Bud Light Hotel’s Super Bowl weekend concert lineup next year is shaping up to be a veritable smorgasbord of genre superstars, with Foo Fighters, the Roots, Zac Brown and Imagine Dragons all set to lead the proceedings.
The Bud Light hotels Super Bowl musical celebration is set to kick off on January 30th, when the Roots will curate and headline a tribute to New York hip hop, where they’ll perform alongside Run-D.M.C. and Busta Rhymes, among others.
The newly regrouped Foo Fighters are gearing up to play on February 1st, the night before the big game, along with the Zac Brown Band, whose new album was produced by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
The gig will be the biggest played by Grohl and co. in a little while, who played their first concerts since 2012 earlier this month in Mexico City (as well as a surprise gig in a Los Angeles-area pizza place, obviously). Despite Grohl’s claims that the Foo Fighters would be taking a break just a year ago, the band are apparently already working on material for a new album: “We’re writing the album in a way that I don’t think has been done before,” Grohl told Rolling Stone magazine.
Imagine Dragons will take center stage on the following night, and the Bud Light Hotel will finish up with a pre-Super Bowl concert headlined by Fall Out Boy and country star Jake Owen.
Said concerts will all take place at the newly-renovated Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, which will temporarily house the Bud Light Hotel Amphitheater, a heated, two-story, 1,500 person capacity venue.
The big game itself, however, will not take place there (obviously, captain obvious.) That will, instead, take place at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on February 2nd 2014.
It’s all happening in country music right now – usually such a nice, polite and well-spoken genre, without the diss-songs or trash-talking of Hip-Hop or Rock. Things have suddenly exploded (well, sort-of) since Zac Brown publicly called out Luke Bryan’s latest single as “The worst song I’ve (he’s) ever heard.”
Brown told Vancouver’s 93.7 JRfm the following: “There’s not a lot of the country format that I really enjoy listening to. If I hear one more tailgate in the moonlight, daisy duke song, I’m gonna throw up. There’s songs out there on the radio right now that make me ashamed to be even in the same format as some other artists.”
Referring specifically to Luke Bryan’s latest single, “That’s My Kind of Night”, Brown had this to say:
“I love Luke Bryan, and he’s had some great songs, but this new song is the worst song I’ve ever heard. I see it being giant commercially, successful within what is called country music these days, but I also feel like that the people deserve something better than that, a song that really has something to say, something that makes you feel something. Good music makes you feel something.”
He added, “I’m opinionated because I care so much about the music and the songs.”
In typically friendly country music fashion, though, Brown quickly clarified his remarks so as not to hurt Bryan’s feelings, Tweeting:
“My opinion is not about Luke as an artist, it’s about that song. He didn’t write it. I’m a fan of Luke, but definitely not that song.”
Anyway, no idea how poor old Luke Bryan is feeling about all of this, but we suspect he’ll be unwilling to comment on the whole thing so as to keep Country music nice and welcoming.
Reasoning suggests he’s probably ready to pull that little sock hat over Brown’s head and give him a few punches to the gut. Or maybe I’m just projecting my feelings onto the situation.
A summer mega tour isn’t worth its namesake if it doesn’t feature a proper pre-game. Although the main act is the ever-important draw to ticket sales, an opener can be equally important. In addition to attracting a larger fan base, their music sets the tone and level of excitement for the act to follow. For summer 2013, here are some opening acts that make the one-two headlining punch a knockout:
Florida Georgia Line, opening for Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s massive 2013 tour features accompanying acts ranging from Joel Crouse to Casey James, but Florida Georgia Line are a mainstay. The southern-rock duo is making waves with their hit track “Cruise”, which has over 25 million views on YouTube. The feel-good country vibes of the track, as well as the massive times viewed, coincides well with Swift’s sound. Florida Georgia Line produces a very similar sound, without the boyfriend anecdotes.
