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August 20, 2009

Which bands to see at this year's Virgin Free Fest

the hold steadyWith Virgin Mobile FreeFest just about a week away, it's time to start thinking about the bands you don't want to miss at the free one-day festival Aug. 30 at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Since it started in 2006, the festival has showcased a wide range of bands. Last year, Bob Dylan, the Foo Fighters, Kanye West and Jack Johnson were all headliners. Talk about diverse.

This year's headliners, Weezer and Blink-182, are both worth seeing. This is the first time Blink-182 has toured since the California pop punk trio split up almost five years ago. And Weezer has long been a staple on the alt-rock scene ...

Besides the headliners, one of the best bands -- guaranteed -- will be The Hold Steady (pictured). Few bands are as dynamic as these guys, live (here's proof).

Girl Talk is definitely going to mix it up, too. Girl Talk (the stage name for Gregg Gillis) strings together snippets of pop, rock and hip-hop songs together to make an irresistibly danceable live show.

Other acts worth catching: Quirky songstress St. Vincent puts on an enchanting live show. Though Franz Ferdinand only had one hit in the U.S. ("Take Me Out"), they're really popular in England, and recently released a fairly funky new album, "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand." And husband and wife duo Mates of State's last album, Re-Arrange Us, is their best yet.

Who are you looking forward to seeing?

For more on Virgin FreeFest, go to

(AP photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:15 PM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Virgin Mobile Festival

Comments people ehave thier tickets yet? I havent seen mine in the mail yet?


Tickets are available at Will Call starting tomorrow (aug21). Tickets should be in the mail around the same time.

Since it was free, I could not pass up the chance to see P.E., Pete Tong, and Weezer. Everyone else? Eh, not so much.

Sam, you know me I am counting down the hours for the Steady. Also the Bravery, Weezer (depending on when the go on) and maybe Franz Ferdinand. Public Enemy is just sad to see nowadays.
Has the schedule of bands been released yet?

Franz ferdinand, mates of state, the hold steady, the national, wale, and holy [expletive]

Andrew Bird! Prolific whistler.

andrew bird is on the lineup? i haven't seen that listed anywhere...

Does anyone know where there is a list of times for when each of the bands will perform at Virgin Fest? I'm not sure if I can stay the whole time...

I have tickets, but still not sure if I'm gonna go or pass them off to a friend desperate to see Blink....

For those going...I def recommend you see Holy [Flip] ...I basically only want to see them and Girl Talk, so I'll likely skip out on it

In a moment of desperation, I promised my tickets to my little bro and his friend in exchange for helping me move. Wishing now that I would have tought of a different bribe bc I wanna gooooo!

I was most excited for Weezer, Taking Back Sunday and the Hold Steady. Was also looking forward to Franz Ferdinand although I don't know a lot of their stuff.

Maybe I will scalp. Or sit on the deck at my parents house and try to strain to hear, pending the correct wind direction. haha

Hey guys, I heard Virgin's got 120-minute recharge cards for $10 but I can't find this anywhere. Anybody know about this?
Apparently the cards are only available to low-income people but I'm not sure. What's up with this?

The National! Does no one else like them?

I second the National! Mr. November!

has a schedule been released yet? i'd really like to know when the different acts are performing...

ya I also heard about that 120 minute for $10 deal, my friend tried to get that deal and they said it was a "welfare" deal and only available to people that qualify.. I couldn't believe it, we're students and I don't know how virgin can offer a deal like that and not offer it to us...


Have they released the schedule yet?

According to the FreeFest web site, schedule will be released Friday.
Maybe Sam can get the scoop though.

Hey, sorry I didn't comment sooner guys. Yes, the schedule will be released Friday. I'll try and get it before then, but no promises.

Virgin music is ok. Pigtown music sizzles! Biggest difference between events...our beers are purchased with tickets. One ticket is $4 for or you can buy 4 for $12. These are 16oz beers people!!! Check out the website for more info.

Thanks Sam. They just posted a note on the Fesitval website that the schedule will be up tomorrow.

Anybody going to the Steady show at the 9:30 club on Sat night?

don't miss the hold steady. if this weren't free i wouldn't bother, most of the rest of the line up is 5 years past it's expiration date.

sturmy, did you go to the show at the 9:30 club? i had a friends b-day to go to, so i couldn't make it.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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