Top 10 reasons why Xponential Music Festival is relevant
- By Tom Noonan -
- Jul 20, 2012
The Xponential Music Festival is a 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It’s the third and untalented Manning brother. It has reasons to be ignored. In our current summer landscape full of blockbuster festivals with eyebrow raising headliners (literally), The Xponential Music Festival seems somewhat inconsequential. With Jay-Z headlining his own festival in Philadelphia in early September, it would be easy, if not unfortunate, to write off the Xponential Music Festival and hold out for the big-ticket event.
But sometimes, 15 seeds win. And, if we learned anything from ‘Little Giants’, little brothers can win one time out of a hundred. With a exceptionally well-timed line-up, the Xponential Music Festival, which takes place next weekend along the waterfront in Philadelphia, should not be taken lightly. Here are 10 artists that make this festival a worthy underdog for the summer festival powerhouses.
As reliable as they are inventive, Jeff Tweedy and company are coming off something of a resurgence with their last two albums being either excellent (‘Wilco (the Album)’) and slightly above solid (‘The Whole Love’). They’ll be playing in a huge amphitheatre to close out Saturday’s crowded line-up making for a terrifically low-key finish.
9. Counting Crowes
It’s been a long time since Adam Duritz’s dreadlocked energy shimmered on ‘August and Everything After’, but the band’s most recent release, ‘Underwater Sunshine’, was a step back in the right direction. The Counting Crowes have always been a fun band while never managing to be great. When you’re at a music festival, sometimes a fun band is more important than a great one.
8. Adam Duritz
Ok, so this might be cheating, but hear me out. In a recent interview with Mashable Entertainment, Duritz, the lead singer for the Counting Crowes, acknowledged the importance of Twitter in his life. He said that he has met new friends, musicians, and even a recent girlfriend on Twitter. Just Tweet at him; good things will happen.
7. Dave Hause
A stirring songwriter, Dave Hause’s first solo album ‘Resolutions’ was probably the best album you didn’t hear in 2011. He’s got punk roots with a knack for Springsteen-esque storytelling. You don’t have to trust me on this guy; just ask Brian Fallon, the lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem, who has consistently heralded the Philly-based songwriter as the more deserving of praise.
6. The Hold Steady
If The Killers are trying to save Arena Rock, then The Hold Steady are holding it down for barroom sing-along rock. They have a presence onstage usually reserved for men in office. Craig Finn is a captivating, spit-hurling storyteller who awkwardly dances while delivering literary inspired poetry. Remember when I said that fun bands are more important to music festivals than great bands? Well, with The Hold Steady, you don’t have to choose.
5. The War on Drugs
The War on Drugs’ 2011 breakout ‘Slave Ambient’ resembled a Tarantino movie. It strung together bunch of transparent influences and somehow made a completely original and flooring record. This is a band whose music you can get lost in.
4. The Avett Brothers
Before the thematically dense ‘I and Love and You’ put their talent on display, The Avett Brothers were already a formidable band. Word has it that they are back in the studio with Rick Rubin, so their spot as a Wilco lead-in could be a showcase of their long-anticipated follow-up.
They’re coming off their best record yet in 2011’s ‘Nothing is Wrong’. It’s pretty rare to notice exactly when a band has reached the top of its game, but I think it’s safe to say Dawes is there. They’re an act not to be missed, especially right now.
2. The Lumineers
What there is to love about this band can be summed up by simply listening to ‘Classy Girls’. It’s a barroom story without a house beat pulsating behind it and Akon is nowhere sight. They may have settled in as a poor man’s Mumford and Sons but don’t expect them to get comfortable.
1. Rhett Miller and the Serial Killer Ladies
Rhett Miller has written so many good songs that it is hard to remember which band he was in when he wrote them (it was probably the Old 97s). Here he’s with an awesomely named band that will most likely reach back into his solid catalog for a far-reaching set. It could be weird; it could be cool. All I know is that I don’t want to miss it.
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