Holy Ghost!, opening for New Order
New Order has endured a thriving and eclectic career. Ever since some of their members were in the legendary post-punk group Joy Division, they have treaded all types of waters, from infectious dance-pop to slick guitar-rock. So it makes sense that an equally eclectic group like Holy Ghost! will open for New Order this summer, in addition to spots at festivals like Governor’s Ball. Their exciting and tight electro-pop sound should be a contemporary lead-in to New Order, who sound like the older brothers of Holy Ghost!
Lord Huron, opening for Dave Matthews
Lord Huron is the project of Ben Schneider, who has received acclaim in the music blogosphere the past several years for a caressing folk sound with elements of Afro-pop, chillwave, and other tropically inclined sub-genres of electronica. Using atmospheric samples and electronic wizardry, Lord Huron’s electro-acoustic sound should serve as an engaging opener to Dave Matthews, a legend of the live music scene. Lord Huron has a big spotlight to open up for, but his ambitious sound fits the shoe.
Ellie Goulding, opening for Bruno Mars
The previous three openers on this list remain somewhat unknown, despite some flashes of success. Ellie Goulding could probably sell out large venues on her own, though. The British artist had a debut album in 2010, Lights, which debuted at #1 in the UK Albums chart. Her second album, Halcyon in 2012, drew similar praise and sales, reaching the top five in the UK. Not many can compare in stature in terms of opening acts, but Bruno Mars is a bright enough star. Goulding is joining Bruno Mars on his Moonshine Jungle World Tour, and fans can expect a wonderfully grandiose show with more stars than most.
Crystal Castles, opening for Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode are rightly considered one of the best electronic-pop acts of all time, and are considered by many to have been responsible for ushering electronically incorporated pop music into the mainstream – even as their songs were bizarrely idiosyncratic. Crystal Castles craft a similarly unique electronic sound, both odd and infectious in ways that supplement a darkly romantic sound. That Crystal Castles’ album covers often take place in a graveyard is an allusion to their sound, one filled with synth-tinged darkness like their surefire influences, the main act Depeche Mode.
Zac Brown Band, opening for Kenny Chesney
Country collective Zac Brown Band will join country great Kenny Chesney on the road for several dates this summer, solidifying an all-star lineup throughout Chesney’s tour that also includes Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church. Zac Brown Band are a significant opener, as their popularity has soared recently, but Chesney is sparing no expense for his big The No Shoes Radio Tour, which marks 20 years of touring for Chesney, who continues to be one of country music’s biggest stars.
Chris Young, opening for Brad Paisley
Paisley is also a darling of the country music scene, and his live performances have consistently ranked among some of the best by fans voting on Ticketmaster.com. New opener Chris Young may even elevate that rating even more. The winner of televised singing competition Nashville Star in 2006, Young has several #1 singles to his name, including “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” and “The Man I Want to Be”. Between Young and Paisley, fans are sure to be treated to many familiar sing-along country hits.
When I was assembling the title for this article, I had the unenviable task of figuring out which artists to leave out. Country sensation Luke Bryan and Tracy Lawrence drew the short straws. From top to bottom, this was the strongest one day festival bill I’ve ever seen, and that’s not counting all the surprise special guests who magically popped up out of nowhere. All this excitement and we are still on day one of the CMA Music Festival. Wow.
You could call this country music week in Nashville. Last night, the industry came together to celebrate the year that was through one of country music’s biggest nights — the CMT Awards. Over the next four day strech, country’s best and brightest all synch up their schedules to come together in a celebration of the fans. Nashville is just brimming with cowboy hats and rodeo rowdiness this time of year. The CMA Festival dates back to 1972 when it was simply known as Fan Fair. 5000 people attended the original Fan Fair and that populous has swelled to over 250,000 in the decades since.
There was a host of activities to keep the fans occupied this afternoon from a Q&A session with Lady Antebellum to Sara Evans entertaining the crowd in the midday heat. You could say this was the SXSW for the country music community except for the fact that South By seems to loathe the fans while CMA embraces them like a long lost teddy bear.
