The Blueprint To An Excellent Festival: Jay-Z, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies And A Slew Of Other Great Bands (Plus Some Shit) To Play Summer Sonic

Sorry Fuji Rock, Summer Sonic just earned my money. The two-city festival announced the first wave of artists playing this year’s festival and it’s some excellent stuff. Let’s bust out the bullet points for this one:

– JAY-Z JAY-Z JAY-Z. He’s getting top billing this year and I’m jazzed because…well, it’s Jay-Z, only one of the best rappers ever. Did I grow sick of “Empire State Of Mind” after a month of hearing everywhere? Yes. Will I care come Summer Sonic? No.

– Other big-font acts include The Smashing Pumpkins (reminder, not the same Smashing Pumpkins that were, uh, good but hey one can hope), The Offspring, Jonsi (of Sigur Ros) and Pixies (coupled with the Pavement reunion, 2010 is turning into one big indie nostalgia trip.)

– Other highlights: Girls, who had one of the best albums of 2009; Surfer Blood, who have one of the best albums of 2010; Passion Pit; Hudson Mohawke; and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

– As for the lowlights…I mean, there is absolutely no point in wasting words on Nickelback. A-Ha decided to take a break from the state fair circuit to come to Japan, Jared Leto’s shitbucket of a band 30 Seconds To Mars will make an appearance and…huh, Uffie still exists?

Look at the full list here. Brace yourself bank account, things might get ugly.

2 responses to “The Blueprint To An Excellent Festival: Jay-Z, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies And A Slew Of Other Great Bands (Plus Some Shit) To Play Summer Sonic

  1. It’s all a matter of taste, for sure, but I think common sentiment holds that Fuji has outdone Summer Sonic so far this year (a change from years past). Fuji’s lineup is more interesting, and more current, from top to bottom. The organizers at SS say they’ve had real issues getting bands this year, and that’s evident in how retro and/or second-rate some of the acts are. Nickelback? A-Ha? Offspring? The Jared Leto Experience? And as you’ve said, this ain’t the Pumpkins in their prime (though I’d still go see them). Billy Corgan is dating Jessica Simpson, if that tells you how far his shark has jumped.

    Of course, Fuji’s other advantage is that even in an off-year, it is tough to beat for its setting and atmosphere. It feels like a festival, whereas Summer Sonic is said (I’ve never been) to feel more like a grouping of one-off concerts. So, for Summer Sonic, lineup is everything, and this time I just don’t think they have it. Every year I look at the SS announcement list, dreading the names I’ll see because that means they won’t be at Fuji. This year, I saw exactly three names I care about — Pixies, Jonsi and Surfer Blood. I can live with that, because it will be made up to me with Massive Attack, Them Crooked Vultures, LCD Soundsystem, and — from the rumors I’m hearing — Bob Dylan, Gorillaz, The xx and Yeasayer.

  2. acrosstheseaandback

    Hey Wade, thanks for reading and commenting. Personal taste definitely factors into it, I’ll cop to also just generally being more excited by summer sonics bands. Pixies, Jonsi, Girls and (especially) Surfer Blood are acts I’ve wanted to see badly for sometime. The bands at Fuji Rock are great…but I’ve either seen them or just am not as pumped for them. Plus, at this point, Jay-Z easily trumps Muse as far as I’m concerned.

    The Fuji Rock atmosphere sounds amazing and is probably a must-experience, but I’ll give Summer Sonic it’s due for having great variety. Fuji Rock is a little too rock, whereas SS has a lot of different genres. Yeah, that means a boatload of bad music (Offspring get a pass because I’m excited to pretend I’m 11 again when I thought “Pretty Fly” was the shit), but a more interesting overall listening experience. Maybe I’m just a sucker, but I’m kinda interested in seeing what has happened to Smashing Pumpkins and what the he’ll kind of people turn out for A-Ha.

    Ideally I’d have enough cash to see both (or get press credentials), but since I don’t i’m leaning Summer Sonic. Though, if the xx actually do go to Fuji Rock, well then I’m conflicted

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