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Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett

Performances

June 26 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett’s PLATINUM-certified third album LIFE CHANGES (The Valory Music Co.) is the biggest, boldest-sounding record of his career, filled with a diverse batch of songs as he stretches his sound to new limits. Emphasizing his “detailed style of songwriting” (Rolling Stone), LIFE CHANGES was an instant hit upon its release, debuting at No. One on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, marking the first Country release to take the top spot last year. It also drew a 2018 GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Albumand has been streamed more than one billion times, delivering a slew of RIAA-certified PLATINUM and GOLD chart-toppers, bringing Thomas Rhett’s No. One tally to 11. His current single “Sixteen” is Top 3 at Country radio. Thomas Rhett was named iHeartRadio’s Country Artist of the Year for the second year in a row, following a CMA Triple Play award for penning three No. One songs within a 12-month period (“Die A Happy Man,” “Star of the Show” and Michael Ray’s “Think A Little Less”), adding to his collection of trophies from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Billboard Music Awards, CMT Music Awards and more. 

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Dustin Lynch

Dustin Lynch

Performances

June 26 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Dustin Lynch

Since releasing his PLATINUM-certified debut single, “Cowboys and Angels,” Dustin Lynch has "steadily built one of the most consistent recording careers in modern country music” (Billboard) with six #1s (his most recent “Good Girl” marking his first #1 as a songwriter), three Top 5 albums, PLATINUM-level certifications and tours with the genre’s biggest names. Racking up over 238 million views on YouTube/VEVO, scoring one BILLION streams, soaring to #1 on the MTV Music Meter, and selling 4.5 million digital tracks, the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry brings a fresh combination of traditional influence and edgy intensity to the genre. Lynch’s “sexy” (CMT), “intoxicating” (Taste of Country) third studio album, CURRENT MOOD, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in Fall 2017.

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Russell Dickerson

Russell Dickerson

Performances

June 26 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Russell Dickerson

Sincere, energetic and always smiling: All words that have been used to describe emerging country music star, Russell Dickerson, by his fans and peers alike. His infectious personality radiates in everything he does, whether he’s writing a song, singing in the studio or meeting fans. He’s constantly making people laugh and everyone he meets is quick to become part of the “RD Fam.” He asserts, “I just love life. Every day is a great day!”

Lately there’s been plenty to smile about. The Nashville native has had an incredible reaction to his current single, “Yours.” The power ballad was selected for Sirius XM’s The Highway Find program, which showcases new, and often times unsigned, artists to country music fans across the country. In the blink of an eye, Dickerson found himself competing with artists such as Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan on the satellite station’s weekly Hot 45 countdown, successfully reaching #3.Soon after, Dickerson released his EP, “Yours,” which debuted at #2 in the iTunes country store and #8 in all genres. The album also premiered at #1 on Billboard’s Heat Seeker chart and #14 onBillboard’s Top Country Album chart. The album features five songs co-written by Dickerson, including a stripped down wedding version of the title track “Yours.” Boosted by the power of his hit single, he landed on the iTunes Best of 2015 year-end list, TheKnot.com’s Best Wedding Songs of 2016, and Spotify’s #SpotifySpotlight 2016.

In just a short amount of time, Dickerson’s fans solidified him unanimously as the next big thing. Over 30 million streams on Spotify, three million views on YouTube and skyrocketing social media followers have come pouring in. He quickly found himself touring with the likes of Canaan Smith and Billy Currington, as well as joining Florida Georgia Line on their cruise for the second year in a row in addition to headlining his own dates. Dickerson also got to have that moment every artist dreams about – making his debut at the Grand Ole Opry.  

“Since day one, all I’ve ever known is music. I love touring, I love playing the shows…I love connecting with every single person.” The multi-instrumentalist and successful songwriter is busy recording his next project, and he’s characteristically optimistic that his fans will embrace the album just as much as they have him. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the fans. I want them to leave my shows feeling changed. I live to make them smile.” 

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Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

Performances

June 27 - 10:15 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Willie Nelson

With a six-decade career and 200 plus albums, this iconic Texan is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of CrazyRed Headed Stranger, and Stardust. Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor, and activist. He continues to thrive as a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force. In recent years, he has delivered more than a dozen new album releases, released a Top 10 New York Times’ bestsellers book, again headlined Farm Aid, an event he co-founded in 1985, received his 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, headlined the annual Luck Reunion food and music festival at his ranch in Luck, TX during SXSW, launched his cannabis companies Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy, and graced the covers of Rolling Stone and AARP The Magazine. In 2015, Nelson published “It’s A Long Story: My Life,” the unvarnished and complete story of his life that landed him on the New York Times’ bestsellers list. He also released a new studio album with Merle Haggard titled Django And Jimmie, which debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s Country album chart and #7 on Billboard‘s Top 200 album chart. In November 2015, the Library of Congress honored him with their Gershwin Prize for Popular Song for his contributions to popular music. He is the first country artist to receive the distinguished award. The following year began with the release of Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, a collection of 11 newly recorded Gershwin classics. The album debuted at #1 on both the Top Current Jazz chart and the Top Traditional Jazz chart, as well as earned him a Grammy Award for the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. In September 2016, came For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, an album of newly recorded interpretations of 12 Ray Price songs. In 2017, he released two albums of newly recorded performances: God’s Problem Child, with 13 new songs that debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Country album chart and #10 on the Billboard 200, and Willie Nelson and The Boys (Willie’s Stash, Vol. 2), that includes 11 country classics and one brand-new song performed by Nelson and his sons Lukas and Micah. For 2018, he released Last Man Standing in April to celebrate his 85th birthday. It is comprised entirely of songs newly-penned by Nelson (and longtime collaborator and producer Buddy Cannon). In September he released the album My Way, a collection of newly recorded standards and classic originally made famous by Nelson’s close friend and musical colleague Frank Sinatra. It went on to win the GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Pop Album. These new songs and performances add to his classic catalog, and finds Willie Nelson rolling at a creative peak, writing and singing and playing with the seasoned wit and wisdom that comes from the road, which he still travels along performing for fans.

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Phil Lesh & Friends

Phil Lesh & Friends

Performances

June 27 - 8:15 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Phil Lesh & Friends

Like so many other musical endeavors that Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead has been a part of, the Terrapin Family Band grew naturally and spontaneously out of something special. In this case, it was the unique environment that he fostered at Terrapin Crossroads, the music venue that he recently opened in Marin County, CA.

Using the Grateful Dead songbook as a springboard for reinterpretation and as inspiration to create original material, the TFB musicians were inspired as much by one another as they were by the diverse group of influences that they brought to the table; as a result, the music conveyed friendship, respect, warmth, and companionship for listeners and performers alike.

'Family' isn't just a moniker for the group, either. The first person that Phil brought on was Grahame Lesh, his son. From the beginning Grahame's guitar chops, powerful vocals and harmonic touch helped form the backbone of the band's sound.

Keeping with the family theme is Alex Koford, a long time family friend whom Phil recruited to be his drummer. It quickly became apparent that Alex had a voice to match his drumming ability, and before long he was pulling a 'Levon Helm,' delivering soaring vocal leads while pounding away on the drums.

Then, there is the man of many talents, Jason Crosby. He started playing violin at the age of 2, discovered he had perfect pitch not longer thereafter, and then proceeded to master virtually every instrument known to man. You can usually find him on the piano or violin with the Terrapin Family Band, adding a delicate touch here, a perfect note there.

Last, but certainly not least, is our very own Ross James. The dynamic, bearded guitarist wowed crowds from the moment he burst onto the scene at Terrapin Crossroads, and it wasn't long before his distinct sound and style were as recognizable at Terrapin as Phil's bass bombs. Combine Ross with the two Lesh men, and you've got about as electric a musical front-court as you can find anywhere.

Over time, the band’s music has developed organically, merging and fusing each musician’s influences (including rock, folk, punk, jazz, metal, psychedelic, experimental, classical) into a hard-rockin’ sound rooted in the communal/collective, telepathic, exploratory spirit of the Grateful Dead.

What began as a house band for Phil’s Terrapin Crossroads has turned into something much more, and the band is excited to take the unique Terrapin Family Band sound outside of their home turf as they explore new musical grounds.

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The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers

Performances

June 27 - 6:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

The Avett Brothers

Hailing from Concord, NC, The Avett Brothers? released their first album in 2002, and won the Americana Music Association’s Emerging Artist Award AND Duo/Group of the Year Award in 2007 (and two more times since.)  They first made mainstream waves with their 2009 major label debut, I and Love and You, landing at #16 on the Billboard Top 200 and garnering critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Time. In 2012, The Carpenter hit #4 on the Billboard Top 200, with the band appearing on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!twice in a few months’ time. The eighth studio album, Magpie and the Dandelion, debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 and the band performed on The Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, and accompanied ?Chris Cornell? for a ?Pearl Jam? tribute on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

True Sadness, the record that followed, achieved The Avett Brothers’ highest career debut to date and dominated multiple charts. The Rick Rubin-produced album hit #1 on Billboard’sTop Albums Chart, #1 Top Rock Albums Chart, #1 Digital Albums Chart, #3 on the BillboardTop 200 and scored two GRAMMY nominations. The Avett Brothers were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

2018 brought the HBO premiere of “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers,” a documentary co-directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio. Days after this debut, True Sadness launched to #1 on the Rock Albums chart and #3 on the iTunes Album chart. In October of ‘18, The Avett Brothers debuted a new song, “Roses and Sacrifice,” live on Late Night with Seth Meyers and then released the track officially in November ‘18. Also, in November of ‘18, the band headlined the Concert for Hurricane Florence Relief in Greenville, NC, raising $325,000 to help those affected by Hurricane Florence. The Avett Brothers continue to be revered as one of the top folk-rock acts in the country, selling out arenas and amphitheaters coast to coast.

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Counting Crows

Counting Crows

Performances

June 27 - 4:45 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Counting Crows

Counting Crows – Adam Duritz (vocals), Jim Bogios (drums), David Bryson (guitar), Charlie Gillingham (keyboards), David Immergluck (guitar), Millard Powers (bass) and Dan Vickrey (guitar) – have sold more than 20 million albums worldwide after exploding onto the music scene with their multiplatinum breakout album August and Everything After in 1993. Known for creating unique and innovative concert experiences year after year, Counting Crows is recognized as one of the world’s most pre-eminent touring live rock bands. The band released their seventh studio album Somewhere Under Wonderland in September 2014, which earned critical acclaim as one of the “band’s best,” scored a top 10 debut and was recognized as one of the group’s “stronger works (USA Today),” claiming a spot on Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Songs of the 2014 list with the track “Dislocation”.

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Alison Krauss

Alison Krauss

Performances

June 27 - 3:15 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Alison Krauss

Born in Champaign, Illinois, Alison Krauss grew up listening to everything from folk to opera to pop and rock music, but quickly fell in love with bluegrass ­when she began playing fiddle at the age of five. Shortly after, Krauss began entering fiddle contests. At the age of 14, Rounder Records signed her to her first record deal and she went on to release her debut solo album two years later. The accomplished bluegrass musician became a member of the Grand Ole Opry at age 21.

Since 1985, Krauss has released 14 albums including five solo, seven with her longtime band and musical collaborators Union Station, and the Robert Plant collaboration Raising Sand, which was certified platinum and won five Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. She’s sold more than 12 million records to date, and her honors include 27 Grammys, nine Country Music Association awards, 14 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards and two Gospel Music Association awards.

Windy City, her latest solo album, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and Top Bluegrass Albums charts and received two Grammy nominations. The album was produced by Buddy Cannon, whose vocal harmonies Krauss grew up listening to and were the soundtrack to her childhood. “Buddy sang harmonies on everything back then,” Krauss says. She also reveals of Cannon, “I don’t do something unless I feel like I’m called to do it. That’s what I felt like, so I honored it. It’s like the same feeling of when you know something is right musically, with a song or a batch of songs – the same feeling, but this was attached to a person instead of a batch of songs.”

Krauss frequently collaborates with artists from numerous genres, including Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Kenny Rogers, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Vince Gill, The Chieftains, James Taylor, The Cox Family, Yo-Yo Ma, Johnny Mathis, Cyndi Lauper, Heart, Bad Company and Phish. She has recorded and toured with Willie Nelson, whom she honored with a performance during the 2015 Gershwin Prize Tribute Concert. She will reunite with Nelson this summer on a co-headlining tour throughout North America. “Whiskey Lullaby,” a duet which she performed with Brad Paisley won two CMA Awards in 2004. She has also produced albums for Alan Jackson, Nickel Creek and The Cox Family. Some of these collaborators were also formative to Krauss and she lists influences including Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Dolly Parton, Larry Sparks, The Cox Family, and Ralph Stanley.

Krauss has contributed songs to numerous films, including “Down to the River to Pray” in  the cult classic film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and “You Will Be My Ain True Love” and “The Scarlett Tide” in the film Cold Mountain. She has also provided the voice for several cartoon movie characters, including Bambi’s mother in Bambi II and Annabelle in Annabelle’s Wish, as well as the singing voice of Davey’s girlfriend in the Adam Sandler movie Eight Crazy Nights.

In 2013, she performed at the Kennedy Center’s “American Voices” festival that was created and hosted by Renee Fleming and also honored Dolly Parton and Paul Simon with performances during The Kennedy Center Honors. She has performed for three presidents—George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

 

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Dawes

Dawes

Performances

June 27 - 2:00 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Dawes

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Trapper Schoepp

Trapper Schoepp

Performances

June 27 - 1:00 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Trapper Schoepp

Trapper Schoepp is a young man who’s befriended a strange and diverse cast of characters during his 27 years. That small army of rogues and rebels, drifters and dreamers, soldiers and schemers populate his songs, their tragedies and comedies, their lives and deaths recalled in his finely etched musical vignettes.

The Minnesota-born, Wisconsin-based tunesmith and teller of tales (both tall and true), just returned? ?with his second effort Rangers & Valentines (Xtra Mile Recordings). The record follows his critically acclaimed 2012 debut Run Engine, Run. That LP earned notices in Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and Paste, with the folks at Huffington Post calling him a “master storyteller” and PBS hailing his “story songs that explore and explode the conventions of rock and roll.”

On Rangers & Valentines, Schoepp defies the limitations of the standard-issue Americana platter, hopping genres – you’ll hear lots of brass, backing singers and B-3 — as the songs build to delirious musical highs. His narratives, meanwhile, find subjects in the narrow margins of society, the strange twists (literal and metaphorical) in the weather, and the vagaries of a troubadour’s transient life – with lyrics that flash a lacerating wit and humanist streak that’s at the core of his craft.

Produced by pop polymath and Raconteurs member Brendan Benson at his Readymade Studios in Nashville, the record finds Schoepp handling vocals, guitar and harmonica. He’s aided by an array of estimable musicians including his brother and musical-foil-since-birth Tanner Schoepp (providing bass guitar and vocal harmonies), Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady), John Davis (Superdrag), the McCrary Sisters — even comedian and WTF podcaster Marc Maron chips in on background vocals and lead guitar.

Schoepp shines up the well-worn clichés of singer-songwriterdom and renders them anew. Evoking a series of vivid protagonists and settings, his work variously recalls prime Prine (John, that is), the nuances of Newman (Randy, of course), the boozy bonhomie of The Replacements, and the unflinching language of someone well-versed in the Zevonian dialect.

Schoepp mixes fact and family lore to conjure the hardscrabble history “Ballad of Olof Johnson” and chides modern-day wannabes on “Lost Cowboy.” The road story “Ogalalla” answers the question: what happens to your mind when you’re snowbound in Nebraska with nothing but a bottle of Nyquil and The Hobbit at the local picture show for company? Meanwhile, the arch love song satire “Talking Girlfriend Blues” deftly explains how to preserve your dignity while hitchhiking to a date – and what to do when your ride turns out to have eyes for the same girl.

Last summer Schoepp also released Bay Beach Amusement Park, a six-song concept album centered around the 125-year-old attraction located in Green Bay, WI on the shores of Lake Michigan. Recorded mostly live over a weekend at Pachyderm Studios, Bay Beach Amusement Park serves as Schoepp’s creative and wildly fun follow-up to Rangers & Valentines, an album Relix declared a “mini masterpiece” and named one of Billboard’s “Best of the Week.”

Perhaps the park’s most historic and notable attraction is the Zippin Pippin, a wooden rollercoaster known famously as Elvis Presley’s favorite ride. The King rented Libertyland on August 8, 1977 from 1:15 a.m. until 7 a.m. to entertain a group of guests. Decked in a blue jumpsuit with a black leather belt, huge belt buckle with turquoise studs and gold chains, the King rode the Pippin repeatedly during a two-hour period. Presley’s late night joyride was his last public appearance. He passed away eight days later. 

40 years on, Schoepp celebrates the Pippin and the other classic rides with these six songs that take the listener on six different adventures, each song named for its respective ride (“Zippin Pippin,” “Bumper Cars,” “The Scat”). This musical joyride is suitable entertainment for both adults and children. “Come mothers, daughters, fathers and sons/You’ll feel a lot better after you’re done,” Schoepp sings in the first single “Bumper Cars,” where pop culture rivalries such as Jerry Seinfeld and Newman and the Jedi and Sith collide on the ride.

2019 will see a new release by Schoepp produced by Pat Sansone (Wilco, Autumn Defense).  Schoepp – who’s already crisscrossed the the US and EU sharing stages with fellow travelers like The Wallflowers, Jayhawks and Frank Turner – will be back on the road throughout 2019 in support of the record.

Additionally, Schoepp will continue his work as a Musical Ambassador for the rare disease research organization, Harmony 4 Hope, as well as Red Wing Shoes and Gibson Guitars. 

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Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean

Performances

June 28 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Jason Aldean

“I didn’t want a lay-up. I wanted a slam dunk,” says Jason Aldean, discussing his hard-charging and ferociously confident eighth studio album, Rearview Town, out April 13.

His most recent collection, 2016’s They Don’t Know, bowed at No.1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums charts, and Aldean has his sights set for Rearview Town: “We’ve always been a little bit different than everybody else,” he says. “In the early days, with songs like ‘She’s Country’ or ‘Dirt Road Anthem,’ we were really rolling the dice — that’s how I made my mark, by not being scared to go out and shake things up.”

The risks and their rewards electrify the 15 new cuts, snaking between stadium-sized guitar anthems (“Dirt to Dust,” “Up in Smoke”), heartfelt country minimalism (“Drown the Whiskey,” “Better At Being Who I Am”) and hip-hop swagger (“Like You Were Mine”).

Occasionally, like on the enthusiastically-received lead single, “You Make It Easy,” currently at No.10 and still climbing on the radio charts, Aldean even finds himself channeling the blues. “It’s rare for me to hear a song and get really excited about it,” he says of the tune. “But this one was immediate.”

A native of Macon, Georgia, such grooves are familiar to the star. “I was playing all types of music, naturally,” he recalls of formative bar gigs. “I played Otis Redding. I played the Allman Brothers. I played Stevie Ray Vaughn — and then I turned around and played Alabama. What’s cool about [“You Make It Easy”] is that it allowed me to show that side of my music and that part of the influence for me.”

Long a maestro of up-tempo stompers, Aldean kicks Rearview Town off with “Dirt to Dust” and “Set It Off,” an epic one-two punch of dirty guitars and undeniable hooks. With razor-sharp production, both songs flat out cook. Speaking about “Set It Off,” specifically, Aldean says that the quirky bassline has him chomping at the bit to bring the cut out live. “It’s got this really weird beat. You don’t know what’s about to happen,” he admits. “That takes it through the roof.”

He heads for traditional country on the standout lost love lament “Drowns the Whiskey.” Featuring Miranda Lambert, the track is remarkably understated in its arrangement, but it’s saturated in well-worn emotions. “Miranda is a great singer,” Aldean says of the welcome team-up. “She does a couple takes and she knocks it out … I was blown away.”

On “Better At Being Who I Am” Aldean lends a nuanced, knowing delivery to the breakup tale. “I think [this] might be the most well-written song that I’ve ever recorded,” says the singer.

He adds that he found himself attracted to the emotional maturity. “At this point, I want to record songs that have some substance to them,” he says. “There are songs that I cut when I was 27 or 28 that I wouldn’t cut now. [And] there are songs that I cut now that wouldn’t make sense for me to cut when I was 27 or 28. I’m more conscious of those things these days.”

The driving title track strikes a note that’s both hopeful and forlorn, a combination that felt particularly familiar to Aldean. “It’s about putting things behind you, things that have held you down, and looking ahead,” he says. “When you look at me and my career and a lot of the personal stuff I’ve [gone through], it really seemed like a fitting title.”

But for all its sonic meanderings, Rearview Town feels indelibly cohesive. Aldean says it’s his lifelong love of country — country music and country life – that ties it all together. “Country is the core of where we’re at.” That surefootedness has helped define the genre’s 21st century. He says: “I’m rock-infused country. It’s not George Strait’s country and it’s not Merle Haggard’s country, but it is country.”

While the album was largely completed prior to Aldean’s headlining set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival last fall in Las Vegas, the two-time Entertainer of the Year knows that the tragedy precedes this release as well as the launch of his upcoming tour, the High Noon Neon Tour, kicking off May 10 in Kansas City, Missouri. But after a break that saw the birth of his son, Aldean is more attached to the road than ever.

He says, “We all realized that this is what we do. The time off was something we all needed, from me to the band and crew and all of our families; our wives. [But] I love what I do. I’ve been doing this since I was 14.”

So when the stage lights go up, they do so on a band with a new perspective. “You appreciate every day that you get to play and the guys you get to play it with. You look around and see all of your bandmates and everybody up there with you — that could have very well not have been the case.”

Which may play into why at 19 No.1 country songs, two Entertainer of the Year awards, and more than just a few sold-out stadium shows under his belt, Aldean still has a fire. “I never wanted to be a flash in the pan,” he explains. “I never wanted to be somebody people forget about five years after I quit playing music. I want people to be jamming to my stuff 20, 30, 40 years from now.”

With a laugh, he adds, “So we’ve had 19 No.1’s — that’s cool. But 20 sounds a lot cooler. And 30 sounds a lot better than that.”

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Kane Brown

Kane Brown

Performances

June 28 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Kane Brown

Kane Brown is soaring on the strength of his full-length, self-titled debut, an RIAA Gold-certified collection that stands as country’s best-selling new-artist debut since 2014.  Released in December of 2016 and helmed by three-time ACM Producer of the Year Dann Huff and Matthew McVaney, Kane Brown debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and Top 10 on the Billboard 200 all-genre chart with 51,000 units (45,000 in album sales) and would become the #4 best-selling new-artist album debut of 2016, in any genre. In October 2017, he revisited the Country Albums summit with the release of Kane Brown Deluxe Edition—a 15-song edition of his self-titled album—debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and Top 5 on the Billboard 200.  The singer/songwriter became the first artist ever to be #1 on all five of Billboard’s main country charts simultaneously. To date, Brown’s self-titled album has notched five weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums (including three consecutive charts in January 2018).

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Carly Pearce

Carly Pearce

Performances

June 28 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Carly Pearce

Born into the bluegrass brawn of Kentucky, Carly Pearce has never known a moment that Country music wasn’t her destined path. At the young age of 11 she began touring with a local band, at 16 quit high school for a job performing at Dollywood while being homeschooled and learned humility working odd jobs upon moving to Nashville. Now, she’s defying odds with her No. 1 debut “Every Little Thing,” which steered a chart-topping trifecta on SiriusXM’s The Highway that also includes “If My Name Was Whiskey” and “Hide The Wine.” With the GOLD-certified title track from her highly-acclaimed debut album EVERY LITTLE THING (Big Machine Records), Carly became the highest charting solo female debut since July 2015 and one of only three to accomplish the feat in 13 years. Carly’s textured vocals and emotive songwriting prowess are emphasized across the full 13 tracks, which Uproxx regarded as “the best country debut of 2017.” In 2018, Carly earned her first CMT Music Award Breakthrough Video of the Year for “Every Little Thing” as well as a Radio Disney Music Award for The Freshest! – Radio Disney Country Best New Artist. She is currently the only female nominated for iHeartRadio Music Awards Best New Country Artist, which airs March 14 on FOX and will vie for ACM Awards New Female Artist of the Year April 7 airing on CBS. Her sound has always honored the legendary voices before her, evident with over 60 invitations to play the Grand Ole Opry. Following coveted slots on four major tours with Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryan (including stadium dates), Carly inspired ABC News Radio to boast: "’Every Little Thing’ points to Carly Pearce as country's ‘it’ girl.” She recently wrapped her co-headline tour with Russell Dickerson and will join Jason Aldean’s RIDE ALL NIGHT TOUR this summer. Carly is aligned once again with sought-after producer and longtime collaborator busbee (Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Kelly Clarkson), with the recent release of her new single, “Closer To You.” 

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Dee Jay Silver

Dee Jay Silver

Performances

June 28 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Dee Jay Silver

Dee Jay Silver has been one of the most sought after open-format DJs for the past 15+ years, performing at premier venues in virtually every major market in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Known for his unique ability to blend all types of music from hip hop and rock to house and country, Silver has been traveling the world playing every kind of event and venue from the largest nightclubs, high-profile celebrity parties and exclusive private events to massive sporting events, award shows, major music festivals, arena tours and all that’s in between. The Texas native—now based in Nashville, TN—has spun at events for the Super Bowl, MLB All-Star Game, NCAA Football, NASCAR, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, National Finals Rodeo, Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs) and American Country Awards (ACAs) as well as the CMA Music Festival, iHeartMusic Festival, Rock The South, Faster Horses, LakeShake, Watershed, Carolina Country Music Festival and Route 91 Harvest festivals. In 2016, Dee Jay Silver released his first original single, “Just Got Paid” featuring vocals from indie singer-songwriter Austin Webb via RCA Nashville/Sony Music, where he was the first and only DJ signed to a major Nashville record deal. His follow-up single, the electronic dance music track “Made To Do” (2017) marked his first independent release, and in 2018, he released the slow-grooving R&B tinged jam, “Safe Zone” featuringsinger/songwriter Cort Carpenter. Dee Jay Silver’s original songs have been streamed over 1.2 million times collectively on Spotify. The DJ/remixer/producer—who has created official remixes for such notable artists as Chris Young, Jake Owen, Carrie Underwood and Alabama—has been touring with Jason Aldean for the last 10 years, with additional outings alongside Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young, Luke Combs and more. Silver also continues to host (since 2014) his own weekly radio show called “The Country Club with Dee Jay Silver,” syndicated nationally via Compass Media Networks every Friday and Saturday nights, and serves as a music editor for DJCity, providing the record pool with country tracks and remixes.  On top of his extensive touring schedule, nationwide appearances, and radio show, the non-stop DJ also holds residencies in Las Vegas, Nashville and Atlantic City and continues to write and produce original music. Look for more new music from Dee Jay Silver coming soon. 

 

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Bon Iver

Bon Iver

Performances

June 29 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Bon Iver

Bon Iver was formed in 2006 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. Their debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, was released in 2007 and in 2012, Bon Iver was named Best New Artist at the Grammy© Awards and also took home the award for Best Alternative Album Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Their third album, 22, A Million, was released in 2016.

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Lord Huron

Lord Huron

Performances

June 29 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Lord Huron

Unburdened by contractual obligations and working at their studio and informal clubhouse Whispering Pines in Los Angeles, Lord Huron found the freedom and comfort to pursue their vision without compromise. The result is Vide Noir: a sonically bold, bravely-executed saga that pushes the band’s sound in ambitious new directions.

Singer, songwriter and producer Ben Schneider found inspiration wandering restlessly through his adopted home of Los Angeles at night. His aimless nocturnal journeys ranged all over the city – across the twinkling grid of the valley; into the creeping shadows of the foothills; through downtown’s neon canyons; way out to the darksome ocean. The resulting collection of songs feels like an epic odyssey through the city, across dimensions and out into the cosmos.

Many of Vide Noir’s songs were tested on the road as early as 2016 and honed with a jeweler’s precision into their final form. Dusty ballads share space on the album with punky rippers, ‘50s sock-hop sways and ethereal electronic passages. Each entry is a glinting star, and together they form a sonic constellation examining the search for meaning amidst the cold indifference of the universe.

Vide Noir was mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips/MGMT) and engineered by Sonny DiPerri (Portugal. The Man, Animal Collective). The album honors the traditions of both rock and folk as it embraces modern studio techniques. The stylistic experimentation speaks to Lord Huron’s confidence as storytellers and as craftsmen, armed with a growing array of tools.

Lord Huron’s work always comes richly adorned, and Vide Noir is no exception. The album will be accompanied by a wealth of imagery, films and immersive experiences crafted to expand upon its narratives and themes. A true multi-media artist, Schneider has previously used videos, a comic book, a choose-your-own-adventure hotline and assorted Easter eggs as means of deepening the listener experience. Fans steely enough to confront the ineffable have already uncovered a few of these accoutrements.

Lord Huron was created by Los Angeles-based Ben Schneider. Born and raised in Michigan, Schneider drew inspiration from the Great Lakes, which were carved by glaciers 14,000 years ago, and his music stands in awe and wonder of the natural world.

After writing and recording two independent EPs (Into the Sun and Mighty) on his own, demand grew for Lord Huron to perform live. Schneider recruited friends Mark Barry (percussion), Miguel Briseño (bass) and Tom Renaud (guitar). Having first played music together at the tender age of 12, the group reunited and quickly hit their stride, transforming the project into a full-fledged band. Lord Huron signed with IAMSOUND, and the label released 2012’s Lonesome Dreams, and Strange Trails in 2015.

Strange Trails included the song, “The Night We Met,” which was featured in the Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why.” The series and song both became hits, and “The Night We Met” was certified platinum in January of 2018. This year also marks the beginning of a unique alliance between Whispering Pines and Republic Records, who will partner in the release of Vide Noir.

Lord Huron has toured extensively in North America and Europe, earning rave reviews and performing for sold-out crowds at some of the world’s most prestigious venues. The band has appeared at a wide range of music festivals including Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo and Newport Folk Festival.

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Julien Baker

Julien Baker

Performances

June 29 - 7:00 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Julien Baker

Julien Baker’s solo debut, Sprained Ankle, was one of the most widely acclaimed works of 2015. The album, recorded by an 18-year-old and her friend in only a few days, was a bleak yet hopeful, intimate document of staggering experiences and grace, centered entirely around Baker’s voice, guitar, and unblinking honesty. Sprained Ankle appeared on year-end lists everywhere from NPR Music to The AV Club to New York Magazine’s Vulture.

With Turn Out The Lights, the now 21-year-old Baker returns to a much bigger stage, but with the same core of breathtaking vulnerability and resilience. From its opening moments — when her chiming, evocative melody is accompanied by swells of strings — Turn Out The Lights throws open the doors to the world without sacrificing the intimacy that has become a hallmark of her songs. The album explores how people live and come to terms with their internal conflict, and the alternately shattering and redemptive ways these struggles play out in relationships. Baker casts an unflinching and accepting eye on the duality of – and contradictions in – the human experience, at times even finding humor and joy in the midst of suffering. She ultimately calls on her listeners to move beyond “good” and “bad,” or “happy” and “sad,” to embrace more complex truths.

The album was recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in her hometown of Memphis, TN, and mixed by Craig Silvey (The National, Florence & the Machine, Arcade Fire). This evolution from Sprained Ankle’s intentionally spare production allowed greater scope and freedom for Baker, who is still the album’s sole writer and producer. Strings and woodwinds now shade the corners of her compositions, and Baker takes to piano rather than guitar on several tracks. In songs like the epic “Claws In Your Back,” these new textures push Baker’s work to cinematic heights of intensity. 

As always, the real draw is her songwriting and lyricism. Turn Out The Lights is more expansive in sound and vision than Sprained Ankle and illustrates significant growth, yet the album retains the haunting delicacy of her heartbreakingly confessional style. Where her debut focused inward on Baker’s life and aspects of her identity (female, queer, Christian), Turn Out The Lights reflects on not only her own experiences, but also the experiences of those closest to her. The result finds Baker narrating a deliberate meditation on how we each try to deal with our ever-shifting mental health, and the impact this can have on both ourselves and others. The album sets out to address how the process of coping with internal conflicts affects different relationships – romantic, familial, and friendly. Baker turns outward to embrace the challenges of the human experience, weaving personal struggles together into one surprisingly hopeful chorus.

The album is bookended by “Appointments” and “Claws in Your Back,” two songs that deal with the precarious balance between nihilism and realism. “A lot of stuff happened in my life that was rapid change, and it felt like it could not get any worse,” Baker says of “Appointments.” “I was like, I have reached critical mass for this amoeba of sadness and it cannot possibly turn out all right. But for the sake of my continuing to exist, I have to believe that it will.” 

The resulting song (“I think if I ruin this, then I know I can live with it,” Baker sings) cuts to the core of Baker’s uniquely clear-eyed take on human suffering. She resists facile conclusions and never glamorizes the extremes she depicts; yet she continually holds out the possibility of joy and solidarity. On “Claws In Your Back,” she turns her own hard-won determination to thrive into a rallying cry for her friends (“I think I can love the sickness you made. I take it all back, I change my mind. I wanted to stay”).

Even as Turn Out The Lights explores broken relationships (“Sour Breath”), the search for a cure that may not exist (“Everything To Help You Sleep”), and the impossibility of ever truly understanding each other (“Shadowboxing”), Baker continually returns to the possibility of joy. “I don’t believe in the ‘fixing’ part, where what healing means is that you no longer get sad or experience grief or have panic attacks,” Baker says. “Happy is kind of a fleeting and transient emotion. It is not a destination that you can get to by exerting enough mental effort. I believe that joy is something that you can invite into your present circumstance. Whereas happiness seems to be this horizon that’s eternally getting further from you, joy is something that you can inhabit.” 

It’s this call to joy even in moments of otherwise total darkness that makes her music a refuge for her fans. Turn Out The Lights is ultimately a healing experience, and it’s impossible not to feel Baker’s unyielding compassion for the messy and beautiful human experience. “When I talk about things in myself I find ugly and unlovable, they are the most effective tools for connecting with other people, for helping other people heal,” she says. “And that helps me heal.”  

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Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band

Performances

June 30 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band is preparing to release their upcoming new studio album featuring the hit lead single, “Someone I Used To Know,” currently widely available for streaming and download. Additional album details including release date, track list, and artwork will be coming soon.

Both “The Owl Tour” and forthcoming album draw inspiration from the mythology and mystery surrounding the Great Horned Owl that can see perfectly in the night, serving as a guide when we need sight in even the darkest of moments.

“The Owl Tour” will mark Zac Brown Band’s third consecutive touring run within the span of one year. The summer 2019 shows will follow the band’s forthcoming spring 2019 “Down The Rabbit Hole Live Tour,” an extension of their highly successful summer 2018 “Down the Rabbit Hole Live Tour” dates, which broke multiple records including the most consecutive sold out shows at the historic Fenway Park. In 2018 alone, Zac Brown Band performed for over half a million fans live.

“With ‘The Owl Tour,’ our fans can expect some new and unexpected sounds woven into the signature Zac Brown Band live music experience,” said Zac Brown. “The owl holds special meaning for us and we look forward to sharing this with everyone.”

Zac Brown Band will partner with DemerBox, as an official tour sponsor, wanting fans to never run out of fun by providing charging stations at every stop of “The Owl Tour.” Zac Brown is co-owner of DemerBox, makers of the premium waterproof speaker that goes anywhere, gets loud, & has storage to hold your valuables. The brand is held under Brown’s recently launched entertainment and lifestyle parent company, Zac Brown Collective.

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Drake White

Drake White

Performances

June 30 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Drake White

With a rustic, southern sound, Drake White embraces the new multifaceted nature of modern Country music. Originally from Hokes Bluff, AL, White’s been honing his sound on the road for years with his own band, The Big Fire. Made up of five like-minded friends, White says his chemistry with The Big Fire is essential to the diversity and high energy of his sound. The Big Fire band came together thoughtfully over 5 years with White making sure each player fit in his vision of a cohesive group of guys who collaborate with him on the road and in the studio and as White puts it “we lean on each other’s ideas, talents and experiences.

His music is a mix of electric and acoustic guitar, bass & drums laying a thick groove, mandolin and fiddle swirling through the air and organ hovering above it all like the high harmony of a gospel choir. White’s sound is both familiar and modern, building on the successful band model laid down by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Allman Brothers Band and modern Country trailblazers like Eric Church and Zac Brown Band.