LP Field, home to the Tennessee Titans, hosted the nightly concert slate. The gates opened at 6:30 with the music of Thomas Rhett on the promenade, welcoming the fans to the party. To underline how ridiculous this line-up is, the Oak Ridge Boys came out on stage at 7:30 to sing the national anthem. That’s it. They were done for the night. The festival organizers had stacked the bands in 30 minute blocks. That’s not 30 minute to perform then another 30 to ready the stage for the next band – 30 minutes total. Again what other festival could convince a marquee artist to sign on for this? “I know you are used to selling out arenas and playing two hour sets, but we’ve only got 30 minutes for you – oh and you’ll be playing in the four spot.” That is the power of CMA.
Tracy Lawrence opened the evening as the sold out crowd found their seats along the Nashville skyline. He said he’d been playing the CMA in some form or fashion for twenty-two years. Lawrence added the history largely absent from the evening’s crop of new generation country artists.
Luke Bryan is a meteor on the rise in the country scene. He’s piling up the awards at breakneck pace and selling out arenas as if his name were Kenny Chesney. It’s easy to see why. He’s got a manic energy on stage, darting around like he just chugged a case of Red Bull. He played tracks like “Drunk on You” and “I Don’t Want This Night to End.” On the later, he even channeled his inner-Taio Cruz with a mashup of “Dynamite.”
The three story video board couldn’t help but stare at his giant gyrating pelvis. It was the type of grind that would have made Elvis proud and the ladies weak in the knees. Giving his love to the ladies seemed the constant cord running through his set as he pulled ten lucky young women onto the stage ready to shower him with lovin’ and for gobs of cell phone photos in return. He may have been the evening’s opener, but Luke Bryan is putting the country world on notice that he’ll be headlining this event soon; very soon.
Ah, country’s favorite sweetheart that shares the dubious distinction of not really being country anymore. Taylor Swift is churning out pop hits like they are rolling off a factory line. She may have gotten her start as a country darling, but the cross over artist has officially crossed. She brought to CMA her catalog of hits from “Mean” and “Red” to “We Are Never (Ever Ever) Getting Back Together” and “Tim Mcgraw.” Did I happen to mention Tim McGraw because one of country music’s modern fixtures just happened to show up to give Taylor the assist on his namesake song. If that weren’t enough to spark excitement in the feverous crowd, Saturday’s headliner Keith Urban showed up to wail away on the guitar alongside Swift and McGraw.
In her sexy short shorts (think tasteful hot, not Britney Spears slutty), Taylor preened like she was posing for a Revlon commercial when she manned the microphone. She dug into the chords when the electric guitar was strapped in and even plucked her way through “Mean” on the banjo. In her live show, Swift wants you to know she is more than just a pretty face and the girl next door on steroids. She is a joy to watch live. She’s cultivated a magnetic stage presence over the years, infusing it with her considerable talent. While I’d never want to be one of her ex-boyfriends, she can sing me to sleep any night.
Eric Church followed Taylor with his Solo cup of Jack Daniels in hand as this sudden beach ball bonanza broke out in the crowd. While the inflated rainbows launched from hand to hand, Church unwrapped tracks like “Smoke a Little Smoke” and “Homeboy.” During one of his swigs of Jack, he mused that sometimes he kicked the drink’s ass and sometimes it kicked his. A song later, as he removed his boot to hold it up during “These Boots,” I wondered if one of those nights that Jack did the kicking, did he drinking from his boot? While Church is a fine performer, I wish he would be a bit more energized on stage. He largely sits transfixed at the microphone, doing the occasional erratic kick or whips out a Rocky fist punch from time to time. For the other end of the spectrum, see Luke Bryan.
Since she followed him on stage, I can’t help but wonder if Eric Church ever made nice with Miranda Lambert after his “reality TV musicians are hacks” comment to Rolling Stone this time last year. I certainly hope so since its sad to think about fractures splitting the country music fraternity.
Fresh off bringing down the house at the Oklahoma tornado benefit concert, Miranda Lambert hit the stage with a rhinestone guitar strap and pink capo. Don’t let that fishing honeymoon fool you into thinking that she isn’t a girly girl through and through. She further reinforced her femininity with black bustier and leather pants.
