Beale Street Music Festival
Early Read: Maybe the most broadly appealing stage of the festival, with Mid-South powerhouse Crow setting up pop hitmakers Hall & Oates.
Bud Light Stage: Bassnectar, Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros, Mimosa, The Joy Formidable.
Early Read: Alternating alt-rock and electronics, but don't sleep on the opener, Welsh alt-rock power-trio the Joy Formidable, whose most recent album is appropriately titled The Big Roar.
Horseshoe Casino Blues Tent:Charles Bradley, Heritage Blues Orchestra, Louise Hoffsten, Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition.
Early Read: I saw soul man Charles Bradley a couple of years ago at Austin's South By Southwest Music Festival and can testify as to his live bona fides. Once a James Brown impersonator called “Black Velvet, ” Bradley has more recently found an audience with his own music and should play well down in Soulsville.
FedEx Stage: The Black Keys, Dwight Yoakam, Patti Smith, Cracker, Star & Micey. DJ Porter Robinson will spin a late-night set.
Early Read: As far as contemporary music, the Ohio-via-Nashville blues-rock duo the Black Keys might be the headliner of the whole festival, but I'm intrigued by the inclusion of proto-punk poet Patti Smith. She seems like an odd fit for BSMF, but one of my favorite fest performances ever was Sonic Youth, and they seemed like an odd fit too.
- Grammy-conquering blues-rock duo the Black Keys will headline the FedEx Stage on Saturday night.
Early Read: Call this the Memphis Music Hall of Fame stage, with ZZ Top, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Mavis Staples (via the Staple Singers) all among the inaugural class that was announced last year. Sun Records graduate Sonny Burgess could get there someday.
Bud Light Stage: The Roots, Gavin DeGraw, Big Boi, Pickwick,
Early Read: Hip-hop fans will want to camp out here for Outkast's Big Boi and America's house band, the Roots.
Horseshoe Casino Blues Tent: Coco Montoya, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Will Tucker, Zac Harmon, James “Superchikan” Johnson, Fuzzy Jeffries & the Kings of Memphis.
Early Read: California blues-man Zac Harmon has a nice Memphis history, his career launched by winning the top prize at the city's annual International Blues Challenge a decade ago.
FedEx Stage: Smashing Pumpkins, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Public Enemy, Al Kapone.
Early Read: Back in high school, I saw Memphis rapper Al Kapone open for Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famers Public Enemy at the Mid-South Coliseum. It'll be like the Fear of a Black Planet Tour all over again to set off this stage.
- Billy Corgen brings his alt-rock-icon Smashing Pumpkins to the FedEx Stage on Sunday night.
Early Read: Oklahoma alt-rockers the Flaming Lips have become a festival favorite, and the hooky Phoenix should make for a nice lead-in.
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