Named one of Billboard Magazine’s 10 Hot Country Artists to Watch in 2015 and dubbed “an electric performer with a gospel howl” by Rolling Stone Country, White made Rolling Stone’s list of the 37 Best Things We Saw at CMA Fest 2014.

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Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie

Performances

July 2 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Lionel Richie

International superstar Lionel Richie has a discography of albums and singles that are second to none. His music is part of the fabric of pop music; in fact, Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of

having #1 records for nine consecutive years. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®, the distinction of MusicCares Person of the Year in 2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017. In March 2018, Richie put his handprints and footprints in cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood, one of the oldest awards in Hollywood. He recently received the Ivor Novello PRS for Music Special International Award. The Tuskegee, Alabama native is a true music icon.

Lionel Richie is known for his mega-hits such as “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Truly,” “All Night Long,” “Penny Lover,” “Stuck on You,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and one of the most important pop songs in history, “We Are the World,” co-written by him for USA for Africa. Richie’s song catalog also includes his early work with The Commodores, where he developed a groundbreaking style that defied genre categories, penning smashes such as “Three Times a Lady,” “Still,” and “Easy.”

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Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald

Performances

July 2 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Michael McDonald

With a career that encompasses five Grammys, numerous chart successes and personal and professional accolades, Michael McDonald remains an enduring force in popular music. Hailing from St. Louis, McDonald arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, honing his talents as a studio musician before becoming an integral part of Steely Dan. In the mid-’70s McDonald was invited to join the Doobie Brothers as the band redefined their sound with McDonald serving as singer, keyboardist and songwriter on such Top 40 singles as “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “Minute By Minute” and “What A Fool Believes.” Throughout the ’80s and ’90s McDonald’s solo career took off with a string of hits including “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” “Sweet Freedom,” “On My Own” (with Patti LaBelle) and the Grammy-winning James Ingram duet “Yah Mo B There,” plus he co-wrote the Van Halen hit “I’ll Wait.” McDonald has performed with a who’s-who of critically acclaimed artists across a number of genres, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Vince Gill, Grizzly Bear and Thundercat.

McDonald’s latest album, Wide Open, finds him collaborating with a number of special guests including Warren Haynes, Robben Ford, Marcus Miller and Branford Marsalis. McDonald’s first album of original material in 17 years, Wide Open continues to receive extensive critical acclaim from the Los Angeles Times, NPR Music, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and many more.

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Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Performances

July 3 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has unmatched global appeal with a remarkable longstanding career spanning across music, film, television, fashion, and more. Her previous Dance Again World Tour sold over 1 million tickets, her films have brought in over $3.3 billion in worldwide box office receipts, and last year she concluded her highly successful All I Have Las Vegas residency. Her residency grossed more than 100 million during the three-year run, leading to the public’s excitement for her first US headlining tour.

Recently JLo shared the details for her brand new single and very first release for HITCO, “Medicine” [feat. French Montana]. Among a setlist of classic anthems, expect to hear “Medicine” nightly on the It’s My Party Tour! Pre-save “Medicine” HERE. “Medicine,” the sexy and cinematic music video featuring Lopez and French Montana will premiere imminently.

Lopez, the singer/dancer/actress, is currently shooting the STX feature film, Hustlers, opposite Constance Wu, Cardi B, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, and Lili Reinhart. The story is set in New York City in the wake of the financial crisis and follows a crew of savvy strippers who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

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World Of Dance

World Of Dance

Performances

July 3 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

World Of Dance

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The Killers

The Killers

Performances

July 5 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

The Killers

The Killers are a Las Vegas-based four-piece who formed in 2003, featuring the talents of singer/keyboardist Brandon Flowers, drummer Ronnie Vanucci, guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer.  The band has received countless accolades for their artistic achievement, including multiple Grammy nominations, American Music Award nominations, MTV Video Music Awards, NME Awards and more.  Their first album, Hot Fuss, was released in 2004 to worldwide acclaim.  The album contained the singles “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me,” in addition to the anthemic song “All These Things That I’ve Done,” which has since been referenced by the likes of U2 and Coldplay.  The band toured for two years straight behind Hot Fuss, playing more than four-hundred shows, and eventually returned to Vegas to begin to work on the follow-up album with legendary producers Alan Moulder and Flood.  The result, a love letter of sorts to their hometown entitled Sam’s Town, was released in 2006 and spent forty-two weeks on the Billboard Top 200.  A b-sides collection entitled Sawdust was released in 2007, followed by their third studio album, Day & Age, which was released to widespread critical praise in 2008, anchored by massive single “Human.”  The Killers released Battle Born in September 2012, which saw them expanding their world tour into countries they’ve never visited before, and finally were honored to perform at the world-renowned Wembley Stadium, one of the most monumental and significant shows of their career.  After a decade of making music, in November 2013, The Killers released a “Best Of” collection, Direct Hits, which featured two incredible new songs alongside classics from the band’s revered catalogue.    The band, who have sold over twenty-five million albums worldwide, and headlined all of the world’s top festivals (Coachella, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury), released their newest studio album, Wonderful Wonderful, in September 2017, where it landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart the week of its release, as well as topping the charts in the U.K., Mexico, and Australia. The album is the band’s fifth consecutive number one in the U.K., and Brandon Flowers’ seventh U.K. number one overall.

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Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie

Performances

July 5 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie is an American alternative rock band formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. The band is composed of Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer, Jason McGerr, Dave Depper, and Zac Rae. Death Cab for Cutie rose from being a side project to becoming one of the most exciting groups on the indie rock scene of the 2000's, with their emotive songwriting and cross-genre sound landing somewhere between indie and emo. They have been nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album for their most recent release, 2015’s Kintsugi. Their ninth studio album is released later this year.

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Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish

Performances

July 6 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish might just make you believe in magic…It’s the best explanation for this siren whose breathy, soulful, and spirited croon immediately casts an unbreakable spell. The Los Angeles songstress resembles something of a fairy tale heroine—albeit one with a Tyler, the Creator obsession, Aurora inspiration, wicked sense of humor, and inimitable fashion sense filtered through a kaleidoscope of hip-hop, grunge, and glam tendencies ready to practically levitate above any runway. It’s this kind of je nais sais quoi that fueled the meteoric rise of her debut single “ocean eyes.”

Eilish just scored her first number one album on the Billboard charts with “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” The album follows the success of Eilish’s first release “dont smile at me,” which spent 67 weeks on the Billboard charts. The nine-song set was issued in 2017 and generated more than 1.2 billion on-demand audio streams for its tracks. In 2018, Eilish charted her first five entries on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 songs charts and has notched three more debuts in 2019. In addition, Eilish is the first artist born in the 2000’s to have a number one album on the Billboard 200 chart and is the youngest artist to hit number one since 2015. She also contributed a track to the second season of 13 Reasons Why, collaborating with Khalid on the hit single “lovely,” which charted globally.

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Finneas

Finneas

Performances

July 6 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Finneas

At only 21 years old, the multi-talented Finneas O’Connell has already become a buzzing and sought-after producer, songwriter and artist. Working behind the scenes on numerous hit singles, 2018 marked the year that Finneas stepped out into the spotlight with his own innovative and ambitious solo project.

 

Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Finneas was homeschooled alongside his younger sister, Billie Eilish. Music was always an important part of their childhood and education and by the time he was eleven, his parents had taught him guitar and piano. While he admits that his first foray into playing music was to impress a girl he liked, he quickly found that music itself was, perhaps, his one true love. Finneas took to writing his own songs and by the time he was a teenager, he was already teaching himself to produce.

In 2016 Finneas wrote a song titled “Ocean Eyes” in his bedroom studio. After playing the song with his band The Slightlys, he realized he had a different vision in mind for the song and asked his sister Billie if she would lend her vocals to the track. Combing her sweet soaring voice with sparse clean production, the brother-sister duo decided to upload the track to Soundcloud. That same single became the breakout hit for Billie Eilish, quickly grabbing her a record deal with Interscope and gaining major media buzz. The siblings continued to write and record together for Billie’s solo project, creating her debut EP don’t smile at me and her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? which came out on March 29th. Already regarded as a major producer and songwriter to watch, FINNEAS has his own solo project, that he has been quietly fine-tuning in the background -- or, well, in his bedroom studio. If his sold-out headlining gigs at Baby’s All Right (NYC) and The Troubadour (LA) or the screaming fans on Billie’s tour are anything to go by, the world is very much ready for Finneas (releasing under the capitalized moniker FINNEAS) to put his foot to the pedal with his solo music. Finneas recently finished sold out US and European tours where he did double duty each night, both supporting and playing with Billie Eilish.

With each new release, Finneas consistently proves his talent and versatility as an artist, songwriter and producer. Unafraid to be vulnerable and unfiltered, his songs are rich with pure unadulterated emotion. His poetic lyrics glide over his signature clean, fresh and inventive beats. Utilizing out-of-the-box sounds like handclaps, texting sounds, and matches, as well as cleverly layered harmonies, Finneas’ music is instantly captivating.

Finneas has also had the opportunity to collaborate with artists including Khalid, Kehlani, Jessie Reyez, Ashe, Olivia O'Brien, Sabrina Claudio, Marian Hill, Bruno Major. His music can also be heard in TV and film including Netflix’s hit show 13 Reasons Why, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Marvel’s Runaways, and the movies Everything, Everything and the Oscar-nominated Roma.

With millions of streams, an ever-growing fan base, and press praise trickling in from PAPER, Billboard, Zane Lowe, Ones to Watch, and more, there is no doubt that 2019 will be another momentous year for the multi-talented FINNEAS.

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Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne

Performances

July 7 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Lil Wayne

Having sold millions of albums worldwide and garnered four GRAMMY awards, Lil Wayne is one of the most successful and critically lauded artists in Hip-Hop. Touted rap’s first rock star, he released his first project at the age of 12 and went on to release his first solo album in 1999 when he was just 17. He released his first installment of his legendary Tha Carter series in 2004 before releasing three others, including the landmark Tha Carter III in 2008. Lil Wayne also holds the record for the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart by a male solo artist with 109 entries, having surpassed the record previously set by Elvis Presley. His most recent studio album, I Am Not A Human Being II, was released in 2013 and debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 Charts. Last year, Wayne released FWA (Free Weezy Album) exclusively on Tidal, where it was streamed a staggering ten million times within the first seven days alone. Lil Wayne is also a celebrated author who released his memoir “Gone Till November” in October of 2016, chronicling his experience in Rikers Island. Outside of his iconic music career, Lil Wayne has continued on as the CEO of his own Young Money Records which will this year release the much anticipated Tha Carter V (in conjunction with Republic Records).

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Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg

Performances

July 7 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Snoop Dogg

One of the most iconic figures to emerge from the early '90s G-funk era, Snoop Dogg evolved beyond his hardcore gangsta rap beginnings, becoming a lovable pop culture fixture with forays into television, football coaching, and reggae and gospel music. Introduced to the world through Dr. Dre's The Chronic, Snoop quickly became one of the most famous stars in rap, partially due to his drawled, laconic rhyming, as well as the realistic violence implied by his lyrics. His 1993 debut effort Doggystyle became the first debut album to enter the charts at number one.

The solo Da Game Is to Be Sold Not to Be Told, Snoop's first effort for No Limit, followed in 1998; No Limit Top Dogg appeared a year later, and Dead Man Walkin' the year after that. Tha Last Meal followed in December of that same year. The heavy release schedule resulted in varying musical quality from album to album, but by the turn of the century, Snoop had become such a cultural phenomenon that his albums became almost secondary to the personality behind them. An autobiography appeared in 2001, followed by a stream of movie roles in several high-profile pictures. Late in 2002, Snoop released his first album for Capitol, Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$. He then switched to Geffen for 2004's R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece. The hit album spawned Snoop's first number one single, the Pharrell Williams-produced "Drop It Like It's Hot," as well as the hit "Signs" with Justin Timberlake and Charlie Wilson. R&G was followed a year later by Welcome to tha Chuuch: Da Album, a collection of tracks from the Welcome to the Chuuch mixtape series.

In 2006, he appeared on Tha Dogg Pound's Active and Ice Cube's Laugh Now, Cry Later. Toward the end of that year, the intentionally leaked "My Peoples" freestyle appeared. The track paid tribute to many of those involved in Cali's Latin rap community, so it was no big surprise when "Vato," with Cypress Hill's B Real, became his next album's leadoff single. The hard and very G-funk Tha Blue Carpet Treatment triumphantly capped off a year of heavy West Coast activity. In 2009, he issued Malice N Wonderland, the maiden release of a new alliance with the reactivated Priority label, which also signed him on as its creative chairman. A year later, the CD/DVD set More Malice rounded up some odds and ends from the album and packaged them with a DVD featuring the Malice N Wonderland short film. He maintained his mainstream image with a star appearance on Katy Perry's "California Gurls," nabbing Snoop his third number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2011, he released Doggumentary, an album he considered the sequel to his classic debut. Also arriving that same year was a feature film with Khalifa, Mac and Devin Go to High School, along with its accompanying soundtrack. After a 2012 trip to Jamaica, Snoop Dogg returned rechristened as Snoop Lion, and with the help of producer Diplo, he released his first all-reggae album, Reincarnated” on RCA in 2013. Another name change came later in the year when he became Snoopzilla and joined modern funkster Dâm-Funk for the project/album 7 Days of Funk. A return to Snoop Dogg came in 2015 when he partnered with Pharrell Williams for the hip-hop effort Bush. The album included the single "Peaches N Cream" and featured guest appearances from Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and Charlie Wilson. Coolaid, a back-to-basics effort for which Swizz Beatz served as executive producer, was released in 2016. That same year, Snoop teamed up with Martha Stewart for VH1's Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party, a variety show that featured bits with guest actors and performances by hip-hop musical guests. For his 16th set, Snoop once again changed course, this time dipping into the gospel world for 2018's Snoop Dogg Presents Bible of Love.

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ScHoolboy Q

ScHoolboy Q

Performances

July 7 - 7:30 PM @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater

ScHoolboy Q

Mixing bud smokers' anthems with socially conscious numbers, rapper ScHoolboy Q spent three years in the mixtape underground before launching his career properly in 2011. The first mixtape, the autobiographical Schoolboy Turned Hustla, landed in 2008 and quickly caught the attention of Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment. Lamar would form the Black Hippy collective with ScHoolboy along with Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, and the Top Dawg label would sign the artist. His Gangster & Soul mixtape landed in 2009, and Top Dawg released his official debut, Setbacks, in 2011.In 2012, Top Dawg announced they had signed a joint venture deal with Interscope and Aftermath, which saw Lamar's debut album get a full release. Later that year, ScHoolboy Q announced he was recording his third album and would be the second member of Black Hippy to benefit from the deal. After a series of mysterious tweets in 2013, Q announced that the release would be called Oxymoron, but nearly a year passed before the dark and abstract album -- which featured a whole host of guest producers and vocalists -- was released in February 2014. Nevertheless, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and pushed the single "Studio" into the Top 40. A worldwide tour took up most of 2015, and 2016 saw the "That Part" single drop as a preview of that year's album, Blank Face LP, which debuted at number two. In 2017, he appeared on the Calvin Harris collaborative track "Cash Out" with PartyNextDoor and DRAM, as well as on "Bahamas" with A$AP Mob and "Lil Story" with Gucci Mane. In 2018, he linked up with 2 Chainz and Saudi for the track "X" from the TDE-curated Black Panther soundtrack. Another contribution to a film soon followed, landing ScHoolboy on the Creed 2 soundtrack with 2 Chainz and Mike WiLL Made-It on "Kill 'Em with Success."  Three years after Blank Face, he returned his focus to his solo material on "Numb Numb Juice."

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Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile

Performances

June 28 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Brandi Carlile

Three-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, performer and producer Brandi Carlile is currently in the midst of a landmark year following the release of her Grammy Award-winning album, By The Way, I Forgive You. Produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings and recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, the album includes ten new songs written by Carlile and longtime collaborators and bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth, including “The Joke.” Of her breakthrough performance of the song on the live GRAMMY broadcast, The New York Times proclaimed, “Carlile’s vocals were robust, ragged, full of sneer and hope. On a night curiously light on impressive singing, it was an uncomplicated, genuine, cleansing thrill,” while the Los Angeles Times called it, “triumphant” and Rolling Stone described it as, “breathtaking.” 

Over the course of their acclaimed career, Carlile and her band have released six albums, including 2017's Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of the Story (An Album to Benefit War Child), which features 14 artists including Dolly Parton, Adele, Pearl Jam, Kris Kristofferson, The Avett Brothers, Margo Price and Jim James – with a forward written by Barack Obama – covering the songs on Carlile’s 2007 breakthrough album The Story. Profits from the project benefit Children in Conflict via Brandi Carlile’s Looking Out Foundation as part of its ongoing campaign to raise $1 million for children impacted by war. 

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Cole Swindell

Cole Swindell

Performances

July 5 - 9:45 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Cole Swindell

Cole Swindell, a Platinum-selling recording artist and 11-time No 1 singer/songwriter, released his third album, All of It, for Warner Bros. Records/Warner Music Nashville in 2018 and it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country album chart and No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200. The first single “Break Up In The End” became his 8th No. 1 career single as a solo artist. “Break Up In The End” was recently nominated for a Grammy® for Best Country Song and was named one of the best country songs of 2018 by Amazon, Spotify, Billboard and You Tube among others. Swindell performed the hit single on last summer’s (2018) ABC Television special CMA Fest and when he headlined the NBC’s Citi Concert Series on TODAY (2018). 

Swindell debuted his current single “Love You Too Late” LIVE on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and Jimmy Kimmel Live! the song was included on YouTube’s Best Country Songs of 2018.

Since launching his career in 2014, Swindell has toured with the biggest superstars in country music including Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and has sold out all four of his Down Home Tours in support of each of his Down Home Session EPs (I, II, III and IV). Swindell wrapped his second career headlining tour in December–Monster Presents, Cole Swindell & Dustin Lynch on the Reason To Drink…Another Tour with Lauren Alaina and in 2019 will hit the road again with superstar Luke Bryan on his Sunset Repeat Tour.

The Georgia native has played on some of the biggest stages in the world including making history being the first-ever live radio and TV broadcast from the 57th floor terrace of 4 World Trade Center, overlooking the Freedom Tower where he performed his hit “You Should Be Here.” He has played high-profile national television performances on NBC’s Citi Concert Series on TODAY, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, ABC’s CMA Fest specials, CMA and ACM Awards, MLB Network and Sports Illustrated among others.

In just over four years since he made his debut on Warner Bros. Records, Swindell has racked up an impressive and incomparable record-breaking EIGHT No. 1 singles (the only solo artist in the history of the Country Aircheck/Mediabase to top the charts with first seven singles); 10 No. 1 singles as a songwriter; one 1 billion+ audience reaching single (“You Should Be Here”), seven Platinum singles; one Gold single; a Platinum-certified debut album (Cole Swindell); a Gold-certified sophomore album (You Should Be Here) and over 1 BILLION on demand streams as well as numerous SONGWRITING honors and awards including being the reigning NSAI Songwriter/Artist of the Year (2016), winning two CMA Triple Play Awards in both 2015 (as the only performer to claim the title) and again in 2016 (for penning three No. 1 songs in a 12 month span) and Music Row’s Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year during his debut (2015) with celebrated songwriting credits which include not only his own but “This Is How We Roll” by Florida Georgia Line, “Get Me Some of That” by Thomas Rhett, and several songs with Luke Bryan including his No. 1 single “Roller Coaster,” among others. Swindell’s own seven No. 1 singles include “Chillin’ It,” “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey,” “Let Me See Ya Girl,” “You Should Be Here,” “Middle of a Memory,” and “Flatliner.”

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The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart

Performances

July 5 - 10:15 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

The Head and the Heart

In 2014, exhausted after four years of non-stop touring, the six members of the Head And The Heart pointed their individual compasses to new cities, new relationships and new adventures. Pianist Kenny Hensley learned to fly planes and enrolled in kung-fu training in China, while bassist Chris Zasche packed up a camper and went off the grid in the Canadian Rockies. Drummer Tyler Williams put down stakes across the country and immersed himself in the burgeoning music scene in Richmond, Va., while vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Charity Rose Thielen honed her compositional skills by writing for such legends as Mavis Staples.

After his own cross-country trip to reconnect with family and friends, vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Russell traveled to Haiti and found inspiration working with the non-profit Artists For Peace And Justice. "When I found out we were going to have a significant amount of time off, I saw it as an opportunity to touch base again -- to listen to what other people were saying and what they were going through," he says. "I really wanted to make sure that I reconnected with a world that was starting to feel farther and farther away."

When they regrouped last summer in Stinson Beach, Ca., to start writing together again, "it almost felt like we were a new band, trying things we hadn't tried," Zasche recalls. "We stayed at a bungalow on the beach. We'd wake up, have coffee and go boogie boarding. We were ready and excited to be back together."

That renewed sense of purpose can be felt throughout Signs Of Light, the group's first release for Warner Bros. Records. "This album isn't about us now having achieved our dreams," says Thielen. "The day we started being able to live off our art was the day we achieved our dreams, in my mind. This is the album where we really fell into our true voices as those artists."

Recorded in Nashville with producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Cage The Elephant), Signs Of Light, crackles with the upbeat, sing-a-long energy of the Head And The Heart's finest work. Lead single "All We Ever Knew," which was written during the "Let's Be Still" era but never captured to the band's satisfaction until now, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, while "Turn It Around" seems primed to be a future concert staple, matching its inspirational message with a lush and multi-layered soundscape.

Throughout, the colors are brighter, the electric guitars are louder and the musical touchstones more universal. The propulsive, smile-inducing ode to Los Angeles "City Of Angels" and the head-nodding "Rhythm & Blues" nod to classic Fleetwood Mac, while the organ-flecked "Dreamer" is a timeless-sounding ballad that could have been beamed straight out of an old jukebox.

"Jay was really adamant about getting a great performance," group member Jonathan Russell says. "We have all the tools in the world to make something sound real or more excitable, but it's never really as true as the band in the room for the whole take. 'City Of Angels' - we had previously re-cut that song and played it so many times. But within two takes in Nashville, we nailed it. It felt like we were playing on a massive stage in front of tons of people."

Elsewhere, Thielen's "Library Magic" could almost be seen as a letter to the other five members, acknowledging the ups-and-downs of life in a successful band while celebrating the unique and constantly evolving bond between them. "I wrote that song after having our first real time off as a band," she says. "It touches on the storied relationships between band members trying to survive living in a van off of accelerated time and gas station crafts for years straight, but it also applies to any of life's relationships."

The Head And The Heart's 2011 self-titled debut album captured a nascent but undeniable creative partnership between six strangers thrown together by little more than a shared love of music. It became one of Sub Pop Records' best-selling debut releases ever, and rocketed the band to acclaim well beyond its then-home base in Seattle. The formative experiences that followed both on and off the stage heavily informed the 2013 follow-up "Let's Be Still," which continues to remind Russell of "the stale beer, bleach and potato chips from all the venues we saw once this became our livelihood."

On Signs Of Light, that gamut of emotions is felt most deeply on the Josiah Johnson-penned title track, which none of the other members had ever heard until they happened to walk in on him playing it over and over at the piano during pre-production in El Paso, Texas. "It was one of those moments where no one talks," Russell remembers. "No one needs the chords; no one is looking up. You simply pick up your instrument and play. The next thing you know, nearly 10 minutes have gone by and you have no idea how or why or what just happened."

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The Lonely Island

The Lonely Island

Performances

June 28 - 10:15 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

The Lonely Island

Friends since childhood from Berkeley, California, The Lonely Island coined their name from the cramped West Coast apartment they shared as comic start-ups. They became a mainstay of the L.A. short-comedy film culture launched by Channel 101, a constantly evolving webisode/film contest where attendees could vote for their favorite five-minute comedy video, and whose alumnus includes Jack Black, Drew Carey, Sarah Silverman and even FlavorFlav. Their willingness to embrace the digital possibilities of comedy was christened by the launch of their own website in 2001, thelonelyisland.com, which was very much in sync with a growing internet fan base that eagerly followed their online antics. The triumvirate’s breakout skits and experimental embeds would eventually snag them pilot deals with more established comedy holding companies like Comedy Central and Fox, as well as a plumb writing gig for the MTV Movie Awards that would lead to a successful audition with Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels.

Their 2009 debut album, “Incredibad,” included Emmy® winning sensation "D*** In A Box," featuring superstar Justin Timberlake. The album also featured the follow-up gold records "J**z In My Pants" and "Like a Boss" which have over 230 million views combined on YouTube. The Grammy® nominated third single “I’m On A Boat” (feat. T-Pain) went platinum and catapulted the album into over 457,000 copies sold making it the #1 selling comedy album in 2009 and 2010. The trio established themselves with the enormously popular series of corresponding Digital Shorts for their singles, which were frequently featured on Saturday Night Live beginning with the debut of the pop culture sensation “Lazy Sunday” in 2005.

Their 2011 album “Turtleneck & Chain,” which debuted at #3 on Billboard, was nominated for a Grammy® in the category of “Best Comedy Album” and featured such talents as Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Santigold, and Beck. The album’s first smash single, “I Just Had Sex” (feat. Akon), was certified platinum and has 297 millions views on YouTube. The second single, “The Creep” (feat. Nicki Minaj and John Waters) has over 105 million YouTube views. Additional singles, “Jack Sparrow” (feat. Michael Bolton), has 193 million views and “Threw It On The Ground” has 102 million views on YouTube.

In June 2013, the group released their third studio effort on Republic Records, “The Wack Album”. The album includes songs featuring Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, Robyn, Adam Levine, Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Too $hort, Pharrell Williams, T-Pain, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Solange. The Wack Album’s lead single, “YOLO” (feat. Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar), made YouTube’s “Top 10 Trending Videos” for 2013. They were also recognized by Billboard’s Year-End issue as the #1 Comedy Albums Artists, #1 Comedy Albums Title The Wack Album, #1 Comedy Digital Tracks Artist and #1 Comedy Digital Tracks Title for “Yolo.”

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A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Performances

July 2 - 10:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

The Bronx-bred rapper Artist Dubose, better known as A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, first hit the rap scene with the breakout hit “Still Think About You” which was featured on his 2016 debut mixtape, ARTIST. The mixtape also introduced fans to “My Shit” which went on to become RIAA certified platinum and was also listed as one of “The Best Songs of 2016” on Apple Music. A Boogie quickly proved himself to be one of the game’s newest heavyweights after XXL dubbed him as “one of the hottest and newest up-and-comers in hip-hop” and included him in the 2017 Freshman Class. The young star also went on to release the 3x platinum “Drowning feat Kodak Black” along with the platinum certified singles “Jungle” and “Timeless.” During the fall of 2017, A Boogie went on to release his highly anticipated, now gold certified, debut album, THE BIGGER ARTIST, which quickly sprung into the Top 5 on Billboard’s Top 200. He also became the top emerging acting in the U.S. as he simultaneously sprung to #1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart. It is easy to see why The New York Times named A Boogie “the most promising young rapper the city has produced in some time.”  With a 2018 BET Award Nomination for “Best New Artist” and the release of his sophomore album, HOODIE SZN which made its debut at #2 before becoming the #1 album on the Billboard 200 for multiple weeks, there’s no doubt A Boogie will continue to make waves and redefine the sound of New York rap.

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The National

The National

Performances

June 30 - 10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

The National

Four years have passed since the release of Trouble Will Find Me, and to the outside world it might have seemed like the members of the National spent that long interim working on everything but new National songs. But in September 2014, two months before the band headlined the 20,000-seat O2 Arena in London, Aaron passed along the first set of musical sketches to Matt. “We really didn’t take much of a break,” says Matt. “We started working on this record the minute we finished touring the last one. The only break we took was from the constant pressure we put on each other.”

“We didn’t feel like rushing it,” says Aaron, who produced Sleep Well Beast. “People thought the National went away, but we were just working on ideas.” With members now living in five different cities, the band made an extra effort to get together in the same room – sometimes in studios in upstate New York, or out in Los Angeles. “We’ve always worked on demos together,” explains Bryce. “But this time we were actually in the same physical space doing it.”

“When we all lived in Brooklyn we rarely did these kinds of week-long sessions” says Scott. “This time we got together for long stretches, just to mess around and experiment without deadlines or distractions.”

In February 2015, Aaron and Bryce convened for a series of writing sessions in an old church in Hudson, New York. Then, in the spring of 2016, Aaron completed work on his own residential studio, Long Pond,in upstate New York, where most of the album was recorded. “It’s the first time we have had a space of our own where we can keep all our instruments and work on songs any time, day or night,” says Bryce. Aaron adds, “The space was designed specifically for the band to make this album, with an open plan and no control room so that everyone could be wired up and playing all the time. The idea was to loosen the reigns and formality of our past recording process and allow for experimentation from beginning to end.”

Bryan describes it, “Getting drum sounds in a previously untested room was a seriously fun exercise in trial-and-error learning, in a group setting. Time disappeared, the sun set, and then the massive frog population in Aaron’s pond started singing.”

While the studio served as the home base, the band also sought outside collaboration. As part of a weekend residency at Funkhaus in Berlin, Bryce and Aaron invited guests to plug in and play along with instrumental tracks from the National’s work-in-progress. Bryce says, “We spent a week in East Berlin in this beautiful 1950’s communist-era recording studio with tons of musicians from very different backgrounds, just letting them listen and react to the music we’d been cooking for so many months within the band.” “It was a very interesting way to collect new sounds and process existing ones,” says Aaron. Late in the process the band convened an orchestra in Paris to record Bryce’s orchestrations for the songs before returning to Long Pond to mix the album.

There are songs on Sleep Well Beast that are instantly recognizable as the National, but others are much harder to classify. The lyrics are about “trying to come clean about the things you’d rather not,” says Matt. “Some of it’s about marriage, some of it’s about my relationship with Aaron and the band, some of it’s about train tracks and dancing.” Guitar solos appear like never before, yet on some songs guitars account for only a tiny fraction of the music. “It was important that we genuinely explore new territory and risk falling on our faces, or not make a record at all,” explains Aaron. “This album feels complete to me.”

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Steve Aoki

Steve Aoki

Performances

June 26 - 10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Steve Aoki

Catch Steve Aoki at the Dim Mak Takeover of the Miller Lite Oasis Stage on Wednesday, June 26th.

The two-time Grammy-nominated producer/DJ, is one of today’s most successful American cross - genre artists, collectively counting 1.5 billion music streams on Spotify, with an additional 2 billion music streams onYouTube. As the founder of the trendsetting record label, events/lifestyle company, and apparel line Dim Mak Records, which he founded in 1996, Aoki has helped launch the careers of global acts like The Chainsmokers, Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots, The Gossip, and The Kills, among many others. Dim Mak today counts more than 1,000 official releases from the biggest acts and most buzzing newcomers across EDM, indie rock, hip - hop, and beyond over its two - decades - plus discography. As a solo artist, Aoki boasts a lauded discography that includes: Wonderland (2012), his debut solo album, which garnered him his first - ever Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album; the Neon Future series, which includes Neon Future I (2014, certified gold by the RIAA), Neon Future II (2015), Neon Future III (November 2018), and Neon Future IV (spring 2019); and the hip-hop centric Steve Aoki Presents Kolony (2017). His genre - defying collaborations also include original songs with A - listers like Lil Yachty and Migos (“Night Call” from Kolony, 2017); One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson on the global hit “Just Hold On” (2016), which debuted at #1 in more than 40 countries and has since gone gold or platinum in 18 countries; K - Pop idols BTS on

the hit track “Waste It on Me” (2018) which amassed praise domestically and internationally, debuting at #1 in more than 60 countries with 4 million streams in the first 24 hours, as well as the #1 worldwide trend on Twitter with 1k+ retweets per minute and has collectively racked up nearly 1 Billion streams on streaming services worldwide; and Daddy Yankee, Play - N - Skillz, and Elvis Crespo on the Spanish - language track “Azukita” (2018). In 2016, Aoki released the Netflix Originals documentary film I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, which earned him his second Grammy nomination for Best Music Film and globally released in more than 190 countries. Recognized by Forbes as one of the top 5 world’s highest paid DJ’s and the world’s hardest working DJ, Aoki is “one of the most in-demand entertainers in the world” (Billboard), counting

more than 250 tour dates per year, with past performances at nearly every top festival around the world including Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Fuji Rock Festival, Tomorrowland, Electric Daisy Carnival, and more. As a fashion designer/entrepreneur, Aoki

has collaborated with major fashion and lifestyle brands like Converse and Bathing Ape and serves as a global ambassador for several international brands including ASICS and Diesel. In 2016, he also debuted his very own Dim Mak Collection streetwear line, which he later presented at New York Fashion Week in 2017. In 2012, Aoki founded THE AOKI FOUNDATION, which primarily supports organizations in the brain science and research areas and has donated more than $500,000 to date.

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Chicago

Chicago

Performances

June 29 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Chicago

Hailed as one of the "most important bands in music since the dawn of the rock and roll era" by former President Bill Clinton, the legendary rock and roll band with horns, Chicago, came in at #4, the highest charting American band in the chart’s history, in Billboard Magazine's recent Top Bands And Duos. And Chicago is the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in six consecutive decades.

Chicago was inducted into the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! This was their first nomination. They’ve been eligible since 1994. A long time coming!

Chicago's first album, Chicago Transit Authority, was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2014, and the band performed on the Grammy stage for the first time that year.

Robert Lamm and James Pankow have become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017. These legendary songwriters wrote mega-hits such as, "25 or 6 to 4," "Saturday In The Park," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," "Make Me Smile," and many others.

More than 40 years after its debut, Chicago II still sounds like nothing else. Released in 1970, Chicago’s second album brims with confidence and inspiration as it draws on everything from orchestral music to heavy rock. It spawned a trio of Top Ten hits, and the timeless classic has been remastered to reveal unprecedented clarity and definition. For the first time a new stereo remix, created by British musician and producer Steven Wilson from the 16-track multi-track tapes, made it possible to bring out elements that were muffled or submerged in the mix. The result is a new stereo version of CHICAGO II that boasts clearness, punch and definition that it didn’t have before. It has recently been released by Rhino Records on CD and vinyl.

CHICAGO’s award-winning documentary film, Now More Than Ever: The History Of Chicago premiered on CNN on New Year’s Day and ranked No. 1 among adults 25-54. This is per “Nielsen Fast National Time Period Based Data” for 1/1/17 from 8 PM -10 PM. The documentary film was originally shown at the Sedona International Film Festival in February, 2016, and won the Film Festival’s Best of Fest Audience Choice Award. The band opened the festival with back-to-back sold-out performances.

Additionally, Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago won three awards in April, 2016, at the 10th Annual Fort Myers Beach Film Festival, taking home top prizes in the Documentary and Audience Award categories. Director Peter Pardini was awarded the festival’s Rising Star Award in direction and was on hand to accept all three awards.

Earlier that month the documentary was the runner-up for Audience Award at the Sarasota Film Festival.

Chicago’s newest record of new studio tracks, “NOW” CHICAGO XXXVI, was released on Frontiers Records. It includes eleven brand new songs, recorded on the road. Chicago has built a new recording system that is flexible, portable, powerful and musical. This new “recording rig” travels with the band. They have even created an online collaboration portal that allows even more performances to be worked on around the clock from remote locations. The CD package is a six-panel digipack with a beautiful 16-page full color lyric booklet.

Chicago’s lifetime achievements include two Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, Founding Artists of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Chicago street dedicated in their honor, and keys to and proclamations from an impressive list of US cities. Record sales top the 100,000,000 mark, and include 21 Top 10 singles, 5 consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One singles and 5 Gold singles. An incredible 25 of their 36 albums have been certified platinum, and the band has a total of 47 gold and platinum awards.

Chicago have toured every year since the beginning - they’ve never missed a year. The original four band members are Robert Lamm on keyboards and vocals, Lee Loughnane on trumpet and vocals, James Pankow on trombone and Walt Parazaider on woodwinds. The band line-up also includes Wally Reyes, Jr. on drums, Keith Howland on guitar and vocals, Lou Pardini on keyboards and vocals, Ray Herrmann on sax and flute, Neil Donell on vocals, Brett Simons on bass and Ramon "Ray" Yslas on percussion.

