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Speculation: Virgin Mobile FreeFest Predictions, Vol. 2

oarLocal boys O.A.R. headlining FreeFest? We can see it. (Courtesy of Everfine Records)

By David Malitz

It's been a couple of months since we predicted some bands who will play at this year's Virgin Mobile FreeFest, which we now know will be on Sept. 25 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. (Gogol Bordello, Phoenix and Wale were those predictions, for the non-clicky.) Don't expect to get a lineup any time soon. Last year's list was revealed two months before the show, which still leaves us still a month away. Plus, a week before FreeFest the resurrected HFStival will be taking place at Merriweather. I.M.P. is promoting both. And announcing a superior lineup for a free concert (and how can it not be superior to a lineup that includes Third Eye Blind, Marcy Playground and the dude from Live) that takes place after a week after a lame concert that costs $25-$40 isn't the best idea. Anyway, some predictions.

Yes, the band is playing its own headlining gig at Merriweather in August. So what? Perhaps no young band has a better relationship with FreeFest promoters I.M.P. than the Rockville-bred group, dating back to their annual Thanksgiving shows a decade ago to their regular Merriweather dates now. You don't need the most exciting headliner for a free show; reliable and popular will do.

Could the biggest indie rock reunion of 2010 possibly skip the D.C. area? No. Not buying it. After a string of five shows in New York (see you up there for a few?) that ends on Sept. 24, Malkmus and the boys will be in Atlanta on Sept. 26. There's an open date on Sept. 25. Hmmm. Is D.C. to Atlanta a long trip to make in one day? Yep. Is it doable? Sure is - I made that trip myself back in 1999. To see Pavement, of course. (Check out that June 23 set list - they played "Give It a Day" for me.) Here's your "second" stage headliner, don't you think?

Neon Indian
Here's the most random guess so far. But these terminally chill dudes haven't played in D.C. since opening for Japandroids last October. They've hit Baltimore a few times, including the very large Rams Head Live, and the band is obviously shooting for big things with all that Mountain Dew money behind them. And wouldn't a beautiful fall afternoon in the woods of Columbia, Md., be the perfect time and place to ride some crucial chillwaves?

By David Malitz  |  June 29, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Speculation  | Tags: Neon Indian, O.A.R., Pavement, Virgin Mobile FreeFest  
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Oof. I'm going to go ahead and be a crusty grouch and *HOPE* that Pavement doesn't play this gig. It would mean that (1) they're not going to surprise us with a 930 club gig; and (2) i have to trek out to Merriweather and grumble about parking, lines, beer prices and port-a-johns.

Posted by: Hoodrat | June 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Other than the beer prices what's wrong with Merriweather Hood? It's a far sight better on all accounts than that other place on the other side of town.

I still see Soundgarden playing this show given Cris Cornell's extensive connection to IMP.

Posted by: EricS2 | June 29, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

its gotta be Pavement. I agree with you that they just cannot skip the DC area. That would be absurd. Now I have to make sure to get tickets this time...
Neon Indian would be cool...i'd prefer Washed Out though.

Posted by: glittler | June 29, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

No way for Pavement. This is a free festival remember--meaning they're probably not gonna get a lot of top-notch talent. Last year's lineup certainly supports that. The Pavement tour is arguably the biggest tour of the year (inarguably for some) and I don't see them using this as their stop.

Some predictions not really based on anything:

Big Boi
Beach House
Regina Spektor
Kings of Leon (headlining?)

Posted by: agl132 | June 29, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

A free show does not necessarily mean artists are not being paid. Virgin and all the other corporate sponsors that will be at this thing all have deep pockets. I would also rather they play a 930 show but am not holding my breath for that to happen. Also going with Pavement to headline stage 2.

Is anybody else ready for this chillwave nonsense to be over?

Posted by: azaghal1981 | June 29, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm with hoodrat on this one. I don't, and won't, go to MPP. I hope Pavement plays the 9:30, and for as many nights as they can sell out.

Posted by: MyPostID27 | June 30, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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