The lineup for the Coachella produced (Goldenvoice/AEG) New York festival Panorama finally dropped. There has been plenty of controversy about this expansion in Governor’s Ball territory like this damning Consequence of Sound article and Gov Ball throwing shade on their Twitter account makes for an interesting summer in NYC. The prices are quite high and late July in the Big Apple is sweltering at best so it will be curious as to how ticket sales go and if they last until year two. The fact that they booked legendary New York band LCD Soundsystem as one of the headliners makes them one to watch. Obviously LCD signed a multi-fest contract with Goldenvoice as they are making their triumphant return to Coachella. Five years after their big Madison Square Garden party James Murphy looks to return to the throne he sat upon. Also coming along with him is his fascinating Despacio set up, which works like a DJ tent with not only state of the art sound equipment, but futuristic as well as Murphy and 2ManyDJs will probably be spinning, and who knows who else might pop in.
Governor’s Ball also apparently tried to book Arcade Fire, but they let it be known that the band was not touring until late July anyways so Panorama got the scoop on them as well. The festival is the same weekend as Wayhome so there will be some border jumping by both LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire. This is only the 4th date announced and first American so while it is expected more American shows will be added, the fact that they are exclusives for the time being is huge. A new album is tentatively on the way so a song or two might be included in their set but if you look at what they played at Osheaga two summers ago expect a night of all the hits.
The last headliner is Kendrick Lamar because if he didn’t headline your festival last summer when he was blowing up, he is there now and probably costing quite a bit more. Now that he is finally playing more To Pimp a Butterfly songs in his set expect something a bit more different than what he has done for the last year. There are also rumours that a J. Cole/Kendrick mixtape could drop at any time so if it does, maybe a guest appearance or playing a song from it is not the craziest idea in the world.
Since the festival is the same weekend as Wayhome there are several overlapping acts, which is normal just as Osheaga and Lollapalooza share bands too. Other than headliners LCD and Arcade Fire you have Diplo’s project Major Lazer bringing the dance party. Rockers Foals, Kurt Vile and the Violators and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats join punk rockers White Lung. FKA twigs will bring the melancholy RnB while AlunaGeorge makes theirs more upbeat. Other crossover acts include Lindsey Stirling, Oh Wonder and Tourist. Wayhome plans on making a few additions and you can expect some of them might be names on the Panorama bill.
New York has always been known as the hip-hop capital, since it birthed the genre way back in the day. So naturally a New York festival will have a stacked hip-hop lineup. Other than the aforementioned Kendrick Lamar you have his TDE label mates ScHoolboy Q and Sza on either side of Lamar’s Saturday performance. They also have plenty of DJ’s playing with the master of the keys to success DJ Khaled, Beastie Boys alum Mike D and producer extraordinaire Madlib. There isn’t just hip-hop as Anderson .Paak and Blood Orange will get things steamy with their RnB. Other big names from the rap world include A$AP Rocky, the best rap duo active in Run the Jewels and hometown group Flatbush Zombies.
The big gets outside all the obvious ones mentioned are quite diverse with the depressing music of Sufjan Stevens and The National, some EDM in the form of Netsky and Jai Wolf and surprisingly enough jazz from Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Alabama Shakes continue their career ascent as they are billed second only to Arcade Fire on their day, and it is easy to foresee them being top dog during their next album cycle. Sia will get everyone dancing while Silversun Pickups will make you remember afterwards why earplugs are a good thing when you reach the decibels they do. Grace Potter continues her solo tour and up and coming rockers Ex Hex and Daughter look to make a name for themselves.
Other than Arcade Fire there are a few other Canuck acts on the bill. Broken Social Scene, which normally are headliners up north, find themselves half way down their days lineup as they look to play the States again after a five year hiatus. Port-au-Prince and Montreal product Kaytranada will keep the party going and White Lung will tear down any preconceptions you have about women fronting punk bands.
All in all, the entire lineup is pretty stellar, but the price, the summer heat in New York and the conflict with Wayhome makes this fest a tough sell to Canadians. If you can’t go to Governor’s Ball, this is a solid alternative.