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Time To Rock Out...side (Your Full, Comprehensive Guide to 2009 Rock Music Festivals)
| April 11, 2009
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It's finally starting to look like Spring in Ithaca. Hopefully we're done with all snow until the Fall/Winter. Spring means the arrival of many things - April showers bring May flowers...bring June bees..yeah - but it also means the return of rock music festivals! Heck, South By Southwest (SXSW) already happened nearly a month ago as you can read in the sweet little summary the lovely Kara Capelli posted (Read: [[link|url=]]DJ Blog - "Good Music"[[end-link]]). Unfortunately, she apparently and unknowingly missed some of the insanely amazing bands that were there, including the likes of Third Eye Blind - but that's not hard to do as SXSW is arguably the largest of the festivals - and this year, possibly the best. But there are many more big-named festivals to come so consider this your full-escape guide of sorts to what's happening on a lawn somewhere near (or not) you. *We start we with the other arguably biggest festival (and former DJ, Jordan Gremli's favorite?): '''[[link|url=]]Coachella[[end-link]]''' This yearly 3-day festival rocks out in the Coachella Valley (hence the name) in Indo, California, this year from April 17-19 (i.e., next weekend!). Headlined by '''Paul McCartney''', '''The Killers''', '''The Cure''', and '''Franz Ferdinand''', appearances will also be made by the following bands of note: '''The Airborne Toxic Event, Calexico, Cage the Elephant, Fleet Foxes, Gaslight Anthem, Girl Talk, M.I.A., Mastodan, My Bloody Valentine, Okkervil River, Silversun Pickups, Thievery Corporation, The Hold Steady, We Are Scientists, Yeah Yeah Yeahs''' and many more. '''Three Day Pass: $269''' (+ $3 charity + applicable service fees) ''If you listen to WVBR After Dark like a good person, you've definitely heard (and if you're like me, begun loving) a lot of those artists. You'll find a lot of those names will appear on other festival lists too. Next to SXSW, this is definitely the best full set list of all the festivals! But remember, it's in the desert so even though it's April, you get really hot and dry daytime temperatures that fall dramatically in the night. Let's continue...'' *We head sort-of local to East Rutherford, NJ and the Meadowlands for [[link|url=]]The Bamboozle[[end-link]], a two-day festival on May 2nd and 3rd with ''The Hoodwink'' occurring on May 1st - a show of only cover songs. This year's festival features the likes of '''Fall Out Boy, No Doubt, Rise Against, Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday, Third Eye Blind, The Used''' as well as many pop-punk, pop-rock, and alternative-rock bands like '''Cobra Starship, New Found Glory, Boys Like Girls, Cage the Elephant, Gavin Rossdale, We The Kings''' and comedian '''Zach Galifianakis'''. '''Single Day Ticket: $57''' + fees '''Three Day Pass: $116''' + fees ''Bamboozle is one of those wannabe festivals that tries to please everyone...without actually doing so. While I'd be tempted to go JUST to see 3EB, I'd rather just see them in Scranton, Pa on May 4th and not have to go to New Jersey for a bunch of other bands that I don't particularly like (but that's my taste). They need to get rid of The Hoodwink for this to be considered a real festival. Seriously, Sum 41 trying to cover Metallica? Someone give me a fat lip! Unless you're a fan of this kind of music, ignore the low price tag and go to one of the more rockin' festivals.'' *Next on the list is the four-day festival held in Manchester, Tennessee - [[link|url=]]'''Bonnaroo'''[[end-link]]. This year, the festival will stretch from June 11-14. Unlike Coachella, Bonnaroo also throws some comedians on-stage for your entertainment. This years headliners are '''Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band''', '''Phish''' (2 shows), '''Beastie Boys,''' and '''Nine Inch Nails''' as well as: '''Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Citizen Cope, Coheed & Cambria, David Byrne''' (of the Talking Heads), '''The Decemberists, Delta Spirit, Elvis Costello''' (solo), '''Girl Talk, Gomez, Govít Mule, The Mars Volta, Neko Case, Of Montreal, Okkervil River, Snoop Dog, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Wilco''', and the '''Yeah Yeah Yeahs''' as well as many more. I hope I don't have to keep saying that. It will also feature comedians: '''Jimmy Fallon, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog''', some of the '''Daily Show''' correspondents, '''Michael Ian Black & Michael Showalter, Arj Barker''', and '''Todd Barry'''. '''Four Day Pass: $224.50 - 249.50''' (+ $23.10 in "fees" + $10-12 shipping) ''While Bonnaroo boasts that