Love It When You Call Me Big Guava (Throw your hands in the air)
By Croix Provence
Tampa, FL is a great hub for music festivals this year. After the pirate ships of Gasparilla set sail, we welcome Big Guava to the bay! Rocking the west coast of Florida from May 8-9, this festival has offered lineup after successful lineup since its beginning. Big Guava always brings the energy that festival junkies seek out, and hopefully this year’s artists live up to that standard.
The 2014 lineup was pretty damn good. Indie gods Foster The People and Vampire Weekend headlined along with southern rap pioneers OutKast, who obviously killed it on stage. Tegan And Sarah, Cake, Grouplove, Girl Talk, Slightly Stoopid, Haim, Violent Femmes, Earl Sweatshirt, Chance The Rapper, Walk The Moon, MS MR, and a slew of diverse, skilled artists really made the festival and brought it to its full potential. With the growth Big Guava seems to foster every year talent-wise, this year ought to be badass! Let’s see if 2015 stacks up:
… Hmm. Okay. My initial reactions:
2. This lineup looks awfully familiar
3. The diversity that made last year (and previous years) so amazing has been reduced to mostly indie sub-genres.
So not only is Big Guava’s badass diversity gone, but the originality is gone too. Sure, last year every festival had OutKast which lead to weird feelings about getting a unique experience at each festival, but this year is pretty obscene. Thus far, (and we are only a couple of weeks into festival reveals) we have seen an over abundance of The Strokes, Hozier, Cold War Kids, TV On The Radio, Run The Jewels, Ryan Adams, Action Bronson… You get the idea. Every major festival is pulling the same talent. So, in a way, the only difference between major music festivals at this point is how well they provide you with fun distractions from their disturbingly similar artists. That being said, why is Big Guava pulling the same bands as the big guns? Seems like it would hurt rather than help. We will address this more some other time; for now, I’ll just mope about it and break down the lineup I’ve already broken down before.
At this point, I don’t care about the Strokes, apart from their one song on Guitar Hero. The Pixies are a badass force of music, screaming, and inquisitive lyrics. Hozier wants to go to church really badly. In all seriousness, “Take Me to Church” is a well-written and catchy song, but is one well-written, catchy song all it takes now to land you a headlining spot? We saw it with Lorde last summer, and now Hozier this year. I digress. Passion Pit is fun in your headphones, but I recall being disappointed by their live performance at Bonnaroo two years ago. I would love to have my mind changed about them, though! Their music is too exciting and well-worded to be poopy live. I don’t even feel like talking about TV On The Radio, Ryan Adams, James Blake, Cold War Kids, and all those repeats again, so I’m skipping to Big Data. The group will be fun to see live for their single “Dangerous”.
The lineup says more will be announced, but I’m not sure I’ll be checking back up on this one. Gonna have to go with my gut reaction: on the Croix scale from Bad to Bad-Ass, Big Guava’s 2015 lineup is feeling:
Why? Because of my disinterest with most of the bands at this point. Because of the lack of originality in the lineup. Because of the diversity that Big Guava has so readily delivered in the past. Because I can see all of these bands elsewhere and have a better experience. Because of my disinterest with most of the bands at this point. Oops, did I already say that? Oh well. Allow me to reiterate what I always reiterate: I’m not saying that these bands are bad; I’m saying I won’t spend time listening to — or paying good money for — them, although I understand and respect their talents. On top of all of this, I’m saying that music festivals are losing their diverse origins and will book who everyone else is booking to compete with each other, which is stupid. At some point, each festival will have such similar lineups that I will host a festival featuring only Creed, Nickelback, The Monkees, and Cher, and you will pay $300 to be there just for a change of scenery. Again, this will be ranted about some other time, but I have to bottle it for now.
In any case, if you’re apeshit for this lineup and can’t afford one of the 3,055 festivals that already have it, check out Big Guava for a fairly eh weekend that may actually be right up your alley.
Croix Provence, abridged: Singer. Actress. Model. Dork. Snack enthusiast. Freelance writer. Music lover. Comic Con freak. Adrenaline junkie. Short sentence sorcerer. Follow @CroixProvence on Twitter and Instagram, and like Croix Provence on Facebook.