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Violent Femmes, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

Violent Femmes at Newport Folk Festival

Violent Femmes at Newport Folk Festival (photo by Adam Kissick/NPR)


Even though Violent Femmes played the Newport Folk Festival midway through a bright summer afternoon, the rock band's new song "I Could Be Anything" made the sunny field feel like a packed pub, where beer has made everyone friends, and revelers bellow out drinking songs with arms thrown across shoulders.

The off-again, on-again veterans from Milwaukee, who recently released their first studio album in 16 years, threaded their Newport Folk set with wildly diverse songs from their catalog of 30-plus years. Original members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie led the band's careening, playful ride through a smattering of polka, blues and acoustic tunes, with Gano shifting from snot-nosed punk to earnest believer on folk-gospel songs like "Jesus Walking On The Water." But (obviously) it was mainstay songs like the off-the-wall hit "Blister In The Sun," crowd favorite "Add It Up" and the xylophone-driven "Gone Daddy Gone" that bonded old and new fans together like a friendly round of lagers.

Hear the whole set at

Set List
  • "Blister In The Sun"
  • "Kiss Off"
  • "Good For/At Nothing"
  • "Love Love Love Love Love"
  • "Country Death Song"
  • "I Could Be Anything"
  • "American Music"
  • "Jesus Walking On The Water"
  • "You Move Me"
  • "Memory"
  • "I Held Her In My Arms"
  • "Issues"
  • "Gone Daddy Gone"
  • "Add It Up"
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