Virgin Mobile FreeFest
For the multitasking music fanatic, this year's Virgin Mobile FreeFest squeezes an entire season of acts into a single day at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sept. 25. Boasting the most exciting bill in the annual festival's five-year history, it's brimming with a polyglot pop queen (M.I.A., right), a dance-minded rock troupe (LCD Soundsystem), reunited indie deities (Pavement), a noisy buzz band (Sleigh Bells), Southern hip-hop superheroes (T.I., Ludacris), wildly dressed indie newbies (Yeasayer), conservatively dressed emo stalwarts (Jimmy Eat World), a leather-clad classic rocker (Joan Jett) and an emerging jazz-funk fusionista (Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews). Come for the big names. Stay for life-affirming trombone solos.
-- Chris Richards