More than five dozen artists and comedians are taking the stage at All Points West at Liberty State Park in New Jersey this weekend, today through Sunday. There’s three stages but plenty of space to navigate, with the schedule running from 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, we recommend you max out your ticket and shuffle between the acts below. Click here for daily schedules.
1. The headliners: Jay-Z, Tool and Coldplay
It could practically go without saying that each of the headlining acts are all worthy of checking out. Even if you love Auto-Tune, you couldn’t hum a Tool song if there was a gun to your head or you blame “Yellow” for the double-election of George W. Bush, each act has earned an honest reputation in the concert industry for busting ass on stage.
- Jay-Z: Friday, 9:10, Blue Comet
Tool: Saturday, 9:45, Blue Comet
Coldplay: Sunday, 9:15, Blue Comet
2. My Bloody Valentine
The loudest band on earth? That’s what some say. Bring your earplugs (or not, if noise-induced vomiting is your idea of a good time) and bliss-out to the buzz of guitars.
- Saturday, 8:15, Blue Comet
3. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
This trio of British teens are the first signees to Coldplay’s label imprint, but sound nothing like their British brethren. These magic tunes will transport you back to the late ’30s, with jump blues and hot swing. Stick around after, too, for killer local pop songwriter PT Walkley.
- Sunday, 3:10, Bullet
4. Ra Ra Riot
We already told you how excited we were for all their goings-on this summer. This Barsuk band has toured hard, and it shows, in their tight, practiced sets. Be prepared for drama and rock.
- Friday, 4:25, Bullet
5. Tim & Eric
On the comedy stage, the “Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job” creators are bringing the funny, and the weird. It’s not going to be up everyone’s alley, but these guys are improve naturals.
- Saturday, 3:45, Queen of the Valley
6. The Gaslight Anthem
Formed in New Brunswick, N.J., the four-piece comes from the same territorial pedigree as bands like Pavement, Bouncing Souls, Thursday and Lifetime, plus a well-known basement punk scene. Gaslight Anthem, however, is burrowing its way into the mainstream, sounding of the straightforward rock grit of Kings Of Leon, with the attitude of the Replacements and histrionics of The National (who are also playing this year, on Friday at 4:50. See what we did there?).
- Sunday, 3:45, Blue Comet
7. Peanut Butter Wolf
This guy has been trying to carve out a name for years and is finally getting the attention he deserves. While Jay-Z is taking stage across the park, PBW will be laying out his own arty, backpacker mixes and rhymes.
- Friday, 8:45, Queen of the Valley
8. Lykke Li
Queen of the Valley indeed. Get ready to dance in the mud to this Swedish songwriter, who released one of 2008’s finest “Youth Novels.” Watch to see if she covers A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” Yes, she can.
- Sunday, 7:35, Queen of the Valley
9. Tokyo Police Club/Crystal Castles/The Ting Tings
Fine, you don’t like Tool. Sweat it out for three hours with this unbelievable triple-threat. TPC start with fire and end with fire, with a fusion of punk, modern rock and sweat. Crystal Castles perform mean, cold beats with crazy vocals while the Ting Tings have proven they’re no post-iPod-commercial flash in the pan. Wear dancing shoes you won’t mind getting dirty.
- Saturday, 7:55, Queen of the Valley
10. Neko Case/Seasick Steve
Two acts that come the closest to country than any other artists on schedule. Neko’s newest “Middle Cyclone” is her biggest sonic triumph yet, and does a great job transferring it to stage. Seasick Steve is one nasty guitar-playin’ old dude, who could crush you with the weight of his weathered soul.
- Neko Case: Saturday, 7:20, Bullet
Seasick Steve: Friday, 2:20 Blue Comet