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Preview: 2024 Innings Festival lineup a “home run”

In 2023, Tempe’s annual Innings Festival welcomed one of the best music festival lineups I’ve seen in a while. From big rock and roll names like Green Day, Weezer, The Offspring and Eddie Vedder to folk artists like Marcus Mumford, Mt. Joy and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, the 2023 installment of the concert-on-a-baseball-field was being labeled a classic before the stars even took the stage.

I thought it would be near impossible for this year’s lineup to compare to the performing talent of 2023, but the concert organizers pitched a curveball. The 2024 Innings Fest lineup is a home run.

Batting first on Friday is alternative indie band Breakup Shoes, a Phoenix-based group that blends modern sounds with storytelling. Taipei Houston will be there, whose rock song “As the Sun Sets” will no doubt have fans jumping. 311 is a rock artist who has been popular since the 2000s. Then there’s Phantogram, a fan-favorite artist whose pop rock song “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” about the complications of growing up will be an electric song to dance to. They’ll perform a few hours before Jimmy Eat World, one of the lineup’s most coveted performers. Greta Van Fleet is another beloved band on Friday’s all-star lineup. Undoubtedly, they’ll perform fan-favorite songs “Highway Tune” and “Black Smoke Rising.” 

Rounding out the Friday crew is one of the most well-known rock bands in American history, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band has become famous for their California-like rock style and booming stage presence. Songs like “Californification” and “Water Under the Bridge” are just a few of their classic hits that have left an indelible impact on the music industry. They last performed in Phoenix while on tour in 2023, and their unique ‘90s style and slow rock music has cemented them as legends in the music industry. They’ll be an unforgettable closer of a Friday night grand slam lineup.

Saturday’s first pitch will be thrown by indie bands Finish Ticket and Nat & Alex Wolff. Miya Folick will be up to bat; she’s a Los Angeles-based artist popular among fans of folk rock. She’ll bring a more folky tone to Saturday’s lineup. The Criticals, a rock band based in Nashville is making an appearance. They’re popular for their 2019 hit “Treat Ya Better.” Young the Giant is a popular rock band whose music will line up well next to the music of the band Cannons, an indie pop band. Cautious Clay gained popularity after his song “Cold War,” and now he’ll bring his R&B style to the mound.

The Third Eye Blind portion of the lineup continues Innings Festival’s tradition of inviting classic rock artists to perform. The band’s famous numbers like “How’s It Going to Be” and “Never Let You Go” will be a blast to rock out on stage. Macklemore is stopping by, no doubt to perform hits like “Can’t Hold Us” and “Thrift Shop.” 

The two-day festival will close with Hozier, an icon of today’s indie-rock music. Hozier’s popular song “Take Me to Church” was the jumping-off point of his career. Now that he has his North American tour Unreal Unearth under his belt, he’ll surely bring the energy, and perhaps melancholic vibes, to the stage.

Innings Festival will also welcome numerous MLB legends to come back to the playing field to make an appearance to the fans. Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster will host “Off the Mound,” a late-night talk show that will be hosted from the venue. “All-Star Jam” will be hosted by former MLB pitcher Jake Peavy. The players in attendance are Brandon Webb, Matt Kemp, Eric Gagne, Bret Saberhagen, Dontrelle Willis, Andre Ethier, Mark Grace, Dave Stewart and Luis Gonzalez.

The 2024 Innings Festival will be an all-time collaboration of baseball and music. The star power that will be in Tempe is near impossible to fathom, and I cannot wait to see how many home runs will be hit. Swing for the fences, Innings Festival!

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