The hotly anticipated lineup for Free Press Summer Fest was unveiled on Wednesday — and with acts ranging from R&B legend R. Kelly and singer-songstress St. Vincent to indie rock darlings The Decemberists and house superstar Steve Angello, this year's fest promises to be one of the best yet.
Since starting six years ago, Free Press Summer Fest has grown from an estimated 30,000 attendance in 2009 to more than 100,000 last year. Houston's largest music festival takes place June 6 and 7 at newly renovated Eleanor Tinsley Park.
With so many incredible artists performing this year, I thought I'd highlight a few of the real standouts.
The top headliner of this year's festival is none other than international dubstep sensation Skrillex. The six-time Grammy winner is known for rapid-fire beats, gigantic drops and an almost robot-like sound quality (not sure it could be described as anything else). Monster hits like 2010's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" (you might recognize it from Spring Breakers) and 2011's "First of the Year (Equinox)" truly made him dubstep's biggest star. With his latest album (and his first full-lentgh release), Recess, Skrillex solidified himself as a force when it comes to the aggressive side of dance music.
Returning to the festival after first performing in 2011, Weezer is surely one of this year's biggest draws for many Houstonians. The Los Angeles rockers are back for more, hot on the heels of their ninth studio album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, which received the highest accolades from critics since Pinkerton. Here's to hoping they play classics like "Undone - The Sweater Song," "Buddy Holly" and "El Scorcho."
Diplo is the driving force behind Major Lazer, a project in which he skillfully combines dancehall, reggae and electronic music. With thumping bass and booty-shaking beats, you'll be dancing like crazy during this performance. To get a better feel for what you can expect, check out tracks like "Come On To Me" featuring Sean Paul, "Original Don" and "Aerosol Can" featuring Pharrell Williams.
Last year's Welcome to Houston showcase brought together six of the most legendary Houston hip-hop artists, including Bun B, Paul Wall, Devin the Dude, Slim Thug, Z-Ro and Mike Jones. This year, the performance is back and they've added locals Scarface (of Geto Boys), Lil Flip, Lil Keke and The Suffers. Expect to hear some throwback anthems and see some collaborations like last year.
This wistful indie pop group from Glasgow is one of the acts you really can't afford to miss. With a mellow yet upbeat production paired with thoughtful, often clever lyrics, Belle and Sebastian is known for their playful take on music. "The Party Line" (from their just-released ninth studio album) and "The Stars of Track and Field" are good places to start investigating if you don't already know them.