Rock the Bells keeps rolling
The lineup for this year’s Rock the Bells festival was unveiled earlier this week, and it looks damn impressive. In lieu of last year’s fever-inducing return of Rage Against the Machine, Bells brings two nonetheless noteworthy reunions to the stage: A Tribe Called Quest (which reunited some time ago for a couple of one-off shows) and the Pharcyde.
Also on the lineup are golden era Rawkus posterboy Mos Def, as well as likeminded predecessors De La Soul. To bridge the gap between mainstream and underground, something that Rock the Bells has proven itself adept at, the bill also sports the versatile (in fanbase, if not in music) Nas, and caters to the hipster-hoppers with Spankrock and Jay Electronica.
The Toronto date is slated for July 20, and a Vancouver date for August 30. However, the festival has a bad track record of getting its artists across the border into Canada, and fans will have to wait and see if founder and organizer Chang Weisburg has learned new concert promotion tricks since the last time out. It might have been wiser to book Van City before T-Dot, as sources have said in the past that it’s easier for artists to cross the border on the west coast than it is on the east–but of course, that would require the two Canadian dates to play in succession.
According to a Reuters/Billboard report, “Twelve shows tracked by Billboard [in 2007] grossed $14.5 million and drew more than 203,000 concertgoers.”