For five years, Chicago raised over a quarter of a million dollars to fight breast cancer for the American Cancer Society by having a winning bidder come on stage and sing “If You Leave Me Now” in concert. Chicago generously support other charitable causes, donating a portion of ticket sales to Kelly Cares, established by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and his wife Paqui, to support local, national and global organizations that strive to improve their communities in the areas of health and education. Portions of ticket sales also benefit the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, which seeks a cure for a fatal children’s disease, Niemann-Pick Type C. Chicago manager Peter Schivarelli, who played football for Coach Parseghian, is on Notre Dame’s Board Of Directors for their Athletic Commission. Chicago has also associated with Hannah & Friends, an organization that serves children and adults with special needs. Hannah & Friends is the personal mission of Maura Weis and her husband, Charlie Weis, the former coach at the University of Kansas.

From the signature sound of the Chicago horns, their iconic Vocalists, and a few dozen of ever-Classic Songs, this band’s concerts are celebrations. 2019 marks the band’s 52nd consecutive year of touring, without missing a single concert date!

Chicago continue to be true ambassadors for their beloved hometown, carrying the city's name with pride and dignity around the world.

 

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Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz

Performances

July 7 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz has quietly amassed a diverse fan base throughout all parts of the globe. Since getting his start in coffeehouses in San Diego, Mraz has brought his positive message and soulful, folk-pop sound to rapt audiences around the world through his vibrant recordings, humorous live performances, and philanthropic efforts. Along the way, he has earned numerous platinum certifications for his various releases, made pop history with his record-breaking classic single, “I’m Yours” and “I Won’t Give Up,” racked up 2 Grammy Awards, won the prestigious Songwriter Hall of Fame Hal David Award, and sold out amphitheaters and arenas across the globe, including sell-outs at such iconic venues as The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, and London’s O2 Arena.

A dedicated artist and gentleman farmer, Mraz is first and foremost a committed global citizen. His impassioned social activism and philanthropic efforts span from environmental advocacy to ardent support for human rights. His own Jason Mraz Foundation serves to shine for arts education and the advancement of equality. Through it all, Jason Mraz continually confirms and celebrates music’s myriad forms and miraculous power, inspiring and delighting his countless fans around the world.

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Brothers Osborne

Brothers Osborne

Performances

June 30 - 10:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Brothers Osborne

Two sons from a working-class family, John and TJ Osborne grew up in a small, Maryland water town writing and playing songs for friends and family in their father’s shed. John moved to Nashville first to play in other bands and two years later, TJ joined him. It was then they formed Brothers Osborne as a twang-and-crunch duo that blends equal parts country and rock into one of the freshest, most identifiable sounds to come out of Nashville in recent years. The singer/songwriter siblings recently earned back-to-back ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Awards along with ACM Music Video of the Year for their Top 10, GRAMMY-nominated single, “It Ain’t My Fault.” The award-winning video also stands as the current CMA Music Video of the Year. Brothers Osborne also currently reigns as the two-time CMA Vocal Duo of the Year. Brothers Osborne’s debut album PAWN SHOP was released January 2016 and was recently certified Gold by the RIAA. PAWN SHOP features three GRAMMY-nominated tracks including “It Ain’t My Fault,” the Platinum Certified No. 1 smash hit “Stay A Little Longer,” as well as Top 25 hit “21 Summer.”  They just released their sophomore album, PORT SAINT JOE, in April and had a recent hit with the single “Shoot Me Straight”. Their new single, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” is currently at radio. The first half of 2019 sees 45 more dates on their headlining World Tour.

 

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WALK THE MOON

WALK THE MOON

Performances

June 26 - 10:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

WALK THE MOON

Hailing from Cincinnati, OH, WALK THE MOON consists of Nicholas Petricca (singer/keyboardist), Kevin Ray (bassist), Eli Maiman (guitarist), and Sean Waugaman (drummer). In 2015, the band catapulted to stardom when their hit single "Shut Up and Dance" became a multi-platinum global smash that peaked at No. 1 on the Alternative, Hot AC, AC charts, No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and went to No. 2 at Top 40 radio. The track also broke the record for consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart at the time. "Shut Up and Dance" racked up over six million downloads and 850 million streams in the process leading to a slew of honors including winning two Billboard Music Awards, a nomination for an MTV Music Video Award for Best Rock Video, American Music Award nominations for Favorite Pop/Rock Duo Or Group, New Artist of the Year, and Favorite Alternative Rock Artist. They were also nominated for an iHeart Radio Music Award for Best Duo/Group of the Year, Song of the Year, and Alternative Rock Song of the Year for "Shut Up and Dance." WALK THE MOON has been praised by music industry tastemakers across the board since their explosive first single "Anna Sun" was released in 2012, as Interview Magazine proclaimed, "There's something about WALK THE MOON that's absolutely out of this world. Their music is addictive, energetic, and fun." Rolling Stone also raved about the band's live show, "The precocious Ohioans stack melodies upon melodies in new-wave-infected songs that attack the ear like a starving Mike Tyson."

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Young The Giant

Young The Giant

Performances

July 2 - 10:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Young The Giant

Los Angeles quintet Young the Giant continue to brave new sonic landscapes with their wildly adventurous third album, Home of the Strange. On this new release, the band explores their expansive musicianship with boldly eclectic arrangements anchored by a keen melodic presence.

To direct the band’s continued evolution, they collaborated with producer Alex Salibian (Elle King, Mikky Ekko) and Executive Producer Jeff Bhaskar, 2016 Grammy winner for Producer of the Year. Thematically, Home Of The Strange builds from the opening track “Amerika”, a song inspired by Franz Kafka's posthumously published and unfinished novel of the same name. The poignant message and bold sonics on Home of the Strange have been met with critical acclaim, leading to an NPR interview expanding upon the immigrant experience and Rolling Stone referencing “a new-wave sheen that flatters (the band).”

Young the Giant first broke through with their 2010 self-titled debut album, which featured the RIAA-gold certified hits, "My Body" and "Cough Syrup." This was followed by the release of 2014’s Mind Over Matter, which was both a commercial and critical success and prompted The New York Times to call lead singer Sameer Gadhia “one of the great contemporary rock voices.” Since then, the band has toured the world, with their most recent route featuring sold out performances at Radio City Music Hall, The Greek Theatre, and Aragon Ballroom. They have become a festival mainstay at high profile outings such as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, and Governor's Ball among others. Over the course of their career, Young The Giant has charted 5 singles on the Billboard Alternative Top 10.

 

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Foreigner

Foreigner

Performances

June 26 - 10:00 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Foreigner

On September 13th, 2017 Foreigner's catalog sales were celebrated in Business Insider magazine as hitting the Top 40 among the Best Selling Music Artists of All Time. The Beatles were justifiably #1, but Foreigner came in ahead of Britney Spears, Bob Dylan, Phil Collins, Prince, Queen, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.

With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million.

Responsible for some of rock and roll's most enduring anthems including Juke Box Hero, Cold As Ice, Hot Blooded, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Feels Like The First Time, Urgent, Head Games, Say You Will, Dirty White Boy, Long, Long Way From Home and the worldwide #1 hit, I Want To Know What Love Is, Foreigner continues to rock the charts more than 40 years into the game with massive airplay and continued Billboard Top 200 album success. Foreigner also features strongly in every category in Billboard's Greatest of All Time listing. Catalog sales often eclipse those of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Aerosmith and most of their Classic Rock peers. (Source: Nielsen SoundScan week ending 8/3/17).

Founded in 1976, Foreigner's debut album produced the hits "Feels Like The First Time," "Cold As Ice" and "Long, Long Way From Home." The album Double Vision followed, as did a string of hits like "Urgent," "Juke Box Hero" and "Waiting For A Girl Like You." Those songs helped give Foreigner's next album, 4, its impressive run at #1 on the Billboard chart. At the zenith of 80's sound, Foreigner's fifth album, Agent Provocateur, gave the world the incredible #1 global hit," I Want To Know What Love Is." This musical milestone followed the record-breaking song "Waiting For A Girl Like You."

At Foreigner's core is the founder and Songwriters Hall of Fame member Mick Jones, the visionary maestro whose stylistic songwriting, indelible guitar hooks and multi-layered talents continue to escalate Foreigner's influence and guide the band to new horizons. He reformed the band after a 2002 hiatus and selected lead singer Kelly Hansen to help write an inspired new chapter in the history of Foreigner. One of rock's greatest showmen, Hansen is known for his innate ability to connect with the crowds. As a front man and lead vocalist, Hansen is among the most respected, consummate professionals in rock and roll. With a 35-year career that spans almost every area of music, from the role of lead vocalist to producing and engineering, Kelly has the unique ability to advance and excel when faced with new challenges.

Mick also brought in bassist Jeff Pilson, multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel, guitarist Bruce Watson, Michael Bluestein on keyboards, and Chris Frazier on drums. An unprecedented new level of energy lead the group to a re-emergence of astounding music that speaks to long time Foreigner fans and younger generations. With renewed vitality and direction, Foreigner hit the Billboard charts again with the 2005 release of their live greatest hits album, Extended Versions. Can't Slow Down followed in 2009 and entered the Billboard chart in the Top 30, driven by two Top 20 radio singles, "In Pieces" and "When It Comes To Love." To follow was the release of the band's 3-disc set, Feels Like The First Time, which included an acoustic CD with an intimate and unique re-interpretation of many Foreigner classics, studio re-records by the new lineup and a live performance DVD showcasing the group's exceptional live energy.

Foreigner experienced another surge in popularity when several of their hits were featured on the Rock of Ages soundtrack, including "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Juke Box Hero" and "Waiting For A Girl Like You" -- more songs than any other one band on the soundtrack. Hollywood quickly took note, and several more tracks were featured in hit films "Anchorman 2," "Magic Mike" and "Pitch Perfect," sending Foreigner downloads up 400%. The video game industry was soon to follow with the blockbuster release, "Grand Theft Auto V."

Downloads continued to soar after their worldwide #1 hit "I Want To Know What Love Is" was featured as the 2015 season finale end title of "Orange Is The New Black." Foreigner hits have also recently been included in such primetime TV shows as "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," among others. Hot Blooded is on the trailer for the Angry Birds movie and has been streamed more than 6 million times. The high visibility of Foreigner's songs continues to introduce the band's music to a whole future generation of fans, exemplified by Jack Black's version of "Juke Box Hero" in Kung Fu Panda 3. "I Want To Know What Love Is" featured in the summer 2017 box-office #1 "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Waiting For A Girl Like You" is featured in Netflix's "Stranger Things."

In June 2013, Mick Jones was inducted to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. A multi-talented and multi-dimensional "musician's musician," Jones has also written songs such as "Bad Love" with Eric Clapton and "Dreamer" with Ozzy Osbourne, and produced records for others including Billy Joel's Storm Front and Van Halen's 5150. A Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated songwriter, Jones is the winner of the prestigious British Ivor Novello Songwriter Award for "The Flame Still Burns," the soundtrack music for the film Still Crazy.

In May 2014, Atlantic Records Chairman Craig Kallman presented Mick Jones with RIAA gold and platinum digital awards for six Foreigner songs. These awards signify 500,000 and 1,000,000 downloads of Foreigner hits. That is more individual awards than any other heritage rock band, and an illustration of Foreigner's resonance in the digital era.

The year continued with Foreigner's headline run in The Soundtrack of Summer US amphitheater tour. The hits compilation album of the same name was released to coincide with the tour and immediately hit the Billboard Top 200 chart, peaking at #64. For most weeks during the tour, Juke Box Heroes joined The Soundtrack Of Summer in the Billboard Top 200 making Foreigner the only Classic Rock band to have such a remarkable presence in today's chart.

Foreigner made headlines again in the summer of 2015 while gaining legions of new fans by joining mega act Kid Rock on his "Cheap Date: First Kiss Tour," rocking amphitheatres and stadiums across the United States.

Foreigner kicked off 2016 with a much hailed unplugged appearance on The Today Show on February 11th followed by a short run of New York area sold out acoustic shows culminating with an epic concert at The Lincoln Center as part of the acclaimed American Songbook Series. These appearances coincided with the release of Foreigner's first ever live acoustic album In Concert: Unplugged. The band's royalties are donated to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and the album is available exclusively via Amazon. Foreigner recorded this unique acoustic album at a once-in-a-lifetime private concert hosted by Edsel B. Ford II on August 24, 2015 at the Ford Motor Company Conference & Event Center in Detroit, MI. In October 2016, Foreigner performed for the very first time at New York's iconic Carnegie Hall with a sold out acoustic show. The show highlighted the band's ongoing relationship with the GRAMMY Museum's initiative to promote music education in our nation's schools. It included an a cappella contest among New York high schools who competed for a $5,000 prize donated by the band.

2017 marked the celebration of Foreigner's 40th anniversary. It commenced with a European tour that included Foreigner performing orchestral versions of the hits with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra in Lucerne, Switzerland. The Warner Music Group released a double CD set '40,' which includes 40 songs recorded between 1977 and 2017. The album features two tracks recorded especially for this release, 'Give My Life For Love' and a new version of 'I Don't Want To Live Without You.' The album spent nine weeks in the Billboard Top 200 chart. The US anniversary headline tour played 40 shows across the United States where the band was supported by Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience.

Foreigner is one of the most viewed YouTube artists with anywhere between 700,000 and 900,000 weekly viewings of their songs (Source: Next Big Sound).

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Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind

Performances

June 29 - 10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

Third Eye Blind

Since 1997, San Francisco's Third Eye Blind have recorded four best-selling albums and assembled one career retrospective. 3EB will release 'Dopamine', their first studio collection in six years, in Spring 2015. Led by Stephan Jenkins, 3EB won wide success during a tumultuous group of years when the major-label recording industry was finally losing its grip on an enterprise that for decades it had dominated with steely efficiency. Nothing could have made 3EB happier! 3EB, however, have experienced no comparable loss. Instead, they have gained artistic clarification -- and, surprisingly, a fan base who is larger, younger and more dedicated than ever. Participation in the older, untouchable realm of nervous star-making could color a band's identity. In the case of 3EB, it often blurred the perception of their brilliant musical creations. In recent years, those creations have recast the band among a current generation of fans. 3EB now write, tour, record, and communicate in a fluid new world where their music continues naturally to evolve. Their exchange with their audience is unfiltered and being from the hub of tech, they are using it to develop a closer exchange with their audience.

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Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World

Performances

June 29 - 10:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Jimmy Eat World

Before Jimmy Eat World entered the studio to record their ninth full-length album, Integrity Blues [RCA], the members of the multiplatinum Mesa, AZ rock band did something they’ve never done in over two decades.

“We took a little break,” smiles lead singer and guitarist Jim Adkins.

After a successful 10th anniversary tour revisiting Futures, the musicians briefly went their separate ways at the end of 2014. Adkins released a series of 7” & embarked on his first worldwide solo tour, Lind released an EP and toured with his wife in The Wretched Desert, Linton took up boxing, and Burch opened up CaskWerks Distillery in Arizona.

When the band reconvened in November 2015, they teamed up with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen [Paramore, M83] and began sifting through ideas.

“I came to a realization,” admits Adkins. “In the break, writing was a little trickier. I wanted to change things up. So, instead of writing about a problem, I wanted to write about a solution. If you look at your life for what’s going wrong, it won’t be too hard to find things. If you start looking at what you have rather than what you’re missing out on, you come away from things with a much different perspective that’s a lot more grateful and positive. As an album, Integrity Blues is about trying to overcome that personal struggle instead of getting upset with what life could be that it isn’t.”

They recorded in Los Angeles with Meldal-Johnsen, offering a different setting from their usual Arizona digs.

“We became willing to throw away our default responses to everything and search for the best answers rather than relying on what was familiar or comfortable. When you’re younger and you make music, you do it for discovery. Being in this for a long time, it’s about throwing out all of your expectations and comforts and seeing what you can do without them.”

With warm production and a powerful upbeat groove, Integrity Blues first single “Sure and Certain” pairs a buzzing guitar hum with an unshakable chant.

“It’s about the idea of having blinders on for what you want to do and achieve,” the frontman explains. “Since you’re so laser focused on what you think you want, you’re missing out on everything around you. It can be a very limiting way to go about life.”

Meanwhile, the gorgeously minimal title track “Integrity Blues” tempers orchestral, cinematic overtones with a stark and striking vocal performance.

“It was a song I wrote on the solo tour,” he recalls. “Sometimes, the idea of walking your path the best you can feels like lonely work. The only way out is action. Feelings of being in a dark place are actually growth opportunities. It’s emotional jiu-jitsu to shift your perspective into seeing it that way.”

Elsewhere on the record, “Get Right” snaps into an energetic refrain, while “Through” serves up one of the band’s hookiest moments to date.

“You Are Free” flaunts one of the group’s most hummable and heartfelt refrains, serving as another high watermark. “It Matters” illuminates the band’s diverse sonic palette and covers what Adkins describes as “a central theme about the idea that a sense of comfort comes from within and not just external validation.”

“Pass The Baby” builds from a delicate heartbeat-style click into a deliberate and distorted explosion. Near seven-minute closer “Pol Roger” carves out an emotional and entrancing climax encased in a rapture of guitars and vocals, which according to Adkins, “Felt like the right way to sum everything up.”

Surveying the journey thus far, Adkins maintains the same passion he did on day one, and it continues to fuel Jimmy Eat World. “I’ve wanted to play music since second grade, and here I am playing music. It’s something we’re immensely grateful for. That’s why we don’t take it lightly. We want to be in a constant state of progress. You have to move forward in a way that’s challenging and evolving.”

“At the end of the day, you have to be proud of your own work,” he leaves off. “We are. If you breathe that in and believe it, you’ve won.”

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Lizzo

Lizzo

Performances

June 27 - 10:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Lizzo

Lizzo has arrived.

In 2014's hip-hop culture, built on stale rhymes about sex, money and drugs, Houston-bred, Minneapolis-based artist, Lizzo relies on inventive wordplay and an ability to seamlessly flow between rapping and singing to set her above the rest. Her debut solo release LIZZOBANGERS lives and dies by Lizzo's unique delivery and cadence, fueled by the depth of her pop-culture, social and historic references, ranging from Lizzie Borden to Cogsworth to Anna Wintour.

It's that L to the I to the Z Z O / Ain't got no time for the C3P0, wookie, rookie / Never knock nookie, but I'd rather stack cookies / Looking at the sunset the color of Snookie - "Faded"

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X Ambassadors

X Ambassadors

Performances

July 4 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

X Ambassadors

KIDinaKORNER/Interscope band X Ambassadors' debut album, "VHS," reflected on the events that shaped the lives of lead vocalist and lyricist Sam Harris and his older brother, keyboardist Casey Harris, growing up in Ithaca, New York. The gold-certified album, which Rolling Stone called "bombastic rock that's as stomping as it is diaristic, leavened by big-tent pop hooks and a hint of hip-hop swagger," debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Top 200 chart and spawned the platinum-selling "Renegades," which spent 12 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Alternative chart, and the double-platinum "Unsteady." The success of "VHS" sent X Ambassadors on a nearly two-year touring odyssey that found them winning over fans around the world and performing at the Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Life Is Beautiful and Shaky Knees festivals, among others, and establishing themselves as a world-class rock band. X Ambassadors released the impassioned "Ahead of Myself" last fall followed by "Joyful" and "Don't Stay" in early 2018 before embarking on their JOYFUL headline tour. The band returned to Ithaca for the second annual Cayuga Sound Festival this past September. X Ambassadors is currently working on their sophomore album. 

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3 Doors Down

3 Doors Down

Performances

June 30 - 9:45 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

3 Doors Down

Formed in 1995, Grammy Award®-nominated multiplatinum Mississippi rock band 3 Doors Down consistently captivates audiences worldwide. The quintet’s many accolades include selling 16 million albums globally, receiving three Grammy nominations, and winning two American Music Awards, and five BMI Pop Awards for songwriting including “Songwriter of the Year.” Their debut The Better Life, became certified six-times RIAA platinum in 2000 and was fueled by the success of juggernaut hit “  Kryptonite.” This was followed by 2002’s sophomore album, Away from the Sun which went triple-platinum and saw similar success with “When I’m Gone” and “Here Without You.”  2005’s platinum Seventeen Days and 2008’s 3 Doors Down each earned #1 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, while Time of My Life landed at #3 in 2011. Ignited by the single “In The Dark,” 3 Doors Down unleashed their sixth full-length album, Us and the Night, which debuted top 10 on the Billboard Top 200 in 2016.

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CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

Performances

July 2 - 10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

CHVRCHES

If you love driving fast with the windows rolled down playing top 40 radio at full volume and you play in a band, you usually have one goal: get your songs out of your garage and into the worlds’ collective car speakers as soon as humanly possible. Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty certainly fit this bill. They unabashedly adore music of the wind-in-your-hair variety. And, of course, they play in a band, the Scottish synth pop group, CHVRCHES.

And yet … Since emerging in 2013 with the glistening brightness of their breakthrough single, “Recover,” CHVRCHES have always projected an insularity, a subtle but unmistakable wariness about leaning into their obvious Hit Song of the Summer-writing potential. At their core, CHVRCHES are true blue Glaswegian punks. They’ve wanted to protect themselves, and protect that undercurrent of melancholy that gives depth to their sunniness.

To this end, the band members have always kept their creative process close and tight. They’ve been diligent to the max about managing the way their band is portrayed. And, of course, they have historically produced every piece of music themselves, including their 2013 debut, The Bones of What You Believe, and 2015 follow-up, Every Open Eye. “Certainly not,” was their go-to response, Martin recalls laughing, when asked to consider collaboration. “We knew that if you get led down the wrong path it can completely derail your career.” But if there’s a theme in CHVRCHES’ world as they prepare to release their third record, Love Is Dead, it’s willful, determined openness, both ideologically - more on that in a minute – and in terms of actual creative process.

This time around, instead of Lauren disappearing for days at a time, the trio stayed in the same room even while Lauren was writing lyrics. As a result, the album “feels a lot more coherent,” she says. Lauren also consciously pulled from a different psychic well when writing those lyrics, one that's less introspective and more expansive and imagistic. “I tried to write less about romantic love specifically,” she says. “And more about the overarching concept of love.” And, for the first time ever, CHVRCHES opened their proverbial doors to outside influence. The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart served as the band’s de facto mentor, providing insight Lauren says “really pushed us to focus on the artistic integrity of the album and everything that surrounds it.” Steve Mac co-produced the soaring ode to hope, “Miracle.” And thanks to some extremely productive time spent in what Lauren calls his “Aladdin’s Cave,” Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia) wound up co-producing eight of the record’s twelve tracks. “We had similar musical tastes and we clicked in the writing process pretty quickly,” Kurstin recalls. “I got to pull out all of the things I don’t have a chance to normally use.”

The result is the purest ever distillation of CHVRCHES’ signature pretty gloom. “It makes more sense than anything else we’ve made because it most accurately represents us,” says Martin. “We’ve always had this super difficult side to us – artistic and introspective and angry, but then we also fully embrace commercial music,” he continues. “When we talked about this album, before we even made it, we talked about it that way, we talked about there being two sides to the band. With Love Is Dead, we’ve broadened the appeal, but there are moments that are more difficult than anything we’ve ever done.”

This conscious move towards openness in the creative process reflects a bigger, deeper existential theme as well. “We live in a time where the death of empathy is pretty evident,” Lauren explains. “You turn on the news and see story after story about how selfish and unkind people are, but also stories of strength and resilience and resistance. How do we deal with both those things?” That question, of how to honor our justifiable despair about the state of the world, while moving towards hope and love, mirrors CHVRCHES’ sonic blend of dualities. As Lauren exhorts in “ii”, the instrumental / spoken word intro to album closer “Wonderland”:

Truth exists somewhere between the dark and the light

It’s that quest for balance that runs throughout Love Is Dead.

Lead single “Get Out” is a sprawling crescendo of heartbroken joy, and the album’s opening track, “Graffiti,” with it’s lilting syncopated backbeat follows suit. “Wrote our names along the bathroom walls, graffiti-ing our hearts across the stalls,” Lauren sings. “I’ve been waiting for my whole life to grow old and now we never will.” The song captures a sense of perspective on the passage of time. “Growing up and realizing things aren’t going to be the way you thought they would be,” the singer explains. “The feeling of Stand By Me, ‘I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, did you?’”

Then there’s the slinky “Deliverance,” which personifies that classic CHVRCHES blend of punk ethos with a pure pop sound. “You don’t hear people singing on the radio about the hypocrisy of religion,” says Iain, “but that’s what’s exciting about it. We were thinking about Like a Prayer era Madonna, and Nick Cave, and Depeche Mode’s Songs of Faith and Devotion.”

The band doesn’t consider their music expressly political, per se, but the urgent, brightly haunted “Graves,” with lyrics like “they’re leaving bodies in stairwells and washing up on the shore/you can look away while they’re dancing on our graves/if you don’t have a heart I can offer you mine,” feels abject and despairing yet joyful in a decidedly topical way. And on, “Miracle,” Mayberry questions “I feel like but I’m falling but I’m trying to fly, where does all the good go?”

Speaking of politics, the dreamy “Heaven/Hell,” with lyrics like, “Is it right if I’m a perfect actress/Playing the princess in distress?/Is it alright if I save myself and/If I clean up my own mess?/Is it enough yet, ‘cause I’ve had enough?” gets at an issue CHVRCHES have been dealing with since their very first Twitter follower: what it’s like to be a rock band with a female frontperson. From the jump, Lauren has been outspoken about the vitriolic sexism and misogyny she was expected to tolerate merely because she’s a female human being singing on a stage. Hers is a perspective that has found much greater support in this last year, which is great, obviously. “I think it’s healthy that it’s in the mainstream,” Martin says, “of course, but she was getting fucking slaughtered five years ago, for saying stuff that’s now everywhere I look. Lauren stood up against this kind of behavior on day one.”

And she paid a price. Unlike her bandmates, who, by the time CHVRCHES formed, had already logged a lot of years in other groups, Lauren’s entrée to the rock and roll life was more trial by fire. “I was 23 when I met Iain, 24 when we started this band and I’m thirty now,” she recalls. “I’ve had to grow up in front of people.” From the very beginning, “there was a lot of trepidation on my part,” she recalls. “As a woman in any industry but especially as a woman in the entertainment industry, I knew how people talk about you. How they perceive you. Even before the first record came out I could see all these monsters in the trees already. Some of those monsters turned out to be real. Some of them did not.

That’s a lot of what Love Is Dead is about: growing up, “coming to terms with the fact that there are great things in the world and there are awful things in the world and that you can’t get one without the other,” Lauren says. It’s that duality, again. “We’re fucked, the world is fucked,” Iain summarizes, with a smile. “But there’s an ellipses at the end. It’s Love Is Dead…. Like, how did we get to this point? And how do we move on from this point? It’s Love Is Dead, we’re fucked, what’s next?”

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Bleachers

Bleachers

Performances

July 6 - 10:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Bleachers

After building a devoted fan-base through a year and a half of non-stop touring behind his band Bleachers’ well-received debut album Strange Desire, Jack Antonoff was spending time in studios in Los Angeles and Atlanta spit-balling ideas for a second album when he had a powerful realization. It struck him, as he was sitting in hip-hop producers Organized Noize’s studio in Atlanta, that the records that meant so much to him growing up— are rooted in a specific place. “They came from somewhere!” he says excitedly. “There’s an energy there and the artist is telling a story of how they were raised. It's a sound from a city, and they’re planting a flag in that city and saying, ‘This is what it's like to live here.’" 

The New Jersey-born, New York-based Antonoff knew he needed to go home to the East Coast and build a studio. “It’s like you have to go sit in your bedroom and hear the music on the speakers you heard Graceland on the first time,” he says. “You gotta listen through the speakers you heard Smashing Pumpkins on the radio the first time. I had to get back to that space. So I did. I grabbed all this shit from my childhood bedroom in New Jersey and built a studio in my apartment in New York and I literally didn't leave it. I thought, ‘This album is going to sound like New York and New Jersey and the actual space I grew up in, in the most specific way. And that, to me, is the most I can offer.” 

It was there in that room — surrounded by posters and flyers from punk shows he saw as a kid and his old baseball trophies and Star Wars figurines — that Antonoff created the epic, synth-driven anthems that appear on Bleachers’ second album entitled Gone Now, which is set for release on June 2, 2017. As a result, the album sounds like “the way the space looks,” he says. “It sounds like someone alone in their room, wrestling with their thoughts. It sounds like someone trying to create something very direct and simple amongst the chaos.”

Critics praised Strange Desire’s modern nostalgia and remarked that the ’80s-influenced songs could have served as a soundtrack to a never-made high-school-themed John Hughes film. On that album, Antonoff set emotional meditations on anxiety, depression, loss and picking yourself up after a tragedy (in his case, the death of his younger sister from a brain tumor when Antonoff was 18 and his struggled with a panic disorder in the aftermath) against a backdrop of earworm melodies and shouty choruses on songs like the gold-certified “I Wanna Get Better” (which topped Billboard’s Alternative chart) and “Rollercoaster.” 

“The songs were about growing up and still sort of existing in the past,” Antonoff says. “The crux of the new album is my desperately trying to find a way to become some version of an adult, and not just be a giant child. I thought a lot about things like, ‘Where do I want to go from here? Do I want to be a person who has this extremely vibrant relationship with their art, but their life suffers in a million other places? Where do I want to go with my life?’” 

Antonoff sought to answer those questions on every song on the album. On “I Miss Those Days,” he pines for a simpler time when “I knew I was fucked up and didn’t know why I was fucked up,” he says referencing the years he spent as a high-schooler touring with his first punk band, Outline, “driving around in a van and playing to no one. I was lost, but I miss those days because there’s a weight to having a purpose in something.” On “Hate That You Know Me” Antonoff realizes that when you build a life with someone and make plans for the future, “it makes you really exposed to the ways in which you’re a disaster,” he says. “There’s this accountability that is so intense. But it’s also about how amazing that can be if you’re willing to go there with someone.” Then there’s “Let’s Get Married,” which Antonoff wrote the day after Donald Trump was elected. “Marriage is such a wild, absurd concept, but the world was falling down into flames around my eyes, and I wanted to write this absurd celebration song that could play at weddings for the next hundred years.” 

On each track, Antonoff searches for ways to illuminate humanity’s communal emotions, like the fact that no one is exempt from the experience of loss. “I think everything I do is always going to be rooted in that,” Antonoff says. “After my sister died, I started writing lyrics that weren't just angsty teen stuff. That’s when I started talking about very intense things. Fourteen years later, I’m still reflecting on that loss but through a different lens.” Antonoff’s current vantage point resonates on the song “Everybody Lost Somebody.” “At my worst moments, I see people on the street and think, ‘Which one of you motherfuckers voted for Trump?’” he says. “At my best moments, I see people on the street and I think, ‘Everybody has lost somebody.’” 

On the album’s first single, “Don’t Take The Money,” Antonoff laments how our society has culturally lost the concept of what selling out means. The song was inspired by his buying a cut-rate phone charger at a Rite Aid when his phone died as he was running late to a meeting. “I got there and plugged the phone into the charger and I had this out-of-body experience where I could not believe how cheap the material was,” he recalls. “And I thought to myself, ‘That's the real problem.’ Whether you're making art or making a sandwich, you know when something could be better. Don't make it cheap. That's the last thing people need.” 

As far as what Antonoff feels like people need from him as artist, he says: “I feel like they just need me to somehow capture the lightning in a bottle of what it’s like to be me, to grow up with loss, and then to try to move through the world within that. All I’ve wanted to do my whole life with my work is just take another step closer to myself.” 

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Big Gigantic

Big Gigantic

Performances

July 2 - 10:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Big Gigantic

Big Gigantic established themselves as pioneers of live electronic music with the band's inception in 2008. Now, almost 10 years later, they continue to shape the genre by moving it forward with each new release. The Colorado-based saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken, are veterans of blending electronic dance music with their live instruments to create Big G's truly unique sound, that is as thoughtful as it is danceable. Big Gigantic mixes musically mature melodies with addictive beats and samples, that are familiar to a Kanye West or LCD Soundsystem single, and crosses all styles of music from jazz to hip hop, funk to dubstep.

After graduating with a master's degree in jazz from the Manhattan School of Music, Lalli relocated to Boulder and began performing with Salken, experimenting with the idea of interpreting traditional DJ-based music with live instruments. The duo built up early hype in 2008 with local shows and one-offs and have since toured the country countless times enjoying a 90% tour sell out rate. Big Gigantic's transcendent live shows are a showcase of brilliant improvisation and the tightly -- knit bond between Salken and Lalli, who breathlessly alternates between keys, sax and laptop, building a contagious sound that keeps the crowd on its feet.

Over the years, the band has cemented themselves as a must see act on the US festival circuit, having performed at every major festival including: Coachella (where a local Indio, CA high school marching band joined them on stage), Lollapalooza, Ultra Music Festival, Hangout, Austin City Limits, Governors Ball, Electric Forest, Outside Lands, and Bonnaroo (where they've appeared both on their own and as Musical Director of Skrillex's 2014 Superjam performing alongside Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Robby Krieger from The Doors, Lauryn Hill, and Janelle Monae, among others). Big Gigantic has also appeared internationally at such festivals as Lollapalooza Argentina and Brazil, and Mad Decent Block party India. In 2014, the duo made their debut at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City supporting Bassnectar.

Big Gigantic have released five full length studio albums to date and three recent singles that have taken the band to new heights including "Get On Up" (2015), "Good Times Roll" w. GRiZ (2016), and "The Little Things" feat. Angela McCluskey (2016). The latter, which is receiving national acclaim with over 1 million downloads, 20+ million streams and landing sync placements everywhere from Fox's breakthrough show 'Empire' to ESPN's Wimbledon 2016; NBA coverage; and Apple's recent release of their new line of MacBook Pros.

Beyond their five-year-running, two-night festival, Rowdytown, at Colorado's famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Big Gigantic is known for giving back to their community and created the Big Gigantic Difference Foundation. With strong partnerships that include local non-profits such as Conscious Alliance, The Kitchen Community, and national organization Electric Family -- the band, in coordination with their fans, have given back both monetarily and with their time through various their #ABigGiganticDifference events. Big Gigantic's most recent album, Brighter Future, reflects their commitment to working closely with the community to make the world a better place.

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Sublime with Rome

Sublime with Rome

Performances

July 4 - 9:30 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Sublime with Rome

The wait is over! Sublime With Rome returns long at last with new music in 2018 to complement their first two album releases, Sirens, the 2015 effervescent follow up to the band's 2011 debut release Yours Truly. “Wicked Heart” is the first single off their yet untitled upcoming album to come out around Spring 2019.

"We had more time, we know each other better now, and we're even better musicians," said Rome Ramirez, who was just 20-years-old when he embarked on this journey.

With Sublime bassist and co-founder Eric Wilson anchoring the group, Sublime With Rome are armed with a new album that makes a real statement... their statement. Produced by Rob Cavallo, who has worked with Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Linkiin Park and many more, the latest release is an expression of three musicians who truly get each other and who communicate seamlessly through their instruments.

The luxury of time had a huge impact on their approach to this all-important release, especially since the band went into the studio without any demos or songs ready to go! That might sound terrifying to some musicians, but Sublime With Rome were invigorated by the situation.

"We didn't have any songs in our pockets," the frontman said, confessing that while he liked the spontaneity, it also lit a fire under their collective ass. "We showed up to this big studio and we had nothing, so we had to make it grassroots. It felt refreshing to make things on the fly. It really came together with all of us in the room and we loved the result."

He furthered, "Everything was recorded live and together. It's a little tighter and edgier than our last two releases. We have a lot of influence from Eric and it definitely shows."

Wilson concurred, saying, "It was great working with Rob, our chemistry was excellent. We had a great time recording the album in a totally organic way. There was no stress, even though we came up with stuff on the fly." The album was recorded at famed Sonic Ranch nearby El Paso, Texas and in Los Angeles.

"It is a whole different feeling now," Ramirez admitted. "Carlos is such a great guy and he is just as lighthearted, which is great on the road, since touring can be so serious and so tough. It has been more fun, really. It is a lot more relaxed, and that helps with everything. It's like that everywhere. Studio. Stage. Bus. Wherever we are. We've moved forward, musically and on stage. He brings a great element.

