Music fest preview
Muse, Silversun Pickups raise the bar for KFMA Day
Not the usual alt-rock fest
On Sunday, Tucson alt-rock FM kings, 92.1 KFMA host their yearly festival at the Pima County Fairgrounds.
While the program of many such events is often merely the flavor-of-the-month that the kids are listening to these days, this year's lineup includes two bands that pass muster with even the harshest of critics.
Hailing from Devonshire, England, Muse was founded by three young, bored kids. Over the years, the band outgrew monikers Gothic Plague, Fixed Penalty and Rocket Baby Dolls.
By the late 90s, the band settled on their current name and began to hone their heavy sound, equally influenced by 70s glam and progressive rock and the darker Manchester sound of Factory bands Joy Division and A Certain Ratio. Like every other UK band to break out in the last 15 years, Muse is also compared to Radiohead.
The band has appeared at bigger festivals like Coachella, to much acclaim. Sunday's set is likely to be heavy on material from 2009 release "The Resistance," the band's most layered, ambitious effort to date.
Music snobs will be pleased by the imminent arrival of indie darlings Silversun Pickups, whose 2006 full-length debut, "Carnavas," was all over critics' top 10 lists that year. 2009's "Swoon" further raised the band's profile, charting strongly with its single,"Panic Switch."
Silversun Pickups is even on the video game Guitar Hero, along with Muse and 30 Seconds to Mars. You can play along with Silversun's "Lazy Eye" and get psyched for Sunday's set.
30 Seconds to Mars features the vocals of actor Jared Leto ("Fight Club"). Also appearing will be Switchfoot, Five Finger Death Punch, the Dirty Heads and Neon Trees.
The festival is expected to draw 15,000 people or more. The gates open at 9 a.m. and should go to 10 p.m., and there is no outside food or drink permitted, so make sure to bring lots of cash for the bottles of water that will surely cost a few bucks each. For a full list of rules and regs, see the event page.