The countdown to the first big rock ‘n’ roll weekend of the Irish summer starts here. All week on State, we’ll be bringing you our tips for your three day excursion to Oxegen, plus a few names we think you should give a wide berth. We’ll start though with the five biggies….
1. Arcade Fire (Friday, Main Stage) – can there be a more anticipated return to the live stage this year than that of Arcade Fire? After the relative disappointment of Neon Bible they owe us an astonishing record in the shape of The Suburbs and Friday night won’t be a bad place to start.
2. Vampire Weekend (Main Stage, Friday)
Vampire Weekend’s triumphant run of festivals in ’08 and ’09 was all very well but could easily have been a flash in the pan. Second record Contra, however, proved that they were more than capable of matching the hype of their debut. The jumpy up and down stuff will still keep the masses happy, yet here is a band that look capable of staying with us for a long time yet.
3. Florence And The Machine (Main Stage, Saturday)
This time last year we were squeezing into the Red Bull Academy to catch 2009’s rising star. Twelve months later and Florence Welch is still riding the crest of a wave on the back of her debut record. This will surely be it for a while so catch her in front of the kind of crowd that she was born to play before she goes off to dream it all up again.
4. Jay-Z (Main Stage, Friday)
The debate as to whether Jay-Z should be playing events like this has long been laid to rest, as the New Yorker continues to take rap to new audiences around the world. There are two major hip-hoppers joining us this weekend, this is the only one should you should bother yourself with.
5. Muse (Main Stage, Saturday)
Whatever you feel about their records, it’s hard to deny that Muse have nailed the art of mass musical communication. Last weekend’s Glastonbury headliner proved that they can impress even without their increasingly extravagant arena production and that, in inviting The Edge to share the moment, they’re not slaves to their ego. What price a return run on Irish soil?