Feb 23, 2018
First Look at the SunFest 2018 Lineup
Friends, the noise around this year’s lineup is deafening!
Social media has been abuzz since the Wednesday release. Spin’s Jordan Sargent told readers to grab their tickets to the “antidote” festival. I’ve had friends reach out from Florida, Phoenix, and Seattle, all excited for the stellar bands set to play West Palm Beach. Today, we’ll preview four of this year’s awesome acts, one for each day.
Thursday: Billy Idol
I wholeheartedly credit my parents with my curiosity for new music, but there have been a few stand-out supporting acts throughout my life. One of which is Sesame Street. The colorful, muppet-filled show has a long history of parodying pop music, a tactic kids and parents adore.
When I was growing up Sesame Street is twisting the words of artists like Smokey Robinson, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Idol. “Rebel L” remains my one of favorite Sesame Street skits. I mean, is there a better way to introduce a 5-year-old to the sneering, blonde, pop icon?
Whether you are 5 or 65 years old, you cannot miss Billy Idol at SunFest. In addition to “Rebel Yell,” the punk rock pioneer is responsible for the global hits “Dancing With Myself,” “White Wedding,” “Mony Mony,” “Eyes Without A Face,” and “Cradle of Love.”
In 2014, Idol released two huge shares with fans— his autobiography “Dancing With Myself,” and a new album, Kings & Queens of the Underground. His book became a New York Times bestseller, and The Guardian’s album review said “[Idol] hasn’t lost his chutzpah.”
I can’t wait to sing along with this 80s legend, and rock out with him live for the first time.
Kicking off the weekend, make sure you catch SunFest veterans Dreamers. This New York City trio played SunFest in 2015, where I had the pleasure of interviewing them about their upcoming album, weird dreams, and touring with Stone Temple Pilots.
Since then, this talented space rock band dropped their debut album, This Album Does Not Exist. You will want to listen to “Sweet Disaster” and “Painkiller” prior to seeing them on stage.
Nick Wold (lead vocals, guitar), Marc Nelson (bass), and Jacob Lee Wick (drums) have been quick busy since they last visited West Palm Beach. They co-headlined a tour with Arkells, took on Lollapalooza 2016, and toured the U.S. with The Griswolds.
Please join me in welcoming Dreamers back to our slice of paradise. Don’t miss them on the Tire Kingdom Stage on Friday, May 4.
If you ever want to see a venue sell out in record time in Austin, book Grouplove.
Every time this wild, rambunctious band announces a tour stop, I can confirm blissful chaos erupts. That’s a compliment, by the way, for this LA-based band. Just seeing their name on social gives me a “Tongue Tied” earworm for the rest of the day.
The rise to stardom for Grouplove has been swift. The story goes that the band played their first show in Los Angeles on May 10, 2010. The band’s on-stage magic earned them invites to tour with Florence and the Machine, and The Joy Formidable. In November 2010, Nylon Magazine named the act as one of the top ten acts of 2010.
Maybe you caught them on tour, during their inception, if you were lucky. It’s more likely that your first brush with the band was hearing their pop-rock on a commercial (for Apple or Coke). Grouplove is responsible for our favorite Friday happy hour hits, “Colours,” “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” and “Welcome to Your Life.”
I think Grouplove is revered and remembered most for their live performances. Fearless and frantic on stage, you can expect this act to be one of the most important to catch of the weekend. Wear your dancing shoes.
After singing “Cake By The Ocean” for days, weeks, and months, I finally decided to google this irresistible act to learn more about the musicians. I can’t tell you how surprised I was to learn DNCE is fronted by Joe Jonas. (This SunFest, we have two talented Jonas brothers joining us, but I’ll reserve a separate entry for Nick.)
“Cake By The Ocean” was a smash success, as you of course know. It’s 3x certified platinum, with more than 550 million streams on Spotify. (I won’t tell you how many I’m personally responsible for.)
DNCE recently won “Best New Artist” during the MTV Video Music Awards, and has followed up on “Cake’s” success with “Toothbrush” and “Kissing Strangers.”
What can you expect from this powerhouse act? One heck of a dance party, by the ocean. Bring your own cake.