It's the sixth edition of the Langerado Music Festival, and what started out as a concert for jam-band enthusiasts has grown into a megafestival that all South Florida music lovers should be proud of. Every genre you can think of is here, and with lots of great bands playing at the same time, it's going to take some keen planning to see everybody you really want to catch. With more than 80 acts in the lineup, there's a dizzying array to choose from. This year, the folks at Langerado have added a fourth day, a fifth stage — and now that the festival is at Big Cypress Indian Reservation, there will be 40 acres of land that we'll all be navigating at once. All this great music can be a little overwhelming. But New Times is here to help guide you toward a stress-free weekend. So sit back, relax, and let us offer a few key suggestions for all things Langerado.
This Philly-based sextet is one of the best things ever to happen to hip-hop. They changed the sound and texture of live rap music in the early '90s when they tossed out the DAT machine and picked up real instruments. They've captured the hearts of music fans around the world, not just because they're a real band (which is rare in hip-hop) but because they're a great band. During a two-night stint at Radio City Music Hall a few years ago, Trey Anastasio was spotted rocking out to these guys in the front row hardcore. If Trey can dig these cats, you can too.Perform at 8 p.m. Friday on the Sunset Stage.
What else can you say about Vampire Weekend that hasn't already been written? They're blowing up faster than they wanted to. They're on the cover of plenty of magazines right now as they embark on a tour to support their self-titled debut album. And for the most part, these Ivy League grads who share a love for Paul Simon-style Afro-pop with indie sensibilities are going to have to work real hard in concert to get past their own hype. For us, that's a good thing. Everyone's skeptical yet curious, and the audience at Langerado will have a chance to see the best of this band before the music industry chews it up and spits it out. Enjoy 'em while they're still remotely pure.Performs at 5 p.m. Friday at the Chickee Hut. Get there early. Hipsters and hippies are gonna have to fight this one out.
In a world spinning out of control, perhaps the hippie-dippie vibe of the tie-dyed set is something to be cherished again rather than ridiculed. This Philadelphia electro-jam quartet's music eschews the typical jam-band clichés and walks a tight balance between stretched-out improvisations and actual songs. Sometimes, you can't even tell you're listening to a jam band. So when the Biscuits take off on their groove-driven tangents, it's that much more fun getting carried away.Perform at midnight Sunday on the Sunset Stage.
At 9 p.m. Sunday, you'll be dirty. You will have had a long, romantic journey listening to legends, and you'll probably be ready to part ways with those frisky hippies who partied all through the night right next to your tent. But before you drive back to your AC and crash on your couch, there's one last act you need to catch: the National. They're one of indie rock's finest brewed recipes — consider the group the gothic, orch-pop angel resting on top of the rock 'n' roll family tree. And the best part: It's yet to play a show in South Florida. So just as all the yuppies head home to be reunited with their condos, you should be able to enjoy this band stress-free.Performs at 9 p.m. Sunday at the Chickee Hut.
The name means "Bullet Proof," but the music blares gunshots of funk, soul, and Afrobeat reminiscent of early Fela Kuti and Buena Vista Social Club. It's a tight 12-piece band hailing from Brooklyn, New York, and since its inception in 1998, Antibalas has received a slew of accolades for its sweaty, high-energy performances. Its shows are filled with horns, drums, musical orgasms, and voices chanting "Libertad!" If you think of what the soundtrack to a revolution would be like, head to the band's set this weekend and you can experience one live.Performs at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the Swamp Stage.
Perhaps we should have known that they would never truly die, but could we ever have guessed that the Grateful Dead would spawn possibly the world's greatest tribute band? It's not just Jerry's passing that lends the Dark Star Orchestra credibility but the DSO's meticulous attention to detail in reproducing (song by song!) set lists of Grateful Dead shows that took place at various points throughout the Dead's history. With the rabid fanaticism the Dead continue to inspire, it's no surprise, really. You could say "get over it," but clearly people aren't, so why bother?Performs at 11 p.m. Thursday on the Swamp Stage.