And while Ramirez pays the utmost respect to the original Sublime entity, since, as he admitted in the past, they were the first band that made him want to make, as opposed to just listen to, music, he knows Sublime With Rome are worthy of fan's undivided attention. "This summer, I want fans to say, 'I went to see Sublime With Rome and the new music is sick as fuck.' We can do that by continuing to make better and better records," he said.

Ramirez even stated that he isn't so much interested in the endgame or results as much as he is interested in writing music that is honest. And it's Wilson who summed up how their new music is such an important record for the band. "I'm able play music for the love of music, just like I did back then. I am so fortunate to still be able to do it," he said.

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Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett

Performances

July 4 - 10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett is one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in indie rock, a singer-songwriter who mixes deeply insightful observations with devastating self-assessment. With countless awards in her home of Australia as well as Grammy and BRIT nominations, fawning press and an adoring audiences, Barnett's rise to global prominence feels both unprecedented and important.

Music fans have rarely witnessed the breathless acclaim and superlatives that comprised reviews of Barnett's debut album "Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Think" -- Rolling Stone praised her as "one of the sharpest, most original songwriters around -- at any level, in any genre... a self-strafing humorist á la Lena Dunham who's also a Dylan-style word ninja." 2017 saw the release of the wonderful album "Lotta Sea Lice," an introspective but beautiful album of duets with Kurt Vile and a gorgeous place-holder while we awaited the release of her world-weary-but-fierce sophomore solo album "Tell Me How You Really Feel."

While her lyrics continue to encompass the poetic, political and personal, "Tell Me..." reveals a startling new lyrical economy. Barnett's newest songs reveal myriad layers of meaning in seemingly every line, all the while accompanied by her own face-melting guitar and one of the best rhythm sections in rock. Her increasingly unusual song-structures, timbres and moods hint at future ambition while her glorious, feed-back heavy live show has eviscerated audiences on 5 continents.

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Quinn XCII

Quinn XCII

Performances

June 26 - 10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

Quinn XCII

Quinn XCII blurs the lines between pop, electronic, hip-hop, and soul music. After two breakthrough, independently released EPs that helped build a large following and caught the attention of the music industry and listeners, he released his debut album "The Story of Us" in September 2017 via Columbia Records. The album peaked at #6 on the iTunes Pop Charts. The album's lead single "Straightjacket" has over 55 million streams on Spotify, and was named SoundCloud's "Song of the Month" where it also reached #3 on SoundCloud's Pop Chart.

Off the success of the album, Quinn XCII went on to sell out two consecutive North American headline tours in the Fall of 2017 and Spring of 2018, selling over 60,000 tickets. He also went on his first headline tours in Europe and Australia. In the summer of 2018 he went on an extensive festival run, including major highlights like Lollapalooza (Chicago), Governors Ball (NYC), Outside Lands (San Francisco), and many more. He currently has over 4 million monthly listeners on Spotify where he has over 500 million streams across his catalogue.

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Atmosphere

Atmosphere

Performances

July 6 - 10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Atmosphere

Defining success is not an exact science by any means. In some ways, it’s especially difficult to quantify one’s success when they have a job that places them in the public eye, a position that is ripe for critique and high expectations. Perhaps those who best thrive in those scenarios are the ones who can navigate through all noise and continue to evolve and grow, both in their skill sets and as individuals.

In many ways, that is an integral part of the Atmosphere story. Over their twenty-year career they have managed to continually tweak and strive to perfect their formula, while neither straying too far off their path, nor resorting to playing it safe. Starting at 1997’s Overcast, the group’s first official album, and traveling through 18 years of new albums, side projects (e.g. the Sad Clown series and Felt), and various collaborations, all the way up until 2014’s Southsiders album, Atmosphere’s music has evolved in a way that differs from many of their peers and predecessors. A hard look at that evolution doesn’t reveal the commonalities of following trends or struggling to fit in, by either over-extending in an effort to stay cool to the younger generation, or succumbing to the pressure people tend to place on artists to maintain the same sound from album to album. Instead, the Atmosphere discography evolves in a natural way.

Musically, Ant has continued to define Atmosphere’s sound, ranging from a healthy mixture of upbeat and fun, to the oft more iconic, moody and personal. Through out the 1990s, Ant spent countless hours in his basement with a wealth of records, a keyboard sampler, a turntable and a 4-track, working with a who’s who of the Twin Cities’ Rap talent of that time. Those experiences tuned his ear, molded his work ethic, and shaped his vision. In turn, those lessons have continually become more prominent in the Atmosphere aesthetic, blending live musicians and sampled production with his keen sense of how to compose a well-arranged song.

As for the lyrics, Slug started his passion for rhyming with an obsessive-like penchant for the way words intersect, as well as how those words can be manipulated for unexpected and clever meanings. But, at the same time, early on Slug expressed an interest in doing more than simply proving he could be witty, but also writing about subjects that speak to people personally, as well as emotionally. These practices also naturally helped the Atmosphere fan base to expand beyond the usual independent Hip Hop audience, extending their reach to an alternative audience who also related to the personable appeal and emotional range of both Slug’s songwriting and Ant’s musical backdrops. Particularly, Slug has been consistently successful in leveraging his understanding for the power of words, recognizing that a song containing the right story or personal perspective can be extremely effective in capturing and holding the listener’s attention.

Undoubtedly, the impact of Atmosphere’s music has been the roots to their long-term success, but their continued rigorous touring and performance schedule has been the vessel for engraining these stories and the legacy of the music into their fan base. Early on in their careers, Atmosphere stepped beyond the genre lines and performed shows through out the Twin Cities with Rock bands, Punk Rock bands, and Jazz Ensembles. This was directly influenced by the fact that both of them were already fans of a wide range of music. Although this was a natural reaction to being a fan of the music, that experience also afforded Atmosphere, and their Rhymesayers peers, the opportunity to witness first-hand the D.I.Y ethos shared by some of these other musical movements. Atmosphere began to apply many of these tactics and work ethics to their growth, which was specifically influential in the development of Atmosphere’s approach to touring. These strategies found Atmosphere expanding their tours into cities that few, if any, Rap artists were including in their routing. The result is a storied connection between the artists and the listeners, which has grown into long-term Atmosphere fans passing down that experience to their children and so on, and thus continually ushering in a new generation of Atmosphere fans. Early on in their touring excursions, Atmosphere shows were noted in history for challenging the idea that Hip Hop audiences had to be filled exclusively with scowl-faced males fueled by ego and testosterone. Instead they created an environment that invited women to join in on the party. All of these factors have led to a fan base that ranges from ages 14-54 and beyond, and one that remains solid, as well as ever evolving.

As Atmosphere steps into their 21st year of making music, Slug & Ant show no signs of slowing, compromising or losing sight of their vision. Nor has time revealed any diminishing of those qualities that have brought them this far. As 2016 swung into gear, Atmosphere had already ended the previous year and led into another with a string of singles, and still have an abundance of music on the way, including their latest album, Fishing Blues”. The title of the new album speaks directly to the sentiments that opened this bio; Is this the point in the career where Atmosphere chooses to step back, put up the Gone Fishin’ sign and reminisce about their successes? The answer, a resounding no, is found in the music, a collection of songs that both define and redefine the Atmosphere sound. Their passion and creative spark are as illuminate as ever. Slug and Ant still have plenty of stories to tell…

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T-Pain

T-Pain

Performances

June 28 - 9:45 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

T-Pain

With 60 hit songs under his belt and two Grammy trophies on his mantle, T-Pain has cemented himself as one of the most influential artists of all time. But even he needed a bit of time to himself to reload. After a successful run of #1 hits, albums, tours and a plethora of cameo appearances, T-Pain took some time off to enjoy the fruits of his labor and perfect his craft.

In 2018, T-Pain has returned and he is back and better than ever. He launched an “Everything Must Go” campaign in August to clear out his vault of unreleased music as a gift to his dedicated fans, he is currently the star of the hit television show on Fuse titled “T-Pain’s School of Business”, the dean of his very own university-Wiscansin University, and has an album slated to come out in early 2019. T-Pain is showing no signs of slowing down and has proven that he only gets better with time.

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Vic Mensa

Vic Mensa

Performances

July 4 - 10:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Vic Mensa

Standing on the front porch of his childhood home, Vic Mensa points to a gas station on the main road adjacent to his block. “I saw a man get held up at gunpoint right in that parking lot,” he says, jumping off the porch and crouching next to a fire hydrant. “I watched from right here,” Mensa adds doing a military duck walk. In his eyes it was clear he was reliving the moment as he told it. On his long-awaited debut album The Autobiography, Vic Mensa taps into pivotal moments in his life, reliving each one from one track to the next.

Raised in the nefariously gang-divided South Side of Chicago, Mensa embodied the “good kid, mad city” narrative. The product of a Ghanian father who is a PhD professor and a white mother who is a physical therapist from upstate New York, Vic’s reality was different from the Section 8 kids across the street from his Hyde Park home and the projects up the block. His friends, though multicultural, didn’t have the household Mensa had. “That wasn’t my world when I went home,” Vic recalls, emphasizing his liberal multiracial upbringing. “But in the eyes of the world I was a Black man, so that’s what I grew to become. Certain instances chose my race for me.”

He punctuates that sentiment with a story from the age of 11, where he was riding his bicycle and pulled off by police who mistook him for another kid who ran from them the day before. That same year he discovered hip-hop, absorbing KRS-One, Public Enemy, and N.W.A. He later met his first street mentor, a graffiti writer who tagged DARE and added Vic (who tagged REAK) to his Jam graffiti crew. Years of graffiti, battling in school, and sneaking in verses on local rappers’ tracks in the studio gave Vic Mensa his hip-hop sea legs.

In 2011, however, Vic lost his mentor DARE to a random act of senseless violence. He details the story on his Autobiography cut “Heaven On Earth,” which includes a dialogue to and from DARE. On the track he emphasizes living out his dreams in DARE’s memory, and given the five years that followed, Vic’s accomplished that and then some. As part of the Chicago collective SAVEMONEY with Chance The Rapper and other local upstarts Towkio and Joey Purp, Mensa toured globally and word of his talent traveled fast. His solo debut mixtape INNANETAPE in 2013 set the stage for his XXL Freshman cover in 2014. He reached the ears of Roc Nation executive Lenny S who introduced Mensa to Jay Z. A Roc Nation deal was the result. Mensa went on to help pen Kanye West’s esoteric “Wolves” track off The Life of Pablo, and in the Spring of 2016, Mensa dropped his critically acclaimed EP There’s A Lot Going On.

The project brought a level of emotional discourse that Mensa never introduced in previous works. His video for the track “16 Shots,” brought a graduated level of social commentary as visuals depict Mensa on the run from the cops. That very scenario that almost cost him his life years back by leaping over train tracks during a chase and gripping a voltage-carrying rail where he was nearly electrocuted to death. He has the tattoo of the volts over the scars to prove it. “16 Shots” also shows dash cam footage of the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police. His full-length debut The Autobiography will incorporate many of the unabridged versions of his experiences and thoughts described on the EP.

“As I was in the process of writing The Autobiography, I found there was an element of storytelling in the songs,” Vic says of the album title’s origin. “It was very autobiographical: no filler, just real recounts of things that have happened in my life.” Cuts like the aforementioned “Heaven On Earth” show Vic coming to terms with life and death, while “Homewrecker” discusses two tumultuous relationships in his life—one with a woman named “Natalie” referenced in previous songs, and another “Alexandra.” Other songs like “Oh My Goodness” and “Spread My Wings” also talk about Vic’s experiences with love. “I talk about relationships that I’ve had on this album, and I try to paint full pictures of the good, the bad, and the ugly,” he explains.

Getting in the studio with Pharrell Williams and 1500 Or Nothin has given Vic added dimensions to his production, the latter delivering works like the intense “We Could Be Free,” “No More Teardrops,” and the electronic-tinged “Gorgeous.” While Vic Mensa is really just getting started, it seems as though he’s lived a thousand lives and The Autobiography is proof of that. While Mensa has poured every ounce of his emotions and thoughts into his debut album—visually reliving them in the music—his mission remains clear. “I just want people to understand me as a young man in this troubled world,” the 23-year-old says, “with a lot of opinions and experiences, a lot of truths, big ideas, and revolutionary principles.”

In December 2018, Vic released his Hooligans EP which received large critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Forbes, Pitchfork, FADER, XXL, Vibe and many others. The booming project features collaborations with Ty Dolla $ign, G-Eazy, Charlie Wilson, Lil Herb, G Herbo, Mr. Hudson and Jesse Rutherford (The Neighbourhood).

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Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday

Performances

July 3 - 10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Taking Back Sunday

If you can't believe that Taking Back Sunday have been around for 20 years, you're not alone, because they can't either. Although the pride of Long Island have had a handful of member changes over the years, the current lineup of the band -- vocalist Adam Lazzara, guitarist John Nolan, drummer Mark O'Connell and bassist Shaun Cooper -- have all been there since the beginning. From the band's landmark 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends to their most recent full-length, 2016's Tidal Wave, Taking Back Sunday have evolved from a key player in the early 2000s emo scene to a genre-defying rock band who have three gold albums without ever ceasing to push the limitations of their sound. This fact is evidenced on Twenty, a 21-song collection set for release in January 2019 via Craft Recordings that spans all seven of their full-lengths and solidifies them as an act with a catalog that will undoubtedly outlive them. By now you know the basic history of the band, so we thought it'd be apt to look back at the fact that almost none of it happened...

"When I joined Taking Back Sunday in 1999, it was the first real band that I had ever been a part of, but it never crossed my mind that I would be doing this twenty years later. When I came in to audition it was just [original vocalist] Antonio [Longo] and [founding TBS guitarist and former Movielife member] Eddie Reyes. Eddie had started enough bands that he was like, 'I know how to do this, I can just call one guy.' But it was a crazy thing. When it started out, there was a lot more likelihood that it would fizzle out in a few months than it would last a few years. I tried out, and basically after we jammed for a couple of hours Eddie was like, 'All right, you're in. You have to get some different equipment though... and I'll sell it to you.' I think he sold me a head and cabinet for $200 [that] had to be worth at least $600." - John Nolan

"My entry into the band is pretty interesting. One day my brother said, 'Hey, my friend is looking for a drummer and he wanted to know if you wanted to try out.' But once I realized he was talking about Eddie, I had second thoughts. I remembered Eddie was the jerk who would yell at me and Shaun and all of our friends in front of Shaun's house when we would hang out there because he would be going to Movielife practice. So I said, 'No, I don't want to play in a band with that guy.' Then maybe two months later Shaun and I were hanging out [with] my mutual friend at a restaurant where Antonio worked and our friend said, 'Yo, my boy needs a drummer for his band if you want to try out.' The first song I heard was 'Go On' and I was like, 'Wow, this definitely has a lot of potential,' so I agreed. On my first tryout I remember walking in and seeing John, Antonio and then guess who's there? Eddie Reyes. I was like, 'Oh, what's up, man? How are you doing?' That was it." - Mark O'Connell

"I didn't know anyone in Taking Back Sunday initially; I just knew who Eddie was because some of the bands from Long Island would play in North Carolina. I had just moved back to Greensboro from Wilmington and I didn't really have anything going on aside from delivering Chinese food, so I really wanted to be playing music. I ended up in a booth with Eddie and Antonio at the after show hangout spot, Waffle House, after an ill-fated Sons Of Abraham show and heard they needed a bass player for their new project. They said, 'Yeah, you should come up.' A couple of weeks later me and my friend Chris drove his 1988 Honda Accord up to New York, I tried out and then drove back. A few weeks later I got a call from Eddie [who] said, 'If you want to do this, we have some shows coming up.' So I flew to Long Island and never came back. Looking back now it's funny because I was like, 'I'm moving to New York, it's going to be so sick.' Then I moved to Long Island and it was kind of a bummer. It was just like North Carolina... only way more crowded." - Adam Lazzara

Mark and I have played in bands together as long as we've known each other, which is over 30 years. When he joined Taking Back Sunday, I begged him to get me a bass audition. At first Mark told me that since I was so unreliable in our previous bands that he couldn't vouch for me, so I got serious, enrolled in night classes at a local college and tried to get my act together. About a month later, Mark noticed a change but sadly some kid from North Carolina was ditching everything he knew to move to New York to play bass in the band. Adam was a good bass player but he had a manic, magnetic energy on stage that everyone in the crowd was captivated by. Suddenly Antonio was out and Eddie made Adam put down the bass and grab a microphone. Mark got me a tryout for the band December 26, 2000. I played along to the demo day and night, made myself fall in love with those songs and played my first show at our friend's house a few days later on New Year's Eve. - Shaun Cooper

The rest is history. Taking Back Sunday may have started out like most of their peers by playing local shows and recording demos; however, unlike most of those peers they went on to sign to a major label, tour alongside Linkin Park and become international superstars. That said, they still speak of the band's early days as if they just happened yesterday. "I'll never forget, we played Ground Zero in Long Island in 2001 and it was the first show we played where people were singing along and going crazy. It was a tiny place that held 100 people but you could sense something had changed," Lazzara recalls. "After the show I remember we carried some equipment back to John's car and we were sitting in it just not saying anything. We were just thinking, 'that was the best thing ever.' I was starry eyed and staring into space; I couldn't believe that just happened." Nolan concurs, adding, "Even after the band got a lot bigger and did things that were a lot more impressive, that moment was really huge because you could tell something was happening. Everyone was going nuts and that really stands out to me as being one of the defining moments of Taking Back Sunday."

Twenty is a celebration not only of those career-defining moments but of the landmark albums that chronicle the band's story: 2002's Tell All Your Friends, 2004's Where You Want To Be, 2006's Louder Now, 2009's New Again, 2011's Taking Back Sunday, 2014's Happiness Is and 2016's Tidal Wave, all of which are represented on this collection. Whether your introduction to the band was singing along to "A Decade Under The Influence" in a sweaty club or hearing "MakeDamnSure" or "Sink Into Me" on the radio, Twenty is a look back at some of the highlights from this unlikely group of musical misfits. Additionally, fans will be able to hear two newly recorded songs, which hint at the direction that Taking Back Sunday are heading in the coming years. Musical legacy aside, ultimately what's most impressive is the fact that after two decades and countless successes, Taking Back Sunday have managed to preserve that initial spark that excited them as teenagers.

That fact alone is one worth celebrating, so turn it up and listen loud.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Performances

July 7 - 9:45 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Five years since their last album, Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are ready to embark on the next chapter of their remarkable story, with the release of the most ambitious music of their twenty year career together.

Entitled ‘Mettavolution’, the white-hot new album brings together Rod and Gab’s shimmering, hummingbird flourishes and extraordinary engine room rhythm section, laser focused on melody, energy and beat. There is not an ounce of excess baggage on the fresh, dynamic tunes that Rod and Gab present here, which blend metal, jazz and Hispanic roots music in their own unique, unmistakable style

Through relentless touring and terrific word-of-mouth support, Rodrigo y Gabriela have established themselves as an in-demand live act, particularly in America, where they sold out the Hollywood Bowl (two nights) and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre as recently as summer 2018. They have also sold out multiple nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Le Zenith in Paris and Radio City Music Hall in New York, not to mention venues in Australia, Japan and Europe. They are recognised by their fans and critics alike as being one of the top live touring acts in the world.

“An absolute master class in pushing an acoustic guitar to its limits.” - Rockpit, Australia (Perth 2018)

“This exciting duo is truly a musical force, and had the entire Bowl mesmerized and immersed in the tunes the whole time.” - No Depression, USA (Hollywood Bowl, LA 2018)

“The entire audience was on their feet for a standing ovation.” - AV Hub (Sydney 2018)

“It felt like the end of a long magical night of neverending encores.” - Strait Times (Singapore 2015)

“At times, it was hard to believe this sheer rhythmic force all came from just two guitars.” - The Independent UK (London 2016)

“The transition that these instrumentalists go through from rock to jazz to psychedelic and more continued to amaze the entire night.” - 303 (Red Rocks Colorado 2018)

‘Mettavolution’ has been three years in the making, the duo going back to the heart of their music, to feel the same way they did when they first moved from Mexico City to Ireland back in 1999, searching to reconnect with the original intention and (in their own words) “the reason of why we do what we do, to share something we do with all our hearts in order to inspire, even to heal people through music”.

In 2010, Rodrigo and Gabriela were invited by President Obama to perform at a reception he hosted for the President and First Lady of Mexico. Rod and Gab have also contributed to the musical soundtracks of ‘Puss In Boots’ (2011) and ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ (with Hans Zimmer) in the same year. With career album sales well in excess of 1.5 million worldwide, Rodrigo y Gabriela have established themselves as globally successful artists who are eager to write new chapters in their already illustrious story.

‘Mettavolution’ is Rodrigo y Gabriela reborn, reaching for a higher state of consciousness, pushing themselves as writers, interpreters and players, and challenging us the listener to absorb, engage and respond to them.

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Dashboard Confessional

Dashboard Confessional

Performances

July 5 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Dashboard Confessional

Chris Carrabba had written over a dozen new songs when he uncovered "We Fight," the opening track on Crooked Shadows, Dashboard Confessional's seventh album. The song became the launching point for each note that followed, the bar under which each track was measured. It contains a dynamic force, a surging energy, that resonates throughout the album, and reflects back on everything Dashboard Confessional has achieved in the past two decades.

At first "We Fight" was simple in its intent, written about the Florida music scene where Chris grew up. It was a place where everyone was accepted and no one was judged, a island of inclusivity worth defending. Chris and his compatriots fought for the scene and fostered it, encouraging individualism and non-judgment. But as Chris was writing it, the song transformed into something bigger. "The election happened and suddenly the song felt relevant because of this climate of intolerance and aggression and hate," Chris says. "We regressed as a nation to this place where people embrace backwards thinking. So the fight that started in our scene still felt relevant. It seems like it's going to last longer than we'd like, but we have to stay here to fight."

The eight songs that follow on Crooked Shadows, Dashboard Confessional's first release since 2009's Alter The Ending, are connected, threaded together by the idea that it's essential to balance hope with anger. That we can reject the place where society has recently fallen and find ways to lift ourselves back up. The album, recorded in Chris's basement over the past two years and produced by Chris and Jonathan Clark and co- produced by Colin Brittain, feels intimate and emotionally wrought. The musicians weren't looking for perfection during the recording process. Instead, they focused on sincere snapshots of the songs, many of which, like "Heartbeat Here," were laid down only moments after being written. The idea was to get as close as possible to the feeling Chris had while writing the song when recording it.

"It reminds me of my first record," Chris says. "I think there's something people connected to with that hand-crafted nature, possibly more than the later records. This was a chance to combine the two schools of thought. It can be well done and homespun at the same time."

The title from the album comes from "Crooked Shadows," an intimate track Chris wrote with Dashboard Confessional's guitarist Armon Jay Cheek and Jonathan Howard. The inspiration came to Chris during a walk around town with his wife. They weren't getting along, possibly because Chris had been away too long on tour, and there was an unspoken feeling of upset. Suddenly the storm clouds broke and the sun filtered behind them, casting a shadow of two people holding hands on a nearby staircase.

"It was really beautiful," Chris says. "I thought to myself, 'Look how beautiful that is in its imperfections.' I realized that's why our relationships works -- because it's imperfect but beautiful and important enough that there we were holding hands anyway. It was a moment where it wasn't easy, but where we were still together not getting along. Those crooked shadows were together in spite of it all."

The closing track, "Just What To Say," is the most personally revealing song Chris has ever written -- which, he knows, is a bold statement. The acoustic number is quiet and reflective, looking inward in a way that feels deeply relatable. It's about admitting and accepting flaws, but it's also about embracing the better aspects of your own humanity. "It's my honest assessment of who I am at my best and who I am not at my best," the singer says. "It starts with me not at my best, but I think I explain myself well enough that by the end you get a better opinion of me."

Crooked Shadows feels like the opening of a new chapter in Dashboard Confessional's career, but it also revisits their past. For Chris, there were several roads the band could have walked down after the success of their first few albums. They picked one -- and he's grateful for that -- but he's always wondered what was down the other roads. Crooked Shadows is one possible answer to that question. It's also a reminder of the band's skill when it comes to penning deeply and unabashedly emotional songs, an aesthetic that influenced countless younger artists. Over the years, Dashboard Confessional has made it enviable to bare your soul in a song and to be unashamed of any feelings that may arrive. Chris and his fellow musicians have found a new perspective on the world in these songs, one that only comes with more life experience, but those exposed emotions remain.

"I'm searching for answers to questions I haven't even thought of," Chris says. "A lot of writers are trying to discover who they are and what their place is in the world -- that's part of the inquisitive nature of people who gravitate to artists expression. It's exhilarating because not having the answers is the impetus to writing songs. When I sit down to write I'm in that place where I can attempt to describe the search for the answers -- or the answers themselves. It's hard to pinpoint which one you get in a song, even when you've written that song, but it's the reason I do this."

 

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SWITCHFOOT

SWITCHFOOT

Performances

July 3 - 10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

SWITCHFOOT

After 10 albums, multiple hit singles, millions of records sold, a GRAMMY Award and 20 years of touring, in late 2017, SWITCHFOOT put the brakes on. The successful release and tour for their most recent album, WHERE THE LIGHT SHINES THROUGHhad concluded, and the San Diego-based quintet decided to take a long deserved, much needed hiatus. Their goals? To think on difficult, important questions about the band and themselves personally, including: “Why are we doing this?” The answers weren’t long in coming and are musically evident in the 14 remarkable songs that make up NATIVE TONGUE, a creative juggernaut spawned by singer Jon Foreman’s realization that the answer to “why?” was to “pursue joy.”

Joy became the paramount goal in his life and music. “Joy is an incredible motivator,” says Jon: “It’s only to be found in the moment, not in the past or future. That’s what music is to us: The ever-present joy of the ever-present now.”

During the hiatus, Jon’s positive immediacy inspired songs that he had to get out. Creative openness without a goal resulted in an electric, wide-ranging collection. “There was no ‘should’ or ‘ought.’ It was a beautiful freedom. Songs we wrote didn’t have to turn into anything, as long as we were pursuing joy. That’s where this record was born.”

The results of that pursuit include the infectious, title track; the get-your-lighters out, sway-along “ALL I NEED”; and the edgy excellence of “VOICES.” Then there’s a trippily wonderful departure in the Beatles-esque “DIG NEW STREAMS,” a tune drummer Chad Butler calls an “odyssey. It breaks so many rules: Structure, tempo, arrangement, style. I love that.”

Lyrically, NATIVE TONGUE doesn’t dwell on the world’s fraught social and political situations, rather, it’s an answer that offers an antidote to them. SWITCHFOOT observe that “we’re living in a time where it feels like hatred, fear, war, pain, anger is the native tongue of our species, that these dark words are our language. For me,” says Jon, “Holding my infant son in the middle of the night reminds me of how helpless we all start off. All of us, everywhere, were comforted, held, given a bottle; we were not hated into the world, we were loved into the world. Love is our native tongue, our common bond. And when fear and hatred are put in their proper place joy is available to us. That aligns well with joy, which is only available when fear, hatred, all those things are put in their proper place, cast aside by love.”

The time off for reflection “started a beautiful season for me, of falling in love with music and songwriting all over again,” says Tim, who co-founded SWITCHFOOT when he was just 17. “I’d sneak into the band studio and write and play. But then I noticed some scribbled lyrics left by my brother. He’d been doing the same thing.” Chad, too, admits to dropping by the studio. “I ran into Jon there. He played me a couple new songs, including ‘LET IT HAPPEN,’ which is poignant lyrically, coming from the space of not having a plan or agenda.”

Jon believes that where the songs arise from is crucial; “ulterior motives can ruin even the best of intentions.” The idea of “let it happen,” along with “pursuing joy,” gave a shape to the lyrical ideas and music and spirit that went into NATIVE TONGUE.  As SWITCHFOOT enjoyed the time off and, the avid surfers—reveled in the inspirational immensity of the Pacific Ocean—music flowed easily, merely for the joy of it. The band’s ‘time off’ turned out to be particularly creative and their prolific nature clicked in, writing nearly 100 songs for the project. The question arose: “Are we making an album?” The answer was clearly yes, and songs were culled to a manageable number to be produced by the band, along with OneRepublic bassist and multi-instrumentalist Brent Kutzle.

The tunes coalesced quickly. “THE HARDEST ART” got a beautiful boost thanks to vocals added by Kaela Sinclair, of the French electronic outfit M83. For his part, Tim got rid of equipment and bought “old basses, new to me,” to change up and challenge his sound and approach. Jon wrote lyrics that are an oft-philosophical combination and of the personal and universal. For example, “VOICES” was inspired by a homeless man who lived at the beach. “He was a nice guy,” says Jon, “who always wore aluminum foil on his head to block out the signals and voices he heard… Looking back I think he was bipolar. But I realized there’s always voices in our heads, all of us, an inner dialogue or diatribe.”

NATIVE TONGUE marks the 11th record since 1997’s debut, THE LEGEND OF CHIN, which started SWITCHFOOT on a path of critical and fan acclaim for albums including 2003’s multi-platinum breakthrough THE BEAUTIFUL LETDOWN, the GRAMMY award-winning HELLO HURRICANE (2009), and FADING WEST, which was also the name of a documentary on the band.    

For an album that “snuck up on” SWITCHFOOT, there’s a remarkable cohesion among the songs. Of course, 20 years together can do that to a band. A band that moves easily among the world of modern rock but mystifies those who try to pigeonhole them. “Since the beginning, SWITCHFOOT never fit into a musical genre,” notes Chad. “We all come from different musical upbringings, and we believe any good playlist has diversity.”

Approaching the music on NATIVE TONGUE with kid-like enthusiasm combined with the years spent honing their craft makes NATIVE TONGUE a rare gem. “We channeled Queen, ELO, the Kinks; our favorite albums from the past. Albums with guitar solos,” laughs Jon, who says, “I’d play solos over and over just because they were fun! But we didn’t want to make a throwback album, and Brent was great at marrying the sensibility of our roots with the present and beyond. We took fun risks.”

Those risks paid off in songs that the listener can interact with on multiple levels. If NATIVE TONGUE’s tunes are approachable and memorable, the album also has a heady goal. NATIVE TONGUE is, Jon says, ‘An attempt to be a loving embrace of all the human souls who have been weighed down by the times. It’s a chance for all of us to be reminded of what brings us together, not what tears us apart. My hope, for this record,” Jon concludes, “is that it would be a reminder that there are new streams available for us to travel down, and that hatred is not our language, love is our native tongue."

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Judah & the Lion

Judah & the Lion

Performances

June 26 - 10:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Judah & the Lion

For Judah & the Lion, the last two years should've been the best of their lives as the Nashville band toured behind a powerful single and a genre-upending album, sharing stages with heroes and playing to oceans of fans. But as everything was coming together for them, singer-guitarist Judah Akers' family was falling apart in a hail of alcoholism and affairs, death and divorce. From that tension comes Pep Talks, the trio's third LP and a hard left turn into deeply personal terrain. Knowing they had something new on their hands, Judah, Brian Macdonald (mandolin), and Nate Zuercher (banjo) took their time crafting a set of songs that not only shores up their one-of-one sound—a heart-pounding whirl of folk, bluegrass, rock, hip-hop and electronic production—but takes the listener on a bracingly candid, surprisingly anthemic journey from the kind of pain that tears your whole world apart to the sort of hard-won hope that can bridge the deepest of rifts.

 

"Up to this point, the band's message has mostly been: 'Live your best life! Pursue your dreams! Follow your heart!'" says Judah, "We had to start this record with broken-ness, with this cry that says, 'I don't want to hide this from anyone anymore. I'm going through something. I need help.'"

 

The first songs released from Pep Talks also open the album and they drop us right into Judah's struggle. Epic overture "Pep Talk" is a wordless swell of anxiety, woe, resolve and musical might that feeds right into "Quarter-Life Crisis." There, over a piano-pounding track that'd make Arcade Fire shout along, Judah admits to feeling alone and powerless, in need of support. With the next track "Why Did You Run?"—a Zedd-evoking trip into organic-goes-digital EDM—we start to see why he feels that way as the people he used to rely on end up in jail or absentee, leaving behind "a lost kid looking for a home he once knew." And on "i'm ok." he spells it out: his aunt has died (of an overdose), his parents are splitting up for good, and he's on the road, unable to face it all. The song goes through a transformation both aural and lyrical, from upbeat rock to moody rap as Judah first brushes off his friends' concerns, then admits, "I'm not okay, come get my pain."

 

"In the middle of all of this it was very hard for me to admit to myself I wasn't doing good," says Judah. "I'd get texts from people checking in. I'd always say, 'I'm okay,' but inside I was almost annoyed, which is an awful response, like, 'Just stop asking. I don't want to think about it.' That forced me to go, 'No, this is exactly why I do need to think about it: I need to process things.'"

 

Many of Pep Talks' songs were written on the bus after the band's high energy shows, emotions and scenes flooding Judah's head as he struggled to sleep. Empathy courses through yearning Kacey Musgraves duet "Pictures" as he writes from the point of view of his mom packing up the family home. Entropy reigns in the relentless, synth-and-banjo-driven "Over My Head" where he tries in vain to push the pain away: "Hydrate, caffeinate, medicate, repeat." Acoustic tearjerker "Queen Songs" is steeped in nostalgia, Judah recalling childhood memories of his mother back before her drinking got too bad to ignore, while its surging coda "human." (which incorporates a poem by Judah and his sister) attempts to find common ground in the present. And then there's the snarling, trap-addled, bass-dropping "Don't Mess with My Mama," inspired by an actual fistfight between Judah and his dad over the latter's affairs in the middle of all the Akers family strife.

 

"We wanted a song that matched the level of intensity I was feeling at the time, being so angry at someone you love so much," says Judah. "For the last chorus, we all took our shirts off, got our headphones on, turned it up way too loud and started screaming nonsense into the mic."

 

Judah & the Lion has been a family unto itself since forming at Nashville's Belmont University in 2011. Judah was from nearby Cookeville, an aspiring baseball player with a secret love for folk guitar. Brian came from Chicagoland and was mostly obsessed with piano. Nate, a Coloradan, was a son of symphony players but preferred metal. Their differences were their strength as they shaped their sound over a bluegrass-heavy debut, Kids These Days, and its mold-breaking follow-up Folk Hop n' Roll, both produced by Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) and made in under two weeks. For Pep Talks, they took three months, coproduced as a band alongside two friends (Brian's college roomie Drew Long and local artist Daniel James), and kept the guest list tight: drummer Darren King (ex Mutemath), a hero to the guys; Kacey, whose transcendent Golden Hour was a powerful influence; and genre-flouting tour buddy, Jon Bellion.

 

"We've never had an environment that was so relaxed—where everybody could speak so freely and be themselves and have fun," says Brian. Nate adds, "Judah's openness was inspiring, and I feel so much more ownership with this project because we all decided to believe in ourselves."

 

In fact, the swaggering, bouncy Bellion feature, "Passion Fashion" testifies to that sentiment as Judah sings "I got ambition, yeah I'm on a mission ... there's no stopping me now, Imma do me." If that lyric seems out of step with what you know of Pep Talks so far, that's because we skipped ahead a few songs. Just past the LP's halfway mark, Judah starts healing. "7000x" is a humble fight song whose moody groove nods to those other underdogs (and friends) Twenty One Pilots. The dubwise "JOYBOY" beams its powerful mantra. "Goofballerz" is pure release, a self-aware ditty that captures the humor and ease of the band's gigs, while "Dance with Ya" shows our host at home with his wife, seeking tranquility. The philosophy that Judah slowly forged by the fire of his trials is laid out on the battered but bliss-beaming "Alright (Frick It!)": "No matter how bad all this gets, I can't stop this voice in my head / This voice in my head says, We’re gonna be alright!"

 

"That chorus really started as a motto between me and my siblings—a message of camaraderie and triumph to carry us through," says Judah. The extended ring finger in the album art signifies this too—it's an old Akers family sign meaning, roughly, "frick it." "With these songs, we want to establish a culture of no matter what you're going through—depression, family stuff, hard times, whatever—there's always reason to move forward. At the end of the day, we're in this together."

