Summer Concert Preview

    June is finally here, and with longer days, no school and menial jobs comes, of course, the summer concert season. It appears that the days of tours for every subculture are over: Lilith Fair is dead, Summer Sanitarium is dead, the SmokeOut is dead. But Lollapalooza is back and should be great, Ozzfest is still headbanging away, and Bonnaroo looks like the best music festival that no one from the West Coast will attend. In addition to the big-money tours, all your favorite bands are on the road for the next few months, so make up for your Kazaa library by going out and showing some support. While finals week still looms, here are a few heads-up to start planning your summer.

    Lollapalooza

    Lollapalooza organizers apparently got the message that their festival sucked last year, and to ensure that Lollapalooza 2004 lives up to its alt-rock heritage, they’ve booked bands that people actually want to see. It wouldn’t be Lollapalooza without Sonic Youth, and they’ll perform their artsy, minimalist rock along with the return of the maudlin Englishman Morrissey, PJ Harvey, Modest Mouse and Le Tigre. Indie-rock heroes the Walkmen, Sparta and Broken Social Scene will supply the requisite powerchording … and this is only the first day.

    The second full day of Lollapalooza 2004 will be headlined by jazzy-jammers the String Cheese Incident, psychogeezers the Flaming Lips and amazing art-folkies Wilco. If you needed any more proof that Lollapalooza is indeed trying to be the poor man’s Coachella, show up at the tour stops in New York and L.A. to see none other than the old, fat and totally glorious Pixies. Other acts include the much-lauded Basement Jaxx, TV on the Radio, Mike Watt, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Gomez and the Von Bondies.

    Ozzfest

    Ozzy Osbourne has a permanent place in the rock ’n’ roll circus, whether it’s in the freakshow trailer or the middle ring. For those who find it to be the latter, this year’s Ozzfest tour will yet again feature some of the most tried-and-true bands in heavy metal.

    Ozzy’s original band, the genre-defining Black Sabbath (who swore a few years ago that that year’s tour would be their last) will of course headline, along with the tight-panted Judas Priest and death-rock debutantes Slayer.

    Hatebreed, Black Label Society, Slipknot, Dimmu Borgia, Bleeding Through and Atreyu are also on the bill for summer 2004’s most uplifting show.

    Bonnaroo Music Festival

    If Ozzfest sounds too scary for you, how about a road trip out to Tennessee to catch 2004’s Bonnaroo Music Festival? The annual three-day festival features the best in roots music from all over the world, including the virtuosic Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, perenial favorites Dave Matthews Band, reggae legends Burning Spear, the Bad Plus, the Black Keys, Steve Winwood, Damien Rice, Wilco, Calexico, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco, My Morning Jacket, the Dead, Los Lobos, Maroon 5 and Taj Mahal.

    You’ll have to leave finals week a bit early (the show runs from June 11 to June 13), but this might be the closest thing to Woodstock any of us will ever see. The drive will be worth it, we promise.

    Vans Warped Tour

    If you like your summer music with a few kickflips and backside 50-50 grinds, the Vans Warped Tour might be just your thing.

    The annual summer tour features the best in high-energy punk rock on multiple stages, extreme sports demos on vert ramps and street courses and infamous mosh pits.

    This year’s huge bill includes Coheed and Cambria, Anti-Flag, Alkaline Trio, Authority Zero, Thursday, the Vandals, Sugarcult, NOFX, the Aquabats, the Casualties, Eight Fingers Down, Yellowcard, the Sounds and Reeve Oliver. Don’t forget the Red Bull, kids. You’ll need it.

    KROQ Weenie Roast

    The Beastie Boys are back on the scene this summer after a long hiatus from the music world. The boys willheadline this year’s KROQ Weenie Roast and will perform along with the Strokes, Bad Religion and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The benefit show will be held yet again at the sweltering Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, Calif.

    Also performing will be Velvet Revolver, Yellowcard, the Hives, Cypress Hill, Modest Mouse, Story of the Year and A New Found Glory.

    A word to the wise: They don’t call it a weenie roast because they give out free hot dogs — they call it a weenie roast because you are like a weenie roasting in the sun. So take a hint — unless you want to spend the days after resembling a lobster, bring the sunblock, whitey.

    The MTV2 Projekt Revolution Tour

    MTV’s ever-tightening grasp on the youth entertainment world will get a little firmer this summer as MTV2 tries to show it knows who the hot bands are. The less-than-cleverly misspelled Projekt Revolution Tour will feature nü-metal nobles Linkin Park, Korn (who still exist?) and the Used. Somewhere between the sets of emo-metal, Snoop Dogg will entertain the pale-skinned masses with his usual pimp-tastic hip-hop.

    If nothing else, it’ll be fun to see the angry teens get down to “Gin and Juice.” Maybe MTV is on to something …

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