#Fests

by (@JordanRuntagh)

Legends To Light Up London At The Hard Rock Calling Music Festival: VH1 Will Take You There!

Hard Rock called and we answered! The 7th annual Hard Rock Calling music festival is almost upon us, and VH1′s got your front row ticket and backstage pass. The big event will take place this Friday through Sunday in London’s Hyde Park, and we’ll be there rockin’ out with some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll history! Hard Rock always treats us music fans right, but this year they’ve really spoiled us with some once-in-a-lifetime performances.

Grunge gods Soundgarden will be there playing cuts from their upcoming album, a first in 16 years! Paul Simon is going to celebrate the 25h anniversary of his landmark Graceland album by performing it start to finish, backed by the incredible Ladysmith Black Mambazo group who gave the original recording its timeless sound. Bruce Springsteen will no doubt turn rock ‘n’ roll into an athletic event during his marathon set with the E Street Band, and punk prince Iggy Pop will tear up the stage (and hopefully not himself). Lady Antebellum, Alison Krauss, John Fogerty and Robert Randolph…they’ll all be there to move it and groove it across the pond.

And get this, guys: That’s just the main stage. We’ve got three others to choose from, so get ready for more music than your ears can handle. We’re pleased to report some success stories, as one-time VH1 You Oughta Know artists Dawes and Christina Perri both take the stage. We’ll be sure to catch up with them and see how they like performing along side their idols. There will be tons of surprises along the way, so keep checking back for updates to see what went down in London Town! And also be sure to follow us on twitter (VH1Music) and instagram for up to the minute updates. See ya there!

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@Lacezilla)

The Top 5 Most Entertaining Essence Music Festival Moments

Beside’s Kevin Hart’s hilarious set Saturday night, there were some pretty LOL-worthy instances at Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this past weekend, and even though it was impossible to be everywhere and see everything, we put together a short list of our Top 5 Most Entertaining Moments for you all to experience vicariously.

1. LisaRaye McCoy Makes A Ca$h Out Joke
If you haven’t heard Ca$h Out’s “Cashin’ Out,” you’re missing out. Luckily for us, LisaRaye is hipper than most and made a delightful joke to VH1 News’ Janell Snowden on Friday morning, that went something like this:
Janell: I wish I had all the men that you do, LisaRaye.
LisaRaye: Shoot, I do too. We all need to be “smokin’ on that Keisha.”
If you don’t watch Single Ladies, this may not seem funny, but I assure you, it was. LisaRaye plays a Keisha Green on the show, and in real life, can pun on the character by referencing one of the most ratchet tunes of the summer; adding to the growing list of reasons that she’s a true she-ro of mine.

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by (@zaragolden)

iHeartRadio Music Festival Gets A Lineup

In a season busied with festivals, iHeartRadio has proven itself in just two years to be a formidable force when it comes to bringing in the big acts. The Clear Channel festival debuted last year with a lineup chocked full of marquee names like Jay-Z, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj. And by the looks of the lineup released this morning, this year’s show will be as big a blowout as the last.

Set for September 21 and 22 at the MGM in Las Vegas, this year’s line-up includes blockbuster pop stars P!nk, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Adam Lambert, and Pitbull; shining country stars Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, and Brad Paisley; R&B crooners Usher and Mary J. Blige; as well as old favorites who are steady on the comeback like Green Day, Aerosmith, and No Doubt. And as if that were not enough, more acts will be announced in the weeks prior to the event. Tickets for the festival go on sale July 14th, and more info can be found here.

Check out the full press release below:

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by (@unclegrambo)

2Pac Comes Back To Life At Coachella (As A Hologram), Performs With Snoop Dogg

“GANGSTA SH*T!” That was Snoop Dogg‘s reaction to performing alongside Tupac Shakur at Coachella last night. No, Snoop wasn’t just trippin’ on some super dope kush (although we’re pretty sure he was), the legendary 2Pac was brought back to life —on Greek Easter, no less!— and appeared in holographic form during Dr. Dre‘s closing set at Coachella last night.

