Come one, come all to most stacked festival in the history of music. You may think that a festival of this caliber was years in the making, and has taken many long days and nights to cultivate. However you couldn’t be more wrong. After we at LxL announced we wanted to put a festival on, most acts were chomping at the bit to get on board. Literally, every name in the business was contacting us asking to be a part of this monumental occasion. The success of our blog this past year has been wild, and we have only you (our readers) to thank. So this is our way of repaying our followers, a free festival stacked to the nines. So here you are loyal LxL readers: 3 days, 1 stage, and 33 of the most coveted acts in music. All we ask in return is for your feedback.
Due to the overwhelming amount of requests to play at our festival, we at LxL had to think of a way to weed out the fat. After all, we do only have one stage to play on and three days to get it done. Austin came up with the novel idea to host a draft similar to that of a fantasy football team. Thus, we give you the birth of Fantasy Festival (patent pending). Each of us is randomly assigned a day for the festival (1,2, or3) and then draft 14 acts in the respective order. The draft “snakes”, so if you pick 3rd, you choose 2 acts and then it goes back to the 2nd picker. The acts you pick go on your bench, which you will then use to fill up the time slots of your day (each day last from 12 PM to 4 AM) in any way you see fit. You can “bench” acts and not use all 14, but you must use a minimum of 8. Furthermore, since this is a REAL festival, you must choose acts that are living and that have toured together before, or could tour together in a realistic manner. We can’t just play God and act like we could get Liam and Noel Gallagher back together for an Oasis reunion, it has to be somewhat realistic, like a Beatles reunion.
After our draft, the above lineup is what we came up with and the below is the result of our scheduling. We also each give a bit of insight to our thought process for the draft, and then we allow a fellow LxL member to rip on each other’s thought process or scheduling abilities. Our hope is to get some feedback from those of you who wish to attend, and tell us, who among us crafted the greatest day in this, the first LxL Fantasy Festival (patent pending).
Onto the schedules …
I got more or less the line-up I was hoping for. Obviously, I didn’t get everyone I wanted, but I also only had one of the first five picks. You may be surprised that my first pick, and the number one pick overall, was Daft Punk. That is how much I valued my late night show, but we’ll get to that later. My two main goals were diversity and uniqueness, while also hoping to make my culminate in one giant party. Diversity is certain. With Daft Punk, Prince, Neil Young, Outkast, NIN, Garth Brooks, etc, I feel like I covered most of the major food groups. Uniqueness? Oh yeah. I didn’t want to pick acts that have lived on the festival circuit for years on end. Let’s get to the specifics.
Wake up and start the day with the greatest-selling country artist of all time, and sing along to an hour of Garth Brooks hits. Then hit up one of two divas I felt necessary to include, Fiona Apple (make that 3 divas if you include Prince). For the next several hours I wanted the crowd to experience a slow burn consisting of a couple old-timers (Neil Young and Tom Waits) who are not diminished in the performance department. After the old-timers I give you one of the most delicious duos of hip-hop acts possible, Tribe and Outkast, to take the experience into dusk.
Once the sun goes down, the madness begins. Rage to some NIN and their stellar light show, then get ready for the only man to put on an above average Super Bowl halftime show that I can remember. Prince would just manhandle the crowd with his deep catalog of hits. Finally, Robyn does a quick set to give the crowd time to do tab after tab of ecstasy, before Daft Punk comes on to play until the sun damn near comes up. This is the best day of your life; don’t deny it.
Todd’s Response to Austin’s Schedule:
My trouble in coming up with ways to slander Austin’s lineup is that he stole so much of what I wanted. It’s hard to diss a day that is as stacked as this one. The biggest miss on the list for me would be Fiona Apple. Although I’ve never seen Fiona live, I can’t imagine her really building me up to hear an act like Tom Waits. Especially after coming down from the highest highs of Garth. If I were at a that Fiona show, I’d probably not even be able to hear Fiona’s performance rather than just wishing she’d get off the stage already in anticipation for the rest of the day.
I think he could have also built up the late night a bit better. Not that Daft Punk needs to be built up, it’s just similarly to putting Fiona between Garth and Tom, why drop Robyn in between Prince and Daft Punk? I’d rather see Outkast throw down a late night slot building up to the fury that is about to be unleashed by a 3 hour Daft Punk set. Stick Robyn after Neil or Tribe to get people moving and grooving before NIN. Then by the time Prince comes on, the rest of the night will just be sheer funky dancing madness. Also, what you don’t see is the fact that Austin did indeed draft Ke$ha, then for some reason turned his back on her and chose to have her ride the wood. And I don’t mean Austin’s wood, I mean the grainy pine of the bench … for shame.
I decided to kick off my day by putting everyone in a good mood. And what better way to do so than having two incredible performers singing 1 1/2 hours of nothing but pure sing-a-longs? Moving forward, we have a barrage of shorter sets, but sets that are full of quality. After a show that will make you cringe that the Pixies ever broke up, and another that will get you dancing to the incredible layers of TVOTR, you will then be graced by Lauryn Hill’s incredible voice serenading you through the afternoon.
