A stormy morning turned into bright skies and seasonably hot weather at The Woodlands, sending fans running for shade to catch Firefly's top artists. Friday's lineup was such a great compilation of the newest artists on the radio today, and the artists you've been listening to long enough to feel nostalgic about when they play your favorite song. Here's our rundown of the ten best shows from Firefly's second day. Check out our Thursday coverage here, and for more about Firefly 2017, click here.
1. Judah & the Lion find their roar
You know them from their hit single "Take It All Back," but fans at Firefly got to discover how great a festival band Judah & the Lion can be during their first time at Firefly. Frontman and namesake Judah Akers swept back and forth across the stage, working the crowd up with his cheers of "hey ho, let's go!" and encouraging everyone to dance. Their genre-defying music gave everyone present something to get into, and to bridge the gap between the majority of songs that people might not know, they decided to play something everyone would know: a cover of The Killers' "Mr. Brightside," Judah & the Lion closed out their set with a rousing version of "Take It All Back" that got everyone singing along, as Akers had a positive message for fans, stating "know that anything you want to do in life, you can do it."
2. AFI show they're more than a nostalgia act
Despite a 4 pm set under broad daylight, AFI brought the darkness to the main stage, coming out donning studded all-black outfits. The band is currently on The Blood Album tour, supporting their new mature album that has given their grown-up fans a reason to still love AFI. Their newer songs, like "Aurelia," blended into the band's career-spanning setlist. Though frontman Davey Havok has come a long ways from the song's heyday, that didn't stop AFI from powering through "Miss Murder," for old time's sake. The only disappointment was AFI leaving the stage 10 minutes early.
3. DREAMERS tell us what the Porch Stage is meant for
One of the joys of music festivals is always the new artists you might discover playing the smaller stages, and Firefly's Porch Stage is no stranger to putting on new bands. Friday's highlight show on the Porch Stage was DREAMERS, the exciting trio who is still buzzing from their 2016 EP release. That didn't stop them from taking the stage like old pros, and if you heard the them deliver "Sweet Disaster," you know why they keep getting named one of the bands you must know about.
4. Banks throws in some interpretive dance
California singer Banks hit the Backyard Stage wearing a high fashion gown, performing her contemporary hits alongside some very interesting interpretive dancers reminisce of her video for "F**k With Myself." The show was an audio and visual delight for the fans who were clamoring to hear her, and anyone else who wandered by wondering what they were witnessing.
5. Franz Ferdinand test out new music
One of the hottest bands to come out of the 2000s indie scene, Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand have recently gone through a slight lineup change, but haven't let it stop them from rocking out at festivals and shows across America this summer. Alongside hits like "Take Me Out" and an extended jam version of "This Fire," the band tried out new songs "Always Ascending," "Lazy Boy" and "Huck & Jim," which we are sure to hear more of in the future. New members, guitarist Dino Bardott and multi-instrumentalist Julian Corrie, fit right in to the always energetic live show, which saw frontman Alex Kapranos quickly shed his leopard-print jacket, stating "it was a bad idea to wear a fake fur jacket to a hot festival."
6. MISSIO get everyone throwing middle fingers
One of the day's other delightful small-stage shows was new act MISSIO in The Treehouse, where those who came over to catch some shade in the tree-covered area wound up getting inspired by a song that at first glance sounds so negative. Frontman Matthew Brue had a surprisingly supportive message to share with his crowd, saying "We all come from different spiritual backgrounds, political backgrounds... None of that sh*t matters." He explained that "Middle Fingers" is actually "a unity song" before telling the crowd he wanted to see every one of them flicking him off. Before they finished out the catchy track, everyone there really was throwing middle fingers in the air.
7. Weezer play into the sunset
In another time and place, Weezer could have headlined any festival. Today, they essentially opened for the much newer group Twenty One Pilots on the main stage, but that didn't stop the veteran rockers from showing everyone how it's done. As the sun set across from the band, their delightfully user-friendly pop rock offered a perfect familiarity, the key element of a great festival set. "Firefly!" crooned Rivers Cuomo, before cutting through "Island in the Sun" underneath a plethora of inflatable palm trees bobbing around in the crowd. The band's new single, "Feels Like Summer," couldn't have been more appropriate, as Friday night, truly felt summery at Firefly.
8. OK Go make their long-awaited return
One of the bands to play Firefly's inaugural year, OK Go finally returned to the festival. Before they took the stage, a recorded robot voice encouraged the crowd to get going, telling them OK Go wouldn't come out until everyone screamed. When the band finally appeared, confetti shot out of cannons on either side of the stage. Singer and guitarist Damian Kulash quickly decided the only bad thing about festivals is that the crowd is too far away. He came out to a platform at the edge of the stage, telling the fans "let's get to know each other, any of you guys have any questions?" Everyone remembers OK Go from their viral music videos over the years, ranging from treadmills to airplanes to stunt cars, and their knack for the visually weird translates well to the stage. To really throw people off, they even included a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog."
9. Franz Ferdinand DJ set gets the plug pulled
Over in the grove surrounding the Treehouse Stage, Paul Thomson and Julian Corrie from Franz Ferdinand took over for a DJ set, offering a welcome respite for those who just wanted to relax and dance after a long day of watching bands. Near the end of the set, frontman Alex Kapranos invited the entire crowd on stage, making for one heck of a dance party. The crowd was having such a great time that they kept right on at it right past their 10:45 end time, finally getting the plug pulled when Twenty One Pilots started their set on the main stage.
10. Twenty One Pilots come into their own
The Clique was out representing at Twenty One Pilots' headlining set, seeing the band take over for their first nighttime set after having played during the day at Firefly in years past. The band have been on the Emotional Roadshow world tour for the past year and a half, and nothing better can explain what fans saw during Twenty One Pilot's insanely thought out set: fans and the band alike going through all of the emotions, and the freakshow that is this band's live ideas. Starting with a clip of Godzilla smashing the Coachella sign, it set the tone for the evening, which ranged through the full course of Twenty One Pilots' genre-bending, outfit-changing, hit packed evening.