@AndyShore There is a lot of emphasis as to what headliners a music festival has. Sure, it’s the big names at the top of the bill that will put the butts in the seats, but it’s the rest of the line up that can make or break a festival. A top-heavy festival can be its downfall. Often the most memorable shows are the bands you stumbled across or your new favorite obsession that hasn’t exploded yet. The headliners get all the glory, but it’s those middle of the line-up bands that do the heavy lifting. Let’s pay them their due.
The Black Keys took a year off from the festival circuit last summer. It was a much needed break after catching them thrice the year before. The first time was incredible, but it was much of the same after that. A solo CD from Dan Auerbach and a side project (Blakroc), and now the duo should be happy to be back together. Here’s to hoping for some new material, and for some hip hop sit-ins for some of the Blakroc material. I’m looking at you, Nas, Jay-Z, Kid Cudi and Wale.
John Fogerty is a legend in my mind, and the Dude abides. All he wanted was his Creedence tapes back. Zack may not agree and about half of Fogerty’s set may be a little bit more country than rock and roll, but he isn’t to be missed. I had a great time singing along to the Creedence tunes at ACL 2008, even if Zack and @JustineMenter laughed at me while I did so.
Wale put out one of my favorite hip-hop albums of the last year. He had been on my radar since being featured on a couple tracks on Rhymefest’s Man in the Mirror mixtape, and did not disappoint with his debut album. He’s on Mark Ronson’s label, so you knew he had to be good. He performed admirably as the house band at the MTV Music Video awards last year. I saw Lupe Fiasco right after Pearl Jam headlined at Bonnaroo 2008, and it was the perfect time for such a set. I hope Wale gets a similar slot.
Punch Brothers are the new band of Chris Thile (of Nickle Creek fame). Zack and I caught a lack luster set from Sarah Watkins (also from Nickle Creek) at ACL 09. Her solo act did not possess the raw energy that their old band did. That is because Thile is a rock star trapped in a mandolin player’s body and brings a level of energy to the stage that is unmatched by most. One of our favorite face melter and good friend, Jared Rabin, once told me how great the Punch Brothers were. There are few people who’s music tastes I trust more.
You are no longer my friend, if you don’t have the desire to sing “I Can See Clearly Now” with tens of thousands of other people at Jimmy Cliff.