Tomorrow's the big day. The sold-out New American Music Union Festival, sponsored by American Eagle, begins right here on the South Side of Pittsburgh, Pa., in the most picturesque setting possible - on the concrete parking lot next to the Cheesecake Factory and Urban Outfitters.
Festival curator Anthony Kiedis has done a terrific job of assembling A-list talent for the 2-day event. Here's who I'm most looking forward to seeing:
I'm almost never in awe of anybody, but one of the few times I found myself starstruck was the first time I saw Dylan, back in my Penn State days. I thought to myself, I can't believe I'm standing here 20 feet from Bob Dylan, the man whose electric guitar changed rock n roll forever! He wasn't entirely on his game that night, so here's hoping for a better show on Saturday. Even if he sucks, who cares? You want to be able to tell your grandchildren you saw Dylan live.
I only caught about 15 minutes of the Roots' performance at Lollapalooza 2007, but they left me wanting more. Few hip hop acts can rival the musicianship of these guys. I love "The Seed 2.0," but I know there's much more depth to their catalogue than the few radio hits I recognize.
I despise Brendan Benson, as I've mentioned before, and I didn't think all that much of the Raconteurs' first album. I've been passing up opportunities to see them all summer (Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza), but now I'm finally ready to give them a listen. I hear that the new album is better, so my expectations are high. Don't let me down, Jack.
TINY MASTERS OF TODAY
Tiny Masters of Today are comprised of siblings Ivan (14) and Ada (12). They've earned praise from David Bowie, and now Jackson Pollis of MisShapes fame is drumming for them. Best thing about them: In a recent interview, when asked why he formed a band, Ivan replied, "Me and my sister formed a band because we were bored and we had nothing else to do."
Here's the schedule:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 8
5;00 Doors open
6:30 Tiny Masters of Today
8:30 Black Keys
9:45 The Roots
SATURDAY, AUGUST 9
2:00 Doors open
3:20 Duke Spirit
4:25 Black Mountain
5:30 Gnarls Barkley
8:00 The Raconteurs
9:30 Bob Dylan
Here's a map of the festival grounds. It appears as though you can indeed stand outside the festival grounds on Sidney Street and listen to the bands, if you find yourself without a ticket.