The Jazz Fest lineup is out and we did fairly well in our predictions, naming all six announced top headliners, and the days on which five will perform, as well as a good number of additional big-name acts, though we were wrong about one or two, like Neil Diamond.
A bit of lineup intrigue remains, however, as the top act on the closing Sunday of Jazz Fest remains "TBA." That act is not necessarily the main-stage closer for the day, as that honor at the early-ending festival (which ends at 7PM daily, though it informally continues all night in New Orleans' clubs) appears to be awarded this year to the original lineup of seminal funkateers The Meters. We don't rule out the possibility that that band will ultimately be the opening act for a much bigger one, namely the Rolling Stones, with whom the extended Meters family shares several connections. Still, as said earlier, we don't expect the Stones to play Jazzfest, and we still await an announcement regarding a possible appearance at Rock in Rio, to come as soon as tomorrow.
Rather than the Stones, we think that the unnamed act will most likely be drawn from the headliner names we've mentioned already, including Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and possibly Stevie Wonder or the aforementioned Diamond. Dylan could appear with the New Basement Tapes band including members of Dawes, Mumford & Sons, and My Morning Jacket, or instead present his upcoming reworkings of Frank Sinatra material, reportedly set for a short-run presentation on Broadway some time this year. Frequent canceler Aretha Franklin is another possibility, as might be the still-questionable return of D'Angelo or perhaps the always unpredictable Lauryn Hill. We also don't rule out the possibility that Bruce Springsteen could return for the second year in a row and third time in four years, but that seems rather unlikely, and we hear that he may be set for another festival this year (more on that later). We also can't quite see AC/DC appearing at what remains a festival of America's musical heritage, even one that has presented harder rock headliners in recent years.
The Dead... only briefly alive? Phish swims North, and More...
A brief word of follow-up on our post about the Grateful Dead reunion. While there is hope for several appearances by the reunited band this year as described below, we also hear word that the planned Chicago stand may be it for the band's reunion this year. Meanwhile, that development may have put the kibosh on those planned Phish gigs at Wrigley Field this Summer. Instead, the band looks headed to the Alpine Valley Music Theatre near Milwaukee, where they may join a lineup including JImmy Buffett, the Dave Matthews Band (July 4th weekend; those dates and the rest of the band's Summer tour will be announced tomorrow), and the Zac Brown Band, all set to appear at the big amphitheater this Summer.