Lambert played tracks like “All Kinds of Kinds” and “Over You.” She thanked the CMA faithful for making “White Liar” her first number one single and even got a bit nostalgic when she looked out over the crowd saying, “that used to be me in the twelfth row not that long ago.” Hopefully, country music’s next budding sensation took this comment to heart. Anything is possibly in music’s magical city.
It was hard to know if the Zac Brown Band was here to cap off Thursday’s CMA festivities or plug their upcoming Southern Grounds Festival, taking place in Nashville in September. It was mentioned a few times, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt instead of branding them as hucksters.
Zac Brown and company kicked things off with “Chicken Fried.” The crowd squealed in delight at the down home favorite. Zac Brown Band are the adoptive sons of Nashville by way of Atlanta. They continued to thrill the crowd, playing hits like “Keep Me In Mind,” but ultimately their time on stage was overshadowed by those who shared it with them. There had been a not-so-secret rumor spreading around that Zac Brown would have a special guest joining them for their set. About midway through, they called on Kenny Rogers to come out for a duet of the “Gambler.” Rogers sounded great belting out the country classic. As soon as the last note had faded, he shook a few hands and gave his love to the crowd before exiting stage right.
If you thought Zac Brown Band were content to play out the rest of their songs without ensuing fanfare, you would be wrong. They closed the evening with a cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band” with none other than Kid Rock. That is the great thing about Nashville. Since its such a Mecca for music artists, you can call up any number of stars and just say “hey we’re playing CMA tonight. Want to stop by and play a few?” As long as they aren’t catching up on Game of Thrones, they’ll probably respond by saying, “why not.” Half of me kind of expected John Mayer to be the surprise guest or somebody completely unexpected like Jack White.
Day one of the CMA Fest surpassed expectations in every possible way. I knew the top echelon of country’s fireworks would be on display, but I didn’t know they throw some gasoline on the thing for good measure. The bands truly got the purpose of this event – to give back to the fans who made them the success they have become. Over and over again, you heard these stars thanking the fans for buying the albums, calling the radio stations and coming out to the concerts. This event is for the fans, and it’s a refreshing thing to witness in this fame and fortune driven music industry.
Well we don’t know if anything can top what we saw today, but we are excited to see what CMA has up its sleeve for the remainder of the long weekend. Tomorrow, we bring you Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and much more as the CMA Music Festival marches on. Check in with us all weekend as we report live from Nashville.
Organizers of the Interlocken Festival are making sure they are being noticed: the inaugural incarnation of the event will feature Neil Young & Crazy Horse, the Black Crowes, Zac Brown and Widespread Panic.
The event will be held September 5-8 at Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Va., which is about 35 miles south of Charlottesville, Va. and about 100 miles from both Richmond, Va. and Washington, D.C.
While a full schedule has yet to be released, thus far we know that Widespread Panic, Black Crowes and String Cheese Incident will each play two-nights of the festival Furthur, the band featuring formal Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will play three nights, with one of those nights being used to perform the classic album Workingman’s Dead in its entirety.
Former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty will sit in with Widespread Panic during one of their two nights. That’s not a pairing I would have ever thought of, but it could produce a great set.
Zac Brown will be sans Zac Brown Band for his participation in the festival, and will guest with the String Cheese Incident during one of their performance, forming the debut of the Zac Brown Incident.
The event is clearly going after a certain type of music fan, and co-creator Peter Shapiro said in a press release that this was the original idea.
“Most festivals these days are trying to be everything to everyone – very eclectic with an emphasis on a large number of artists in various genres,” Shapiro said. “With Interlocken, we want to break away from that mold and create something more identifiable and distinct.”
To put it another way, if you like jam bands and you like other people that like jam bands, you’re probably going to dig this festival.
Oak Ridge Farm is a privately owned, 4,800 acre farm that will offer close camping options in the Blue Ridge mountains, as well as VIP camping inside the concert site.
The Nashville incarnation of Zac Brown’s Southern Grounds festival will be back for a second time later this year, and will feature Willie Nelson and Grace Potter, among others.
Those are just the a few of the artists that will appear at the two-day festival, and when Zac Brown Band performs at the close of both nights, it will welcome special guests Kenny Chesney, John Fogerty and Jason Mraz for what are being called “Super Sets.”