 

It's a thing you can actually feel as you work your way through Pep Talks. The group got closer and better as Nate and Brian encouraged Judah to share his truth, and the intentionality of his recovery was in turn reflected by the music. Similarly, once they got to the other side, the Akers too were in a better place: stronger, realer and more honest about who they are, where they've been and what's next. Because the point of sharing all this hard truth isn't to shame anyone; It's the opposite really, the idea that being broken and admitting it is unifying—fallibility is our most common trait and if we sing about it from a stage, others will sing along. To that end, if "Quarter- Life Crisis" was a cry for help, album closer "Family / Best Is Yet to Come" is an answer. Judah's mom speaks first, leaving him a teary voicemail after her first listen through Pep Talks. And soon we hear his reply before the song builds to its staggering crescendo: "You're not alone in this."

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Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Performances

June 30 - 10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen are practically of “no fixed abode” due to near constant touring and recording since 2014, when their platinum-certified debut album The Balcony surfaced. Preparing fans for a raft of new material to follow their 2016 gold-certified album The Ride, the band is led out of the studio and onto even bigger stages by venerated frontman and songwriter, Van McCann, along with Johnny Bond (lead guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass), and Bob Hall (drums).

Their eagerly anticipated 2019 live announcements come following a triumphant summer that saw them command headline slots across several major UK festivals, and break new ground internationally appearing at top festivals in Italy, Spain, France, and the United States. The past eighteen months has seen the band claim their place as a bona fide arena band at home, adding an already sold-out UK arena tour in February 2019 to an impressive list of previously conquered stages. They are also finding time to revisit Australia for the third time in two years when they kick off a national tour in Tasmania at the end of 2018.

Audiences from Manchester to Melbourne, London to Los Angeles, Newcastle to New York, and everywhere in between have been engulfed by the swell of eager sentiment propelled from a vociferous fanbase. Catfish and the Bottlemen possess a magnetic and dynamic focal point in McCann, renowned for posing everyday, easily-identifiable observations through his lyrics.

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Daya

Daya

Performances

July 5 - 10:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Daya

Since making her debut with 2016’s double-platinum “Hide Away,” 19-year-old singer/songwriter Daya won her first ever Grammy Award for her smash collaboration with The Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down,” released a gold-certified album, and headlined a national tour. Just months after debuting at #5 on Billboard’s 21 Under 21 list in 2016, the Pittsburgh-born artist emerged as the youngest honoree on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 music list in 2017. Newly signed to Interscope Records, Daya is set to deliver a sophomore album that finally shows the full depth of her talent and scope of her artistry.

“I’ve been writing songs since I was 12, but working on this record helped me to find my voice in a whole new way,” says Daya, who co-wrote every track on the album. “Being in the studio every day and experimenting with new sounds has opened up all these parts of me that I didn’t even know were there.”

Made with producers like Joel Little (Lorde, Tove Lo), Stargate (Sam Smith, Rihanna), and Oren Yoel (Miley Cyrus, Tori Kelly), the follow-up to 2016’s Sit Still, Look Pretty takes on a more expansive sound while further proving Daya’s gift for unforgettable melody. Along with bringing elements of urban and electronic music to her brightly arranged breed of pop, Daya embraces a soulful sensibility closely shaped by her lifelong love of R&B and her experience in studying jazz piano.

“Before this album I felt like I had to fit my songs into some kind of a mold, but now I’m less worried about keeping everything in a particular structure,” says Daya, a classically trained pianist who began playing at the age of three, and later picked up guitar, ukulele, saxophone, and flute. “The process feels much more free-flowing now, where I’m just trying out different ideas and seeing where they lead me.”

That richer sonic palette serves as the backdrop for Daya’s more emotionally complex lyrics, an element echoed by her stunning vocal range. While she notes that her songwriting has long been a conduit for self-discovery, she’s recently felt more compelled to explore emotions that tend to go ignored in pop. “Writing these new songs, I wanted to continue with the theme of empowerment from my older music, but also get even more real about things I’ve gone through and what’s in my heart,” Daya says. 

On lead single “New”—a fantastically intense powerhouse offering up both intimate confession and massive beats—Daya sheds light on the struggle of owning up to your vulnerability. “I’m usually very closed off in relationships; I’ll make all these excuses about why a situation isn’t good for me or why I don’t need this person in my life,” she admits. “‘New’ is about accepting that you have real feelings for someone and learning how to let them in, which is definitely a new perspective for me.” Hailed by Billboard as a “dynamic, bass-thumping pop anthem that tugs at the heartstrings,” the track is accompanied by a gorgeously cinematic video conceptualized by Daya (who also played a key role in creating its chaotic choreography).

Throughout her second album, Daya also touches on fragile emotions like feeling unable to move on from past relationships (on catchy “Outta My Head”) and trying to explain her quick fuse (on the sharp story-telling “Temper”). On “Safe”—penned the day after the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas—Daya turns in a gently devastating vocal performance perfectly suited to her thoughtful meditation on innocence and disillusionment.

“I was thinking how sad and crazy it is that these things happen so often now, they don’t even affect us the same way anymore,” Daya says of “Safe.” “I wanted look at why we’re so numb and why we haven’t done more to stop this sort of violence, but I also wanted to address that on a very personal level. It ended up becoming a song that looks back on the past, and asks why we can’t all feel as safe as when we were younger. 

Born Grace Tandon, she devoted much of her childhood to honing her own musical talents.  Beginning with the piano (age 3), this Pittsburgh native picked up multiple instruments and later found her voice to accompany the songs she began writing. Her writing ability quickly garnered the attention of professionals in the music industry who invited to her to Los Angeles for her first co-writing sessions at age 16.  It was during this first trip West that “Hide Away” was born. Shortly thereafter, she became an independent artist, “Hide Away” was released and she adopted the moniker of Daya -- the Hindi translation of her first name, and a nod to her Indian heritage. The track made an instant splash and transformed her into a full-time singer-songwriter who took to the road promoting her songs while remotely finishing high school.

Premiering in April 2015, “Hide Away” shot to the top 10 on Billboard’s Pop Digital Songs chart and reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100, with Daya landing on Rolling Stone’s list of “10 New Artists You Need to Know” the following January. With Sit Still, Look Pretty arriving in October 2016, Daya soon found her full-length debut climbing to the top 40 on the US Billboard 200 and achieved colossal success with “Don’t Let Me Down” (winner of the Best Dance Recording prize at the 2017 Grammys). 

Each track on Daya’s new album comes with a raw emotional charge partly inspired by her love of artists like Amy Winehouse. “I’ve always been drawn to very strong female voices—singers who have something say and keep their music honest,” she says. In the making of her new album, Daya spent much of her time reflecting on the growth she’s undergone in recent years. “When I started out, people seemed to treat me as a young female artist who didn’t really have a voice of her own,” she says. “It took me a while to speak up for myself, but now I’m at the point where I’m finally taking the creative reins.” And with empowerment more vital to her message than ever, Daya hopes that newfound confidence might help to inspire others. “Self-love, self-respect—I don’t know if you can really be taught those things, but it’s important to me to talk about my experience of being a young woman in a male-dominated world,” she says. “My hope is that people see the changes that I’ve made for myself, and maybe feel more motivated about going out and getting whatever it is that they want for their own lives.”

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Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan

Performances

July 2 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians, with a rich musical legacy, the 10-time GRAMMY® Award-winner is looking forward to a celebration of a lifetime. A songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, Chaka Khan has influenced generations of recording artists. She has the rare ability to sing in seven music genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music and classical. Affectionately known around the world as Chaka, she is revered by millions of fans as well as her peers for hertimeless, classic and unmatched signature music style and ability. The late, great Miles Davis often said, “She [Chaka] sings like my horn.” And the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin says, “[Chaka] is a one- of- a -kind, premier vocalist.”

 

Throughout her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs, seven RIAA certified gold singles and ten RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. Chaka’s recorded music has produced over 2,000 catalogue song placements. “I am honored and blessed to celebrate 40 years in music and entertainment” says Chaka. “I am so humbled by the love, support and gracious spirit of my fans worldwide and the continuous support my peers have shown over the years. Throughout my 40-year career, I have been through the fire a few times over and I’m still here as a living testament to God’s love and grace. Next year, I will be celebrating 40 years in the business and 60 years on earth, which equals one hundred percent Chaka.”

 

Early on, she caught the attention of music icon Stevie Wonder, who penned her first smash hit with Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good.” The single from the group’s 1974 platinum-selling album, Rags to Rufus, earned Chaka her first GRAMMY® Award. With Chaka as the group’s dynamic center, Rufus became one of the most popular acts around selling out shows throughout the country and dominating the airwaves with hit after hit with songs such as “You Got the Love,” which Chaka co-wrote, “Once You Get Started,” “Sweet Thing,” “Everlasting Love,” “Do You Love What You Feel?” and “Ain’t Nobody,” Chaka’s second GRAMMY Award-winning song with Rufus. Rufus and Chaka Khan racked up five RIAA certified gold and platinum albums during their time together.

 

It was inevitable that a singer with Chaka’s star power would eventually venture out on her own. In 1978, Chaka blazed onto the music scene as a solo artist with the release of the smash hit “I’m Every Woman” written by Ashford & Simpson. Paired with the late producer extraordinaire, Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler), her catalog grew even more impressive with hits such as “Clouds,” “Papillon,” and “What ‘Cha Gonna Do For Me?” It was during this time that Chaka began pursuing her love of jazz. She and Arif brilliantly re-worked the classic song “Night in Tunisia” with the song’s originator, Dizzy Gillespie, on trumpet. Chaka also recorded an album of jazz standards titled Echoes of an Era, which featured such luminaries as Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Her crowning achievement in jazz was the GRAMMY® Award-winning tune, “Be Bop Medley.” The song’s album, titled Chaka Khan, also won a GRAMMY® for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

 

However, the song that made Chaka Khan a household name and propelled her to superstardom the world over was “I Feel For You,” written and first performed by Prince. This chart-topping, GRAMMY® Award-winning song also made music history. Released in 1984, it was the first R&B song to feature a rap, which was performed by Grandmaster Melle Mel. Chaka also topped the charts with “This Is My Night” and the instant classic, “Through The Fire.” Now in top demand, Chaka lent her voice and producer skills to two of the biggest hits of 1986, Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” and Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love.” Both were GRAMMY®-winning songs.

 

In 1995, she made her musical theater debut on London’s West End, where she starred in Mama I Want to Sing. In 2002 she traveled to Las Vegas, where she starred in Signed, Sealed Delivered, a critically-acclaimed musical based on the music of Stevie Wonder. Her Broadway debut came in 2008, when she took over the role of Sofia in Oprah Winfrey’s musical The Color Purple.

 

Chaka’s emotive vocals can also be heard on a number of soundtracks, including Clockers, Set It Off, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Miami Vice, White Knights, Moscow on the Hudson, Disappearing Acts, Waiting to Exhale and Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, as well as Tyler Perry hits Madea’s Family Reunion and Meet The Browns.

 

During her career, she has collaborated with a long list of artists in diverse genres. Collaborators have included Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie,Stevie Wonder, Prince, Steve Winwood, Mary J. Blige, George Benson, Larry Graham, the London Symphony Orchestra and countless others. Chaka has received a steady stream of accolades for both her artistry and philanthropy. In June, 2012, she was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, joining previously inducted music greats such as Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, Bonnie Raitt, George Harrison, B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Donna Summer and Kathleen Battle. In 2011, she was honored for her legendary career with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During the same year, Chaka was honored with the United Negro College Fund’s An Evening of Stars Tribute. The program, which was televised on cable networks and broadcast stations in more than 40 cities nationwide, featured tribute performances by Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Ledisi, El Debarge, Faith Evans, Angie Stone, Ginuwine, Chaka’s brother, Mark Stevens, and her daughter, Indira Khan, among others. In recent years, Chaka also received the Soul Train Legend Award (2009), the BET Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), the GRAMMY® Honors Award from the NARAS Chicago Chapter (2006) and the World Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award (2003). In 2004, Chaka received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. Chaka’s autobiography, Through the Fire, was published by Rodale Books in 2003 and is currently being adapted into a screenplay.

 

Despite her busy schedule, Chaka has always made time to support and uplift her community. She has a deep commitment to women and children at risk, which led her to establish the Chaka Khan Foundation in 1999. Initially, the foundation focused primarily on public awareness campaigns around the diagnosis, intervention, and available family resources and the search for a cure for autism. Her efforts were particularly aimed at communities of color and other underserved communities, where awareness about this disorder is low. Her work in this area was inspired by her nephew who has autism and who Chaka describes as “gifted and beautiful and so full of life.” She later expanded the mission of the foundation to focus more broadly on women and children at risk. In July 2012, Chaka received the McDonald Corporation’s 365Black Award, honoring her for her leadership of the Chaka Khan Foundation.

 

 

Chaka also is an entrepreneur. In 2004, her line of gourmet chocolates, Chakalates, was sold in 20 Neiman Marcus stores around the country. Plans are underway to re-launch her signature brand of chocolates nationally and internationally. She currently is introducing Khana Sutra, a fragrance line for men, women and the home. The line also includes candles, and room and linen sprays. With a new svelte look, a new album, and a great enthusiasm for her new and expanding activities in music, philanthropy and entrepreneurial ventures, the 10-time GRAMMY® Award-winner is looking forward to a celebration of a lifetime.

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Styx

Styx

Performances

June 28 - 10:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Styx

The six men comprising Styx have committed to rocking the Paradise together with audiences far and wide by entering their second decade of averaging over 100 shows a year, and each one of them is committed to making the next show better than the last. Styx draws from over four decades of barnburning chart hits, joyous singalongs, and hard-driving deep cuts. Like a symphony that builds to a satisfying crescendo, a Styx set covers a wide range of stylistic cornerstones. From the progressively sweeping splendor that is “The Grand Illusion” to the hunker-down fortitude of all that is the “Blue Collar Man,” from the majestic spiritual love for a special “Lady” to the seething indictment of preening, primping pageantry for pageantry’s sake of “Miss America,” from an individual yearning for true connection as a “Man in the Wilderness” to a soul-deep quest to achieve what’s at the heart of one’s personal vision in “Crystal Ball,” from the regal reach-for-the-stars bravado of “Come Sail Away” to the grainy all-in gallop of that rugged “Renegade” who had it made, the band draws on an unlimited cache of ways to immerse one’s mind and body in their signature sound.

Styx hit its stride with guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw’s first LP with the band, 1976’s Crystal Ball, and then they become the first group to score four triple-platinum albums in a row: The Grand Illusion (1977), Pieces of Eight (1978), Cornerstone (1979), and Paradise Theater (1981). Over the ensuing decade, Styx weathered the shifting winds of the public’s musical taste, reconvening for a highly successful 1996 Return to Paradise tour that was expertly documented on both CD and DVD in 1997. With a little help from their many friends in Cleveland’s Contemporary Youth Orchestra, One With Everything (2006) became a hybrid orchestral rock blend for the ages. And on The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Live (2011), the band performed at its peak when tackling every track from a pair of their finest triple-platinum albums back to back. Not only that, but the band re-recorded two discs’ worth of its classic material with much finesse and musculature, aptly known as Regeneration Volume I & II (2011 & 2012). Observes Tommy, “Now you have something you can take home with you and go, ‘Yeah, that’s the band I saw last night.’ ”

After more than a decade together on the road, this incarnation of Styx is looking forward to performing as many shows as it can as long as it can. “It all comes back to the chemistry,” says bassist/vocalist Ricky Phillips. “The legacy of this band will be that it brought joy to millions of people,” notes drummer Todd Sucherman. Observes keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan, “We’ve always tried to explain why this is this happening. It’s obviously a multitude of factors, but the main one is that our show is really good! And if it’s really good, they’re going to come to see it again.” Styx hopes it’s a wave that never crests. “Every night, we go on that magic carpet ride together,” observes original bassist Chuck Panozzo, who joins the band on tour as often as he can. “Music is this amazing force that comes from a higher place. I'm humbled for this band to have the great success that it has,” says co-founding guitarist/vocalist James “JY” Young. “We just want to keep on doing this,” asserts Tommy. “We want to let life take its course and let this music continue to be the soundtrack to it. And this band will continue to evolve as long as we live and play this music.” The jig is up, the news is out: The Esprit de Styx is alive and well, and now it’s time to see for yourself. Welcome to the Grand Evolution.

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Loverboy

Loverboy

Performances

July 3 - 10:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Loverboy

For more than 30 years, LOVERBOY has been “Working for the Weekend” (and on weekends), delighting audiences around the world since forming in 1978, when vocalist Mike Reno was introduced to guitar hot shot Paul Dean - both veterans of several bands on the Canadian scene - at Calgary’s Refinery Night Club.

After being rejected by all the major U.S. record companies, LOVERBOY signed with Columbia Records Canada, entering the studio with producer Bruce Fairbairn and engineer Bob Rock to record their self-titled debut album, which went on to sell more than 700k records in Canada. Columbia U.S. released the album in Nov. 1980, which went on to sell more than 2 million albums in the States and four million worldwide.

Soon the band found themselves playing on mega tours with Journey, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Kansas and Def Leppard, to name a few. They quickly became MTV darlings, being one of the first bands ever featured on the music channel.

With their trademark red leather pants, bandannas, big rock sound and high-energy live shows, LOVERBOY has sold more than 10 million albums, earning four multi-platinum plaques, including the four-million-selling Get Lucky, and a trio of double-platinum releases in their self-titled 1980 debut, 1983’s Keep It Up and 1985’s Lovin’ Every Minute of It. Their string of hits includes, in addition to the anthem “Working for the Weekend,” such arena rock staples as “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” “This Could Be the Night,” “Hot Girls in Love,” “The Kid is Hot Tonite,” “Notorious”, “Turn Me Loose,” “When It’s Over,” “Heaven In Your Eyes” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts.”

LOVERBOY went on to win a still-record six Juno awards in 1982, and until a three-year sabbatical in 1989, were one of the Top 5 grossing touring acts in the world, performing in over 100 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Their success made them the first Canadian group ever to earn Columbia Records’ exclusive Crystal Globe Award, celebrating the sale of over five million albums outside their native country. Since 1992, the band has maintained a steady road presence, with Sony/Legacy releasing a greatest hits compilation, LOVERBOY – CLASSICS, in 1993, which went gold five years later. In 2001, the band released a live greatest hits CD, Live, Loud & Loose, which captured the group doing what they do best, entertaining their legion of rabid fans.

In 2005, LOVERBOY celebrated 25 years together by performing in selected cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. During the summer tour, the band introduced a couple of brand-new songs, which led to Just Getting Started, their first new studio album in a decade. In March 2009, the group was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame at the Juno Awards show at GM Place in Vancouver, BC, where they joined the likes of Bryan Adams, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and David Foster.

Along with Reno and Dean, LOVERBOY still includes original members Doug Johnson on keyboards and Matt Frenette on drums, with Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve (a former member of Dean and Frenette’s pre-LOVERBOY band Streetheart), replacing the late Scott Smith on bass, and continues a healthy touring schedule around the world.

“Being in a band is kind of like being on a team,” says Reno. “Everywhere we go, we try to make it look and sound good.”

Unfinished Business is the latest Loverboy album released in 2014. The title came from Dean’s idea to involve the band’s fans in choosing the name of the album in a popular vote on Facebook, where the choices were first winnowed down to 10 and then opened up to Loverboy’s followers, who chose Unfinished Business, giving it the most “likes.”

“We put the song titles up and explained that this album was 40 years in the making,” says Dean. “It was a fun thing. Some of the titles they came up with were hilarious, but maybe a little inappropriate for Wal-Mart.”

More recently, Loverboy has released a trio of singles. These include 2016’s “Hurtin,” and “Some Like It Hot,” as well as 2017’s “Stop the Rain.” In February of 2017, Dean caught national attention when he announced an opportunity for fans to create the official “Stop the Rain” music video and win one of his own signed guitars. After many submissions, the band chose David Napolillo’s video, and Paul revealed his affinity for science fiction by thanking him for “Abducting Loverboy into the ‘Alien Hall of Fame.’”

Their pop culture credibility was cemented by a recent 30 Rock episode in which Scott Adsit’s amateur musician Pete Hornberger amusingly revealed he was actually Loverboy’s original bassist, showing him inserted into vintage ‘80s footage of the band wailing away on “Working for the Weekend.” The song is also known as the soundtrack for a memorable Saturday Night Live skit in which Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze played Chippendales dancers who performed to it at an audition.

Loverboy caught corporate America’s eye, first with Radio Shack’s Super Bowl commercial in which “The ‘80s called… they want their store back,” and some of that decade’s most popular groups take over the retailer, set over a soundtrack of Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend.” CNN praised the spot, calling it “pure commercial genius… a spot-on piece of creativity,” crediting it with “saving a lame” game.  

Then there’s the widely-seen Taco Bell spot promoting their breakfast waffle taco, which features a prominent mention of a consumer, “Taking down his Loverboy poster” as part of an unabashed pitch to those who grew up in the ‘80s and are now smack in the middle of the desired advertising demo.

Most recently, Loverboy appeared in Enterprise’s National Car Rental commercial with Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld character, David Puddy) who jokingly admits his hardcore affinity for the band by stating that he was “President of the Loverboy-Lover’s Club – California Chapter.” The commercial was seen by millions when it kicked off Sunday Night Football for the NFL’s 2016-17 season.

But it is LOVERBOY’s reputation as a live act which has always been its calling card, as the group continues to entertain fans of all ages, amazing even Mike Reno.

"Something's in the water," he says. “I go to these concerts expecting there to be 3,000 people, and there's seven or eight thousand people! And most of them are young! Even kiddies, like 10 years old. They even know all the words. It's freaking me out.”

“I look at our concerts as a 100-minute experience,” says Dean, who laughingly still claims to be able to fit into the same pair of red leather pants he wore on the “Lucky Ones” video in 1982. “I’m a normal guy up until 10 minutes before we hit the stage. Then the heart rate goes up and I consciously step into the bubble. And I don’t come out of it until 30 minutes after that last cymbal smash and we walk off-stage. It’s a great stress release, even better than riding a Harley!”

In 2016, Loverboy and Rick Springfield toured together which culminated in a sold out show at L.A.’s iconic Greek Theater. Additionally, Loverboy’s 2017 tour includes headlining events such as the United States’ M3 Rock Festival, Canada’s CannaFest, and the UK’s Rockingham Festival.

“When we do live shows these days, I notice the songs have come to a better place,” says Reno. “We’re playing them a little differently, but the catalyst is still the same. We live these songs—they’re part of our DNA, and they’re part of a lot of people’s DNA. They send us a lot of love and we end up loving them back, so it’s just a big love-fest, really.”

Perhaps the band’s most famous song is “Working for the Weekend,” which has fueled a generation’s dreams of toiling every day for the chance to celebrate come Friday night. Dean realizes it has taken on a whole new meaning these days.

“You’re lucky if you can work for the weekend now,” he says. “We’re all fortunate to be doing that. My personal dream has always been to play guitar and entertain people,” he enthuses. “There’s no feeling like looking out in the audience and seeing them grinning ear to ear, everyone on the same wavelength. And once we start with the mega-hits, the place goes crazy. That’s why we do what we do and will continue.”

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Frenship

Frenship

Performances

July 2 - 8:30 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Frenship

L.A. duo FRENSHIP’s (James Sunderland and Brett Hite) new single “Love Somebody” follows up the duo’s 2016 mega-hit “Capsize” and last fall’s acclaimed EP Truce with seemingly effortless flair. As grateful as they were for breaking though, the band was careful to leave their monster streaming, radio, and touring success at the door when they ventured out to Ojai, CA to begin writing sessions for what would eventually become their evocative new single.

“We had just come off the road this spring and the impact of ‘Capsize’ was still resonating, but we weren’t sitting around saying ‘Oh, we have to top what came before,’” says James. “We just want to keep putting out music and hope that our songs connect so that we can keep building.”

FRENSHIP’s foundation is alive and well thanks to the impressionistic “Love Somebody.” The duo’s flinty chemistry depends on their ability to converge and diverge at any point in a song’s construction to get to its core. They resist cookie-cutter solutions for a kind of against-the-grain truth-meter that breaks form and embraces their own creative distinctions. For James, the song began as an ode to an ex-lover he wanted to send off with a heartfelt song. “Kind of saying it didn’t work out but I hope you find happiness with somebody else. It’s like the goodbye song I never wrote.” For Brett, it conjured up an outlook on life and love he wishes for people even at their very youngest. “My nephew was 1 year old at the time we wrote it, and I remember thinking the song could be ascribed for what I hope for him – to feel joy, to feel pain, to experience all that life has to offer and at the end of the day to love and be loved by somebody.” The end result is a mood-altering gem with a strong chorus that can’t help but stick in your head. “I like the fact that it invites different interpretations,” says Brett. “The best songs are always perceived one way by one person and a completely different way by somebody else. When we write, the binding thing in the end is that it means something to us both.”

The same kind of vetting took place on their massive hit “Capsize.” The viral impact of the infectious song (featuring Emily Warren) marked it as a rare difference-maker in the world of hybrid pop. “Capsize” totaled nearly 410 million streams, scoring at radio and notching multiple gold and platinum certifications around the world. Frenship earned the #2 Breakout Artist nod for 2016 on Spotify and a Shazam 2017 Emerging Artist tout, with the group becoming an in-demand breakthrough act at concerts and festivals around the globe, including Lollapalooza Chicago, Outside Lands Music Festival, Life Is Beautiful and others. They drew raves opening for British indie band Bastille on their European and U.S. treks, also establishing themselves as a deserving headlining act.

“We enjoy playing live and kind of keep focused on show concerns when we’re out there, leaving the songwriting for when we’re off the road,” says James. “That’s why we went to Ojai when we were all done. It was hiking in the morning and working on new songs the rest of the day.” Joined by ------ and previous collaborator Nick Ruth, FRENSHIP worked on about 30 ‘ideas,’ with “Love Somebody” revealing itself as the breakaway track from the sessions. The group completed a video with up-and-coming director Austin Kearns, which Brett says they shot in “actual film, not video,” adding it “was fun to do” and also felt more authentic. “It goes back to the songs,” he says. “We’re always conscious of trying to make our music a little more timeless. That vibe was definitely there in the writing sessions. We never want to be yesterday’s news.”

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Chris Janson

Chris Janson

Performances

July 4 - 9:45 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Chris Janson

Chris Janson is Platinum-selling high octane entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, award-winning singer/songwriter, and the youngest living member of the Grand Ole Opry. His sophomore album, Everybody, produced his second No. 1 hit single, “Fix A Drink,” the chart-topping follow up to his No. 1 debut smash and summer anthem, “Buy Me A Boat.” His current single, “Drunk Girl,” is climbing the country airplay charts while being hailed by the Tennessean as “a shoo-in for a Song of the Year nomination.” Janson closed out the 53rd ACM Awards with what Rolling Stone called a “must-see performance,” and he floored his audience at Stagecoach. Janson is currently out on tour headlining his own dates, which included a sold-out show at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

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Elle King

Elle King

Performances

June 27 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Elle King

Singer and songwriter Elle King blends pop, blues, and rock’n’roll into a sound that’s all her own.  She loves banjos and hobos. After hearing the all-girl pop-punk band the Donnas when she was nine years old in Ohio, she decided she wanted to be a singer and musician.  By 13, she was playing guitar and later learned to play banjo.  King began street busking and gigging around New York at age 16, moved to Philadelphia to attend the University of Arts, and majored in painting and film.  After college, she spent time in Copenhagen and Los Angeles before settling in Brooklyn.  After signing to FCA Records, she released The Elle King EP which featured the Mob Wives Chicago theme song “Playing For Keeps.” and she made her network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. In 2015, King released her debut album Love Stuff, featuring the hit single “Ex’s & Oh’s” which reached the top of Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart. She made chart history becoming the second female artist in 18 years to reach #1 at Alternative Radio, and “Ex’s & Oh’s” earned Elle 2 Grammy nominations.  The track made the Top 10 in four different radio formats, and her current feature with Dierks Bentley on “Different For Girls” is now top 10 at Country radio, the 5th radio format Top 10 for this unique and distinctive new artist.

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Gryffin

Gryffin

Performances

June 27 - 10:15 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Gryffin

Last year, L.A.-based producer Gryffin delivered two heavy-hitting singles that showcased his deeply melodic take on dance music. With both tracks built on a graceful fusion of indie and electronic elements, “Heading Home (ft. Josef Salvat)” shot to #1 on Spotify’s US and Global Viral charts, while “Whole Heart” (a collaboration with Bipolar Sunshine) hit #2 on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. Also known for turning out several of the biggest remixes in recent years—including his masterly reworkings of Tove Lo’s “Talking Body,” CHVRCHES’ “Clearest Blue,” and Years & Years’ “Desire”—Gryffin is now offering up his latest original track and bringing his boundary-shattering artistry to bold new heights.

Emotionally charged and irresistibly high-energy, the aptly named “Feel Good” is powered by hypnotic melody, massive beats, and a magnetic vocal performance from singer/songwriter Daya. Fresh off her Grammy Award win for “Don’t Let Me Down” (the multi-platinum smash that earned 2017’s Best Dance Recording prize), Daya lends her soulful vocals to Gryffin’s immaculate arrangement of heavy synth and delicate guitar work. In crafting that arrangement, Gryffin drew equally from his edgy ingenuity as a producer and his carefully honed musicality as a longtime guitarist and classically trained pianist.

“The lyrics that Daya came up with had so much intensity to them—writing about that significant other in your life who puts you in a positive, happy state of mind, even when bad things may be happening in your life or in the world. I wanted the production to reflect that intensity, but at the same time create a really positive vibe,” explains Dan Griffith, who’s made music under the name Gryffin since 2014. “My goal with the song was to find that balance, and I ended up hitting it by adding a lot of synth sounds I’d never used before, and by bringing in different guitar textures and then flipping them in a new way. That’s what the Gryffin project is about overall: making electronic music but using real guitar and real piano so that there’s this organic feeling to every song.”

Originally from the San Francisco area, Gryffin began his musical journey by taking up piano at age seven. In high school he added guitar to his repertoire in addition to writing his own music for the first time. While studying electrical engineering at University of Southern California, Gryffin broadened his sonic palette by diving into the world of electronic music and teaching himself production with a downloaded copy of Ableton. “I got started during a really exciting time for electronic music—I remember thinking I’d never heard sounds like that before,” recalls Griffith, who lists the early work of artists like Skrillex and Avicii among his first influences. “It all felt so fresh and new to me, and I wanted to see if I could make music like that too."

Toward the end of his studies at USC, Griffith started posting his original productions online and soon gained attention for his inventive sensibilities. One of his earliest releases, a 2014 remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Burn” was hailed by EDM Tunes for “evok[ing] a cosmic, almost transcendental ambience with an electric guitar backdrop and airy vocal splices,” and quickly expanded his online following. “That remix was the first time I’d used guitar in a dance music production,” notes Gryffin. “All of a sudden I had all these producers messaging me to ask how I did it, which was the moment when I realized that maybe this was a direction I should keep pursuing.”

As he sharpened his production skills and refined his vision, Gryffin pushed forward with releasing highly acclaimed remixes (including his 2014 take on Maroon 5’s “Animals,” which would eventually catch the attention of Interscope Records and lead to his signing). In late 2015 he made his stage debut at the SnowGlobe Music Festival, unveiling a dynamic performance that deftly introduced live instrumentation into the dance music format. With “Heading Home” arriving in early 2016—and accumulating a million plays within just a week of its release via Darkroom/Interscope Records—Gryffin next embarked on his sold-out Heading Home Tour and later played major summer festivals like Electric Forest, Camp Bisco, and Firefly. Released in August, “Whole Heart” racked up more than 35 million streams on Spotify and served as the launching point for Gryffin’s biggest tour to date: the Whole Heart Live Tour, a fall 2016 trek that spanned North America.

With a highly-buzzed about set at Coachella both weekends this year and upcoming performances at A-list festivals like Lollapalooza and Governor’s Ball 2017, Gryffin thrives on creating an unforgettable stage show that blurs the line between electronic music and raw live performance. Further proving the vitality of his music, several artists have taken to performing Gryffin’s versions of their own songs when playing live. And with his name referencing the mythical half-lion/half-eagle creature and its power to soar, Gryffin aims to continue instilling a potent, uplifting energy into each of his tracks. “Part of the reason I like working with piano and guitar so much is that it adds a human element that can’t be replicated—you might not even realize it as a listener, but you feel it on some deeper level,” he says. “It builds this connection that’s really powerful, and to me that ability to make music that moves people and picks them up is the most rewarding thing in the world.”

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Dispatch

Dispatch

Performances

July 7 - 9:30 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

Dispatch

Dispatch, the upbeat rock band that’s heralded as one of the biggest independent bands in history, is in the middle of one of their most prolific periods to date. Following the release of last year’s massively successful album America, Location 12, the trio went back out to Northern California: Stinson Beach’s Panoramic House, to wrap up some recording that they didn’t finish the first time around. This new collection of music is Location 13 and features the single “Letter to Lady J” - it finds the band pushing boundaries and breaking new ground, welcoming old fans and new audiences alike by building new classics and reaching new heights. It's impossible to deny that few bands – at any level – have been able to achieve what Dispatch has: three soldout shows at Madison Square Garden to raise funds for Zimbabwean humanitarian efforts, world tours and a concert in Boston that drew 110,000 fans. They’ve been known, since the band's inception, as being more than just about the music – they've constantly directed their energy to causes and campaigns along the way. Dispatch is going ahead into this new era with both the passion and vigor of a band in their infancy and the knowledge and power of one together for 20 years and counting. In a world where hope is in short supply, fear runs rampant and alternative facts blare louder than the truth, we need, more than ever, music that is honest. Dispatch is rising to the occasion by creating music that is vital to their fans and beyond.

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Skillet

Skillet

Performances

July 6 - 10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

Skillet

Skillet lets their music speak the loudest. That’s how the quartet has cemented its place as one of the 21st century’s most successful rock bands. Selling over 11 million units worldwide, the Wisconsin quartet—John Cooper [lead vocals/bass], Korey Cooper [guitar/keys], Jen Ledger [drums/vocals], and Seth Morrison [lead guitars]—have received two GRAMMY® Award nominations and won a Billboard Music Award for the platinum-certified Awake. Their double-platinum single “Monster” is “the eighth most- streamed rock song of 2015” with a total of 57 million plays (and counting) on Spotify and would earn the distinction of becoming “the best-selling digital single in the history of Christian Music.” 2013’s Rise bowed at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release and received resounding and eclectic acclaim from the likes of USA Today, New York Times, Revolver Loudwire, and more.

The group’s ninth full-length album, UNLEASHED [Atlantic Records/Word], sees them turn everything up louder, amplifying all aspects of their signature hypnotic sound. Channeling an intense muse, John immediately commenced writing just months after Rise hit shelves.

“By the time Rise came out, I could take a little bit of a breather and experience it,” he explains. “I remember thinking, ‘this feels important to me, but I need something a little more urgent.’ I didn’t want whatever we did next to be so emotionally heavy. I wanted to make a record that made people feel the music – an album that would connect people to the music as well as to each other. An album, like some of my favorites, that’d be like a party to listen to – where people could sing along - together.

That idea solidified as Skillet toured Europe in 2013 with Nickelback. Night after night, John watched the non-English speaking audience sing every word back to him. It left an indelible mark on his writing process.

“It struck me, how music is much bigger than a language,” he affirms. “There’s a universal feeling. We wanted to get that emotion across more through the music than with the words. I aimed to write songs people could easily relate to anywhere and everywhere.”

Getting off the road in 2015, John headed to Los Angeles to begin recording what would become UNLEASHED with producer Brian Howes—who helmed the 2006 platinum- selling Comatose and co-wrote the platinum No. 1 smash “Awake and Alive.” Cutting half of the album with Brian, John tapped the talents of multiple producers for the first

 

time in Skillet history, working with both GRAMMY Award winning producer Seth Mosley in Nashville and Kevin Churko [Five Finger Death Punch, Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed] in Las Vegas.

Comatose was a very special album for a lot of reasons,” he continues. “We wanted to record with Brian again and when the chance came up we were both ready to go. I’m also a huge fan of Kevin Churko, and it was amazing to have the opportunity to write with him. When I met Seth we just clicked. The entire process with each of them was such a great experience.”

The first single “Feel Invincible” explodes to life on a swinging guitar chug transitioning to sweeping electronics and a theatrical vocal call-and-response. Everything culminates on a towering chant that’s impossible to shake just as a melodic guitar lead takes off.

