Memphis In May has finally announced the artists playing the 2015 Beale Street Music Festival, unleashing an all-star lineup that's packed with pop acts, classic rockers, and everything in between. The "song of the day" hints that Beale Street Music Fest was posting on its Facebook page already gave some of the mystery away - it's been common knowledge for weeks that St. Vincent, The Flaming Lips, and Paramore were probably playing - but the annual music fest did save some of the best acts for today's announcement, including the overall headliner Lenny Kravitz. Other surprises include The Pixies, Flogging Molly, and local outlaw country act Dead Soldiers. Here's the complete list of performers at this year's Beale Street Music Fest:
FRIDAY, MAY 1st:
Lenny Kravitz, The Flaming Lips, Five Finger Death Punch, Pixies, Ryan Adams, Breaking Benjamin, Awolnation, Slash, Jenny Lewis, In This Moment, Spin Doctors, Myslovitz, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Alejandro Escovedo, Ira Walker, Preston Shannon, Butch Mudbone, Terry "Harmonica" Bean.
SATURDAY, MAY 2nd:
The Avett Brothers, Paramore, John Fogerty, Band of Horses, Bleachers, Wale, Flogging Molly, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Lindsey Stirling, G-Eazy, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Lecrae, Soul Asylum, Kim Simmons and Savoy Brown, Ana Popovic, Matthew Curry, Copeland, The Vespers, Dead Soldiers, Kenny Brown Band, Kelley Hunt, Leo Bud Welch, Terry "Big T" Williams.
SUNDAY, MAY 3rd:
Ed Sheeran, Wilco, Cage The Elephant, Hozier, St. Vincent, Rise Against, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Of Mice and Men, Kaiser Chiefs, Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, Shovels and Rope, Elle King, Bettye Lavette, Star and Micey, Prosevere, Tinsley Ellis, Will Tucker, Myslovitz, Indigenous, Jarekus Singleton, Blind Mississippi Morris, Deak Harp-N-Lee Williams.
While the specific stage times are still to be announced, we've picked 10 bands that are a must see at this year's Beale Street Music Fest. Here they are, in no particular order:
The legendary king of the bayou should never be missed. Even the most casual fans will immediately recognize Fogerty as the voice behind legendary classic rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, but the California native has also had an impressive solo career behind the Grammy-nominated song "Change in the Weather," among other songs that convey his classic sound. This will be Fogerty's first Memphis concert in 30 years.
George Clinton and Parliament
Do you really need to be told to catch George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic live? I sincerely hope not. Catch this set on Saturday and stay funked up all weekend long.
Anytime a Grammy Award-winning guitarist comes through town you should make plans to be there. St. Vincent has become a household name behind the tireless work ethic of founder Annie Clark, who's toured with everyone from the Black Keys to Death Cab for Cutie before blasting off to superstardom.
The headliner of Beale Street Music Festival needs no introduction. He's a platinum-selling artist and one of the best guitar shredders of his generation. Recently, Kravitz has ventured into acting (appearing in The Hunger Games trilogy and The Butler), but rest assured he's got what it takes to leave Beale Street Music Fest in awe on Friday night.
Is there anyone in the world cooler than Slash? He designed costumes for David Bowie, partied hard with Charlie Sheen, and melted faces with Guns N' Roses. That's a pretty solid resume. Slash has now gone solo, with a raucous band called The Conspirators backing him up. Don't miss this one.
Alternative rock superstars The Pixies lead the pack of '90s nostalgia at Beale Street Music Fest, along with the Spin Doctors and Soul Asylum. Most people remember the Pixies for the epic "Where is my mind" scene in Fight Club, but the band from Boston has been cranking out infectious alternative rock for nearly 30 years.
Leo Bud Welch
Age is nothing but a number - just ask 82-year-old guitarist Leo Bud Welch. Welch apparently once missed an audition to join B.B. King's band because he didn't have the bus fare, but he's done all right since then, touring the states and Europe many times over with his sparkle-covered guitar. The Mississippi legend plays Saturday at Beale Street Music Fest.
Sure they are a Memphis band, but Dead Soldiers should definitely be shown some local love when they play on Saturday. Since forming a few years ago, the Dead Soldiers have rivaled Lucero as the best local alternative country band in town. Made up of members of old Memphis metal bands, Dead Soldiers put on an entertaining live show fueled by Tennessee whiskey and good times, both of which should be on hand all weekend long.
Formally of the "Bay Boyz," G-Eazy is a Northern California hip-hop artist who was chosen to open for Drake after going viral on sites like Myspace and YouTube. G-Eazy has also played Warped Tour and released the critically acclaimed album These Things Happen last summer. The "James Dean of Rap" plays Saturday.
Winner of the best band name of Beale Street Music Fest, Diarrhea Planet (DP)pack a punch with their live show that includes four electric guitarists. Hailing from Nashville, DP had a monster 2014, which included being named the best live act of the year by Paste Magazine. Musically, they fall somewhere in between pop-punk and indie rock, with enough on-stage energy to get the crowd moving no matter when they are billed.
Beale Street Music Fest tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster locations or www.memphisinmay.org/bsmf-tickets. Three-day passes are $95; single-day tickets are $40.