Thursday, January 31, 2008


Today the online rumor mill began circulating some a pretty cool alleged Bonnaroo headliners: Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and The Kinks. While seemingly straying from it's jam band roots, it's still a pretty cool lineup.

Pearl Jam, who years ago vowed not to do festivals anymore, changed their mind last year for Lollapalooza, which is a different kind of festival. Where Bonnaroo is a three day camping trip (this year it is expanding to four days), at Lollapalooza, you show up that day, go home, and come back the next day (just like Austin City Limits - the same people organize both). Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza set got a lot of attention this past summer because the corporate sponsor, AT&T, who was webcasting the thing, censored Eddie Vedder's anti-bush improv. But the real deal was that their performance was incredible, even by their standards. You can actually download it on iTunes. Eddie Vedder always seems intent on having "indie cred," so I'm surprised to see them doing this festival instead of Coachella. But I'm sure lots of indie bands will be on the bill, as always.

I saw R.E.M. at Austin City Limits a few years ago. They were touring for a greatest hits album, and therefore not trying to ram too much new stuff into the set. They were amazing. Thing was, they played at the same time as Trey Anastasio, who pulled a larger crowd. So, I'd be curious to see how they fare at Bonnaroo. They also seem to be more of a Coachella type group.

The Kinks: wow, OK maybe it is happening. I also think they would make more sense at Coachella: they are about as un-hippy as a classic rock band could be, and all the indie bands of the past few years seem to adore them. In fact, it would probably make sense for them to do Coachella, and for Roger Waters to perform Dark Side Of The Moon at Bonnaroo. But, hey, I just hope they do some gigs and I get to see them.

I don't know that I'd go to Bonnaroo, but if these rumors are true, that's a damn cool lineup. I hear that the Coachella people are organizing a festival in New Jersey (I imagine it would be a non-camping festival) - hopefully they can book The Kinks and maybe Pearl Jam.

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