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Beale Street Music Festival 2016: Friday

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FedEx Stage

Julien Baker
  • Julien Baker

Julien Baker

6 p.m.

Memphis' biggest breakout star of 2015 keeps killing it, landing a spot on Beale Street Music Fest after a solid year of touring and seeing her name in every music-media outlet that's relevant. Her first album, Sprained Ankle, made plenty of year-end lists, but we were already onto Baker before she became a media darling. See our cover story on her from last summer for proof.

Trampled by Turtles 

7:30 p.m.

Minnesota's Trampled by Turtles have seen their fair amount of success since forming in 2003, and the alt-country band will be setting out on a long tour with the Devil Makes Three shortly after their performance on Friday night. No stranger to festivals, the band has also played San Francisco's Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Firefly Festival, Rock the Garden, and the All Good Music Festival.

Grace Potter 

9 p.m.

Multi-instrumentalist Grace Potter has collaborated with musicians like Kenny Chesney and the Rolling Stones. No stranger to the festival circuit, Potter's band the Nocturnals played more than 200 shows on the road as they gained traction and signed with Hollywood Records.

Neil Young & Promise of the Real
  • Neil Young & Promise of the Real

Neil Young & Promise of the Real 

10:40 p.m.

Neil Young. On the river. The first night of Beale Street Music Fest. Do we really need to tell you to be there? Do you like music? Good answer. We thought we were about to have a problem. In all seriousness, if this doesn't get you excited, you may need to check your pulse.


Rockstar Energy Drink Stage

The Struts
  • The Struts

The Struts

6:10 p.m.

British rock band the Struts kick things off on the Rockstar Energy Drink stage, and you can expect these glam rockers to bring the heat to Tom Lee Park.

Young the Giant

7:40 p.m.

Young the Giant sound big enough to fill an arena and structure their songs in a way that feels fitting for a club. Their electric sound pulls influence from bands like Muse, while their indie sensibilities are akin to Grouplove.


Panic! At the Disco 

9:10 p.m.

Hot on the heels of the Fall Out Boy-led, mid-2000s emo wave, Panic! At the Disco released their debut 2005 album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, when the band's members were fresh out of high school. Since then, only one of the original members — Brendon Urie — remains in the band, but he and his new bandmates are still pushing out baroque pop that sounds like it was recorded in 2005 (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).


10:50 p.m. These platinum-selling pop-punkers have been at it for over 20 years, releasing hit after hit in between throwing parties on cruise ships and collaborating with current stars like Best Coast. Weezer will be on tour with Panic! At the Disco, who are also playing Friday night.

  • Weezer


Bud Light Stage

Coleman Hell

6:10 p.m.

Coleman Hell wins the "coolest-named hometown" award this year, as he hails from a place called Thunder Bay, Ontario. Keeping with the Canadian theme of this year's Memphis in May, Coleman Hell is sure to bring the thunder when he plays his brand of indie pop/EDM on Friday night.

Gin Blossoms

7:35 p.m.

If the 1990s had a soundtrack, it'd be filled with Gin Blossoms songs — "Hey Jealousy," "Found out About You," "Follow You Down," "Til I Hear It From You" ... the list could go on. Fun fact: Although the alt-rock band is from Tempe, Arizona, all of the above hit songs were recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis.

Mavis Staples

9:15 p.m.

Memphian Mavis Staples will surely take the Bud Light stage by storm when she performs on Friday night. Staples was a late addition to the Beale Street Music Fest lineup, and she adds to an already stacked opening night lineup.

  • Train


10:55 p.m.

Roots-rock icons Train need little introduction since crafting the mega hits "Meet Virginia" and "Drops of Jupiter." There's a reason these San Francisco boys are headlining the Bud Light Stage on Friday night. Expect a moving performance from these platinum-selling artists.


Pearl River Resort Blues Tent

Ghost Town Blues Band

6:15 p.m.

Ghost Town Blues Band once again perform at Beale Street Music Fest, and their latest album, Hard Road to Hoe, is still a local favorite.

Larry McCray

7:45 p.m.

Blues guitarst Larry McCray has been cranking out albums since 1990 and now releases his music through his own record label, Magnolia Records.

Doyle Bramhall II

9:25 p.m.

Doyle Bramhall II has played with Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, and JJ Cale (among others), and his skillful guitar work is not to be missed.

Walter Trout 

11:05 p.m. Closing out night one at the Blues tent is guitarist Walter Trout, who joined the band Canned Heat in 1981. Since then, Trout has cranked out tons of albums under his own name and as Walter Trout and the Radicals.

Local music photographer Sam Leathers spent all weekend at Beale Street Music Fest shooting for the Flyer. A little bit of mud couldn't stop the party down at Tom Lee Park, and Beale Street Music Fest goers braved the elements to catch big name artists like Neil Young and Cypress Hill. Here are some of Sam's best shots from Friday and Saturday. 

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