Friday, January 2, 2015

More Delaware's Best ArtStuff of 2014!

By Guest Blogger, Alex del Tufo
Alex is a high school student attending Wilmington Friends School with an interest in journalism as a major. She is an editor for her school newspaper, has served as an intern at Out and About magazine and has written for WXPN’s website. Alex hopes to expand her love of music and writing through helping with our blog.  

Narrowing down my "Best Delaware Arts Experiences of 2014" is an excruciating feat. There are numerous concerts, shows, and performances that can be distinguished as some of the best the Delaware Arts Scene has to offer.

A concert that stands out in my mind was Run River North, who performed an incredible set at the Baby Grand in the Grand Opera House in July. The group is categorized as a Korean-American indie folk-rock band, but that doesn’t even begin to describe them. Among the six members, they can probably play any instrument imaginable, including violins, guitars, drums and of course, vocals. The sextet is impossible to squeeze into any one musical genre. I think their performance was breathtaking and has me hoping Delaware will see much more of them in the future.

My second 2014 Delaware Arts moment is not strictly 2014, but the annual Spring Standards Boxing Day Event at Arden Gild Hall. For seven years, the day after Christmas has been dedicated to witnessing the religiously enthusiastic and talented trio, The Spring Standards, light up Arden. Just steps away from my house, the Gild Hall is home to not only our annual favorite but also welcomes several foreign acts. We Were Promised Jetpacks, a Scottish indie rock band, graced the stage in March. I first heard their music in the indie film, The Kings of Summer, and couldn’t stop listening. I hope that the Gild Hall can welcome them to be a part of their list of regular performers alongside The Spring Standards.

A Delaware music moment that cannot be overlooked is the 3rd annual Firefly Music Festival in Dover. This summer event started as a relatively small outdoor concert but quickly erupted into a musical extravaganza hosting around 100 bands and welcoming tens of thousands of festival fanatics. Firefly 2014 brought in performers from Foo Fighters to our local group, New Sweden. My favorite show had to be the energetic indie pop duo, twenty one pilots. Four days of non-stop music and good company was a weekend never to forget, and never to miss again!

A change in pace from the many excellent bands that hit Delaware in 2014, is the outstanding performance of James Joyce's The Dead by City Theater Company. They served up nine performances of at The Black Box at OperaDelaware Studios, where they turned the space into a working Irish "pub." The show was an excellent combination of intriguing dialogue and beautiful musical pieces. The plot simply followed a group of family and friends in their house in Ireland, and the family conflicts that can arise in the comfort of one’s home. The intimate performance space of the show sparked a connection between the actors and the audience that is hard to beat.

2014 brought too many more outstanding concerts and shows to list — and I have faith that 2015 will do much the same for Delaware!

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