It’s time for our second round of lineup predictions of the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest. And this will be our final round of speculation. That’s because the official announcement is imminent.
The lineup for this year’s concert will be announced on Monday, July 11. We still can’t confirm when it will be, but our Sept. 10 prediction from a few weeks ago sure seems very solid. One look at the Merriweather schedule — plus that TV on the Radio touring gap — makes that Saturday stick out. A lot.
We can tell you that you’ll want to bookmark the Virgin Mobile Live page on Facebook . You’ve got to “like” that page in order to get tickets when they go “on free.” So don’t make the complete changeover to Google Plus just yet.
As a refresher, our original predictions were: TV on the Radio, Foo Fighters, Big Boi, Best Coast, Titus Andronicus, Santigold, Cut Copy and Death From Above 1979. And now some more slightly-educated guesses!
Cee Lo Green: Yes, he just dropped off of Rihanna’s summer tour in order to have more time to record, write a book and sit in some giant swiveling chair on NBC. But the rotund one still has some fall festival dates on his calendar and played the very first festival back in 2006 as part of Gnarls Barkley, when it was called simply Virgin Festival. How quaint!
The Roots: Let’s be honest — predicting the Roots to play any concert that’s happening anywhere at any time is not exactly going out on a limb. There’s a good chance they’ll play it. But with the band’s August show at Merriweather recently canceled it frees them up for FreeFest. And by mid-September, it will have been a full two-and-a-half months since drummer Questlove was in town to DJ at the Folklife Festival. And two-and-a-half months between D.C. visits is a long time for this band.
Queens of the Stone Age: These guys have been largely absent for the past few years and haven’t been seen around the D.C. area for a long while. They are playing Pearl Jam Fest in Wisconsin the weekend before our predicted Sept. 10 date. Josh Homme and Dave Grohl of our predicted headliners Foo Fighters are buddies and bandmates in Them Crooked Vultures. So it’s possible, at least.
Black Keys: If you are going to have a big music festival, you need to have a bro rock band. And who is the bro-est of all bro rock bands? The Black Keys, of course. The band is Virgin Mobile Festival alumni, having played the 2008 edition. You may remember that the duo’s set that year got off to a very late start thanks to the previous performer, Lil Wayne, hitting the stage 30 minutes behind schedule.
Cage the Elephant: Another bro rock band — at a festival, one just isn’t enough — and one that has played the 9:30 Club multiple times, including in the band’s infancy. Plus, the group happens to be opening for Foo Fighters this fall. So if we are to assume, once again, that Foos are headlining, it makes a lot of sense to bring them along for this show, right?
But what if Foo Fighters aren’t headlining? Or what if Dave Grohl and Co. aren’t the only headliners? A few highly-unlikely-but-big-time possibilities after the jump...
Kanye West: We can dream, can’t we? Hey, it happened once already. And man, that was awesome.
Eminem: When was the last time Eminem played in the area? Seriously, does anyone even remember? That means he could probably sell out a Merriweather-sized venue on his own … but you never know.
Arcade Fire: The band’s Grammy victory lap tour has been going strong for most of 2011 and it’s almost all festivals at this point. It was basically a sellout at Merriweather last August so maybe they’ll be back for an encore.