One of the best parts about being at a festival are those moments you walk by a stage and have that "what the fuck" moment. It's when you hear something that just doesn't fit. It's the feeling some people probably had at Chaos In Tejas this summer when, coming from Unbroken's set, they stumbled upon Big Freedia's. This is by no means a bad thing. Fests that stick to the idea of only showcasing one genre usually also stick to the idea of failing miserably in the long run.
Here are the oddballs, AKA bands that just don't fit, in Our Off-the-Beaten Path Guide to Summer Festivals:
The Vans Warped Tour is no stranger to mixing up their line up. Although the festival always has been carried by Southern California punk, and now more by Metal Core and pop punk mainstays and newcomers, stirring the pot has been Warp's M.O. for some time now.
Yelawolf is venturing out on this year's Warped Tour. He isn't alone though- Warped veteran's Gym Class Heroes and Unwritten Law collaborate Big B are also bringing some hip hop to Warped fans. Yelawolf stands out among the rest being that this is his first time playing a non-hip hop tour. Big B has has his buddies Unwritten Law on the tour as well and Gym Class Heroes has that whole band thing going for them. Yelawolf's fast-paced southern spitting style will catch many Warped attendees off guard, since he's the only rapper that they probably have not heard on their radios or seen on their TV screen. All in all, Warped Tour sure didn't hurt Eminem's career.
Big Chocolate, the Huntington Beach DJ, is living proof that Dubstep is everywhere. It feels like you can't go to a show, festival or party with out that wobbly bass shaking your insides. It's no secret either that Dubstep has taken root in other scenes. Realistically, it's just the electronic version of a breakdown. Although it is not a shock that Dubstep is being featured at this year's Warped, Big Chocolate will be on his on. Good luck sir, hopefully not too many whiny little kids will start screaming for ex-From First To Last singer, now Dubstep phenom Skrillex, Sonny Moore.
Lucero is going to raise some eyebrows. They possibly could be one of the first groups to play this festival that reps any fashion of country music. They are one of the only bands that can go from playing Coachella to Warped, and that says a lot (all good!). Officially the band that mom and dad will watch with you on this year's Warped Tour, they'll hopefully play somewhere close to the beer garden or Warp's Reverse Day Care.
If you're not a Juggalo you're probably not going to be attending The Gathering this year. Or any other year for that matter. We aren't going to lie, as much fun as it is making fun of Juggalos and everything that this scene touches, The Gathering's lineup has some great acts that just don't fit with Psychopathic Records regulars.
Ice Cube is slated to hit the main stage this year. The hip hop legend is taking a break from producing TBS sitcoms to tour around Europe this summer and of course to play The Gathering to a bunch of rowdy Juggalos who are infamous for throwing bottles and whatever else they can get their hands on at acts that basically aren't ICP and company. We think "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" can handle it.
Funk legend George Clinton will also be making an appearance on the main stage as well. Easily the biggest legend at the festival, he probably won't get the respect he deserves due to the fact that the Insane Clown Posse are Jugalos' biggest and only legend. At the same time The Gathering got George Clinton, Bonnaroo got Bootsy Collins, and we're chalking that up as win for The Gathering.
The Gathering is always such a odd festival that we can't talk about all of the artists that just don't fit but some of the others are: Juvenile, E40, Busta Rhymes, and DJ Quik just to name a few.
Outside Lands in San Fransisco has Phish booked to play two full sets. Can the ADD generation handle two full sets of Phish? It's highly possible that older fans will come out of the woodwork and attend Outside Lands just for Phish. In this case, it will be interesting to see how diehard Phish fans interact with the pill-popping new age festival goers, and quiet little indie kids there to see The Shins and Arcade Fire. All and all this will work. But they still are the outsiders at outside lands.
HARD Summer has been going strong for the past couple of years. The festival features the top electronic acts of the year, and usually throw in a hip hop act as well. This year its hip hop group is none other than Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. It's no secret that these shows are all about drug-induced euphoria that create a party atmosphere of togetherness, peace and love. It'll be interesting to see how the audience's dilated pupils take in the group's confrontational stage presence. It could be the first rave where the crowd is chanting, "kill people, burn shit, fuck school." We are more than ok with that idea.
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Lollapalooza has a reputation of bringing its audiences the best of all types of rock and roll bands from the nineties till today. When you of a festival that came from the mind of Janes Addiction's Perry Farrell, what's the first thing you think? Fall Out Boy? Well...sort of. Fall Out Boy members Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz will be playing this year's Lollapalooza, just not under the name Fall Out Boy. Pete Wentz will be playing with his new band Black Cards, and Patrick Stump will be showcasing his self titled solo project. I'm sure there will be hecklers and fans alike. We will see if both of these hard working musicians can win over the crowd in their hometown with their post Fall Out Boy performances. Another band that seems to be a little out of place is Coldplay.
Cause c'mon, when billed at the top next to Foo Fighters and Eminem, Coldplay comes off as music for bed wetters.