For the second time, the event will be held at Music City’s Lawn at Riverfront Park concert space. This year’s festival will be held September 27-28.
Other acts that have been announced so far are Eli Young Band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Head and the Heart, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and Kacey Musgraves. The latter is one of the best singer-songwriters currently working in mainstream Country, and recently released her debut album, Same Trailer, Different Park.
Of course, Southern Grounds is known for having a ton of different artists, and more artists will be announced in the near future.
Tickets for the festival start at $99 for two day passes, and go on sale throughout the coming days. Members of the Zac Brown Band fan club can get in on an exclusive presale tomorrow, April 24, while those that attended the festival last year can purchase tickets the following day. The general onsale date is April 27.
As with past festivals, there also will be VIP ticket options that include prime onstage seating as well as a gourmet meal prepared by Southern Ground Executive Chef Rusty Hamlin and other chefs working under him. VIP guests also have access to complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks throughout the festival.
Brown also hosts a Southern Grounds Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and dates and headliners for this year’s event there are expected to be announced soon. Last year’s Nashville even attracted more than 12,000 music fans.
Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Muse, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and Zac Brown Band will be among the performers for the 2013 NCAA Big Dance Concert Series in Atlanta presented alongside the NCAA Men’s Final Four tournament.
While the basketball games will be played in the Georgia Dome, the concerts will be held down the street in Centennial Olympic Park April 5-7. Additional performances will come from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Ludacris and Flo Rida.
Dave Matthews Band will be the headliner of the overall event, closing out the festivities on the night of April 7. The group will head out on the road this summer for an extensive tour, as they usually do.
Sting’s performance will also serve as a prelude to his summer tour. The Back to Bass tour will take him around both North America and Europe this summer. The shows on the tour will more intimate affairs than some of his recent treks, which included the former frontman of the Police playing with a symphony orchestra..
The shows at Centennial Park are free and open to the public.
“The Big Dance Concert Series is one of the most popular fan events that takes place during the Men’s Final Four weekend, and I want to take this opportunity to thank our corporate champion Capital One for its support in bringing great musical acts to the city,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president for championships and alliances, in a statement. “The Big Dance is free to the public which enables everyone the opportunity to enjoy the Final Four weekend excitement regardless of whether or not they have a ticket for the games. We hope everyone has a great time at Centennial Olympic Park and the entire weekend in Atlanta.”
Last year’s Final Four was held in New Orleans, and performers during that weekend include Jimmy Buffett, the Black Keys and KISS.
2013 Big Dance Weekend Concert Schedule
FRIDAY, APRIL 5
3 : Gates Open
4:45 pm : Saints of Valory : Centennial Olympic Park
7 pm : My Morning Jacket : Centennial Olympic Park
9 pm : Zac Brown Band : Centennial Olympic Park
SATURDAY, APRIL 6
Noon : Gates Open
12:15 pm : Yacht Rock Revue : Centennial Olympic Park
1:45 pm : Macklemore & Ryan Lewis : Centennial Olympic Park
3:15 pm : Ludacris : Centennial Olympic Park
4:30 pm : Flo-Rida : Centennial Olympic Park
8:30 pm : Muse : Centennial Olympic Park
SUNDAY, APRIL 7
2 : Gates Open
4:15 pm : Grace Potter & the Nocturnals : Centennial Olympic Park
6 pm : Sting : Centennial Olympic Park
8 pm : Dave Matthews Band : Centennial Olympic Park
Nashville’s annual CMA Music Festival is known for drawing the top acts in country music each year, and this year looks to be no different as Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood highlight the packed lineup.
This year’s festival will take place June 6-9 in downtown Nashville, with the headlining acts playing at the city’s LP Field, which is otherwise home to the Tennessee Titans.
As if those names weren’t enough, the lineup also includes Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allen, Kelly Clarkson, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Jake Owen, Zac Brown Band and more.