Moving on, Cream may be old and crotchety, but they did a reunion tour in recent years, and still managed to prove why they will each forever go down in history as one of the greatest drummer, bassist, and guitarists of all time. Eric still soulfully playing his guitar, Jack slappin’ da bass, and Ginger Baker may look like a withering corpse, but he still manages to never skip a beat (rather add them) on drums. After a few more sets that not need explanation you have one of the greatest classic acts in the history of Rock n Roll. The Rolling Stones may not be as in your face as they used to be, but they are still full of surprises. Jack White solo act may have been the way to go for my post-headlong headliner, just for the fact that you essentially get 4 band catalogues in one. But why not just enjoy where it all stems from, since we will rarely (if ever) get to experience White Stripes again.
Now, welcome to the party. And the remaining 4 hours is about as diverse as a party can possibly get. If trippy drugs, crazy lasers, and humans in hamster balls rolling over the top of you is your kind of party, enjoy the Flaming Lips. If grandiose spectacles put on by two of the biggest hip hop artists of all time suits your fancy, enjoy some Jay and Ye. How about kicking the groove-thang up a notch and dancing your ass off for a while by sticking around for the Chemical Brothers. And if you want to get real weird, stay even later for the most raw power you will ever witness on stage.
Having the second draft pick proved to be much more difficult that expected. First and foremost, I never expected Austin to pull Daft Punk for the #1 pick over all. I foolishly was expecting them to fall to round 2 or 3 which would have changed my night lineup dramatically. My next error was not taking Prince in round 2. Especially because Austin was picking directly after me, and I should have known he was a certainly going to take him. Nonetheless, I am still quite happy with the way my day turned out. My sets are a bit shorter than the other two days, but everyone at least gets an hour while most acts get more.
Wes’s Response to Todd’s Schedule:
I gotta say you packed things pretty thin Todd. First you are soiling Elton John’s set with the most depressed man in music, Billy Joel, and then you have an over-the-hill Pixies. You would be much better going with their peers, Sonic Youth. The Fugees sounds like a great idea until you remember how rusty and disappointing they would really be.
It’s hard to argue with LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead, the White Stripes, and the Flaming Lips, but giving the Rolling Stones, TV On The Radio, and Chemical Brothers between 45 to 75 minutes is an absolute crime. You also failed to have much of an imagination in terms of sets/set types: just Iggy and the Stooges performing an album that they perform all the time. Can’t say it doesn’t have its highlights, but your lack of decisiveness and ingenuity has really left this day short of what it could have been.
Mine is a day filled with hyperbole, with live legends old and new, though older artists who certainly haven’t lost it. The sun shines bright on the festival grounds as Stevie Wonder starts the day with maybe the sunniest album of all time – his timeless double album Songs In The Key of Life from front to back. After the magical majesty of Sigur Ros and Sufjan Stevens, the pageantry continues with David Bowie delivering an hour and a half of absolute classics whipping through a variety of eras and personalities of Bowie including Space Oddity Bowie, Ziggy Stardust Bowie, Scary Monsters Bowie, Young American Bowie, and even Labyrinth Bowie just for kicks. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs kick things into high gear for an absolutely nuts set leaving the crowd with a fever to tell. The Roots show why they are the greatest act in hip hop and one of the hardest working bands period with their high energy, timeless set.
Then comes the double-headliner: First is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, who is widely considered the greatest live band of all time, and is the best music legend I have ever seen. Springsteen would open his set with Born to Run from beginning to end, and then come on for a second set of pure classics, closing up the headlining set with an electric “Rosalita, Come Out Tonight”. 2 hours of sing-alongs follow from two fourths of the Beatles, Paul McCartney with Ringo on drums playing just Beatles music, playing absolutely no Wings or Kisses from the Bottom. Just some of the greatest, most universal songs of all time like “Hey Jude”, “Let It Be”, “Yesterday”, “Helter Skelter” singing along with tens of thousands of people.
Then the late night is a double-headliner as well with two all-timers: the reunited Talking Heads, who put on a set in the vein of their set on the greatest live film of all time Stop Making Sense. The night closes with a late night show by the best live band on the planet at the moment, My Morning Jacket, playing 2.5 hours of powerfully glorious rock music. No one is better able to corral friends to collaborate with them than Jim James, who has Wonder, Byrne, Bowie, Blackthought, and the Boss all guest in their set, closing the festival with “One Big Holiday” with the stage covered in music legends.
Austin’s Response to Wes’s Schedule:
The first question I have for Wes is why his line-up is littered with acts that are just plain old. Stevie Wonder trying to pull off Songs In the Key of Life would probably be a little sad. I’m not sure how good David Bowie would be after years letting his music career sit idly by. McCartney would be more of a nostalgia necessary viewing situation, and the Talking Heads are a real wildcard. Boom or bust is the name of the game for Wes, and I’m guessing it would skew toward bust.
The rest of Wes’ day is filled with some old standbys like MMJ, Sufjan, and the Roots, none of which are terribly difficult to see in any given year. I’m just not seeing a whole lot special unless the old boys blow everyone away. Not saying I wouldn’t love attending this day, just that I’m not expecting to be absolutely blown out of the water.
Hopefully you had as much fun attending this festival, as we had curating it. This probably tops out as the geekiest thing we have done on our blog, but damn if it wasn’t worth it. Please do excuse the blandness of our poster/schedule, there wasn’t much time to put effort into them. Nevertheless, as with any Thursday list or Fantasy game, please let us know what we missed, what we got right, or feel free to rip on us in general. Please also give a shout out to which day you enjoyed the most.
Please contribute to our poll letting us know who put together the best day!
Thanks for reading!