Festival Preview: Bourbon and Beyond, Louisville, KY Sept. 14-17

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Bourbon and Beyond Line-up

Festivals have had a rough go of it post-pandemic, especially in the Midwest. Bourbon & Beyond in Louisville has soldiered on. Last year, after a break for COVID, the festival drew 140,000 people. Compare that to its 2017 when 50,000 folks turned up. This year’s looks to be even bigger. Here’s a short list of what and who we’re looking forward to:

Train – We’re anxious to see why people are still mad at Patrick Monahan and his mates from San Francisco.

Mavis Staples – Because it’s Mavis Staples. Sorted.

The Killers – It’s hard to believe The Killers are old enough to drink this year. In their 21 years, they have become one of our most important rock bands ever. A few weeks ago, they got involved in a dust-up in the country of Georgia. Lead singer Brandon Flowers brought a Russian flag onstage and urged the audience to think of themselves as brothers and sisters. The crowd did not take that very well. You’re not U2, fellas.

Duran Duran  – While they’re popularity waxed and waned over the years, Duran Duran soldiered on and proved they were right all along. They have a huge discography to choose from so it will be interesting to see what they choose for this festival.

Hozier – Doesn’t seem like Hozier is in this country much, and there’s more to him than “Take Me To Church.”

Bastille – This lot just seems like they’re built for a good festival set.

Black Keys – We’re fans of anyone from our home state, but it’s more than homer-ism that will have us checking out the lads from Akron.

Avett Brothers – The greatest band from North Carolina not called The Connells, the Avett Brothers have built quite a dedicated following and it’s not hard to figure out why.

Spoon –  To borrow a phrase from comedian Jackie Kashian, Spoon are one of the golden retrievers of alternative rock; everyone’s always glad to see them.

First Aid Kit – Sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg are the duo known as First Aid Kit. They’re off of Sweden and have achieved acclaim across the continent as well as the UK.

Bruno Mars – Can’t go wrong with Bruno Mars as one of your headliners.

Blondie – An amazing chance to see one of the all-time great American bands. Iconic.

Jon Batiste – Let’s see what he’s gotten up to since leaving The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Aloe Blacc – This American singer is one of those odd cases where he’s more popular in the overseas than his homeland. His hits “I Need a Dollar” and “The Man” topped the charts there, and he also provided vocals on the late Avicii’s very fine “Wake Me Up.”

If you’ve never been to Louisville, or have only passed through, you’re in for a treat. Louisville is proper. While the festival takes place on the Highland Festival Grounds south of town, there’s lots to see and do in the LOU. Check out the neighborhoods of Germantown and Nulu if you have time.

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PF WilsonFestival Preview: Bourbon and Beyond, Louisville, KY Sept. 14-17