Having returned from hiatus with a widely praised 2016 edition, Neon Reverb will look to keep energy high for its upcoming 12th edition. And the Downtown festival, scheduled to return March 9-12, appears to have the musical pieces in place to make that happen.
Heading up Neon Reverb’s 2017 touring lineup will be a trio of popular indie acts: synthy Brooklynites The Drums, who have sold out their past two Las Vegas gigs; Mexico-based garage-punks Le Butcherettes, led by the charismatic Teri Gender Bender; and English psych-pop outfit Temples, set to release a new album a few days before the fest.
“I think the top line is every bit as strong as last year’s,” says talent buyer Mike Henry, who helps organize and run Reverb, along with scene mainstays Jason Aragon, Ronald Corso, Thirry Harlin, Graham Kahr and James Woodbridge. “There’s no [2016 poster-topper] Ty Segall, but I think all three of this year’s headliners are equal in draw.”
Other 2017 notables include Bash & Pop, fronted by The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson; LA’s Chicano Batman, set to return to Coachella in April; veteran hip-hop DJ Peanut Butter Wolf; fast-rising New York rockers LVL UP; and the remainder of the Temples-topped touring Desert Daze Caravan—Night Beats, Deap Vally, Froth and JJUUJJUU.
Also confirmed: Jay Som, Sego, Calliope Musicals, Wheelchair Sports Camp, MNDSGN, Prism Tats, Soft White Sixties, SadGirl, The Shacks, Residual Kid, Palm, Death Hymn #9, Death Valley Girls, Richard Grewar and DJ Jonathan Toubin’s Soul Clap. Local participants are expected to be announced February 2.
This year’s shows will take place in some of Fremont East’s anchoring venues—the Bunkhouse Saloon (which will feature an outdoor stage for the fest), Backstage Bar & Billiards and Beauty Bar—along with two Arts District spots: Velveteen Rabbit and a to-be-revealed warehouse space. Reverb’s overall scope will be slimmed down some, in an effort “not to stretch the audience too far,” Henry says. “There’s a bit of a reduction in the number of acts, but the shows should all be more packed, so I think you’ll see a magnification of the overall experience.”
Festival passes—good for admission to all events on all four nights—are on sale now for $60 at neonreverb.com. Tickets to individual shows will be available closer to March.
Note: The Weekly is Neon Reverb’s exclusive media partner.