The legendary Monterey Pop Festival is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, and starting this weekend you can see some of the top acts in pop gather under one roof. Taking over the Monterey County Fairgrounds in California for the weekend, the festival is poised to offer one of the most audience-friendly lineups of the year. While you can't go wrong with almost anyone the festival producers have selected, here's our selection of the five best bets to make the most out of your weekend.
1. Father John Misty
Set time: Friday, 8:00p.m. - 9:10 p.m.
Ethereal, haunting, and the perfect way to wind down your evening: Father John Misty is a wise choice for Monterey Pop Festival. The multi-instrumentalist singer, and his powerful backing band, has drawn influence from a wide range that spans Bob Dylan through gospel music. At the very least, you never know what you'll get with a Father John Misty set.
If you can't get to Monterey, Father John Misty have quite a few other shows planned, so click here for tickets.
2. Jack Johnson
Set time: Saturday, 9:25p.m. -10:55 p.m.
There could be no better an addition to a pop festival than Jack Johnson, the light hearted surfer-turned-singer/songwriter. Even the least avid radio listener will recognize Johnson's unmistakable tunes, which have become an integral part of the musical culture of his generation.
If you won't be seeing Johnson at Monterey Pop Festival, he will be playing several other shows soon, including July 17 at Santa Barbara Bowl.
3. The Head and the Heart
Set time: Sunday, 7:50 p.m. -8:55 p.m.
The Head and the Heart have become a modern-day festival staple, so Californians, now is your time to get in on the action. The band's exuberant shows are filled with the perfect blend of folk and foot-stomping pop. Wear your dancing shoes, and don't forget your lighter, you'll want to break it out when they get going.
If you can't make it out to Monterey to see The Head and the Heart, their tour is going strong, so look for one of their other shows like August 19 at ALT 98.7 Summer Camp in Long Beach.
4. Regina Spektor
Set time: Friday, 6:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
The delightful Russian star Regina Spektor will be taking this one on solo, allowing her immense talent to shine through. Spektor takes her classical training and entertwines it with the best of radio-adaptable pop sounds, crafting a strong catalog of epic songs. Her beautiful voice will be the early evening joy of Friday's lineup.
If you miss her in Monterey, Regina Spektor has an east coast show coming up soon: July 27 at SummerStage in NYC's Central Park.
5. Jacob Banks
Set time: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. -12:45 p.m.
With many of the big name talents playing later in the day, it's easy to fall into the trap of only coming down for the evening shows. However, take your experience at the festival as an opportunity to discover some new artists. Jacob Banks is the perfect example, making his way over from England for the performance. Banks' sound is a medley of soul, R&B, and hip-hop: everything the festival scene was made for.
If you won't be able to see Jacob Banks' set at Monterey Pop Festival, he has a show at The Roxy in LA Nov. 2 during his fall tour.