by Bill Forman
Spread out over two days (Aug. 14-15) on the soccer fields surrounding Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the festival will be headlined by Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews, preceded by the likes of Steve Miller, Derek Trucks, Rusted Root, Train, Tim Reynolds and Slightly Stoopid.
Given that the far more adventurous Monolith Festival appears dead in the water this year, it would have been nice if Mile High had picked up some of the slack. Instead, it's playing it safer than ever, with virtually no acts that are likely to shake the mainstream headliners’ followers out of their complacency.
Which is not to say there aren’t some potentially worthwhile performers, including My Morning Jacket, Mayer Hawthorne, Weezer and Keane. But when the most cutting-edge among more than 40 acts is Phoenix, it's kind of sad.
The thing is, it’s not always better to err on the side of safety, at least not in the music industry and not to this degree. Although Mile High has always been a primarily middle-of-the-road affair, the 2008 debut lineup at least included the Roots, Spoon, Martin Sexton, Rose Hill Drive, Black Crowes, Stevie Winwood, Flogging Molly, Grace Potter and Flobots.
And this year? Maybe the Denver Thread blog put it best today: “Mile High Music Festival? I’d rather go to the Mile High Aural Waterboarding Festival.”
Of course, your mileage may vary, so here’s the full lineup. “Early Bird” tickets, for 150 bucks, go on sale this coming Saturday at 10 a.m. Full info here.
Saturday, August 14
Steve Miller Band
Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band
The Samples (all original members)
Mayer Hawthorne & The County
Sunday, August 15
Dave Matthews Band
My Morning Jacket
Tim Reynolds & TR3
On My Stars
Danielle Ate the Sandwich