“It’s a fight song,” says John. “Sometimes, everything in the world makes you want to give up. This is a reminder not to. I think, ‘This is my life. This is my family. I can’t go around being scared all the time.’ I have the strength to face what’s happening.”

On the other end of the spectrum, “Stars” shines with a passionate and poetic refrain, “Here I am, lifting up my heart to the one who holds the stars.” Amidst the shimmering electronics and orchestration, it carries a message that John hopes will be easy to understand.

“It goes along with wanting to speak to as many people as possible,” he continues. “On a deeper spiritual level, for those who may not believe, it’s saying that there’s something bigger out there—whether it’s your community, family, or friends. Basically that we’re not, and don’t have to be alone.”

Whether it’s the snapping crunch of “Burn it Down” or the skittering crash and burn on “Out of Hell,” the record exudes a propulsive energy that can speak to both sides of the band’s audience, whether they’re sharing a bill with Disturbed or Lecrae.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” John leaves off. “The fans, the Panheads, means everything to us. They’re the reason we’re here. They make our shows what they are. We wanted to give that energy back to them in UNLEASHED.”

Ultimately, this is Skillet at their most potent, pure, and powerful.

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Chase Rice

Chase Rice

Performances

July 4 - 10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Chase Rice

“The only formula is putting out good music,” says Chase Rice. “It’s as simple as that. I’m not letting anyone or anything get in the way of that anymore.”

Rice released his ten-song album Lambs & Lions late last year with new label partner BBR Music Group / BMG—the follow-up to 2014’s Ignite the Night, which hit No. 1 on the country charts and reached the top five of the all-genre Billboard 200—but with Lambs & Lions, he is making a fresh start. With a new label and a renewed sense of creative purpose, he is making music that draws from multiple sources and influences, but is unified by his vision, integrity, and honesty.

“This is an album that stands for what I stand for,” says Rice. “I don’t think of myself as a country artist specifically—I’m here to be an artist, period. I’m very proud of the country genre, and I think we have some big country radio songs on here, but outside of that, there’s a story I wanted to tell, regardless of genre. I had to completely put out of my mind what anyone else would think. I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied until I took it as far as I possibly could.

The ten songs on Lambs & Lions derive from Rice’s life and experience, triumphs and disappointments, and ultimately his determination to stand up for his convictions. Produced by Chris DeStefano, Mac MacAnally and, most surprisingly, Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Cold War Kids), Lambs & Lions offers up sounds from the unsettling strings and horns on the title track to the spare piano and swelling choir of “Amen.” And if it took him walking out on his record company and finding a new home to get there, it also reflects the unconventional path that led him to make music in the first place.

That tobacco town where I grew up The tailgate down on a jacked-up truck

A ring we earned 'cause we owned that state A tombstone with my daddy's name…

And I need someone to remind me who I am Oh, Carolina can

—“Carolina Can”

Born in Florida and raised on a farm in Asheville, North Carolina, Rice was a promising linebacker at the University of North Carolina. “Football wired me for the rest of my life,” he says, “including in some wrong ways. So, I’ve had to learn to be more sensitive and when to be more aggressive. It’s a focus you carry on to everything you do in life.”

Encouraged by his father, he began playing guitar and writing songs in college. After his father died and an injury ended his football career, music became his solace during a period of depression. (The slogan he took to writing inside the brim of his baseball caps, "HDEU," served as a reminder to keep his head down, working, but his eyes up, looking forward to the future—and now inspires his clothing company, Head Down Eyes Up.)

After college, Rice was selected as a NASCAR pit crew member, winning two championships with Hendrick Motorsports, and then took time away to escape and became a contestant on Survivor: Nicaragua. But his heart never left music, and he knew he had to take his shot at Nashville. Soon after arriving, he was part of the team that wrote Florida Georgia Line’s Diamond-certified smash “Cruise.” After a couple independent album releases of his own, Rice signed a major label deal.

It was the peak moment for country songs about girls, trucks, and parties, and the Ignite the Night album spun off several hit singles, including the Platinum-certified “Ready Set Roll” and Gold “Gonna Wanna Tonight.” Rice still feels connected to this earlier work. “I can still completely relate to those songs,” he says. “I’m still proud of that record. It got people to come to the shows, put me on a farm I otherwise would never have, and made me into the artist I am today.”

He points to the song “Carolina Can” as a breakthrough for him personally with his writing. “It’s rare to have a song that’s so truthful,” he says. “The title is one state, one place—it tells my story—but anybody can relate to feeling and sentiment. It’s just a huge honor to have a song like that in our arsenal when we take the stage.” It would be a turning point not just in his songwriting, but in his goals and ambitions.

It’s the soundtrack to our lives It’s the only reason why

A kid from Carolina would drive to Nashville to chase a dream without a dime… For a second we’re bullet proof

We get lost in a song or two

The world don’t move, and all I need is you and three chords and the truth

—“Three Chords & The Truth”

After one frustrating conversation with an executive, Rice went home, called his team, and informed them that he wanted out of his deal. “The more shows I kept playing, the more I learned that what I really needed was to get a record out,” he says. “So I put my foot down and when I found that the label didn’t have the same plan as I did, I just said, ‘let’s go our separate ways’—and I have zero problem with that. I was confident about that decision, and I believed in the album I was making. Looking back at that period I realize now that it was really about me needing to bet on myself before expecting others to do that as well.”

One song he believed in was “Three Chords & The Truth,” a tribute to the power of discovering the songs—“Amazing Grace,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Mama Tried,”—that changed his life. “I had actually wanted that to be the next single after ‘Gonna Wanna Tonight,’” he says. “It’s personal as it details going back to high school and what it meant to me to hear those songs for the first time.”

He kept writing for an album that he hoped would be out more than a year ago. “It was a long, long process,” he says. “But some of my favorite songs wouldn’t have been on here if I hadn’t kept going. It didn’t change completely, but it gave me time to analyze and make the songs better.”

Born and bred to be dangerous We might roar

On a Saturday night get that look in our eyes and we're striking like lightning Some may say we're too loud, some may say we're too proud

Well there's lambs and there's lions

—“Lions”

Enter Broken Bow Records, home of Jason Aldean and Dustin Lynch, which decided to give Rice and Lambs & Lions a chance. “I had all these songs, and I knew I wanted to tell a story, but I wasn’t sure what that was,” says Rice. “I wanted each song to have its own identity, and it would fill the album with what it needed.”

But he felt sure that a song called “Lions” would be the title track. “I wanted to write something you would listen to in the locker room before you go out and crush it on the football field,” he says. “It means even more to me now because I had to weather a lot of storms, fight for my career—and see how much it motivates me.”

Elsewhere, Lambs & Lions draws on pop (the irresistible hooks of “Eyes on You”), rock, even old- school country sounds, ending with Rice’s version of iconic singer and rodeo champion Chris

LeDoux's "This Cowboy's Hat," performed with LeDoux's son Ned. “The lines between genres are getting thinner and thinner—that’s the world we live in,” he says. “So I decided even more not to pander to what anybody wants me to do. The only way to make it successful is to make it true to me.”

Chase Rice points to a number of other artists as inspirations—Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Bruce Springsteen, Darius Rucker (“My God, he changed completely!”). But he says that he holds no single musician as a role model. “Every artist needs to figure out their own way,” he says. “There are so many right ways to do it. The best way is just to be yourself and be good to people. I think you do that and you’ll be alright.”

 

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August Burns Red

August Burns Red

Performances

June 29 - 10:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

August Burns Red

Every time August Burns Red record an album, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated Pennsylvania quintet—John “JB” Brubaker [lead guitar], Brent Rambler [rhythm guitar], Matt Greiner [drums], Jake Luhrs [lead vocals], and Dustin Davidson [bass]—push themselves harder, raze expectations, and reach a new level. It’s why they’ve become a heavy music torchbearer. In 2015, Found In Far Away Places marked their second consecutive Top 10 debut on the Billboard Top 200. The single “Identity” notched a GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of “Best Metal Performance.” A streaming juggernaut, both “Identity” and “Ghosts” [feat. Jeremy McKinnon] crossed the 3-million mark on Spotify. When it came time to record their eighth full-length Phantom Anthem, the game didn’t change. The musicians put their heads down and rallied around the same shared goal, upping the ante across the board. The musical equivalent of a clenched fist haymaker, the grooves hit harder, the hooks blaze brighter, and the instrumentation ignites even more intricacy as evidenced by lead singles “Invisible Enemy” and “The Frost.”

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St. Paul and The Broken Bones

St. Paul and The Broken Bones

Performances

June 27 - 9:30 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

St. Paul and The Broken Bones

Blood is thicker than water, and it can leave scars. But like it or not, those in our bloodlines are stuck with us—and us with them—for better or for worse. Paul Janeway understands this conundrum of heritage well. The singer of the Birmingham, Alabama–based rock and roll soul band St. Paul & The Broken Bones was born and raised in America’s Deep South, a place where social consciousness can still take a backseat to unsavory traditions and where a family’s expectations sometimes supersede all else. Despite the fierce familial love, he enjoyed and constantly gave back while growing up—especially to his father and grandfather—from an early age Janeway realized that the way he thought about the world was a little different from those around him, and he began to seek an outlet from which to share what was in his heart and on his mind. Blessed with a powerful voice, a magnetism for connecting with people, and a gift for making music, he traded in a career in ministry to start his own band.

“I’ve always been the artsy weirdo in the family,” Janeway says. “I’m liberal, a blue dot in a very red part of the world. When you’re from Alabama you have to go out of your way to make people understand that you think a little differently. But we’re an Alabama band—it’s who we are.”

St. Paul & The Broken Bones formed in 2012, releasing their debut album Half the City in 2014 and its follow up, 2016’s Sea of Noise, too much acclaim. Those strong efforts helped place them on the national scene, and the band worked hard to prove they were no mere retro-soul band—from touring the world relentlessly, including being selected to open for The Rolling Stones and headlining two nights at the Ryman Auditorium, to TV appearances including The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, Austin City Limits two appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, one being the very first episode. Janeway’s fearless showmanship, thoughtful lyrics, and dedication to his performance soon became the band’s calling card, and paired with the inventive and skillful direction of co-band leader Jesse Phillips as well as a full eight-man roster comprised of some of the best young instrumentalists in the South, they soon became a must-see event. (In addition to Janeway on lead vocals and Phillips on bass and guitar, the lineup is rounded out by Browan Lollar (guitars), Andrew Lee (drums), Al Gamble (keyboards), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), Chad Fisher (trombone) and Amari Ansari (saxophone), who replaced Jason Mingledorff following the album’s recording) Over time, Janeway has learned the art of balancing expectations and how to reconcile his past with his future, just as his band have learned how to overcome their perception by pushing against its ceiling. In embracing those things he cannot change, he has forged ahead as an artist and as a man. And with his band’s new album, Young Sick Camellia, Janeway has created a space for St. Paul & The Broken Bones to rival any forward-thinking band making music today, based on a concept all-too familiar to him: family, and how we love them despite our differences.

Upon completing Sea of Noise, Janeway began working on its follow up immediately, with the idea in mind to write directly about his relationship with his father and grandfather. “I was dwelling on my family and the complexity to all the men’s relationships,” Janeway says. “My papaw was not a warm person, but he showed his affection through hard work. He and my father had a complicated relationship and didn’t communicate well. This record is about me growing up in a digital age, and my father and papaw growing up in their different times, and exploring the dynamics of those relationships.”

Originally envisioning the project as a trio of EP’s, each from the perspective of the three generations of Janeway men, he realized he had enough material in the first volume—written from his own vantage—to make a full-length record. Assigning himself the image of a camellia, the Alabama state flower, Janeway uses his lyrics as a conduit for interpersonal conversation and excision, in addition to pieces of an actual conversation with his grandfather he recorded months before his unexpected death. “I wanted to explore the dynamics and their views on life,” Janeway says. “It’s an extremely personal record—not that I haven’t written personal records before, but this is more in-depth and with a vulnerability that I was maybe scared to try. But you have to have that exposure. I think we’re in a much better place than we’ve ever been as a band. We weren’t totally confident with the ‘retro soul’ label that was thrust on us and we knew we had to explore more ground. Young Sick Camellia is the first record we’ve done that just felt right all the way through, like we’re doing us. Nothing was rushed and everything has intent.”

Janeway leaned more heavily than ever before on his band to help with the songwriting. In the past, he and Phillips served as a “two-headed monster” who ultimately called all the shots; this time around, however, the band was invited to add song ideas. “The record really flexes the muscle of this band,” Janeway says. “Musically, it’s a kaleidoscope of flavors and it covers a lot of ground.”

Furthering this notion, the band chose the hip-hop / modern R&B producer Jack Splash to record in Los Angeles, a choice that Janeway credits with taking the band outside of their comfort zone and establishing a connection to a new sound. Fusing the use of samples, fresh rhythms, and new instruments with Janeway’s specific interpersonal subject matter, Young Sick Camellia is sure to place St. Paul & The Broken Bones in a whole new sphere. From the opening space-opus of “Convex” to the snappy, buoyant charm of “Apollo” and the intensely personal bent of “LivWithoutU” and the album-ending “Bruised Fruit,” it’s clear that this represents a new chapter of the band. As Janeway howls the words “Blood is what I can’t escape” during the final number, the chills are affecting, reminding the listener of the place and circumstances from which the singer and the album come—especially considering the unexpected passing of a central character, one whose appearance is both heard and felt throughout.

“I recorded a conversation some months ago with my papaw, who was in his 80’s and had smoked everyday since he was nine,” Janeway says. “I made the decision to use that audio on the record, and then he got sick and passed away a few months later after we had finished the album. It felt like that’s why we did this; it’s just the way the world works, a beautiful thing. In my mind music lives forever, and that will always be there.”

Just as his family makes a grand imprint in the very DNA of Young Sick Camellia, Janeway and his band are set to have a lasting impact in today’s musical landscape. The album they have created, whether a standalone affair or eventually accompanied by successive parts of a trilogy, challenges the notions of what a soul outfit can be, and establishes their reputation as a band as likely to make you think as to dance. A darker, more cerebral affair, the album embraces a variety of sonic experiments and blurs boundary lines but its focus remains sharply on the titular frontman and his bold, intensely personal and brave examination of his own family tree and how it has shaped him.

“For now, this feels like our opus,” Janeway says. “But the story doesn’t feel finished, so with that, it has to continue. We’ve already got music for the next one. What I perceive this to be is different from anything anyone is doing. It’s so terrifying and so fun at the same time.”

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Hanson

Hanson

Performances

June 26 - 10:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Hanson

In 2017, the trio of brothers who make up pop-rock trio HANSON are celebrating 25 years of playing music together, selling millions of albums and reaching fans from Tulsa to Tokyo. Doing anything for a quarter century is rare, even more rare when you include global fame at a young age, years of touring, writing and recording, founding an independent label, and balancing brotherhood and business. Consistent with their path thus far, instead of focusing on the improbable nature of their past success, they are only looking back long enough to get inspired for their future.

To celebrate this landmark year, HANSON is launching the “Middle Of Everywhere 25th Anniversary World Tour,” alongside a new greatest hits collection of the same name, which includes new single “I Was Born,” infusing a piece of the future into the year’s reflective projects.

Founded in 1992 at ages 11, nine and six, brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac spent their first five years building a fanbase as an independent band in Tulsa, OK, performing both classic rock ‘n’ roll and soul music and their own original material, to form their own unique blend of harmony-driven, soulful pop-rock. This unlikely focus was forged by an early introduction to music from the 1950’s and early 60’s, with the young brothers citing influences from Aretha Franklin to Otis Redding, The Beatles, Elvis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. These influences formed the bedrock of their musical inspiration, helping to forge their signature sound which incorporated strong melodies and song craft, as well as reverence for their musical forefathers. 

After five years and two independent albums, HANSON released their major label debut in 1997, and saw a meteoric rise with the international smash single “Mmmbop” from the album Middle Of Nowhere, which garnered multiple Grammy nominations and five consecutive top 40 singles, including “Where’s The Love,” “I Will Come To You” and “Weird”. Continuing the momentum with their critically acclaimed sophomore release This Time Around, more hit singles and extensive touring deepened the band’s connection with their fans, and helped to cement their place as one of the world’s leading artists.

After a record label merger nearly derailed the release of their second album, in 2003 HANSON decided to found their own independent 3CG Records. The decision to form the label was ahead of its time with few high level mainstream artists choosing to self release, but with the new label the band was able to establish stability in a very turbulent music business, starting a new era for themselves. Their first independent release, Underneath in 2004, was a #1 Billboard Independent Album, and helped establish HANSON as one of the most successful independent bands to date. Since then HANSON has released 3 more studio albums, The Walk, Shout It Out, and ANTHEM, as well as an ongoing stream of special products and live albums through their label, and toured the world, continuing to focus on cultivating a vibrant global fanbase. The group has sold over 16 million albums to date.

In 2007, they launched a grassroots campaign to help combat poverty and provide HIV/AIDS relief in Africa (TakeTheWalk.net), hosting one-mile barefoot walks with thousands of individuals committed to the cause. In 2013, the group diversified its brand with the founding of their Hanson Brothers Beer Company, and in 2014 established The Hop Jam Beer and Music Festival, based in their hometown of Tulsa, OK, which brings artists and brewers from all over the world to one of the country’s leading Craft Beer and Music Festivals with 40,000 in attendance.

HANSON has never been driven by trends or fame, but instead is fueled by the personal drive to create great art, inspire connection and cultivate community. Those qualities are at the root of the band’s longevity and lasting connection with fans.

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LANCO

LANCO

Performances

June 27 - 9:45 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

LANCO

Multi-PLATINUM band LANCO is "at the top of their game" (Pitchfork) as they continue to reveal the story behind their record-breaking debut album HALLELUJAH NIGHTS. Its 2X PLATINUM multi-week No. One hit "Greatest Love Story” paved the course for acclaim with lead singer Brandon Lancaster becoming the first artist in 10 years to have a No. One on the chart solely written by that artist. LANCO also serves as the first Country group in a decade to appear at the top of the Billboard Country albums chart with a debut album, which now boasts over 423 million streams. Earning nominations this year from the ACM, CMT, CMA and American Music Awards, proves why they are the only Country band to achieve a PLATINUM single prior to a debut album release. The “arena-rock leaning band” (Entertainment Weekly) has rapidly created a loyal fanbase over the past five years with more than 400 shows as the featured act with sold-out club runs in major markets such as New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. The band will close out 2018 with their first-ever headlining run, the HALLELUJAH NIGHTS TOUR, launching in Columbia, MO at The Blue Note on Oct. 24th with Travis Denning.

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lovelytheband

lovelytheband

Performances

June 28 - 10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

lovelytheband

Music gives a voice to those who need it when they need it the most. Our favorite artists say the difficult things out loud, so we don't have to -- but can learn how to.

By the same token, lovelytheband translate emotions, anxieties, and feelings into lush, layered, and lively indie pop anthems. When the band was founded by lead singer Mitchy Collins, guitarist Jordan Greenwald and drummer Sam Price in 2017, the trio maintain a lasting connection to listeners by holding nothing back.

"I really believe the importance of songwriting is saying something when someone else doesn't know how to," affirms Mitchy. "In the songs, I'm talking about life, trials, tribulations, depression, anxiety, and shit I deal with as well as the headaches that come along with the good and bad days. My problems don't define me, but we should embrace every side of who we are. The message is, 'Everything will be fine.'"

This message immediately resonated among audiences everywhere. A centerpiece of the everything I could never say... EP, the group's debut single "broken" caught fire as "the longest running #1 track on Alternative Radio thus far in 2018" with six weeks at the top. In under a year, it amassed 25 million total global streams. BuzzFeed summed it up as "So. Damn. Good." Billboard proclaimed the group among "10 Rock & Alternative Artists to Watch in 2018" as they supported Vance Joy and AWOLNATION on tour between headlining dates everywhere. Everything paved the way for the arrival of the band's first full-length, finding it hard to smile [RED MUSIC]. Produced by "broken" collaborator Christian Medice, these 16 tracks entrance, engage, and enchant, offsetting shimmering keys, sweeping synths, and spacey guitars with cathartic, compelling, and catchy choruses.

The title speaks directly to its thematic push-and-pull.

"finding it hard to smile touches on my life," says Mitchy. "There are days when it's hard to even walk out of my front door or get out of bed. So, you find the will to power through, call on your friends, and rely on loved ones to pick you up when you're down and bring magic out of you. A lot of the record is about embracing who you are as well as dealing with relationships, breakups, nostalgia, and unrequited love. It's really introspective for me."

They preceded the album's release with the single "these are my friends," which quickly cracked 2 million streams worldwide. Wound up by faint guitar and a chant, "These are my friends, these are my friends, I love them," the track crescendos towards an ambitious arena-ready hook.

"I was walking around Los Angeles one day thinking," he recalls. "I left a party where I had a really good time at. Right after, I wrote the main lyric in my phone. I held onto it for a little while, but it eventually turned into a song about wanting love and wanting to fit in. I brought it to the guys in the studio, and they really took it to the next level. It becomes a lovelytheband song when everyone is on it."

Whether it's the feedback buzz and 808 rush of "pity party" or orchestral ambiance on "alone time," the soundscapes mirror the emotional ebb and flow encoded in the lyrics. Elsewhere, the intimate "maybe i'm afraid" unveils an infectious confession as the band admits their fears without filter.

"It's one of my proudest moments as a songwriter," says the frontman. "It turned into the story of relationship. You're in it. You know things are beautiful, but you're scared to commit to the other personal. I think a lot of people struggle with the same thing. It feels relatable."

As they round out 2018 on a headlining tour and hitting the stages of Lollapalooza, the Billboard Hot 100 Festival, and more, lovelytheband's voice will only get dramatically louder.

It might just make crowds feel better too...

"I hope when you listen to it, you can find some solace or reassurance," Mitchy leaves off.

"Maybe you didn't know how to communicate something aloud, and it helps for us to talk about it. Hearing it might inspire you to make a move. Music moved me and gave me a little hope as a kid. I hope you can take away something from this in the same way my favorite records helped me. That would be my biggest goal with lovelytheband."

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Performances

July 5 - 3:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Chris Robinson Brotherhood

"Masterful players on a Grail-like search for the cosmic heart of California." - MOJO

"…good-time music on an end-times mission." - ROLLING STONE

"...trailblazing a wonderfully refreshing slice of 'Rock N Roll' music." - AQUARIUM DRUNKARD

"…a celebration of how American musical traditions can be at once honored and psychedelically expanded." - UNCUT

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood are on tour in support of their latest studio album 'Barefoot In The Head.’ In the middle of one of their most prolific periods to date, the band is riding a creative wave with a slew of studio and live records coming out amidst a rigorous tour schedule that only seems to fuel their fire even further. Their stellar new album, 'Barefoot In The Head,' marks the CRB's third studio release in just two years, and it finds them pushing boundaries and breaking new ground with more joy and wonder than ever before. Overspilling with stunning musicianship and infectious energy, the album showcases the continued growth of Robinson's songwriting partnership with his bandmates: guitarist Neal Casal, drummer Tony Leone, keyboardist Adam MacDougall, and bassist Jeff Hill. It revels in the kind of adventurousness that can only come from five artists tuned into the same sonic wavelength.

'Barefoot In The Head' follows last year's critically acclaimed LP, 'Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel,' and its companion EP, 'If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now.' It opens with the Americana funk of "Behold The Seer," which sounds like something of a mission statement for the CRB as Robinson sings, "If you want to keep your engine humming / Keep your eyes wide ahead and don't look back." On the dreamy "She Shares My Blanket," Robinson crafts cinematic scenes from a winter love affair in the mountains, while elegant pedal steel added by special guest Barry Sless on "Blonde Light Of Morning" casts a warm, romantic haze and "Blue Star Woman" sounds like T-Rex dressed in overalls living on a West Coast commune. Throughout the album, Robinson and the band deftly intertwine country, blues and psychedelia, even channeling freewheeling 60s' folk on "Hark The Herald Hermit Speaks," a breakneck stream of consciousness that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. On the English psych inspired "Glow," which Robinson calls "one of the most special things I've ever done in the studio," The CRB are joined by the celebrated sarodist Alam Khan (son of the legendary Ali Akbar Khan).

"The music that we make, the concerts that we play, it's this world we've created for ourselves and our people," explains Robinson. "We want everybody to understand that no matter where you are in your life that you can always be barefoot in your head. There's always this other place you can go. Is that place it real? That’s your decision to make, what you're going to let be real to you."

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood emerged in 2011 by playing close to 50 shows over nine weeks in California before ever leaving the Golden State or officially releasing music. Their introduction on the national stage came in 2012 when they'd release not one, but two acclaimed full-length albums within a few months

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Semisonic

Semisonic

Performances

July 6 - 10:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Semisonic

Semisonic formed in 1992 when Minneapolis natives Dan Wilson and John Munson, former members of Trip Shakespeare, teamed up with drummer Jacob Slichter. From 1995 to 2001, the band released four recordings – The Pleasure EP, Great Divide, Feeling Strangely Fine and All About Chemistry – and toured the globe. Feeling Strangely Fine sold over two million copies worldwide and remains a touchstone of late-90’s alternative rock. “Closing Time,” the band’s biggest hit, for which they received a Grammy nomination, was ubiquitous around the world and remains a familiar and recurrent radio presence in many countries. “Secret Smile,” which became a chart-topping single in UK and Europe a year after the album’s release in the US, is equally long-lived.

After the release of All About Chemistry in 2001, the members of Semisonic continued to perform as a band while also pursuing their various artistic endeavors, often in collaboration with one another.  Dan Wilson has released several solo albums: Free Life (2007) on which both Munson and Slichter perform, Love Without Fear (2014), and Recovered (2017), the latter two accompanied by books written and illustrated by Wilson.  As a song writer and producer, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists—the Dixie Chicks (with whom he co-wrote the Grammy-winning “Not Ready to Make Nice”), Adele (with whom he co-wrote “Someone Like You” and earned a Grammy in his role as a producer), and many others including Chris Stapleton, Phantogram, Pink, Mike Posner, John Legend, Dierks Bentley, Celine Dion.  Wilson has toured the US, UK and Europe, presenting his show Words & Music by Dan Wilson, an evening of songs and stories that pull back the curtain on the art of songwriting.

John Munson continues his work as a performing and recording artist in The Twin Cities. He has recorded and toured extensively with The New Standards, a minimalist jazz trio that performs punk and indie-rock classics. The New Standards have released four studio albums—The New Standards (2005), Rock and Roll (2008), Sunday Morning Coming Down (2012), and Decade (2015—three holiday EPs, presided over a twelve-year run of sold out holiday shows featuring collaborations with many of the finest artists on the Minneapolis scene (including Dan, who produced their first two albums). The New Standards have played nationwide, from Lincoln Center to Anchorage, AK. John has continued a lifetime collaboration with Dan’s brother Matt, currently recording and playing as The Twilight Hours.  He has been the recipient of several ArtsTour Grants from The Minnesota State Arts Board, and has kept himself busy producing and playing with some of Minneapolis’ best and brightest young artists. His current projects include a solo record, a new musical with Dylan Hicks, and producing a new record for Lucy Michelle. 

Jacob Slichter’s critically acclaimed memoir of life in the music business, So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star, was released in 2004 and is regarded by people throughout the music business as required reading – in Rolling Stone’s words, “A killer account of the absurdity of life inside the majors’ hitmaking machine.”  He has written for the New York Times and been a commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Since 2013, he has been a professor of creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, while continuing his work as a drummer and string arranger.

The band’s most recent activity includes performances marking the twentieth anniversaries of their first two albums. In October of 2018, Universal Music Group released a deluxe, 20th anniversary edition of Feeling Strangely Fine. Most recently, the band has been recording new music for a planned 2019 release.

 

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Liz Phair

Liz Phair

Performances

July 2 - 9:45 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

Liz Phair

Liz Phair is a Grammy-nominated singer songwriter whose debut album, Exile In Guyville, is considered by music critics to be a landmark of indie rock. She has been a recording artist and touring performer for twenty-five years, paving the way for countless music artists, particularly women, who count her among their major influences. Her deeply clever and often brutally candid songs have been garnering critical praise since she began her career in the early 1990s in Chicago by self-releasing audio cassettes under the name Girly-Sound. The intense viral response to these early tracks led to Phair signing with the independent record label Matador Records.

Her 1993 debut studio album Exile in Guyville was released to international acclaim; it has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, by Pitchfork as one of the 100 Greatest albums of the 90’s and is considered one of the most accomplished debut albums for any artist in any genre to date. She was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, topped SPIN’s 20 Best Albums of the Year, and reached No.1 on the Village Voice Pazz and Jop Critics Poll. Phair joined Lilith Fair in 1998-9, performing as a main stage headliner along with top female acts of the day like Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Missy Elliott.

In Spring 2016 Liz toured with The Smashing Pumpkins on their North American “In Plainsong” tour. Liz is currently working on a new record, and will be touring in June.

2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of Exile in Guyville. To celebrate, Matador Records will be re-issuing the record along with a box-set. Phair has sold over five million records worldwide, with three US gold albums and two Grammy nominations. More than two decades after the release of her debut, Phair's influence in contemporary music and particularly over female voices in alternative music can be felt today more than ever.

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COIN

COIN

Performances

July 2 - 8:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

COIN

Never over-confident, COIN's contagious exuberance braces every track. Their acclaimed self-titled debut album was released in the summer of 2015, produced by Grammy nominated producer Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, Sleeper Agent), establishing them as a unique band that was here to stay. SPIN described them as 'Dream-pop joy...' and the overwhelming reaction to their 2016/17 hit "Talk Too Much," perfectly teed up their second album, How Will You Know If You Never Try, and subsequent album teasers "I Don't Wanna Dance," "Malibu 1992," and "Feeling." They've toured non-stop with acts such as Walk The Moon, The 1975 and others, perfecting their sound and their charismatic live appeal. Billboard hailed them as 'new wave crash-course survivors,' destined 'to break the Nashville mold.' 2019 will see the release of their third studio album via Columbia Records.

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La Sonora Ponceña

La Sonora Ponceña

Performances

July 7 - 9:30 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

La Sonora Ponceña

Puerto Rican La Sonora Ponceña, one of the most popular tropical acts ever, was formed in 1954 by local musicians Enrique Lucca Caraballo and Antonio Santaella, who were previously playing in a band formed in 1944, called El Conjunto Internacional. In 1958, La Sonora Ponceña's first single was released, featuring "No Puede Ser" and "Tan Linda Que Era," making its first performance in the U.S. in September 1960, in New York City. By 1968, after they were joined by Caraballo's son, pianist Enrique Lucca Quiñonez, Jr., also known as Papo, La Sonora Ponceña made its first album, called Hacheros Pa' un Palo, featuring the Latin classic "Amor Verdadero." ~ Drago Bonacich

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The Roots

The Roots

Performances

July 3 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

The Roots

The legendary Roots Crew have become one of the best known and most respected hip-hop acts in the business, winning four GRAMMYS, including "Best R&B Album" for Wake Up!, "Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance" for "Hang in There" (with John Legend) and "Best Group or Duo R&B Vocal Performance" for "Shine." This brings the band's GRAMMY nomination count to twelve. Additionally, "The Roots Picnic," a yearly star-studded mix of musicians, has become a celebrated institution. The Roots were named one of the greatest live bands around by Rolling Stone and serve as the official house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Most recently, The Roots announced that they are developing an animated children's series, along with a live action children's series, in partnership with Amazon.

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Lifehouse

Lifehouse

Performances

June 29 - 10:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Lifehouse

Since their debut album No Name Face, released in 2001, Lifehouse has sold over 15 million records worldwide and played to sold-out shows around the globe throughout their 17-year career. Comprised of Jason Wade (lead vocals, guitar), Bryce Soderberg (bass, vocals) and Ricky Woolstenhulme Jr. (drums, percussion), Lifehouse is an American rock band like no other. With songs in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100, Alternative, Adult Top 40, Mainstream Top 40, Adult Contemporary and Adult Pop charts, Lifehouse has proven their versatility and longevity.

Their staying power is due in large part to Jason Wade’s signature voice and heartfelt songwriting talents, as well as his long-time partnership with co-writer, co-producer Jude Cole. Known for their infectious, upbeat hit songs “Hanging by a Moment”, “First Time”, “Halfway Gone” and “Hurricane” as well as the emotionally charged ballads “You and Me”, “Broken” and “Whatever It Takes”, Lifehouse has spanned the radio dial for well over a decade.

It was in 2001 when the Los Angeles-based Lifehouse first broke through in a big way when “Hanging by a Moment,” from No Name Face, spent 20 weeks in the Top Ten, and won a Billboard Music Award for “Hot 100 Single of the Year.” Since then, the band has released six more albums, three of which made the Billboard Top Ten, sold over 15 million records worldwide and spun off such hit singles as “You and Me”, “First Time”, “Whatever it Takes”, “Broken”, “Halfway Gone”, “Between the Raindrops” and “Hurricane.”

But Lifehouse won’t be pigeonholed as a radio band. High-energy rock performances and intimate acoustic moments are to be expected from a Lifehouse set. Having toured the world extensively, they have amassed a fiercely loyal fanbase in the States, Europe, Australia, South East Asia and South America.

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Moon Taxi

Moon Taxi

Performances

July 7 - 8:30 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Moon Taxi

"We can come together, we won't give up on the fight," sings Nashville's Moon Taxi on their smash single "Two High," a song that catapulted them to the top of the streaming charts and the forefront of the national stage. “Two High” propelled the band to new heights, with over 121 million streams on Spotify to date (as of March ‘19), surpassing 3 million video views (lyric + official), enjoying heavy rotation play on multiple SiriusXM stations, topping the AAA radio chart #1 and charting Top 10 at Alternative Radio. “Two High” encourages listeners to keep looking for a positive way forward – from their own internal battles, to the ones challenging the world at large. Recently, Moon Taxi has released the singles “Restless,” “Now’s The Time,” and “This World.”

Fearlessly melding rock with pop hooks, clever synths and roots touchstones gleaned from their home in Music City, Moon Taxi's fifth record and first for RCA Records, Let The Record Play, finds the five-piece doing what they do best: coming together and creating music that triumphs above all. The band performed “Two High” on the Today Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

In addition to commercial breakthroughs, the press praised Moon Taxi’s Let The Record Play. Rolling Stone wrote: “Over the last few years, Nashville’s Moon Taxi have worked their way up from Bonnaroo buzz-band to something approaching Kings of Leon country, playing a pleasingly cross-bred rock – a little indie, a little proggy, kinda poppy.” NPR raved of their musicality: “Moon Taxi a jam band – that is, if its instrumental excursions weren’t so concise, carefully thought-out and frequently refined in the years they’ve spent touring.” And their hometown paper, The Tennessean declared: “Moon Taxi evolves from ‘college project’ to rock stars.”

The band has thrived on the touring circuit for years, bringing their electric performances to Coachella, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and beyond. The band also celebrated a career-defining moment as “Nashville’s own” in October ’17 when they performed at a two night, sold-out run at the famed Ryman Auditorium. Their music has been embraced as well by brands using their songs for many commercial and TV placements - from JEEP, to Microsoft Surface Pro, McDonald’s, to BMW, along with landmark sporting events including the Olympics, MLB, NFL, and NHL and HBO Sports. Their songs are motivational and energizing, and they have become a “go-to” band for songs that inspire forging ahead.

Moon Taxi is Trevor Terndrup (vocals, guitarist), Spencer Thomson (lead guitarist and producer), Wes Bailey (keyboardist), Tommy Putnam (bassist) and Tyler Ritter (drummer).

"If there's one thing we want when people hear this record or see our shows," says Terndrup, "it's to leave elated."

