When Lostboycrow stepped on the Treehouse Stage on Firefly Music Festival's last day, the mood was electric. He transformed the forest as if it was bathed in the sunset of the Santa Fe desert. Lostboycrow began as a solo project and has evolved to a full band, but has always been "An idea that pays homage to new beginnings and a poignant heritage." Born Chris Blair, he first began releasing music as Lostboycrow in 2015 with "Adolescent" after recently moving to Los Angeles from Oregon. Through four EPs and a slew of singles, Lostboycrow experimented with a wide range of synth-based musical styles while drawing inspiration from traveling to various places. His debut album, Santa Fe - released earlier this year - shows a more refined artistic intent, partially due to focusing on one place while creating music. The new era brought many changes - most notably, less emphasis on synthesizers and more emphasis on raw instrumentals with a full band (Boaz Roberts, Tim McNalley, and Cole Petersen). But throughout the changes, Lostboycrow has remained authentically himself both on stage and off, staying open to new beginnings and true to the poignant heritage he started with.
Lostboycrow began the Treehouse set with "Waste of Time," a creativity-inducing track from Santa Fe. With lyrics such as "The mind is a cage no bird is used to" and "Whatever we make is never a waste of time" in the chorus, listeners are naturally brought to a creative space that sums up the planet Lostboycrow found himself on while writing the album. Being an artist of any kind comes with the fear of failing while creating, thus hesitating to create anything at all. Lostboycrow draws from the demons he wrestled with to get to where he is today, all while inspiring listeners to never give up on their own creative journeys. Opening the set with "Waste of Time" was a perfect decision for this reason.
The next song, "Moonlight," is unreleased - but several listeners at the barricade still knew every word, leaving the whole band surprised and in awe. After a Velvet Underground cover, Lostboycrow briefly transformed the Treehouse back to the Oregon suburbs with three nostalgic songs from Santa Fe: "27 (Sad Signs)," "Suburban Girl," and "Since the Day I Was Born." The tall trees of Oregon and the Santa Fe desert couldn't be any more different, but to Lostboycrow, each place feels like home in its own special way. These three songs progressively became more personal, giving us glimpses into Lostboycrow's ever-changing life with lyrics like "Twenty-seven and everything's changed, all the holes that I've dug are all covered up except one" and "We'll trade our secrets, pretend that it works 'till one of us leaves this small town first." "Since the Day I Was Born" gave us the most descriptive vulnerability with "I think I want to go home, where the trees get tall looking out from my bedroom window...where my dad works hard and my mom is a hero...I think I want to go have a laugh in the cul-de-sac where I learned to skate...playing air guitar by the lake and there were no mistakes." Most people in the Delaware crowd did not grow up in Oregon, but these lyrics compelled each listener to bring themselves back to the place they grew up with their minds, all while understanding where Lostboycrow is deeply rooted.
To transition the crowd from the nostalgic forests of Oregon back to the desert, Lostboycrow gave us the title track - "Santa Fe" - a soothing reflection of who he has become most authentically. After asking himself "Who am I?" during the verses, he repeated the line "We could be strong, knew all along" during the bridge, backed with impressive guitar solos and synthesizers. He subtly revisited the beginning of the set with "Santa Fe's" lyric, "Love is an oasis and yet a 'waste of time,'" but two songs later, he revisited something much earlier - the 2016 single, "Where It All Goes." Listeners who have kept up with him since the first time he toured with flor in 2016 enjoyed this familiar treat, since this was the only old song he played. Through closing the set with this song, Lostboycrow tied together every musical concept he left on the Treehouse stage - specifically with the lyric, "I feel like there's a reason people go and places stay, but neither stay the same."
Three weeks later, the performance still resonates with listeners. Lostboycrow had a lasting effect on the crowd at Firefly, and he's set to hit the road with flor this September for more transformative moments.