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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Beale Street Music Festival preview

This weekend is the first big event in our Summer Road Trip series - the Beale Street Music festival in Memphis. The lineup is eclectic, almost bizarrely so. Here are some of the names we're looking forward to seeing.

Ten years ago, I worked security at the Post-Gazette Pavilion and had the chance to attend a James Taylor show, but I declined and I've regretted it ever since. James Taylor's music is so sweet and soothing. I could listen to "Carolina On My Mind" forever and not get sick of it. I have high hopes for this performance.

Snoop has been playing a lot of festivals lately - he's finally discovered that's where the money is. The hip hop shows I've seen are generally not that impressive - just a lot of demands to "throw your hands in the air" and shit like that. But Snoop has a catalog of hits that's almost unmatched in the rap world. Hopefully he'll bring something original to this show.

It's Memphis, and the Reverend Green will be glad to see me when I haven't got a prayer. Al Green is just one of those people you have to see once in your life.

Somehow, this man is still kicking. He's 73 years old and he can barely string together a coherent sentence, but he's still up there on stage getting his paper. And it doesn't matter if he's nearly senile, because rock n roll as we know it wouldn't exist without Jerry Lee Lewis. He is the ultimate legend, and I can't wait to see him play.

These two bands are happy to fill my quota of emo-pop for the weekend. Fall Out Boy's reign of skinny pants and run-on song titles is just about over, but they've left us with a ton of catchy tunes. The Rejects aren't quite as good but the kids love to sing along to "Move Along" and "Dirty Little Secret."

Also playing: Bonnie Raitt, George Clinton & P-Funk, Rise Against, The Steve Miller Band, 311, The Roots, Elvis Costello, KoЯn, Katy Perry, John Lee Hooker, G Love & Special Sauce.

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