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Matoma

Matoma

Performances

July 3 - 10:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Matoma

Norway's Tom Stræte Lagergren (aka Matoma) is a DJ and producer known for his dance-oriented, tropical house music. Born in Asnes, Norway in 1991, Lagergren initially started out playing classical piano in his youth. It wasn't until his teenage years spent listening to his older brother's music collection -- including albums by Paul van Dyk, Tiesto, and Armin van Buuren -- that he became increasingly interested in electronic dance music. After high school, Lagergren, who had already started remixing and releasing tracks online as Matoma, furthered his studies by earning his Bachelor's degree in Music Technology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. By 2014, he had started to gain international recognition for his Matoma remixes, including cuts for Jessie J, Akon, Enrique Iglesias, and others. In 2015, he scored a hit in Europe and New Zealand with a remix of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Old Thing Back." Also in 2015, Lagergren released his own debut single as Matoma, "Feeling Right (Everything Is Nice)," featuring rapper Wale and Jamaican dancehall singer Popcaan. That track found its way onto his debut LP, Hakuna Matoma, which arrived at the end of the year. Additional guests included Becky Hill, Sean Paul, Astrid S, Akon, Frenship, and remixes of Dua Lipa's "Hotter Than Hell," Jason Derulo's "Try Me," and Coldplay's "Adventure of a Lifetime." In 2017, Lagergren issued the single "Girl at Coachella" featuring Magic! and D.R.A.M. It was followed by "Party on the West Coast," a tropical redux mix featuring Snoop Dogg and samples from Faith Evans and the late Notorious B.I.G. which was a chart hit in Norway. Following the track "Lonely," featuring MAX, Matoma announced the impending release of his follow-up LP One in a Million. ~ Matt Collar & Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi

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Paul Oakenfold

Paul Oakenfold

Performances

June 27 - 4:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Paul Oakenfold

When it comes to a career the magnitude of Paul Oakenfold it’s hard to encompass one of the true legends of electronic music into just words. For over 3 decades he has elevated and shaped an entire genre and remains one of the leading forces in the global music scene today.

His most recent works have taken him from the DJ booth of the worlds hottest night spots and festivals to the studio producing soundtracks for Hollywood blockbuster movies. His diversity in artistry and ability has earned him accolades from critics and fans alike. Garnering him not 1 but 2 Grammy Nominations for his works.

But let's take a step back. The son of a musician, Paul came up as a young DJ in the late '70s spinning Funk in Covent Garden. Not what some might have expected from one of Trances preeminent masters. But he knew then music would be his life. In the '80s 2 life-changing trips took place. The first in 1984 where he spent several months living in New York City working as A&R man for the famed Champion Records signing DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, as well as Salt-n-Pepa. He also became promoter and British agent for the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C.

The second trip and more contemporary influence was in 1987 which brought Paul to the White Isle of Ibiza. Here he discovered the Balearic sound that flowed through the Ibiza air at clubs such as Amnesia. Inspired, he took the music and experiences back to the UK and became its ambassador. Paul returned often holding residencies at Amnesia and Pacha in Ibiza. Around the same time Ministry Of Sound in London was opening and touted Paul as their first resident. However it was his famed residency at UK superclub Cream in Liverpool that brought Paul global respect as a master of his art. It was some say the catalyst to what has made him a touring legend.

This residency was celebrated through the Grammy nominated 2004 compilation ‘Creamfields’ (Paul went on to receive a second Grammy nomination in 2007 with his artist album, “A Lively Mind” and then again in 2009 for his production work with Madonna).

Oakenfold’s stature as a DJ and entertainer has taken him beyond the normal club and festival circuit, playing landmark gigs that have changed the face of electronic music. Highlights include three worldwide tours warming up for Madonna and U2 (with both artists insisting on a DJ set from Paul instead of a support band); performing physically on the Great Wall of China and two sold out dates playing to 30,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl in California.

A year after that first visit to Ibiza, Perfecto was born. Founded in 1988, Oakenfold’s groundbreaking Perfecto record label played an integral role in the birth of trance music, with Paul at the helm producing massive international hits such as “Not Over Yet”, “Bullet In The Gun” and “Southern Sun”. With countless high profile releases and remixes in its path, Perfecto Records is still the benchmark to which so many labels measure themselves. 20+ years later, Perfecto remains as cutting edge and popular as ever, even resurrecting its Perfecto Fluoro sub label in 2011. Probably Perfecto’s most notable release was the recent double album “Perfecto Las Vegas” which held the #1 spot on the US iTunes dance chart for several weeks. This release solidified Paul’s stronghold as an International DJ power player achieving the highest selling DJ compilation ever released in US history – with over half a million sales.

Paul has produced for megastars such as U2, Madonna (including her latest release “Celebration”) and The Happy Mondays. As well as three acclaimed artist albums under his own name. He has remixed Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake and released over 20 DJ mix compilations. In recent years Paul has also been responsible for creating some of the most breathtaking film scores and cues for a long list of Hollywood blockbusters – including The Bourne Identity, Matrix Reloaded, Shrek 2, Swordfish and Collateral. But his most anticipated release is yet to come. Paul Oakenfold’s newest artist album ‘Pop Killer’ is scheduled for imminent release featuring The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gnarls Barkley, OneRepublic and B.O.B.

Astonishingly, despite all his success in the worlds of chart music and film, Oakenfold has found time to keep in touch with his roots as a club DJ. Over the past 3 years he has held a weekly residency at the legendary Rain nightclub in The Palms, Las Vegas. Planet Perfecto is a fully produced show with 75 circus performers, cutting edge visuals and special effects - giving the 3,000-strong crowd a truly unique experience.

Whether you are listening to a CD, watching a commercial, going to a club or playing a video game; Paul’s omnimedia presence is felt everywhere. Paul Oakenfold is the sovereign of DJ culture and is its most recognizable icon.

Paul Oakenfold’s: Perfecto On Tour radio show airs weekly on Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s - Electric Area Channels Saturdays at 8pm EST and rebroadcasts Wednesdays at 12 noon EST.

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The Strumbellas

The Strumbellas

Performances

July 7 - 10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

The Strumbellas

The Strumbellas know how to plot a long game. The six-piece collective may have rocketed to mainstream success two years ago with their breakthrough hit "Spirits," but have always been thinking one step ahead. For their new single "Salvation," out November 30, the group looked back to ideas that were hatched around the time of its eponymous debut EP in 2009, parsing through voice notes that predated the first album.

"It's like a jigsaw puzzle," explains Simon Ward, The Strumbellas' vocalist, acoustic guitarist and main songwriter. "I find pieces that feel like they could fit together, then I change the tempo and melody until it sparks. I say alright! This is what I've got! Then it gets pushed forward and everyone gets in and adds their parts."

For the group, which also consists of David Ritter (keys), Jeremy Drury (percussion), Isabel Ritchie (strings), Jon Hembrey (guitar) and Darryl James (bass), "Salvation" marks a stylistic turn from their melancholy, introspective releases. Over a punching backbeat, Ward sings optimistically of life and the good that it can bring: "I like to dance under streetlamps and walk upon the clouds/I like to shout from the rooftops and surf on top of the crowd/For many years, many years I was scared of the person I was/And I'm not perfect, they say, but I know that I was born to be loved."

"A lot of our music is known for being dark," says Ritter. "I like that people can turn to our music in dark times, but we were interested in seeing whether we could make something a little more hopeful and positive. I think the song has a more positive feel than our previous stuff."

"Salvation," produced by Tim Pagnotta (Elle King, Walk the Moon), is a decidedly notable pivot towards pop for The Strumbellas, which describes itself as a primarily "country, folky band." But they also explain that they're "pop music junkies," and that their catalog has been edging towards an increasingly accessible sound from the start. "Our whole dream has been to make cool, small-town music with just a fun, poppy feeling," says Ward. "Every record we do, we get closer to that. 'Salvation' is exactly what we wanted to do, what we were hoping to get out of this song and record: fun, poppy songs that are sad and weird."

The band, which is currently in the studio working on its fourth album, is riding high on the success of its last project Hope, which released in 2016 via Glassnote Music (world ex-Canada) / Six Shooter Records (Canada). "Spirits" became a runaway hit for The Strumbellas, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and cracking the international market in countries including Germany, Italy and France. They spent the past few years on the road, touching down at festivals including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. In 2017, they won the iHeartRadio Music award for Best New Alternative Rock Artist of the Year, and collected the JUNO Award for Single of the Year ahead of Drake, The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes.

For The Strumbellas, though, accolades are secondary to connecting with their fans, and making sure their music is received the way that they intended. "If we can add a little of color to somebody's day, that's the ball game for me," says Ritter. "Everything we put out is genuine," adds Ward. "I want 10 million people to sing these songs in my lifetime and I can be there to sing it with them in the crowd, on the same level. I just want everyone to believe in it and love it and be part of the journey."

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Neon Trees

Neon Trees

Performances

June 27 - 9:45 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Neon Trees

Hailed by Rolling Stone as "a New Wave pop powerhouse," Neon Trees first united in 2006 and instantly attracted acclaim and attention for their kaleidoscopic sound and affirmative vision, showcased on 2010's extraordinary debut album, HABITS. The album proved a phenomenon from the start, ascending to #1 on Billboard's "Heatseekers Albums" chart following the breakthrough success of its lead single, "Animal." A true international smash with 75 million streams to date, "Animal" reached the upper regions of an array of airplay and sales charts, including #1 on Billboard's "Alternative Songs" chart - the band's first ever #1 single. Now certified 2x platinum by the RIAA, "Animal" eventually received "Top Alternative Song" honors at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, while also being featured in a long list of TV, film, and video game soundtracks and advertising campaigns. PICTURE SHOW followed two years later, highlighted by the 4x platinum certified blockbuster, "Everybody Talks", Neon Trees' first single to reach the top 10 on Billboard's "Hot 100" as well as their first ever #1 on the "Hot AC" chart. The song has been streamed 130 million times to date. POP PSYCHOLOGY made a stunning top-10 debut on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 upon its April 2014 release - Neon Trees' highest chart placement to date. The album's popular success was driven in large part by the multi-format smash single/video, "Sleeping With A Friend," now certified gold by the RIAA for sales and streams in excess of 41 million.

The Provo, UT-based band is currently hard at work in the studio, preparing the eagerly awaited follow-up to their 3rd album, 2014's acclaimed POP PSYCHOLOGY. "It seems strange to say this but: We're back," wrote Neon Trees in a recent Facebook post. "It's been three years since our last album, and after years of being a band together, touring the world and living the dreams of our youth, we took an important break, one that's refreshed all of us and refocused what our band is and what we want to do next...Thank you for being with us all these years, and we can't wait to show you all what we've been up to and what we have in store."

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Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Performances

June 27 - 10:00 PM @ Johnson Controls World Stage

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is an American hip hop band from Cleveland, Ohio formed in 1991. The group originally consisted of rappers Layzie Bone, Flesh-n-Bone, Bizzy Bone, Krayzie Bone, and Wish Bone.

Rapper Eazy-E of the group N.W.A signed Bone Thugs-n-Harmony to Ruthless Records in late 1993, when Bone Thugs debuted with EP Creepin on ah Come Up. The EP included the hit single "Thuggish Ruggish Bone."

In 1995, the group released its second album, E. 1999 Eternal, which included hits "1st of tha Month" and "Tha Crossroads." A tribute to the recently deceased Eazy-E, "Tha Crossroads," won a GRAMMY award in 1997. The Art of War, the group's third album, was also released in 1997.

Bone Thugs is also the only group that has worked with deceased artists 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Eazy-E & Big Pun while they were still alive. The editors of About.com ranked them #12 on their list of the "25 Best Rap Groups of All Time," and MTV called them "the most melodic hip-hop group of all time."

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Lake Street Dive

Lake Street Dive

Performances

June 30 - 9:30 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Lake Street Dive

With their singular mix of soul and R&B and wholehearted rock & roll, Lake Street Dive make music that’s timeless yet immediate, exuberant yet reflective. In the 15 years since their formation, the band’s infectious vitality has only magnified in appeal, as proven with the release of their 2018 album Free Yourself Up. Along with earning lavish acclaim, the Boston-bred act’s most recent full-length debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200, and spent a virtually unprecedented seven-and-a-half months on the non-commercial radio charts.

Their most intimate and collaborative work to date, Free Yourself Up finds Lake Street Dive expanding their sound with more intricate textures, fuller-bodied arrangements, and stacks of sublime background harmonies. The album’s title serves as both an exhortation to listeners and a statement of purpose for the band, its songs unfolding with a joyful swagger even when channeling anxiety over the state of the world. “This album is based in the realities in our time, which have inevitably become part of everyone’s daily life,” notes Kearney. “It’s something you think about and obsess over—and write songs about. Free Yourself Up is about empowering yourself, emboldening yourself, no matter what’s going wrong.”

Lake Street Dive came to life in 2004, when the original members were studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston; Akie Bermiss joined the band on keys in 2017. Over the coming years, the band steadily built a following through a series of independent album releases, countless club tours, and a few lucky breaks. In 2016 they made their Nonesuch Records debut with Side Pony, an album deemed “irresistible” by Rolling Stone. Arriving in May 2018, Free Yourself Up drew praise from outlets like PopMatters—who, on their Best Pop Albums of 2018 list, noted that Free Yourself Up “cleverly pulls off the rare hat-trick of not only being the band’s most instantly accessible album but also their best”—while lead single “Good Kisser” held fast in the top 5 at Americana radio for over a month. Most recently, Lake Street Dive released Freak Yourself Out: a five-song 10-inch EP composed of bonus tracks from the Free Yourself Up sessions.

Known for their kinetic live show, Lake Street Dive are now set to embark on a headlining tour of Europe in April. With plans to record new music later this year, the band will also hit the road for a run with The Avett Brothers this summer, including dates at L.A.’s Greek Theatre and Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. In addition, Lake Street Dive’s summer touring plans include appearances at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the Newport Folk Festival.

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Los Lonely Boys

Los Lonely Boys

Performances

June 30 - 10:00 PM @ Johnson Controls World Stage

Los Lonely Boys

“We decided to call this album Revelation because we want to make music that reveals something to people about their lives and their world,” says Jojo Garza. He’s talking about the new release by Los Lonely Boys, the close-knit Texas trio that the bassist/vocalist shares with his brothers Henry (vocals, guitar) and Ringo (drums, vocals). “As musicians and artists, we’re here to connect with people, and to share our view of things.”

Revelation — to be released on the band’s own LonelyTone imprint Jan. 21, 2014, in association with the respected Austin-based indie Playing in Traffic — is a landmark release for the siblings. While maintaining the infectiously melodic mix of bluesy rock ’n’ roll and rootsy brown-eyed soul that’s long endeared Los Lonely Boys to its fiercely loyal fan base, Revelation adds an expansive range of new sonic elements, e.g. the conjunto touches of “Blame It On Love,” the reggae groove of “Give A Little More,” the rustic acoustic textures of “It’s Just My Heart Talkin’ and the baroque pop elements of “There’s Always Tomorrow.”

“We’re always trying to broaden our horizons and advance musically, and that’s something that we were very conscious of in making this record,” Jojo states. “We’re always looking for new ways to communicate and reach people, so we experimented with a lot of different sounds and production approaches.”

Toward that end, the brothers also collaborated with an eclectic cast of co-writers in assembling the dozen new original songs that comprise Revelation, including alt-country icon Radney Foster, in-demand pop tunesmiths Matthew Gerrard and David Quiñones, Black-Eyed Peas collaborators George Pajon Jr. and Keith Harris, and Raul Pacheco of Ozomatli.

Revelation also marks Los Lonely Boys’ first recording work since Henry Garza sustained serious injuries in a fall from the stage during a February 2013 performance in Los Angeles, necessitating a lengthy and ongoing recovery period.

“We nearly lost Henry, man, and that was a big change for us,” Jojo acknowledges. “The whole experience was a wake-up call for us. It made us rethink every aspect of our lives and our careers, and it reminded us of what’s really important to us.”

The abiding sense of family unity and creative rapport that allowed the band to weather such a potentially devastating event has been built into Los Lonely Boys from the beginning. Indeed, Henry, Jojo and Ringo have been making music together for their entire lives. Their father, Ringo Garza Sr., was a member of another sibling band, the Falcones, which played throughout southern Texas in the ’70s and ’80s. When that group disbanded, Ringo Sr. went solo, and recruited his three young sons to back him. The family relocated to Nashville in the ’90s, and soon Henry, Jojo and Ringo Jr. began writing and performing their own material as a trio.

After moving back to Texas, the brothers recorded their eponymous debut album in 2003 at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales studio in Austin, with Willie himself guesting on the sessions. Although originally released on small Or Music label, Epic Records picked up Los Lonely Boys for major-label distribution in early 2004. The album quickly won the band a large national audience. Its lead single “Heaven” became a Top 20 pop hit, reached the #1 spot on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart, and eventually won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

After a prominent guest appearance on the 2005 Santana album All That I Am, Los Lonely Boys solidified their success with 2006’s Sacred, which brought two more Grammy nominations, and 2008’s Forgiven, as well as the holiday-themed Christmas Spirit. Meanwhile, the band continued to build its reputation as a singularly powerful live act.

In early 2009, Los Lonely Boys made their LonelyTone/Playing in Traffic debut with the all-covers EP 1969, followed by the unplugged Keep On Giving: Acoustic Live! Those releases set the stage for the band’s acclaimed 2011 album Rockpango, and for the creative leap forward that Revelation represents.

“We want to make music that brings people together, not music that divides people,” Jojo states. “We’re all about having a good time, but we also make an effort to write about things that really matter. A lot of people write songs about superficial things, like how you look and what kind of car you drive and how much money you have, but we’re not interested in that. We want to create music that’s about the love and the energy and the spirit that we all carry as people.”

“We’re very thankful that God blessed our family with a drummer, a guitar player and a bass player, and that the three of us get to make music together,” Jojo concludes. “There’s been a few bumps in the road here and there, but that happens in any family and in any band. The main thing is that we stick together, and that we’re trying to pass on that feeling of brotherhood, of familia, in the music that we make.”

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Jimmie Allen

Jimmie Allen

Performances

June 30 - 8:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Jimmie Allen

The epitome of the phrase “persistence pays off,” Jimmie Allen laid it all on the line to make his dreams a reality. Now signed to BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, Allen’s debut single “Best Shot” is a certified hit, claiming the spot as the No. 1 Most Shazamed song in the format for eight consecutive weeks, and claiming the No. 1 spot on Country radio for three weeks, marking the first time a black artist has launched a career with a No. 1 hit with their debut single on Country radio.
 
On October 12th, Allen released his hotly-anticipated debut album, Mercury Lane, named in tribute to the street he grew up on and the origin of his incredible journey. Featuring a cutting-edge mix of country, rock, R&B and pop, Mercury Lane draws upon the influence of his family and small-town upbringing of the critically-acclaimed rising star. Rolling Stone raved Allen’s debut “challenges the narrowly defined model of what constitutes a next big thing in country music in 2018.”
 
The Southern Delaware native’s talent for songwriting is undeniable, having written a song that was featured in a Super Bowl commercial and appearing in a Diet Coke ad with megastar Taylor Swift. “Blue Jean Baby,” off his debut self-titled EP, immediately caught the attention of country music fans and critics alike with its soulful groove— rocketing it to the top of digital playlists, across all genres. After introducing his music at festivals across the country last summer, this winter Allen will hit the road once again to share the stage with Kane Brown and Scotty McCreery. The hot newcomer has already been heralded as one of the top “artists to watch in 2018” by Rolling StoneBillboard, Pandora, Sounds Like NashvilleNY Country Swag, Country Music Rocks and New England Country Music and has earned spots in CMT’s “18 for 2018” Listen Up program and Bobby Bones’ Class of 2018.

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Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly

Performances

June 30 - 9:45 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Tori Kelly

Since making her debut with 2015’s Unbreakable Smile—a widely acclaimed album that entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2—Tori Kelly has lit up the pop landscape with her breathtaking vocals and full-hearted songwriting. Over the past year, the L.A.-based artist continued to captivate with her sophomore effort Hiding Place: a passion project whose R&B-tinged take on classic gospel won Best Gospel Album at the 2019 Grammy Awards (with the chart-topping single “Never Alone” taking the Best Gospel Performance/Song prize). And though Hiding Place marks a stylistic departure from Kelly’s work in the pop world, each song shows the steadfast commitment to uncompromising artistry that carries through all her music.

To kick off 2019, Kelly is offering up a soulful new single called “Change Your Mind.” A pleading confession of an undeniable love, “Change Your Mind” finds Kelly’s voice shifting from tender to soaring to thrillingly gritty, each line delivered with pure, unbridled emotion. It’s exactly that blend of raw feeling and elegant vocal command that made Kelly a 2016 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Artist, and saw her recognized as a breakthrough artist at Billboard’s 2015 Women in Music ceremony.

Produced by 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin, Hiding Place debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart, amassing more first-week streams than any other gospel album in history. With “Never Alone” shooting to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart in early January, Kelly is now following her fall 2018 Hiding Place tour with The Acoustic Sessions—a 26-date North American run featuring stripped-back renditions of treasured songs throughout her catalog. Along with reprising her role as Meena in the forthcoming sequel to the 2016 animated movie Sing, she’s also already at work on her next album.

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Lindsay Ell

Lindsay Ell

Performances

July 3 - 8:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Lindsay Ell

"My dad will tell you that when I was little, the car radio had to be on the country station," Lindsay Ell eXplains. "If my older brother touched the dial, I would beg him to turn it back. It got to the point that if they were listening to something else, all I had to do was get in the car and they'd automatically flip over to country."

Coming from a family with deep musical roots, the Stoney Creek Records’ artist started playing piano and guitar at a very early age. "I learned how to play guitar traveling to country-bluegrass camps with my dad, and knew right from the beginning of my strong passion for country music."

Starting on piano at siX, guitar at eight and singing in her church youth group at 10 ("the most forgiving audience ever"), The 24-year-old Calgary native was discovered at 13 by BTO and The Guess Who's Randy Bachman ("American Woman," "Takin' Care Of Business"). "Randy learned guitar from master jazz guitarist Lenny Breau, so I dove head-first into this world of blues, jazz and rock guitar – learning all these different solos, switching radio stations and trying to get an idea of where all those techniques come from. I was listening to HendriX, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, Derek Trucks and all those incredible guitar players.”

Lindsay’s passion and study has served her well, leading to several unique opportunities, including an opening slot with blues icon Buddy Guy; however, her first songwriting trip to Nashville was the catalyst that brought her early affinity for country full-circle. "When I got here, it was like I was home," she says. "I didn't need to put on a facade of who I was or wasn't. And I finally fell back into my roots. Coming to Nashville brought me to who I am and who I'm meant to be."

This Fall, Lindsay will embark upon one of her most eXciting opportunities to-date: an opening slot on The Band Perry’s We Are Pioneers World Tour encompassing 50 dates throughout Europe and North America and kicking off November 8 in Gothenberg, Sweden.

Because it is rare, she knows her siX-string prowess is not the only focal point, but an accent to her vision as an artist."There aren't a lot of girls who play electric lead guitar, and it can be a defining thing," she says. First and foremost, I want people to hear me and understand my voice as a country music recording artist. When they come see me, I'd love it if they were impressed at my guitar and piano playing. But by that point, hopefully they understand the artist behind it all has a lot of different sides to her music."

To get to that point, she knows radio will be key – and she can't wait. “Going out on a radio tour and having the chance to share my music and show people how ready I am is the most eXciting step I've made yet."

Having spent a decade learning about the music industry from the front of a stage, Lindsay Ell is more than ready for that step – however big or small. "Playing live, honing my craft and developing as performer before taking my first serious try at being a recording artist and getting radio airplay gives me a foundation a lot of artists just don't get. I've had the cords fail, the monitors shut down and mics die. I've seen all kinds of crowds ... and no crowd at all. I feel ready as a singer and a musician. I have confidence as a performer. I've been writing for years and, since moving to Nashville, have found how best to communicate who I am. I'm comfortable in a conference room with siX people or onstage opening for Keith Urban in front of thousands. It's really not that different. Both are eXciting and a little humbling. Either way, I'm ready to go."

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MAX

MAX

Performances

July 5 - 8:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

MAX

MAX is a New York City born pop-soul singer, actor & dancer, known for his powerful acrobatic tenor which commands attention. His devoted fanbase and original voice has given him an incredibly strong social media presence with over 1.2 million followers on YouTube, 400,000 followers on Twitter and over 940,000 likes on Facebook.

2015 was a banner year for MAX -- in February, he signed with Pete Wentz's DCD2 Records and in March, he released the single "Gibberish" featuring Hoodie Allen. The song was one of the selected tracks featured by YouTube for the 2015 YouTube Music Awards alongside songs by Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX, and its groundbreaking music video accumulated over 4.5 million views in just one week and has racked up more than 12 million views to date. Additionally, he was one of MTV's 2015 Artists to Watch Summer Class list, named Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month (June), KISS-FM 's Artist of the Week, performed on NBC's TODAY show, and was nominated for Best Breakthrough Artist and Original Song for the 2015 Streamy Awards. MAX spent the summer on the road as a featured performer on the Boys of Zummer tour with Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa before releasing his DCD2 Records-debut EP Ms. Anonymous in September. In October, MAX embarked on his first headline tour across the U.S., which included multiple sold out dates. A lifelong entertainer, music is not his only talent -- MAX starred in the Beach Boys biopic, "Love & Mercy," as Van Dyke Parks.

Currently, MAX is celebrating the release of his newest album, Hell's Kitchen Angel.

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JOHNNYSWIM

JOHNNYSWIM

Performances

July 7 - 10:00 PM @ Johnson Controls World Stage

JOHNNYSWIM

Much like families, bands go through it all together.

As a unit, they face life's ups, downs, highs, lows, trials, tribulations, tragedies, triumphs, and everything in between. They change, learn, and grow as one. However, Los Angeles band JOHNNYSWIM doesn't just seem like a family; it is a family. At the core, husband-and-wife -- Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano -- translate the memories, moments, and milestones on their journey into spirited, slick, and soulful anthems steeped in singer-songwriter tradition, yet ampli?ed by alternative experimentation, rock energy, and pop ambition.

The music moves as the couple's life does, scrapbooking unforgettable experiences in melody like an eternal keepsake of their relationship.

"The music is the backdrop on which our life gets painted," a?rms Abner. "We're not just writing partners; we're partners. There's no balance between work and romance. It's all a gumbo. Our ?rst excuse to date and hang out was writing together. We say things better in song than we discuss them in person. We've seen terrible things, brilliant things, and beautiful things as a couple. The albums and performances become the canvas that loss, gain, romance, and love are subconsciously painted -- unbeknownst to us, honestly."

"I add intimacy, and he adds ?re," exclaims Amanda. "It's important to have both. That's really the balance of what JOHNNYSWIM is."

Like any lasting relationship (whether musical or romantic), that balance didn't crystallize overnight either...

As the story goes, Abner felt love-at-?rst sight upon seeing Amanda. Immediately, he thought, "That's the girl I'm going to marry." The only problem was he declared it aloud in front of his date (who promptly became his last ex). To add insult to injury, Amanda shrugged him o? with an eye-roll as well. Four years passed until their paths crossed again at a 2005 Nashville writing session. The relationship experienced its makeups and breakups before they married in 2009 -- a year removed from the arrival of their self-titled debut EP, JOHNNYSWIM.

Building a fanbase through constant touring, 2013's Heart Beats EP spawned "Don't Let It Get You Down," which clocked 17 million-plus Spotify streams. Their ?rst full-length, Diamonds, arrived in 2014 as its single "Home" famously became the theme to HGTV hit Fixer Upper. The 2016 follow-up Georgica Pond yielded another fan favorite "First Try" as the duo sold out dates around the world. Along the way, they garnered acclaim from Rolling Stone, NPR, The New York Times, Hu?ngton Post, Nylon, Du Jour, and VH1 in addition to performing on The Today Show, CONAN, and more.

In early 2017, JOHNNYSWIM commenced work on ideas for what would become their 2019 third full- length, Moonlight [Britannia Row Recordings/BMG]. Amidst a series of professional changes and Amanda's pregnancy with their second child, they kick-started the next chapter.

"All of the signs pointed towards brand new beginnings and brand new starts," Abner admits. "With all of those feelings, there was anticipation in the air for something fresh. I had produced everything up until this point. We wanted to engage a producer who could free us up to experiment. It all began by anticipating something new. In an unforeseen way, that new thing was working with Malay."

Over the course of the next year, they wrote and recorded with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer and songwriter Malay [Frank Ocean, Sam Smith]. The musicians went from writing in the producer's Brooklyn apartment (where he cooked them a delicious tomahawk steak during their ?rst session) to his new Britannia Row Recordings studio in Hollywood. Ajer recording in home studios throughout their career, the new setting o?ered the same intimacy as well as a breath of fresh air.

"I was pregnant when we started, and Luna was born in the middle of the process -- which was a ?rst for us," recalls Amanda. "It was a really welcoming environment though. We were all so comfortable. Malay made it so we could just focus on the songs, while he handled recording. We'd build the structures, and he'd put this magic around them like our fairy godfather," she laughs.

That magic carries through all twelve tracks. Opener "Bridges" hinges on echoing guitar and a steady beat as Amanda and Abner belt out the incendiary chant, "Let's burn the bridges down. Light 'em up. Don't turn it around. No escape through the ashes now."

"It felt representative of the album and these days of our life together," explains Abner. "I don't know what's ahead of us, but I'm know I'm willing to burn down everything that's behind us. That's what marriage is. That's what family is. That's committing yourself. When you commit to raising your kids, you burn the bridges to your past self. You're a new person. We're not going backwards. I'm willing to risk everything for what's ahead of us. It's our anthem."

Elsewhere, a stomping groove and delicately plucked acoustic guitar underscore a charismatic and con?dent send-o? on "Say What You Will."

"I wouldn't say anything to my eighteen-year-old self, but I'd say something to those around him who disregarded and downplayed this dream," Abner sighs. "A lot of people are unwilling to take chances. So, they project their fears on you and tell you to stop taking chances. They have to justify the reasons they haven't pursued their dreams or chased a passion. I'd say, 'Do what you need to do, but we're going to be just ?ne.'"

Then, there's "The Last Time" [feat. Michael McDonald]. Resounding piano keys, lithe guitar, and handclaps resound as Amanda, Abner, and the legendary Michael McDonald lock into an unshakable call-and-response recorded seaside in Santa Barbara.


"It was surreal," smiles Amanda. "Michael's voice is just unbelievable. To record with him was amazing."

"Lyrically, it's our story," says Abner. "The moment I saw Amanda for the ?rst time was the last time I dated anybody else. It's a special one."

The album illuminates the expanse of JOHNNYSWIM's musical palette. "Marietta" gallops from a jazz-y intro into theatrical delivery about Abner leaving his hometown. The ?nale "Same Old Thing" examines the fragility of marriage and frayed bonds as the lyrics tackle divorces among the pair's friends over listless guitar.

"I love putting it last, because it's a reminder this album isn't about the sweetness of love," Abner says. "It's about the reality of love."

"There's a theme to Moonlight," Amanda elaborates. "It's love, but not the ideal or romance of love. It's all of the things that actually come with loving someone and caring about someone who's not perfect. There's tragedy in it. There's frustration in it. There's joy in it. That's Moonlight."

In the end, JOHNNYSWIM emerge stronger than ever together as a family and a band on Moonlight.

"I'd love for people to hear Moonlight and feel known, seen, and unashamed regardless of where they're at on the spectrum of romance -- whether it's ?rst fast love, making babies, or in the middle of a dream that's falling apart," Abner leaves o?. "I want them to feel like we're speaking for them no matter what."

"You can listen to a record and walk away feeling like your spirit is nourished," Amanda concludes. "That's what I want. I hope it marks a time for you and your family, where you can associate these songs with those special moments."

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YUNGBLUD

YUNGBLUD

Performances

July 3 - 8:30 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

YUNGBLUD

Emerging from the gritty north of England, YUNGBLUD brings an explosion of raw energy and thought-provoking lyrics. He has created his own blend of alternative rock: poetry, guitar-hooks and break-beats with a fierce determination to make a dent in pop-culture. Dangerously sexy, startlingly bold yet emotionally grounded YUNGBLUD drops a grenade on his audience members imprinting himself in their minds. 

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99 Neighbors

99 Neighbors

Performances

June 27 - 8:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

99 Neighbors

Named a 2019 Artist to Watch, 99 Neighbors is a group of friends from Burlington, VT creating music in a basement for the world to hear. Fronted by Sam Paulino, Swank, and HANKNATIVE, the group fuses hip-hop, jazz, and rock, alongside their DJ JFear and producer Somba. 

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Collective Soul

Collective Soul

Performances

June 28 - 10:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Collective Soul

Collective Soul, the Multi-Platinum selling Georgia-bred rockers are not only on the cusp of celebrating their 25th anniversary, they’re also gearing up for an exciting Summer 2018 tour dubbed The Rock & Roll Express. This triple-threat triple bill will feature Collective Soul performing alongside two of their favorite spiritual rock & roll brethren, 3 Doors Down and Soul Asylum.

 

The Rock & Roll Express will feature the band’s full-throttle energy that was captured so deftly on their recently released Live album. From the elegiac verve of the career-defining “Shine” to the heartfelt universality of “The World I Know” and the earnest offering of “AYTA” (a.k.a. “Are You the Answer”), Collective Soul is clearly firing on all cylinders.

 

“When you see us this summer, you’ll get the vibe of how much we enjoy what we do. You’ll see how much we enjoy each other, and how much we enjoy making music together,” confirms Collective Soul’s visionary frontman and chief songwriter, vocalist/guitarist Ed Roland. “You’ll get all the hits, but we’re also going to throw in some new stuff too. One thing about having nine studio recordings is that it’s hard to fit everything into the set right now. It’s a good problem to have — to be around that long and have so many songs people really want to hear. But once we find the right live groove, we also know what works in this kind of set.”

 

Approaching their 25th anniversary in 2019, it’s evident the legacy of Collective Soul is as strong as ever. “I think it all comes down to the songs,” Roland believes. “When we started out as a band, we just wanted to write the best songs we could. We always had the mindset of being an album-oriented band. We wanted to create the 10 or 12 best songs we could get on there. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, that’s the hit. That’s the one that’ll be on the radio. Let’s hurry up and finish.’”

 

What does Roland feel is the best song in the Collective Soul canon? “Well, it’s actually the most necessary song I’ve ever written — and that would be ‘Shine.’ Had it not gotten the attention it did, no other song would have been written. But which one is the best one?” he muses. “It’s the one I wrote yesterday, because that’s the way I treat it. If I think I’ve already written the best song I could write, then I need to stop. I don’t think I’ve even come close. My brother Dean tells me all the time, ‘You just live for that next song!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah.Yeah, I kinda do.’”

Mike Mettler, official Soulographer 

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Samantha Fish

Samantha Fish

Performances

July 7 - 8:00 PM @ Johnson Controls World Stage

Samantha Fish

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Two Friends

Two Friends

Performances

July 3 - 8:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Two Friends

Matt Halper and Eli Sones, the young masterminds behind Two Friends, have quickly revamped from high school bedroom producers to one of the most promising dancemusic duos of 2017. Known for their viral remixes of “Trap Queen”, “I Miss You” and “Mr. Brightside”, as well as their latest original offerings Just A Kid, Emily, and Out of Love, the two have in unprecedented time mastered a wide range of genres from pop-leaning to dance-driven records.

Kicking off their musical journey in their senior year of high school (after being best friends since seventh grade), the boys honed their skills through remixing, taking on the likes of Lana Del Rey, Alesso, and Tori Kelly to name but a few. Two Friends were quick to prove their versatile songwriting and production, drawing upon a wide variety of live instrumentation to create a truly multi-faceted sound with every release. They swiftly exceeded their influence beyond the online sphere, attracting the spotlight on stage and radio.

With support now coming from the likes of Tiesto, The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, and many more, and with a whole host of original releases locked in for 2018, Matt and Eli undoubtedly look set to dominate this year and beyond.

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Chris Lane

Chris Lane

Performances

July 6 - 10:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage

Chris Lane

Since bursting onto the scene with his breakout #1 smash “Fix,” Chris Lane’s star continues to rise with GOLD and PLATINUM level single certifications, two Top 10 albums and nearly 1 BILLION combined streams. Out of the gate, his irresistible new single “I Don’t Know About You” is climbing the Country radio charts and follows the success of his hit collaboration “Take Back Home Girl” with Tori Kelly. Both songs are featured on Lane's Big Loud Records sophomore album – LAPS AROUND THE SUN – that made a chart-topping debut, landing at #1 on the iTunes Top Country Albums chart and inside the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart for the second time in his career. Gaining recognition, Lane was named one of MusicRow Magazine’s 2017 Next Big Thing Artists, has scored nominations at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, ACM Awards and Radio Disney Music Awards and appeared on TODAY, The Bachelor, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Seth Meyers and CONAN. Previously landing coveted opening slots on tours with Florida Georgia Line, Dustin Lynch, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw + Faith Hill, and Rascal Flatts, the Kernersville, NC-native closed out his second headline run – the LAPS AROUND THE SUN TOUR – in January. He is currently a special guest on DAN + SHAY THE TOUR, and will hit the road with Brad Paisley as direct support on his 2019 WORLD TOUR later this year. 