this list of musical & comedic performances is not exhaustive, Coachella's set list has a leg up. On the other hand, Bonnaroo is a lot closer to New York (can't get much further domestically than Cali) and it's in the middle of June - a lot easier for a lot of people. And a side note for you Hold Steady fans - it looks like the band chose to skip this festival, but they ARE playing at [[link|url=]]The Haunt[[end-link]] on June 14th.'' *Next we head back to Jersey - this time to Liberty State Park in Jersey City for [[link|url=]]'''All Points West'''[[end-link]] - another 3-day festival that features both musical acts and comedians and happens to be hosted by the same company that puts on Coachella. This year, one can just take a ferry from Manhattan's Battery Park each day from July 31st through August 2nd for performances from headliners '''Beastie Boys, Tool, and Coldplay''' as well as from: '''Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, Fleet Foxes, Gaslight Anthem, MGMT, My Bloody Valentine, Neko Case, Ra Ra Riot, Silversun Pickups, Tokyo Police Club, We Are Scientists,''' and the '''Yeah Yeah Yeahs.''' In addition to half of the bands that are showing up at Coachella, one also gets to see a couple of comedy acts, including two that are gracing Bonnaroo's stages: '''Arj Barker, Todd Barry, Michael Showalter''' (sans Michael Ian Black), '''Janeane Garofalo, Jim Jeffries and CollegeHumor Live''' (on all 3 days). '''Single Day Ticket: $89''' (+ service fees) '''Three Day Pass: $199''' (+ fees) ''APW is the closest by far and has arguably the best set of headliners we've seen so far. They spread the acts fairly evenly over the three days though, so even though it's close to home, you still have devote a full weekend (and nearly 3x the cash) to the festival. I wouldn't have minded just taking in one day of the festival to see Tool, but all but one of the non-headliners I'd want to see (Cage the Elephant being the exception) are playing on the other two days. It is however, the only festival that offers single-day passes rather than the full weekend and is also the cheapest.'' *Last on our tour of tours...actually, [[link|url=]]Lollapalooza[[end-link]] is the only one of these four that has ever been a tour. This year, it's just staying in Chicago for three days from August 7-9. The full set list won't be revealed until April 21st (at which time, I'll update this), but some of the confirmed bands playing at Grant Park are headliners '''Beastie Boys, Depeche Mode, Jane's Addiction, the Killers, Kings of Leon,''' and '''Tool''' as well as '''Andrew Bird, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Lou Reed,''' and '''Neko Case''' on the sidelines. '''Three Day Price: $190+''' ''I'm very excited to see the full list. My mouth is watering at these confirmed acts like a dog hearing Pavlov's bell. You've got a little 80s from D.M., some 90s from ''Perry Farrell's'' band (J.A.) and the Beasties, and then one of my favorite bands in Tool and favorite new bands in Kings of Leon as well as some other solid names. Chicago's not too far away (and I've got family there) PLUS, I've heard the Windy City is beautiful in August - it's basically like Ithaca but with a bigger lake and with a more urban feel. Pending the finalized set list...
'''*Lollapalooza is Shwax's 2009 Festival of Choice!*''' ''Just a few other notes for you rock fans who prefer tours over festivals - *'''Ozzfest''' is canceled this year so that the ''Prince of Darkness'' can work on his new album. *'''Projekt Revolution''' has made no announcement of plans, but there's no been no news to suggest a lack of a tour this year. *I was going to dive into '''Vans Warped Tour''', but to keep this article a reasonable length, I'm skipping it. There aren't any real big mentionable artists this year except for maybe Bad Religion, Flogging Molly, Less Than Jake and Thrice. It seems as they're trying to go back to their roots and focus more on Ska & Punk-rock, which is ''probably'' a good thing...
Share Your Thoughts
Jordan from NYC | April 14, 2009, 7:55am
Is Coachella my favorite? APW takes the cake for me this year .. really any festival with the Arctic Monkeys gets the auto-win for me

Shwax | April 11, 2009, 6:03pm
Definitely. I just didn't want this to be too long - even though it is the "full, comprehensive" list. So not quite. And of course, there's the "Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival" in Trumansburg, but that can also wait a bit.

Dan | April 11, 2009, 5:48pm
And don't forget about Austin City Limits Music Festival! But we'll profile that as it gets closer in the Fall (along with CMJ)...last year's lineup was stunning, and it was only $150 for a 3 day pass.
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