This list, as it stands now, is both a great one and an unfortunate one. I had sincerely tried to add a few bands that weren’t super well known to this list, in the hopes of letting people know what awesome up and coming acts would be featured, but as you’ll see, most of these are bands that are not only excellent but also pretty well known. That’s unfortunately what you get when you pack so many solidly well known acts at one three day fest. Either way, it’s going to a great festival, and I can’t wait to see most of them, conflicts be damned!
10.Wilco, Saturday, Ponce De Leon, 7:45
Over twenty plus years and eight very solid albums, Wilco has remained one of the coolest and more down to earth bands in the Alternative Rock N’ Roll scene. Having the chance to see them a number of times previously, you know what to expect, but you’re never let down. They’re as solid as any band on this list, and with incredible songs like “I Am Trying to Break your Heart,” the crowd will surely be singing and dancing along to these Chicago natives. The only confusing thing to me is how they play before the Avett Brothers, who are substantially less cool than both Wilco and Social Distortion(who play earlier in the day). Either way, Wilco is great, and will be great.
9.Black Lips, Saturday, Ponce De Leon, 3:45
I got to see this band a few months ago, and it was a great punk rock show by most standards. The band is tight and unhinged at the same time, which isn’t a simple thing to do, but I remember dancing, getting sweaty and rowdy in a packed club. It was really fun, and while I’m sure it won’t be exactly like that show, I expect this homecoming show to be even crazier and more high energy than the previous show. It’s the middle of the day also, which always needs a little edge to it to separate the men who are capable of rocking out in the scorching sun and the boys who simply need to stand there and save their energy.
8.The Strokes, Friday, Peachtree, 9:30
At this point, everyone knows the NYC based The Strokes, and you can’t really blame them. They’ve made more than a couple great records, and while their behavior is slightly unpredictable, people still flock to see them. Reviews of the last tours were very keen to mention the band showing up fifteen minutes late and ending fifteen minutes early, which to me is totally unacceptable, so hopefully they’ve gotten their shit straight and treat us to 90 minutes of old school garage rock, but in the end, I guess it’s still cool to see these guys. I mean, at the very least hopefully they play “Modern Age,” which is probably their best song.
7.TV on the Radio, Friday, Piedmont, 6:15
One of worst decisions of any festival is choosing who to see. My first major conflict comes on Friday, and unfortunately it seems as though TV on the Radio will be on the losing end, but just in case you aren’t down with DFA 1979, I highly suggest you see this alternative New York band, who are as incredible and thoughtful onstage as they are on record. It’s a fun show, and without a doubt will have the crowd swaying and dancing in the gorgeous park where the festival will be held.
6.Mastodon, Friday, Peachtree, 7:15
Easily one of biggest heavy hitters of the festival will unleash its fury on the opening night of the festival. Mastodon is a band so uncompromisingly good that even bystanders get pulled into their brand of super heavy, but introspective prog rock. This band I’ve loved for years and years, but even though I’ve seen them probably three times before, this is the first is about five years, and I can’t wait to expel all my energy and throw my fists to the sky and and ecjoy this special homecoming show with one of the best metal bands of the last fifteen years.
5.Pixies, Friday, Piedmont, 8:15
What can you say about the Pixies that hasn’t been said before? Legends, cultivators of the “Indie” sound, sure, but they also have some of the best songs any band has in their catalog. They influenced Radiohead to be a band, and since 1986 they’ve explored what it means to be an underground favorite. Multiple albums are beyond excellent, and while they’ve had plenty of bumpy detours, the Pixies are still a big draw and a solid live band. It’ll be great to experience them in all their power and focus as they show scores of new bands how you appropriately rock.
4.Interpol, Saturday, Piedmont, 5:45
Part two of the horrible conflicts takes place Saturday afternoon as dismally dark NYC rockers Interpol play at the exact same time as adopted hometown heroes Neutral Milk Hotel. I can’t even understand why they would do this, but both bands are excellent. I’m still unsure of what to do, but both shows will be great. Interpol will bring their best known tracks, old and new to a hopefully energetic crowd, and I’m also hoping the timing doesn't doom them. Day time for Interpol seems silly, but the band is a great band nonetheless, so it’s sure to a good show, for whoever ends up there.
3.Death From Above 1979, Friday, Ponce De Leon, 6:15
Having seen this band twice before, but unsure of when they’ll be around again will keep me rocking to the savage but lovely sounds of the conquering DFA 1979. They’ll pummel a crowd for an hour like only they can, while making their hardcore fans salivate for more. This band is one of the most precisely dominant acts I’ve ever seen, and this is a show not to miss if you want to thrash about and chant to your hearts content. They may only have two albums, but both are killers and will lead to an epic opening day set.
2.Tame Impala, Sunday, Peachtree, 9:00
Sunday’s headliners, and the only act from this day to make the list, Tame Impala will finally be witnessed by my eyes, and honestly I can’t wait. With the new album coming out soon, I’m sure we’ll be treated to at least two songs, but they have two albums worth besides that of awesome, retro danceable prog rock that brings the house down with great hooks, and even greater melodies. The day might be light on must see acts, but I have no doubt that these Aussie rockers will be everything we want in a closing act.
1.Neutral Milk Hotel, Saturday, Ponce De Leon, 5:45
Yes, I’ve seen them before, but you only get to see a unicorn so many times, so you have to seize the moment when it presents itself. If you don’t see any other act on this list, see this band. One of the last dates the band will play for the foreseeable future, and having been a staple among the Athens Georgia based Elephant six collective, this show will be not only a powerful moment for the band, but also a magical one for the fans lucky enough to share it will them. See this band. I promise you won’t regret it. Thanks for reading, See you Friday
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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