Acts We'd Love to See Play Free Press Summer Fest 2015
Photo by Jim Bricker
Before that carton of leftover FSPF 2014 milk in the fridge starts to smell a little ripe, we had to ask...who should the festival bring in next year?
BECK This one's pretty self-explanatory. He fits the general aesthetic of the festival, and would be the perfect-sized headliner. That, and his unmatched catalog would make for the perfect quirky evening of tunes. JIM BRICKER
JAKE BUGG One of my favorite parts of Jack White's set this year was simply watching him play guitar. Obviously, he shreds, but while watching him I realized how seldom I get to see a guitarist just working his instrument anymore. While certainly more acoustic and bluesy, the British-born Bugg is a sign that good guitar is making a comeback. SELENA DIERINGER
Photo by J Tovar
DISCLOSURE Yeah, Disclosure is a personal favorite, but because they make better EDM than most of their compatriots. That sort of music will likely continue dominating festivals for a few more years, and as long as it does, I'd love to see an act that has proven to put on an amazing show. Disclosure does not disappoint. SELENA DIERINGER
DR. DOG It seems like Pegstar and Dr. Dog get along quite well, so it's actually odd we haven't seen the Philadelphia indie-rockers on a FPSF stage. Next year will hopefully be their time. JIM BRICKER
FAITH NO MORE I'm still holding out hope for Faith No More. That's a bucket-list band that hasn't been anywhere near Houston in a whole lot of years. They've been playing European festivals by the scads of late, probably just to be cocky pricks. I get that Gdynia, Poland, probably has much nice weather than we do this time of year, but I need to hear "Last Cup of Sorrow" live before I die, and I don't want to have to deal with going to the passport place to do it. NATHAN SMITH
Photo by Jim Bricker
HAIM Sadly, I missed HAIM when they rolled into our fair city this past April. I'm sure the show at House of Blues was great [it was - ed.], but something about this sisterly trio's sound seems custon-made for a festival stage. With powerful yet ethereal vocal harmonies and Eagles-esque guitars, HAIM could get the FPSF crowd to sing and dance and keep the positive vibes flowing. SELENA DIERINGER
HOT CHIP We like to dance; that was proven all weekend on the Mercury and Saturn stages. Hot Chip will definitely make you shake your ass. JIM BRICKER
JURASSIC 5 Or any classic hip-hop group, for that matter: Nas, De La Soul, Arrested Development, Blackalicious, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Slick Rick, Run-DMC, Public Enemy, KRS-One, Digable Planets, Too Short... JIM BRICKER
MISCHIEF BREW If you don't know Erik Petersen's band, all the better -- FPSF can do that thing it excels at by booking interesting and worthy talent that is off the grid for many. This month alone, Fitzgerald's is hosting Andrew Jackson Jihad and The Mountain Goats, who are Petersen's contemporaries. So the fest organizers know his ilk of music, if not him.
The lyrics are impressive and provocative and delivered the old-fashioned way, with guitars and passionate vocals. A little Mischief Brew would really cleanse the palette from swallowing so much EDM this year. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
LIZ PHAIR Liz Phair is the only blonde I've paid much attention to since my second-grade crush, Connie Fikac. It's been more than 40 years since I last saw Connie; but I've never seen Liz live. I've wanted to, but it seems she just never made it this far south very often. Why Can't I hear "Polyester Bride" live? That would be Mesmerising. See what I did there, Liz fans?
With so many strong indie women on the scene, particularly in Houston, the time seems right to recognize her legacy with a festival date. People would be interested. If Veruca Salt can do a reunion run, then Liz at least should get booked for FPSF's Neptune stage. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
PHISH They are long overdue for a show in Houston (15 years overdue), so there return to our fair town raging a three-hour set on the Mars Stage with a downtown-Houston backdrop would be perfect. While that might draw a few more people than Summer Fest can handle, it would be an amazing feat if they could pull it off. JIM BRICKER
PRINCE I'd pretty much die if Prince ever played FPSF. I literally have nothing more to say about this. The end. SELENA DIERINGER
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE Picture this: it's Saturday night at FPSF '15, about 102 degrees on the pavement and you're greased on $80 worth of vendor beer (roughly an 18-pack). Nothing against Vampire Weekend; they were quite lovely. But this ain't no sleepy SoCal valley. We need a grittier Saturday-night headliner.
If I'm going to rage, I want Rage to set the tone. I want Tom Morello's guitar shrieking like the sirens of the police car I'll hijack once we pour into the city streets. I want Zack yelling like the attorney I'm gonna need after the mayhem. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Story continues on the next page.
Photo by Jason Wolter
SLOBBERBONE Wilco has always been at the top of my personal FPSF wish list, but given the festival's prevailing trends, Jeff Tweedy's bunch seems too intellectual to merit an invitation with each passing year. But Slobberbone, who shared lots of ink with Wilco when No Depression still came out on paper, might work. Brent Best and his bandmates were arguably the loudest of the early alt-country bands, but all the guitar noise they could muster never quite seemed to dull their songs' latent heartache. They sure did rock in spite of the pain, though. CHRIS GRAY
SO SO GLOS I originally saw Brooklyn based So So Glos at SXSW quite a few years ago and immediately went home and friended them on MySpace. They were one of the most raw and exciting live rock bands I had seen in ages. Since then, they've been back to SXSW, but I think it's time these New York boys bring their grit back to Houston...after they play Warehouse Live June 15.SELENA DIERINGER
SPOON Britt Daniel et al. are definitely one for the "why haven't they played already?" bin, maybe right up at the very top of that list. But since he appears to have put Divine Fits on hold and reactivated Spoon, which has more or less been dormant since the promotional activities surrounding 2010's Transference, so no time like the present. The album they announced this spring could be out by next June, too. CHRIS GRAY
Photo by Mary Ellen Mathews/Courtesy of Big Hassle Media
TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS One thing that FPSF has never really featured is a true classic-rock act, and Tom Petty is the perfect one. To hear hits like "Free Falling" and "American Girl" closing out the festival would be a great change of pace from the EDM and indie-rock acts that have clouded the stages in years past. JIM BRICKER
Photo by Jody Perry
THE WAILERS There has never really been much reggae at FPSF. A perfect sunny Sunday afternoon set from Bob Marley's famed backing group would fit in very well. There is nothing like waking up to some chill, head-bobbing tunes to get you really into the day. Imagine 50,000 people singing along to "Three Little Birds." JIM BRICKER
KANYE WEST Anyone whose wedding-rehearsal dinner was booked at the Palace of Versailles is going to expect quite a lot of money and perks from Free Press. But Kanye has bills to pay now that his opulent nuptials are behind him, so maybe he can be coerced to spend his anniversary (provided he makes it that far) in Houston.
I want to see him live and outdoors, where he won't have to attempt to fit his head through any doorways. Seriously, he'd be a major get for the hometown fest and I'm sure everything about his being involved would have people and blogs buzzing. And if FPSF organizers want him for cheap, they should openly wonder during negotiations if he'd be as good as Childish Gambino was this year. That'll pique his interest. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
WILCO Jeff Tweedy singing about love and pain to a huge late evening crowd is my idea of a good time. They've always loved Houston, so why not? JIM BRICKER
ZZ TOP Next year will be FPSF's lucky No. 7, by our count. Isn't it past time already? CHRIS GRAY
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.