Since releasing the buzzy “Fix,” Lane racked up shout-outs from celebrities such as Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Lucy Hale, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, and more. He landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Twitter Real-Time Emerging Artist chart the day of release, making the irresistible song one of the most shared tracks on Twitter in the U.S. from an up-and-coming artist. “Fix” shaped Lane’s sonic direction and is the title track of his newly released EP produced by the award-winning Joey Moi. Media have applauded his bold, fresh sound and standout falsetto; with early raves including ROLLING STONE’s “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know,” YOUNG HOLLYWOOD's “Artist To Watch” list, HELLO! Magazine's “People You Will Be Talking About” and GLAMOUR’s “Music We Love.” Lane was also chosen for the select CMT 2016 LISTEN UP campaign. The talented newcomer started his career selling out club shows in his hometown of Kernersville, NC and previously toured with heavy-hitters Florida Georgia Line, Nelly, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice and more.

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Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis

Performances

June 29 - 10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Jordan Davis

MCA Nashville’s Jordan Davis has been named an “Artist to Watch” by Billboard, Rolling Stone, CMT, Pandora, Shazam, Amazon Music, Sounds Like Nashville, The Tennessean, SiriusXM, Whiskey Riff and more. A Native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Jordan graduated from LSU and briefly pursued the path of his degree working as an environmental consultant; however, his passion for music and songwriting eventually compelled him to move to Nashville in the summer of 2012. Jordan’s Platinum-Certified debut single “Singles You Up” recently hit No.1 on the country airplay charts making Jordan the Billboard Top New Country Artist of 2018 as well as the Country Aircheck/Mediabase Most Heard New Artist of 2018. “Singles You Up” has amassed over 275M streams worldwide after spending several weeks on the Spotify US Viral Chart (all genre) in addition to reaching the Spotify Global Viral Chart. Jordan released his debut album Home State last March featuring 12 tracks all co-written by Jordan including his infectious new Top 10 single “Take It From Me”. The singer/songwriter has previously toured with Jake Owen, Chris Janson, Kip Moore, Brett Young, Chase Rice, David Nail and more. Jordan will next join Old Dominion on the “Make It Sweet Tour” starting January 2019. 

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Matisyahu

Matisyahu

Performances

July 5 - 10:00 PM @ Johnson Controls World Stage

Matisyahu

Singer-songwriter Matisyahu has been on journey inward for more than a decade. The journey has been private and public. The journey has at times been explicitly external, even while being driven by internal change. Now nearly thirteen years after the release of his first studio record, Matisyahu and his band have done something unmatched in his past repertoire; they have crafted that journey into a musically thematic eight song movement.

The band features longtime guitarist Aaron Dugan, Dub Trio bassist and drummer Stu Brooks and Joe Tomino, and keyboard virtuoso BigYuki -- and the journey starts with them. The band improvised for hours in the studio with Matisyahu watching on as an admirer without singing a single lyric. Out of the improvisations grew melodic themes, rhythmic peaks and valleys, blissful and proto-song guitar passages, deep dub meditations and ultimately an inspired instrumental record until itself. Only once the band had crafted this musical narrative, did Matisyahu begin to work on a lyrical narrative of his own -- a lyrical narrative that is simultaneously informed and integrated with the music yet driven by Matisyahu's own personal journey. The result is Undercurrent, Matisyahu's sixth studio album.

The record is musically Matisyahu's most courageous release to date and lyrically his most vulnerable.

The courage in the music comes from trust. Trust in the band. And only in the band. There are no post-production bells and whistles or litany of special guests on Undercurrent. On the opening track, "Step Out into the Light" the band lays out a repetitive minimalist verse section that anchors the listener in a near meditative loop only to open up into a gorgeous set of chord changes that makes the chorus feel revelatory, as if the listener has earned this release, and can achieve the song-title's call to action.

By the record's third track, "Coming Up Empty" the band has established melodic themes that will be called upon or re-harmonized later in the record, and just two songs in, it is clear that these musicians are road-tested, brave-song-crafters, with tens-of-thousands of hours of playing together embedded in their muscles and fortified in their bones.

The vulnerability in the lyrics comes from acceptance. Acceptance in uncertainly. Acceptance in the actions of one's younger self and acceptance that while the future may be uncertain, having the courage to trust gives us all the best chance at meaningful relationships. It's a lyrical reframing of the Jewish philosophical differences between emunah (faith) and bitachon (trust). Faith, the constant, and trust the immediate. Matisyahu sets the stage for this conceptually on the record's opening track, but he digs in internally on the authoritative plea in the chorus of "Back to the Old," [I'm giving up, I'm giving in / All I got is what's right in front of me / Is the people that I see...]. He projects it outwardly through questioning in "Forest of Faith," [What's a man got to do, Oh! / To get through to you?] And finally works towards acceptance on the guitar-driven gem "Headright, [And I know feelings come and go / How should hold on, should I let go].

These forces direct the journey of Undercurrent, and as the record progresses the music begins to open up into full band improvisations like a relationship becoming more trusting, willing to take chances, knowing there's acceptance in the process. A stunning example of this is on the record's fifth track "Tell Me." If you stop the song at the three-and-a-half-minute mark, you have a great reggae-tinged pop tune that promises to make a hit radio single. The track however continues for another six-and-half-minutes, beginning with a beautifully re-harmonized keyboard reference to the song's opening wordless vocal melody. From there the entire band begins to improvise. Each player speaking briefly but with purpose, adding slowly and deliberately to the conversation. Drums and bass falling in and out. Guitar and keyboards calling back and forth to each other. The listener can almost intuit the personalities of each musician. The musical conversation continues to build, each band member adding to the improvisation without playing on top of one another. Trust and respect. This is truly Matisyahu the band. Matisyahu the singer is patiently waiting for the band to direct the journey, and he joins back in with a near whisper as the rhythm section finds that incomparable dub groove Brooks and Tomino are famous for.

The level of interplay between Matisyahu and his band mates on Undercurrent is unquestionable and requires multiple listens. Each repetition of a song reveals a guitar line from Dugan that elevates a vocal melody that only 15 years of experience together can achieve. Keyboard patterns from Yuki unrealized in a previous listen connect one song to another and the full band improvisations that climax with an impressive exploratory section on the record's final track "Driftin'" achieve the rare feat of capturing a band's live potential on a studio album.

Ultimately, Undercurrent, is a fully realized concept album crafted by a band-of-brothers who have learned to hold a conversation that is both comforting and challenging at the same time. It plays like a revelatory session with a great psychotherapist.

Like someone watching an ocean wave move chaotically towards the shore unaware of the undercurrent pulling mightily back in the opposite direction, Matisyahu and his band have achieved a musical retelling of the Matisyahu story that explores the forces within that inspire us all, challenge us all, break us down, lift us up, and yet are rarely obvious to the outside observer.

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SOJA

SOJA

Performances

July 3 - 10:00 PM @ Johnson Controls World Stage

SOJA

Nearly two decades ago, SOJA began as high school friends in a D.C. area basement teaching each other to be musicians and play roots reggae music. Today, the 2x GRAMMY-nominated eight-piece band, with over 7 million online followers and over 300 million Youtube views, headlines concerts all over the world for their massive dedicated fanbase. Even with their continued success, SOJA always wants to remember their time together in that basement inspired by each other’s contributions and ideas.

The feeling of true magic, collaboration and brotherhood that started it all is still evident today in their music and each night at their live concerts. For their latest studio album, Poetry In Motion (Oct 27 2017), it was essential for SOJA to consciously go back to the beginning and recapture that same sincere, collaborative magic sparked 20 years ago.

“For your whole life money is the thing you’re scarce on,” frontman Jacob Hemphill says. “Then once you get busy enough time becomes the thing you’re most scarce on. So spending time at home becomes your most valuable commodity and then the collaborative process starts taking place over the phone and email instead of in person. For Poetry In Motion we asked ourselves, ‘What if we went back to the beginning and wrote, arranged, recorded and produced the entire thing together?’ All eight guys in one room to create something special. That was the approach to this record – to make something we truly love and did all together.”

The band set up at Haunted Hollow Studios, Dave Matthews Band’s studio, near Charlottesville, VA. The idea was to live and work together in one place, investing all their energy into the process. They spent three months in the studio over several sessions in late 2016 and early 2017, spending hours sitting on the back porch discussing music and life. Everyone showed up with new ideas, new instruments and new gear. The band enlisted Rob Evans, Ivan Guitierrez and Mariano Aponte to co- produce the songs, and there was an open-minded sentiment throughout. “It was a learning and experimenting process,” Jacobs notes. “We got the exact thing we wanted from it.”

The album’s 11 tracks embrace reggae completely, focusing on what the genre does best. They referred often to their 2009 album, Born In Babylon, to remind them of where they came from and how they’d like to go forward. Poetry In Motion is the beginning of a chapter, but it’s also a return to the past. It’s a revitalization of what made SOJA so special to begin with. It’s about eight guys in one room making reggae music that truly means something.

“We’re going back to our roots and what we do best,” Jacob says. “We’re remembering why we started this band and the magic of what we’ve built. We were lucky enough to create our own family and we picked every brother by hand. This album feels like we’ve had an amazing family reunion. It’s a blueprint for our future.”

Poetry In Motion continues the band’s belief that music should speak for people and uplift them. The album looks at the world today and asks why it feels like something is wrong when so much exists around us. "Fire In the Sky,” propulsive and upbeat, takes the positive outlook on humanity while “Life Support,” a more introspective song, tackles the negative outlook. All the other tracks fall somewhere in the middle, as Jacob and the band grapple with the human condition, unafraid of big topics and essential life queries.

“The definition of the title is three-fold,” Jacob says. “I’m poetry, the band’s motion. The human race and the animals and plants that are spinning around on this Earth are beautiful – it’s poetry flying through the universe in motion. And then, thirdly, we are this beautiful poetry but we keep moving away from it. Right now it feels like we’re moving in the wrong direction and it’s scary.”

The album poses questions but never takes on a definitive reply. SOJA isn’t offering an answer. Instead, the answers are out there for each listener to find on their own. "There’s no periods on anything,” Jacob notes. “I give hints and glimpses, but my own opinions on the human condition change every year. Sometimes I’m climbing, sometimes I’m sliding. So maybe I’m not the right guy to be answering questions. But I can ask all these questions that matter and help people. I’m out there fishing for the next person.”

His ultimate goal with each song is simple. “How do I make the human condition come into this song?” he says. “How do I relate to the biggest family of all time? That’s all I’m ever really trying to do.”

SOJA’s energetic, impassioned live performances have a similar effect. Averaging around 120 shows a year for the last decade, SOJA has toured with acts that include Dave Matthews Band, 311 and Incubus, and engaged a massive international fan base of die-hard followers at festivals that include Bonnaroo, Hangout Festival, Wakarusa, Cali Roots, Summerjam Germany, Woodstock Poland, Personal Festival Argentina, Ziget Festival Hungry and many more. Their live shows offer people a chance to look both inward and outward, and feel part of a global community, particularly since SOJA has headlined shows in over 30 countries. For SOJA, everything is about connection, whether it's with the world around them or within the band. “Nothing worth doing in life can you do by yourself,” Jacob notes. “We’re in this together.”

SOJA is:

Jacob Hemphill – Vocals / Guitar Bobby Lee – Bass

Ryan Berty – Drums

Patrick O’Shea – Keyboards Ken Brownell – Percussion Hellman Escorcia – Saxophone Rafael Rodriguez – Trumpet Trevor Young – Guitar / Vocals

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Riley Green

Riley Green

Performances

June 30 - 4:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Riley Green

Born in Jacksonville, Alabama, Riley Green was raised on the sounds of old traditional Country, Bluegrass, and Southern Gospel music. He learned the spirit of songwriting and performing at a young age while spending time with his grandfather, Bufford Green, who ran Golden Saw Music Hall. Riley shared the stage with him and other men of his generation, laying a foundation for the songs he’d craft in the years to come, reflecting on the experiences of a young Southern man trying to find his place in the world. With a mixture of outlaw-rebellion and respect for tradition, Riley’s original music has already tallied over 42 million streams to date while his latest music video for “Bury Me In Dixie” has been viewed over a million times since last fall. Currently on his headlining OUTLAWS LIKE US TOUR, Riley has built fierce support traveling the southeast for the last five years growing his loyal fanbase on social media. Named one of Rolling Stone Country’s “Artists You Need to Know,” his recently released IN A TRUCK RIGHT NOW EP on BMLG Records was produced by Dann Huff and features four songs he co-wrote:“There Was This Girl,” “Same Old Song,” “Break Up More Often,” and “In A Truck Right Now.” 

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Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott

Performances

July 7 - 10:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Dylan Scott

It’s a long way from the outskirts of Bastrop, Louisiana, to the #1 spot at Country radio, each mile marked by passion, perseverance, and sweat. But rising star Dylan Scott has made the trek.

“It’s like anything else, you have to work at it if you want it,” he says. “You can’t sit back and expect someone else to make it happen for you, you’ve gotta do it yourself.”

With his romantic, PLATINUM certified #1 hit “My Girl,” and GOLD-certified Top 5 smash “Hooked,” Scott has certainly done that, paying his dues and transforming real-life experience into chart-topping success. Now with the album DYLAN SCOTT DELUXE EDITION, a new chapter begins.

Born into a musical family, Scott’s father played guitar for stars like Freddy Fender and Freddie Hart, regaling the youngster with stories from the road and encouraging his love for soul-bearing icons like Keith Whitley, Alan Jackson, and Tim McGraw. By the time Scott arrived in Nashville to start chasing his own dreams, he was still only in high school – but his drive was obvious for all to see.

He began writing songs with anyone who was willing, and hit the road hard. Then, after a blistering rise through the Country ranks, his bootstrap pulling work ethic paid off in the summer of 2016. “My Girl” started marching to the top of the charts, earning Scott his first-ever PLATINUM certification and revealing an artist with a knack for hot-and-heavy sensitivity.

Fans got the message, and Scott’s self-titled album debut landed at Number 5 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, helping him gather over 535 million on-demand streams and 4 million stream equivalent songs in the process. He made a triumphant Grand Ole Opry debut and launched a headlining tour, selling out some of the nation’s biggest clubs for crowds of over 3,000 – but now he’s circling back.

With DYLAN SCOTT DELUXE EDITION, this total-package artist is bringing new fans up to speed on where he’s been, and offering a look at where he’s headed next.

Three powerful new tracks join the original album’s 13 songs, all featuring a high-octane mix of current Country and pop-friendly Southern rock that celebrates both his down-home roots and big-city ambitions. More than half of Scott’s songs have flowed straight from the young star’s pen, and more fans seem to latch on to his stories each day.

“When you see people smiling and forgetting about the work week and whatever’s going on in their life, that’s what’s inspiring to me,” he explains. “You always think ‘How cool would it be to write a song and go out to perform it, and have people know your music?’ But when it actually happens, it’s even better than you imagined.”

That feeling of connection first appeared as “My Girl” began its climb. Inspired by Scott and his wife Blair’s 10-year romance, the breakout talent says he almost declined to record the song – it was too personal.

“It’s basically me and my wife’s love story, and I was thinking ‘Nobody wants to hear all that mushy-gushy stuff,’” he says of the confirmed hit, co-written with Josh Kerr after Blair busted out an adorable (and unexpected) rap of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” “There are times when your wife or girlfriend will do things she wouldn’t do in front of anybody else. And us guys, we all see that in our girl – whether they realize it or not.”

Learning to take those little moments and turn them into Country gold has sent Scott on the journey of a lifetime, and he’s far from finished.

Adding fuel to the romantic fire in his chest, DYLAN SCOTT DELUXE EDITION is filled with heart-pounding beats and detailed, real-life love stories, plus vocals that combine the tender timelessness of his idols with a dose of laid-back Country swagger. Still working with the production team of industry legend Jim Ed Norman, Matt Alderman and Curt Gibbs, each of the new tracks is unique.

“Hooked” – penned by Seth Ennis, Morgan Evans, and Lindsey Rimes – is a propulsive, white-hot anthem of desire, perfect for cranked up backroad cruising and downtown dancing alike.

Likewise, the lyrical attack and pounding rhythms of “Can’t Take Her Anywhere” hit like a punch to the gut, especially for anyone who’s watched heads turn as their girl walks across the room. It was written by Scott with Kerr and pop specialist Mike Krompass.

And meanwhile, the softer side of his muscular baritone wraps its arms around “Sleeping Beauty,” a stripped-down co-write with Alderman and superstar Lee Brice that sets another private moment to music.

Those three hits-in-the-making are just a taste of where Scott is going, and there’s much more to come. With his Country dreams becoming reality and his first child, son Beckett born in December, a whole new world is about to open up. So lately, Scott’s been taking the words of Blair’s “My Girl” inspiring rap seriously – losing himself in the music, never letting go, and making his shot count.

“It really hasn’t sunk in yet that I have a #1 record, but it’s cool to experience people knowing your music and the lyrics to your songs, singing them back to you,” he says. “That’s what it’s all about. Growing up that’s what I wanted, and now it’s happening for real.”

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Jacob Latimore

Jacob Latimore

Performances

July 2 - 8:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Jacob Latimore

Jacob Latimore is excited to be back on stage again, especially his hometown Milwaukee. Before shooting Season 3 of “The CHI”, his schedule has left him a window to be back on stage performing new songs from his sophomore album “Connection2. This follows the success of his debut album, “Connection” which landed at #21 on the Billboard  R&B charts and has garnered more than 15 million streams to-date

As an actor in film, Jacob is best known for his roles in Black Nativity, The Maze Runner, Collateral Beauty and Detroit.

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Steve Earle & The Dukes

Steve Earle & The Dukes

Performances

June 27 - 4:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Steve Earle & The Dukes

“So I was pretty excited when I went into the club and the bartender, a friend of mine says,‘Guy’s here.’ I wanted him to hear me play. I was doing some of my earliest songs, ‘Ben McCullough’ and ‘The Mercenary Song.’ But he was in the pool room and when I go in there the first thing he says to me is `I like your hat.’”

While it was a pretty cool hat, Earle remembers, “worn in just right with some beads I fixed up around it,” Clark did eventually hear his songs. A few months later he was playing bass in Guy’s band.

“Now, I am a terrible bass player...but I was the kid, and that was what the kid did. I took over for Rodney Crowell. At that time Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ was a top ten hit, which was amazing, a six and half minute story song on the radio. So Guy said, ‘we’re story song writers, why not us?’ So we went out to cash in on the big wave.”

The success of ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ was not replicated, but Earle reports that being the 19-year-old bass player in Guy Clark’s band was “a gas.” At least until Earle went into a bar and left the bass in the back seat of his VW bug, from which it was promptly stolen. “It was a nice Fender Precision bass that belonged to Guy, the kind of thing that would be worth ten grand now. He wasn’t so happy about that.”

More than forty years later, Steve Earle, just turned 64, no longer wears a cowboy hat. “It was more than all the hat acts,” Steve contended. “My grandmother told me it was impolite to wear a hat indoors.” As for Guy Clark, he’s dead, passed away in 2016 after a decade long stare-downwith lymphoma. But Earle wasn’t ready to stop thinking about his friend and mentor.

“No way I could get out of doing this record,” Steve said when we talked over the phone from Charlotte, North Carolina, that night’s stop on Earle’s ever peripatetic road dog itinerary. “When I get to the other side, I didn’t want to run into Guy having made the TOWNES record and not one about him.”

Townes van Zandt (subject of Earle’s 2009 Townes) and Guy Clark were “like Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg to me,” Steve said. The mercurial Van Zandt (1944-1997) who once ordered his teenage disciple to chain him to a tree in hopes that it would keep him from drinking, was the On The Road quicksilver of youth. Clark, 33 at the time Earle met him, was a longer lasting, more mellow burn.

“When it comes to mentors, I’m glad I had both,” Earle said. “If you asked Townes what’s it all about, he’d hand you a copy of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. If you asked Guy the same question, he’d take out a piece of paper and teach you how to diagram a song, what goes where. Townes was one of the all-time great writers, but he only finished three songs during the last fifteen years of his life. Guy had cancer and wrote songs until the day he died...He painted, he built instruments, he owned a guitar shop in the Bay Area where the young Bobby Weir hung out. He was older and wiser. You hung around with him and knew why they call what artists do
disciplines. Because he was disciplined.”

“GUY wasn’t really a hard record to make,” Earle said. “We did it fast, five or six days with almost no overdubbing. I wanted it to sound live...When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.”

When he was making TOWNES, Earle recorded “Pancho and Lefty” first; it was a big record, covered over by no less than Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan. “You had to go into the bar and right away knock out the biggest guy in the room,” Earle recalled.

With GUY it was a different process. Clark didn’t have that one career-defining hit, but he wasn’t exactly unknown. “Desperados,” “LA Freeway” were pre-“Americana” style hits. “New Cut Road” charted for Bobby Bare and was recorded by Johnny Cash. “Heartbroke” was a # 1 countryrecord for Ricky Skaggs in 1982. But when you added it up, Clark’s songs wove together into variegated life tapestry, far more than the sum of the parts.

Earle and his current, perhaps best ever, bunch of Dukes take on these songs with a spirit of reverent glee and invention. The tunes are all over the place and so is the band, offering max energy on such disparate entries as the bluegrass rave-up “Sis Draper” and talking blues memoir of “Texas 1947.” Earle’s raw vocal on the sweet, sad “That Old Time Feeling” is heartbreaking, sounding close enough to the grave as to be doing a duet with his dead friend.

You can hear little hints of where Earle came from. The stark “Randall Knife” has the line “a better blade that was ever made was probably forged in Hell,” which wouldn’t be out of place in a Steve Earle song. Also hard to beat is “The Last Gunfighter,” a sardonic western saga to which Earle offers a bravura reading of the chorus: “the smell of the black powder smoke and the stand in the street at the turn of joke.”

But in the end GUY leads the listener back to its beginning, namely Guy Clark, which is what any good “tribute” should do.

Indeed, it was a revelation to dial up a video of Guy Clark singing “Desperados Waiting For A Train” on Austin City Limits sometime in the 1980’s. Looking as handsome as any man ever was in his bluegrass suit and still brown, flowing hair, Clark sings of a relationship between a young man and an older friend. Saying how the elder man “taught me how to drive his car when he was too drunk to,” the young narrator describes a halcyon fantasy in which he and friend were always “desperados waiting for a train.” As time passes, however, the young man despairs. To him, his friend is “one on the heroes of this country.” So why is he “dressed up like some old man?”

Steve Earle delivers these lines well, as he always does. But the author of “Guitar Town,” “Copperhead Road,” “Transcendental Blues” and a hundred more masterpiece songs, would be the first to tell you it is one thing to perform “Desperados Waiting For Train” and another to be its creator. There are plenty of covers better than the original. But “Desperados...” will forever reside with Guy Clark, the songwriter singing his song, just him and his guitar. That is the main thing GUY has to tell you: to remember the cornerstone, never forget where you came from.

There was another reason, Earle said, he couldn’t “get out of” making GUY. “You know,” he said, “as you live your life, you pile up these regrets. I’ve done a lot of things that might be regrettable, but most of them I don’t regret because I realize I couldn’t have done anything else at the time.”

“With GUY, however, there was this thing. When he was sick---he was dying really for the last ten years of his life---he asked me if we could write a song together. We should do it ‘for the grandkids,’ he said. Well, I don’t know...at the time, I still didn’t co-write much, then I got busy. Then Guy died and it was too late. That, I regret.”

Earle didn’t think making GUY paid off some debt, as if it really could. Like the Townes record, Guy is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. It is lucky for us that Earle remembers and honors these things, because like old friends, GUY is a diamond.

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Dark Star Orchestra

Dark Star Orchestra

Performances

July 6 - 8:00 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Dark Star Orchestra

Performing to critical acclaim celebrating their 20th anniversary year in 2017 and over 2600 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead’s extensive catalog and the talent of these seven fine musicians. On any given night, the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra’s members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations.

Dark Star Orchestra offers much more than the sound of the Grateful Dead, they truly encapsulate the energy and the experience. It's about a sense of familiarity. It's about a feeling that grabs listeners and takes over. It's about that contagious energy... in short, it's about the complete experience and consistent quality show that the fan receives when attending a Dark Star Orchestra show.

Dark Star Orchestra has performed throughout the entire United States, plus Europe & the Caribbean touching down in seven different countries. DSO continues to grow its fan base by playing at larger venues for two and even three night stands as well as performing at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, Milwaukee’s SummerFest, The Peach Music Festival, All Good Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Mountain Jam, and many more.

In addition to appearing at some of the nation’s top festival, Dark Star Orchestra hosts its own annual music festival and campaign gathering, titled the ‘Dark Star Jubilee’, currently in its sixth year where DSO headline all three nights and are joined by a mix of established and up and coming national touring acts. Beyond the shores of the United States, DSO has taken its internationally-acclaimed Grateful Dead tribute to the beaches of Jamaica in the dead of winter for the past five years, with their event appropriately titled ‘Jam in the Sand’. Featuring an ocean-side stage, DSO sets up camp to perform shows for four nights along the tropical sands of an all-inclusive resort, selling out the event each year for hundreds of lucky attendees.

Fans and critics haven’t been the only people caught up in the spirit of a Dark Star show. The band has featured guest performances from six original Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux- MacKay, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. Other notable guests have included Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Peter Rowan, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and many more.

"For us it's a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created for us over the years," rhythm guitarist and vocalist Rob Eaton explains. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the 90s, we offer something they never got to see live."

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Brother Ali

Brother Ali

Performances

July 6 - 8:45 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage

Brother Ali

Over the past 17 years, Brother Ali has earned wide critical acclaim for his deeply personal, socially conscious, and inspiring brand of hip-hop. Under Rhymesayers Entertainment, he’s unleashed a series of lauded projects, establishing himself as one of the most respected independent voices in music. The latest chapter in that celebrated journey is All the Beauty in This Whole Life, a 15-track collection produced entirely by Atmosphere’s Anthony “Ant” Davis.

“This entire album is based on the reality that beauty is the splendor of truth” says the Minneapolis MC. “Beauty in all of its forms is the outward manifestation of love and virtue. It soothes the soul and pulls it gently toward the truth it communicates. Every word and note of this album is intended to either reflect beauty, or expose the ugliness that blocks us from living lives of meaning.”

All the Beauty in This Whole Life is Ali’s first official release in five years and represents the newest and most refined chapter of his life’s journey. “Each of my albums are the result of the pain, growth and eventual healing that I experience. Articulating the pain and navigating the healing allows the people who really feel my music to travel with me. It’s not only that we hurt together, we heal together as well.”

This year, Brother Ali’s debut album on Rhymesayers Entertainment, Shadows on the Sun, celebrates its 15th anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, Brother Ali will embark on a special 13-date headlining tour where he will perform the full album in its entirety each night. The Shadows on the Sun 15-Year Anniversary Tour kicks off November 1st in Washington D.C., with stops in New York, Minneapolis, Austin, Los Angeles, and more.

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Donna Missal

Donna Missal

Performances

June 27 - 8:00 PM @ BMO Harris Pavilion

Donna Missal

On her debut album This Time, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Donna Missal shows the elegant collision of elements at play in her music: a poet’s command of tone, a soul singer’s boundless intensity, a bedroom musician’s willful embracing of intimacy and experimentation. Along with channeling the raw passion she first ignited by playing in rock bands in her homeland of New Jersey, This Time expands on the melodic ingenuity displayed in recent singles like “Driving” and “Thrills.” Above all the album is a testament to the sheer force of Missal’s voice, a dynamic but delicate instrument that achieves a beautifully nuanced expression even as she belts her heart out.

With its title taken from a track Missal co-wrote with her frequent collaborator Sharon Van Etten, This Time is an uncompromisingly honest look at living entirely on your own terms. “I’ve spent most of my life being hyper-focused on time, which I think is something that a lot of women obsess over,” says Missal. “We’re in such a rush to make things happen, when really we should take the time to figure out what we actually want out of life. And even though it’s so fucking hard to have that kind of patience, I think it’s so important to believe in yourself enough to let things develop in a way that feels right to you.”

Produced by Tim Anderson (Solange, BANKS, Halsey), This Time matches that defiant spirit with a sound inspired by the rule-bending sensibilities of mixtape culture. Blending elements of soul and hip-hop and rock-and-roll, Missal shaped This Time’s sonic landscape partly by laying live recordings down on tape, then sampling those recordings to imbue her songs with a fresh yet timeless energy. Much of that live recording took place at the iconic Different Fur Studios in San Francisco, with the sessions headed up by Missal and Nate Mercereau (a musician known for his work with Leon Bridges). “I really wanted this album to reference my history of playing in bands,” Missal points out. “It’s all these very pure, talented musicians playing together in a room, but then we took that and sampled it and altered in a way that creates something totally new.”

Throughout the album, Missal brings her time-warping but gracefully arranged sound to songs that capture the most specific of emotions. Crafting her lyrics with the kind of idiosyncratic detail that instantly etches each line onto your heart, Missal explores self-empowerment on tracks like “Transformer”—a fiercely charged anthem about “having the courage to take what you want from life, without apology.” On “Thrills,” with its softly swaying groove and dreamy guitar tones, Missal’s voice soars and shatters as she muses on self-love and sexual confidence. “‘Thrills’ is about owning what makes you real,” says Missal. “There is a shift happening in our societal standards of beauty and sexuality, and the more we embrace our flaws the closer we become to effecting real change. I’d love for people to hear the song — and not just women, but anyone who feels disenfranchised— and remember that being sexy and confident comes from self-acceptance.”

Elsewhere on This Time, Missal infuses social commentary into songs like “Girl”: a stripped-back yet intricately textured track that unfolds with both gentle playfulness and piercing vulnerability. “I wanted to address this idea that women need to be pinned against each other in order to succeed, or need to point out the flaws in other women just to feel good about themselves,” says Missal. “That kind of thinking has been around forever, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going away—but the more we talk about it, the better it’s going to get.” And on “Driving,” Missal delivers one of the album’s most mesmerizing moments, with her flowing melody, hypnotic rhythms, and ethereal vocals merging with a quiet grandeur that’s simultaneously escapist and inspiring. “‘Driving’ is about being on the precipice of taking control over your life—that feeling of seeing something you want in the distance and making the decision to go for it,” says Missal. “It’s about saying ‘Even if it takes a long time, or I hit some bumps along the way, it’s all okay because I’m the one behind the wheel.’”

From song to song on This Time, Missal shows a natural musicality she credits to her father, a former session drummer and songwriter who ran his own studio in Manhattan. Born in New York, Missal moved with her family to New Jersey as a kid, and grew up playing with the vintage microphones and 16-track tape machine her dad kept in the basement. “Every year he’d have us make Christmas albums for my grandparents,” recalls Missal, who’s one of six children. “We’d go out and buy these instrumental CDs of Christmas songs and he’d record us singing over it, and as we got older we moved onto making our own arrangements and playing the instruments ourselves,” says Missal. “It was my first experience in singing and I just fell in love with it.”

When Missal was 10, her parents enrolled her and her siblings in a summer program at a local community theater, mainly as a way for the home-schooled family to interact with other kids. That program immediately sparked a love of performance in Missal, and helped her to develop the remarkable vocal range that now gives her music so much vitality. During her high school years she joined a theater program at a vocational school in a nearby town, but decided against furthering her education at a conservatory. “I was looking at all these schools that cost up to 40 thousand dollars a semester, and it just didn’t feel right,” Missal says. “Senior year I told my teacher that I didn’t think that was my path, so he graduated me four months early, and then I joined a rock band.” 

Missal stuck with her band for several years, first playing basement shows around New Jersey and later booking gigs in Manhattan. As the band’s lyricist, she discovered a deep love of songwriting, and dedicated herself to honing her craft. Eventually moving to Brooklyn, Missal balanced her time between bartending and writing, and soon came up with “Keep Lying”—a soulful slow-burner showcasing her full-throated vocal delivery. “At the time I was struggling to understand what I wanted to do with my music,” says Missal. “I didn’t have the confidence yet to stand behind my vision, so I thought I could get other artists to cut my songs and just thrive that way.” Although she’d initially planned to use “Keep Lying” as part of her effort to score a publishing deal, Missal ultimately self-released the demo and landed it in the hands of Zane Lowe, who premiered it on Beats 1 (and, in turn, helped push the demo to the top of Spotify’s Viral charts). 

While record companies quickly came calling, Missal decided to focus on refining her vision, in part by working with a series of co-writers and producers. After finding a strong creative chemistry with Tim Anderson, she moved to L.A. and brought This Time to life by way of a deliberately unhurried process. “I allowed myself a lot of time to figure out what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, and because of all that I ended up making a record that really reflects who I am,” she notes.

Having signed her deal with Harvest Records in early 2018, Missal has also recently appeared as a featured artist on Macklemore’s GEMINI, written songs for the Netflix original series The Get Down, and supported K.Flay at a pair of sold-out shows. And with the release of This Time, one of her greatest hopes is for the album to impart the same sense of self-discovery that informed its creation. “This isn’t a record about love and loss and relationships,” Missal says. “It’s about taking chances for yourself, figuring out who you are and really standing behind that. I made a point of putting myself out there as a real person navigating this life at this moment in time, because I want to do whatever I can as an artist to help people feel more confident in navigating their own lives. I’d love for the listener to receive the message that you can take your time to learn and love yourself. That’s been the most important discovery that I want to share with this album.”

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SHAED

SHAED

Performances

June 28 - 8:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

SHAED

Based in Washington D.C., electro-pop trio SHAED balance effervescence and atmosphere. Consisting of lead singer and one-time solo artist Chelsea Lee and producers Max and Spencer Ernst, the group's second single, "Thunder," landed on the viral streaming charts in mid-2016. They released their debut EP, Just Wanna See, in September 2016.

Chelsea Lee and the Ernst twins first met in high school and began writing music together a few years later. Soon after releasing their debut single, "Just Wanna See," in March 2016, they had a viral streaming hit with the anthemic synth pop tune "Thunder." Both songs were included on their first EP, Just Wanna See, issued that September. It was followed by tours in support of Marian Hill and Bishop Briggs. SHAED released the stand-alone single "Too Much" in mid-2017, shortly before the trio moved in together and worked on recording much of their second EP at home. In May of 2018, they re-emerged on tour with X Ambassadors, and Photo Finish Records issued "Trampoline," the lead single from Melt, which followed in July.

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flora cash

flora cash

Performances

June 28 - 6:30 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

flora cash

As innovation blurs borders and connects individuals everywhere, the world continues to get smaller by way of social media, video chats, and so on and so forth. When two kindred spirits cross paths 4,249 miles away from each other, magic still feels like the best possible explanation how…

Flora Cash emerged at such an intersection. As the story goes, Minneapolis native Cole Randall uploaded his music to Soundcloud. Across the Atlantic, Shpresa Lleshaj stumbled upon his account and started leaving comments under the songs. Facebook messages gave way to an introductory phone conversation, which snowballed into marathon Skype sessions.

Within months, Shpresa booked a ticket to Minneapolis. The two soulmates met I.R.L., relocated to Sweden, spent three months renting a room in a London flat due to Visa restrictions, and finally married back in the states. At the same time, the mystique of the music offset the exuberance of the union between them. The duo stitched together a singular style from threads of personal anxiety, struggle, and ultimately triumph.

“The fact that we’re collaborating comes from our relationship, but there’s more to our experience than the relationship,” affirms Cole. “It’s as if we’re expressing ourselves individually and bringing those elements together within the band. We all lose people, endure hardships, and face issues. We want to talk about all of that in our music.”

“It’s reality, but there is a mystery,” adds Shpresa.

The mystery quietly intoxicated fans and gatekeepers alike. In 2017, their full-length debut,Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine), attracted widespread tastemaker praise, including a coveted 9-out-of-10 score from Earmilk as well