@JordanLipshutz checks in with Festival Crashers with his Top 10 Most Anticipated Shows at Rothbury.
10. Sherwood Forest – I think I’m going to have to bend the rules here and say I’m very anxious to kick it in the Sherwood Forest again. The Sherwood Forest separates all the stages at Rothbury and is literally what you see in your dreams. Whether it’s the giant canvas pumpkins, sound therapy stations or the spectacular nightly lights display, The Sherwood Forest is a great place to grab a hammock and take in exactly what Rothbury is.
9. King Sunny Ade & His African Beats – Known as The Minister of Enjoyment in his homeland of Nigeria, King Sunny Ade is a performer you’re unlikely to get a chance to see again. Ade specializes in Juju music, which is an uplifting Nigerian genre that dabbles in themes of magic and enchantment. Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio comments on Ade saying, “If you must come to see Sunny Adé live, you must be prepared to groove all night”.
8. String Cheese Incident – I’m not as into these guys as other jam bands but I must admit, I am itchin’ for an Incident. Leading up to their “break-up”, Cheese unsuccessfully played around with a more electronic sound. Judging from their June 24th show at the Ogden in Denver, they will be coming to Rothbury with their classic bluegrass and funk sounds that have pleased crowds for years.
7. The Black Crowes – I’m not as excited about the Crowes as Andy, but they’re a band I’ve wanted to see ever since I missed them at Bonnaroo ’05. The Black Crowes released a DVD today and are currently working on new material that should get playtime at Rothbury. Should be a rockin’ good time.
6. Damien Jr. Gong Marley and Nas – I saw Jr. Gong open for Ben Harper a few years back and really loved it. He has an amazing energy, great flow and is really like his Dad with a modern urban twist. Marley collaborated with Nas before on his album, Welcome to Jamrock, for one of my favorite tracks on the album. They are also currently working on new original material. For a festival that is lack-luster in the Hip Hop category, this promises to bring the bump to the ‘Bury.
5. Umphrey’s McGee – It’s crazy to think that these guys are one of my favorite bands, yet I haven’t seen them since their free show at the Lincoln Park Zoo in April of ’07. Umphrey’s has done oodles since then and continue to rock venues nationwide night in and night out. They’ve really made a name for themselves with their versatile repertoire and jaw-dropping, face-melting live shows. Not to mention the recent addition of lighting designer extraordinaire, Jeff Waful. Should be a great comeback to Umphrey’s for me.
4. Toots & The Maytals – Toots Hibbert and his band The Maytals is probably my favorite currently active Reggae group. They are another band I really regret missing at Bonnaroo ’05 and I’m sure not to miss again. Really not much to say. They’re awesome. I can’t wait.
3. MSTRKRFT – Oh dear am I excited to see these guys again. I will be front row with my buddy Paul who is aiming to get onstage like he did at last year’s Bonnaroo performance. MSTRKRFT (pronounced “master craft”) plays a bumpin’ live mix of originals and remixes all while consuming a handle of liquor and around a carton of cigarettes. They’re music is filled with heavy ground rumbling bass and loud buzzing synths that promise to have you dancing your ass off.
2. Femi Kuti & The Positive Force – Andy mentioned he was the one that introduced me to this music and I couldn’t be more thankful. I know this will be one of my favorites of the weekend. Femi Kuti carries the torch his father Fela handed to him as the leading performer of Afrobeat music in the world. The infectious percussion drenched grooves and stinging horn lines will have you on your feet and dancing uncontrollably from the first beat drop to the last note of the show. Many people do not know of Kuti and it’s a damn shame. IF YOU ARE READING THIS AND GOING TO ROTHBURY, GO SEE THIS SHOW!
1. The Dead – They are what is left of my favorite band. Coming off a spring reunion tour for their only date of the summer, Bob, Phil, Mickey and Billy are joined by Warren Haynes on guitar and Jeff Chmienti on keys. They had some criticism of being a little rusty on this last tour, so don’t come expecting something out of the ‘70s. This band however is a great celebration of the Grateful Dead’s impressive career playing hits and deeps cuts with plenty of jamming of course. It will be a great show and I’ve got my fingers crossed that we get a little Dylan and The Dead.