Goldenvoice -- the producers behind Coachella -- will present the inaugural Panorama music festival on NYC's Randall's Island this weekend. The first act is on today (7/22) at noon, and the festival continues through Sunday (7/24).
As far as headliners go, the fest is pretty stacked. There's Arcade Fire (day 1), Kendrick Lamar (day 2), and LCD Soundsystem (day 3), plus other big names like Broken Social Scene (day 1), Sufjan Stevens (day 2), and The National (day 2). There are also of course some cool non-headliners to see, and we picked six that we're excited about.
It feels like an understatement to say that punk as we know it in the 21st century wouldn't exist without Kathleen Hanna. Few artists have put out the kind of influential and timeless music that she did with Le Tigre and especially with Bikini Kill. With The Julie Ruin she's continuing to make music that fits right in with modern, younger bands. Their new album Hit Reset is one of the year's most easily-replayable rock records. It's got elements of classic Kathleen Hanna but there's new ground covered too. There are just a few certified music legends on the Panorama lineup, and she's absolutely one of them. Catch The Julie Ruin at 2:50 PM on Saturday on the Pavilion stage.
Directly after The Julie Ruin on the Pavilion Stage on Saturday is London trio Daughter. They got very popular off their 2013 debut If You Leave, but it's this year's Not To Disappear that makes us want to catch them. It's a deeply intimate, personal album, the kind where you're really hanging on to every lyric Elena Tonra sings. Besides the fast-paced "No Care," every song is slow and somber. Their set could be the perfect way to chill out during Saturday's oppressive heat. They're on at 4:05 PM.
The Pavilion stage really is looking like a great place to hang on Saturday. Right after Daughter it's neo-soul newcomer Anderson .Paak. He caught his first break when he appeared on Dr. Dre's Compton, and continued to win the world over with this year's Malibu. Where it's truly at for Anderson .Paak though, is the live show. He can rap, sing and drum, and he's genuinely great at all three of those things. He's one of the rare musicians where you can't decide if you like them better as a frontman or a drummer, and we can almost guarantee his set will be unforgettable because of that. As you may know, a few other Malibu collaborators are on the fest too, including Schoolboy Q (who just put out a killer new album), Kaytranada (ditto), Madlib, and TOKiMONSTA (who he played live with at Coachella). Maybe we'll see some collaborations this weekend? He's on at 5:15 PM.
The first 20 minutes of Blood Orange's set overlap with Anderson .Paak's but if you can manage to see both, we recommend it. Dev Hynes has been making music for over a decade with various bands and writing/producing undeniable songs for pop singers, and Freetown Sound, his third album as Blood Orange, is one of the best things he's done yet. It's a To Pimp A Butterfly/Lemonade type album: communal, extroverted, and rooted in various soulful musical styles but not tied down to any of them. He's got a ton of collaborators on it, some of which will likely be at his live show this weekend. Blood Orange doesn't tour a whole lot, and his shows always feel special. Also Dev is just an amazingly charismatic performer. So it's pretty tough to pass up this opportunity to see them. They play 5:45 PM Saturday on the Panorama stage.
White Lung are one of the best punk bands around, because they push the boundaries of the genre in so many directions without ever sacrificing its tried-and-true formula of short, fast, loud songs. Mish Way is the kind of singer that seemed ready to headline arenas from the band's early days, and guitarist Kenneth William packs loads of prog-worthy guitar work into the band's twentysomething-minute punk records. Their latest, this year's Paradise on Domino, is another winner. It's got some of their poppiest music to date, but also some of their most metallic music. It does everything the band had mastered previously, and then some. Live they're a force, and we doubt you'll regret seeing them. Catch them Sunday at 1:10pm on the Panorama stage.
Between Lollapalooza, Bumbershoot, Boston Calling, Shaky Knees, ACL, Coachella and more, The Front Bottoms have kind of become the token pop punk band on (non-pop punk) music festivals this year. It's easy to see why. Sure there's some Tom Delonge in their sound, but they're equally rooted in the wordy folk rock tradition of bands like The Mountain Goats. Their music is perfect for a hot sunny day, and their shows always get people bouncing and singing along. We can't picture seeing a Front Bottoms show and not smiling. See it for yourself on Sunday at 3:30 PM on the Panorama stage.
It's just a DJ set, but how could we not point out again that a real-life Beastie Boy will be on stage in the flesh at Panorama? He spins at the Parlor stage at 6 PM Friday (and considering Julie Ruin front-woman Kathleen Hanna is married to his band-mate Ad-Rock, this could be a really great weekend for Beastie Boy spotting, not to be confused with Pokemon spotting which we're sure they'll be at lot of at this fest as well).