We had heard earlier in the week that the late Nate Dogg was set to appear alongside Dre, Snoop, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent and Eminem during Sunday night’s headlining set on the Coachella Stage, but then rumors started flying around over the weekend that 2Pac would be the one to be reanimated using hologram technology. There were rumors that the CGI Pac would team up with Dre for “California Love”, but 2Pac performed “Hail Mary” and “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” with Snoop Dogg instead. We’ve got video of the moment for you above, but be warned that the language is a little salty and therefore NSFW.

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Full setlist below:
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by (@unclegrambo)

Helping You Make The Tough Decisions At The 2012 Coachella Music Festival

As we type this, the gates are about to open in Indio, California for the thirteenth incarnation of the Coachella Festival, and for the lucky few (hundred thousand) with wristbands (and the jealous/curious rest of us), the festival has posted set times for this weekend’s insanely strong lineup. There’s at least one performer worth seeing at any given time, so if you’re going, definitely try to check out at least one band you haven’t heard before. (If you’re like us and are sitting hundreds or thousands of miles away from the Empire Polo Club, YouTube will be livestreaming much of this year’s fest.)

As anyone who has ever attended a music festival will attest, the most difficult part of the weekend is choosing between one or more of your favorite acts who are scheduled to play at overlapping times. With that in mind, we’re here to help! Here are this weekend’s five most crowded time slots, along with our recommendations about who you should see at Coachella this weekend.

FRIDAY EVENING: Pulp vs. Frank Ocean
FRIDAY NIGHT: The Black Keys vs. Explosions In The Sky vs. M83
SATURDAY AFTERNOON: Childish Gambino vs. Azealia Banks
SATURDAY EVENING: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds vs. Martin Solveig
SUNDAY NIGHT: Florence + The Machine vs. DJ Shadow vs. AVICII

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[Photos: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Eminem, Warren G, And A Holographic Nate Dogg (!) To Join Dr. Dre And Snoop At Coachella This Weekend

Our insane jealousy for people who are en route to Indio, CA at the moment for the 2012 Coachella Festival was abated slightly last night when we got to see Pulp perform at Radio City Music Hall. However, the pangs of jealousy will surely once again surface once we starting seeing our Twitter feed fill up with “Wish you were here” type missives tomorrow. This year’s lineup is chock full of sure-to-be-awesome performances, but perhaps none more so than Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg‘s festival closing set on Sunday night.

It’s not being billed as a “One Night, One Album” kind of event (like 50 Cent’s performance of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ at SXSW last month), but you can bet that their performance is going draw heavily from their landmark gangsta rap classics, The Chronic and 2001. Rolling Stone is reporting that Eminem, Warren G and Daz Dillinger are going to make “surprise” appearances, which isn’t exactly a huge shocker, but news leaked today about one TOTALLY unexpected cameo. TMZ is reporting that Nate Dogg, who passed away last year, will be appearing on stage in the form of a hologram (!!!), a la Will.I.Am during the 2008 election. We wouldn’t put it past Coachella promoter Paul Tollett to have invented an app that can call on Nate Dogg’s spirit from an astral plain somewhere, but more realistically, the hologram will be old footage of Dogg from one of Dre’s previous tours. Either way, this moment promises to be one of the most discussed concert moments of the year 2012.