“We have an amazing lineup of talent for this year’s festival,” said Country Music Association CEO Steve Moore in a statement. “I know our fans will be entertained and enthralled to see our family reunion of the best and brightest performers in the industry.”
The festival first debuted in 1972 and was then known as Fan Fair. It is now one of the biggest country festivals in the U.S., and in 2011 set a record with 65,000 attendees.
The festival also will feature Fan Fair X, where fans can experience autograph signings, concerts, lifestyle exhibits, live broadcasts and a marketplace. The events will be held at Nashville’s new Music City Center, a huge new convention center in the heart of the city.
“The relationship between our artists and the fans is at the very heart of what this event was founded on, and we continue to embrace that legacy with Fan Fair X,” said Moore. “By moving to the Music City Center, we are able to provide more opportunities and activities to enhance this treasured experience for the fans.”
In addition to two stages, the building also will display a gallery of music memorabilia, such as Elvis Presley’s custom 1975 Cadillac Coupe De Ville.
This year’s Ottawa Bluesfest is certainly not only focused on the blues with one of the most eclectic lineups to be announced recently, highlighted by Zac Brown Band, Rush and the Dixie Chicks.
This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Festival, and other notable performers include B.B. King, Wu-Tang Clan, Weezer, Belle & Sebastian, Tegan and Sara, fun., She & Him, The Tragically Hip, Grand Funk Railroad, Skrillex, Neko Case, Matthew Good, Solange, Alejandro Escovedo, Los Lonley Boys and Animal Collective.
The festival will run from July 4-8 and then pick back up July 10-14. The event will be held at the Lebreton Flats Park in Ottawa, Ontario.
“We consider this year’s line-up to be one of the best of any across North America – it reaches out to a wide-ranging demographic with cutting edge performances as well as festival favorites,” said executive/programming director Mark Monahan in a press release.
Monahan also spoke to Metro News about the festival.
“It’s always nice when it comes together,” he said in the interview. “I think I’ve got a pretty good mix of top level arena acts like Rush and Zac Brown and Dixie Chicks, with some current leading-edge acts.”
He also says that he wants the festival to cater to the tastes of those that live in Ottawa and the surrounding area, which he calls “very much a classic rock town.”
“People like to go out and have a good time and they love to see the Hip every second year,” he continued. “I’m not trying to be a Coachella or an Osheaga or a Bonnaroo or some destination festival. I’ve got to do something that people in Ottawa are going to enjoy and want to come out to every year because it’s not a one off thing.”
Organizers also said they plan to make this year’s event the first Ottawa Bluesfest that is smoke free.
But the rodeo is not just catering to country music fans – other notable acts performing include Pitbull, Bruno Mars, Mary J. Blige, Styx and Demi Lovato. The later artist was announced in the first round of artist announcements back in November, which also included Toby Keith and Jason Aldean.
Toby Keith will kick off this year’s event on February 25, and the Houston Rodeo consists of 21 events taking place through March 17 at the city’s Reliant Stadium. All days also have rodeo aspects other than the final day of the event, which will be a concert-only performance by George Strait, Martina McBride and the Randy Rogers Band.
Season tickets range from $361 to $6,125 depending on seat location, and these include admission to the final George Strait concert – season tickets can be purchased without this option, as well. Mini-season ticket options also are available, and include admission to nine days of the rodeo (but not the final concert). Tickets to individual rodeo events start at $18.
This is the 81st year of the rodeo, and an estimated 2,257,970 people attended the event last year. The official website of the event also reports some interesting culinary factoids from last year.
“During the show, visitors ate 50,000 pounds of potatoes, 23,000 cinnamon rolls, 10,000 orders of chicken fried bacon and 9,000 pounds of shrimp,” states the website. I’m glad there were over 2 million people there, or those numbers would be ridiculous.
In other news, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is buying half of what used to be Six Flags AstroWorld, which is located near Reliant Park and is typically used for tailgating during Houston Texan games, which are played at Reliant Stadium.
“Immediately, we know we can park there…” said Rodeo Houston chief operating officer Leroy Shafer of the reasoning for the land purchase. “We can do some improvements to the parking that will help us more with the inclement weather.”