Even though we are five full weeks into spring and cooler temperatures are still hanging around the area, the summer concert schedule is starting to heat up as festival lineups are finalized and venue dates are set. At this point, there so many concerts scheduled that the area could soon see the number of people in credit card counseling almost double by summer’s end.
Kicking off the festival season on Memorial Day Weekend will be Captain Morgan’s Jam On The River featuring Ween, the Disco Biscuits, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, Galactic, Particle, and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Fans of the jammies will be hip to this event, which runs from May 29 and May 30 and also includes Hank Williams III, 4 Way Street, Philly favorites, Townhall, and The Brakes. The event will be held at The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing and will feature a vendor marketplace with a variety of items for sale and of course, food. Tickets for this event are $20, are good for either day, and are available through the website, www.ticketmaster.com
Asbury Park and the legendary Stone Poney will be putting on the third installment of The Great Bamboozle, a three-day affair with acts such as G. Love, Moe, Galactic, Sonic Youth, Patti Smith, and Ambulance LTD, who will be tossing arpeggios into the crowd like they’re feeding bread to seagulls. This year’s Bamboozle will be a new and improved version with added stages, vendors, workshops, crafts, and just room to hang out. Also to be seen on stage at the Bamboozle this year will be My Morning Jacket, Dios, On The Speakers, Stellastar, and the French Kicks. This is a seaside music event that you won’t want to miss, so visit www.thegreatbamboozle.com
Y-100 will be gearing up for their annual Feztival, rockin’ out at the Tweeter Center on June 19. Featured performers include the Beastie Boys, the Strokes, retro hair band The Darkness, Cypress Hill and many others. The event will also include side and local stages to showcase the lesser known talents trying to make it in the rock ‘n’ roll world. This year’s Feztival should be a hot ticket considering the Beastie Boys are fresh off recording some new jammys which as rumor has it, are old skool beats of epic proportions. Nonetheless, the lineup is tight and the price ($35.50 for lawn/$45.50 for reserved seats) is right. Visit www.y100.com
As it happens, just across the river on that same day (June 19) at the Festival Pier, the Rolling Rock Town Fair Five will be visiting Philadelphia. Scheduled to be on the bill are Sevendust, Finch, Finger Eleven and Three Days Grace. This show appears to be some sort of hybrid of the original, much larger Town Fair, which has called Pittsburgh its home, which is an obvious choice considering its proximity to the glass-lined tanks of Rolling Rock’s Old Latrobe. For those interested in the annotated version at Penn’s Landing, tickets are $20 and the gates open at 1 pm.
For road trippers that like to visit new and exotic places, the mother show of the Town Fair family will be held at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on July 26. Organizers have even resurrected Def Leppard to headline (no joke) a bill that includes Blink-182, Puddle Of Mudd, 311, Sum 41, and Trapt. Tickets for both events (Penn’s Landing and Heinz Field) can be purchased on www.ticketmaster.com
To cap off the summer, a reincarnated version of Lollapalooza will be coming to the Tweeter Center for a two-day set, August 18-19. The brainchild of charismatic Jane’s Addiction lead man, Perry Farrell, the traveling festival is a virtual rock ‘n’ roll circus. This year’s refurbished Lollapalooza trots out a spectacular bill that rivals almost anything that the festival has done in the past, minus the first year when the original cast of Jane’s Addiction used the event as their swan song.
Now, the band is back together (sans bassist Eric Avery) and Perry’s fast at work on this year’s Lollapalooza, already booking some top-level talent. The festival will feature Morrissey, Sonic Youth, the Flaming Lips, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Thrills, Broken Social Scene, Modest Mouse, Elbow, PJ Harvey, the Polyphonic Spree, Le Tigre, Gomez, the String Cheese Incident, the Fire Theft, the Walkmen, the Datsuns, Sahara Hotnights, Perry Farrell as DJ Peretz and a lot of other bands, including many that haven’t even been announced as of yet. Rumors are also circulating that Jane’s Addiction will join the festival bill – let’s hope.
In my recent memory, I can’t seem to remember any summer that brought with it such a flood of quality music-based festivals. Of course, the weeks between and around the festivals will be dotted with other concerts and small club shows such as Guster, Jack Johnson & G. Love, The Dead, Phish, Primus, Van Halen, The Decemberists, Simon & Garfunkel, and many, many more. This is shaping up to be the summer of summers for music fans in Philadelphia and around the country.