Eminem, Warren G Will Join Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at Coachella [Rolling Stone]
Nate Dogg Performing at Coachella … From Beyond the Grave [TMZ]

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Lollapalooza Founder Perry Farrell Explains Why Black Sabbath Holds Appeal To Music Fans Of All Ages

Perry Farrell Talks About Why Black Sabbath Are The Perfect Lollapalooza Headling Act

Late last night, the lineup for the 2012 Lollapalooza Festival was announced, featuring headlining performances from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who we saw headline the 1992 Lollapalooza Festival!), the Black Keys, Jack White, Avicii, Justice and … wait for it … BLACK SABBATH! As you’ll recall, Sabbath was all set to headline this year’s Coachella Festival, but had to pull out when it was announced that Tony Iommi was undergoing treatment for cancer (which he recently completed). However, it appears that Iommi feels confident that he’ll be healthy enough to perform for fans in Chicago’s Grant Park —the band’s only scheduled North American tour date— somewhere between August 3 and August 5.

VH1 got some exclusive time with Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell this weekend while he was down in Brasil, and we asked him why he decided to book the metal legends, all of whom are over 60 years old, for a festival that’s primarily attended by teens and twentysomethings (most of whom weren’t even born when Sabbath broke up in the late ’70s). In his lovably roundabout fashion, he gives us exactly the answer that we were looking for.

For those of you wondering if Bill Ward will be manning the kit for the reunited Black Sabbath, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that all four of the original members of Black SabbathOzzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler AND Bill Ward— will be performing at this year’s festival. There has been no confirmation of this yet from the Black Sabbath camp, but we will keep you posted if and when we hear something!

Also! We’ve got the complete list of performers for the 2012 Lollapalooza festival for you below:
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by (@unclegrambo)

And Your 2012 Lollapalooza Headliners Are… Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath, The Black Keys, Jack White, Avicii, And Justice

With this year’s highly anticipated Coachella Festival just three days away, rival festival Lollapalooza just stole a bit of their thunder tonight by announcing the lineup for their 2012 festival, which will be held in Chicago’s Grant Park from August 3-5. This year’s festival will be headlined by a powerful array of rock royalty (Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Jack White), a historic reunion (the only scheduled North American tour date for Black Sabbath) and, for the first time ever, big-draw DJ acts (Avicii, Justice).

VH1 was able to exclusively ask Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction) what kind of traits he looks for in his headlining acts, and he answered in typically awesome Farrell fashion:

We’ve got the complete Lollapalooza press release, which just hit the wires, for you below!

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by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2012: Neon Hitch, Santigold Delight Audiences As The Music Festival Kicks Off

We landed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport yesterday afternoon around 2 p.m. Central time or so, but the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 35 as we entered downtown Austin reminded us more than a little of rush hour in Los Angeles. It’s no surprise that the infrastructure of this college town is stretched to its limits during the annual South By Southwest Festival, as upwards of 50,000 people temporarily relocate to Austin from wherever they normally call home during this ten night extravaganza. After having their run of the town for the last few days, technology companies began ceding ground to the music industry yesterday as the Music portion of SXSW began in earnest.

When we finally got settled yesterday afternoon and picked up our badge from the cavernous Austin Convention Center, we made our way over to the Warner Sound Showcase at La Zona Rosa, located at the far east end of 4th Street. The showcase wasn’t set to start until 7:30, but when we strolled up at 7:00 or so, there were already hundreds of people lined up in the street hoping to see the likes of Neon Hitch, Theophilus London and Santigold.

After a dubstep-heavy DJ set from Alex English (Note: NOT the same Alex English that was the highest-scoring player in the NBA during the 1980s), Neon Hitch took the stage promptly at 8:30 p.m. Flanked by two shirtless dudes with tribal paint on their faces and drums around their waist, Neon Hitch opened her three-song set with “Bad Dog”, an electro stomper in which she declares “You know I’m yours so rip my clothes off.” Well, truth be told, she wasn’t exactly wearing a ton of clothes to begin with, but nonetheless, she succeeded to whip the crowd into an early frenzy with her provocative attire and compelling stage presence. She proceeded to belt out the hook to “Ass Back Home”, her hit with Gym Class Heroes, before closing her too-brief set with her current single, “Love U Betta.” She curiously refrained from dropping the f-bomb that appears in her unedited version of this song in front of the live audience, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind.

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