intrigued with their danceable tunes and talk-box voice effects. This veteran Canadian team features Dave 1 (guitar/vocals) and P-Thugg (keys/vocals). The Funk Lordz will drop their fifth EP, “Head Over Heels,” Friday. The record includes the single “Must’ve Been” featuring DRAM. Over the years, Chromeo has been responsible for a number of fierce tunes, including “Night By Night,” “Don’t Turn the Lights On,” “Bonafide Lovin’” and “Come Alive.” Dave1’s DJ brother, A-Trak, made his Firefly debut in 2014.
2. Cheat Codes
WHEN 10-11 p.m., Friday
WHERE Pavillion Stage
In case you missed them at Firefly in 2016, the DJ collective Cheat Codes will return with their EDM swag. The trio of Matt Russell, Trevor Dahl and Kevi Ford recently released the new EP “Level 1.” The crew is boasting the new single “Balenciaga,” a song that bridges the gap between their vocal work and straight up electro house music. One of the group’s biggest songs to date is their 2017 collaboration with singer Demi Lovata, “No Promises,” a four-times platinum tune which landed the trio their first Billboard Hot 100 hit.
WHEN 3:15 to 4 p.m., Friday
WHERE Backyard Stage
Electro-pop singer-songwriter Lights did something unique last year. She dropped her latest album, “Skin & Earth,” and released a namesake comic book to complement it. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the synopsis states: “‘Skin & Earth’ is a story of a girl looking for hope in a hopeless world” in a tale “caught between romance and cults, gods and mortals.” The Canadian singer-songwriter is one of only a few women sprinkled into this year’s lineup. She toured with the female-fronted trio PVRIS, a Firefly alum, in 2017.
4. Lil Xan
WHEN 1 to 2 a.m., Friday
WHERE Pavillion Stage
One of the most controversial rappers of this year, not named Kanye, is the youngster Lil Xan. He caused a firestorm in March after an interview where he was asked to rank the clout of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer 2pac on a scale from one to nine (with nine being the highest). Xan gave Pac a two ranking, saying the rap icon’s music is “boring.” He received a barrage of criticism from the hip-hop community, which included getting named “Donkey of the Day” by the popular Breakfast Club radio show. Firefly alum and fellow rapper Waka Flocka was so appalled by his comments that he wrote on Twitter: “Lil Xan [is] banned from hip hop.” A torch-bearer of the sad-rap movement, Xan is known for his signature face tattoos. His latest project is the new album “Total Xanarchy.”
5. Reo Cragun
WHEN 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., Saturday
WHERE Porch Stage
For fans of trap music, Reo Cragun certainly hits the spot. The 20-something singer/producer offers a trap-soul vibe like fellow artist Bryson Tiller. Reo’s latest project is the “Growing Pains” EP. This includes the sizzling opening track “On My Way,” a motivational tune about hard work paying off. The project also features the dark R&B song “Night Crawler,” seemingly about racing under the stars.
6. Alice Merton
WHEN 4 to 5 p.m., Sunday
WHERE Lawn Stage
Alice Merton is a German-born singer-songwriter who didn’t hold back in her new music video, “Lash Out.” In the video, she bashed car windows with a baseball bat while simultaneously managing to hit the right notes. In 2017, Merton released the video for “No Roots,” racking up over 100 million YouTube views to date. The song is from her 2016 EP, also titled “No Roots,” and features the groove-heavy track “Hit the Ground Running.”