The Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival has rounded out the lineup for the returning DKNY//Jeans free outdoor concert series with headlining acts Xavier Rudd and the Tea Party and a wild urban music street party.
The series presents shows daily throughout the festival on a public main stage in Skiers Plaza, kicking off Friday, April 8 with an afternoon performance by Colorado ski-bum jam band The String Cheese Incident.
Can-rockers Finger Eleven will perform in the evening on Saturday, April 9, coinciding with a massive outdoor beer garden involving several Whistler bars. Proceeds will be donated to charity.
Sunday, April 10 is promising the most buzz-worthy lineup of the series a triple threat of cool featuring Vancouver-based rockers Hot Hot Heat, a mere five days after the release of their much anticipated major label debut album Elevator . The Heat will be joined by tour mates Louis XIV a San Diego glam rock-influenced foursome recently deemed one of "ten-artists to watch" by Rolling Stone scribes. Also in on the Sunday rock special is the Futureheads a manic pop-foursome from the U.K. with a fan base rumoured to include U2s Bono, who is said to have requested the groups autograph on his personal copy of their album during a recent encounter.
Monday, April 11 the series has a hip-hop flavour courtesy of MC DL Incognito and soul collective The Front.
Tuesday, April 12 features the return to Whistler of enigmatic Canadian rock trio The Tea Party. The Zeppelin-esque band has a core of dedicated fans in Whistler, a few of whom caught their show at Garfinkels last August (due to confusion from the promoter that suggested a zero-hour cancellation, many did not). This time around it wont cost a thing to hear front man Jeff Martins haunting baritone and guitar wizardry and Tea Party faithfuls can rest assured: the show will go on.
Wednesday, April 13 the series goes hip-hop again with West Coast collective Sweatshop Union and Montreal urban music group Groundwerk a project headed up by DJ Grandtheft. Both acts are returning from last years festival.
Thursday, April 14 the series presents an afternoon with Jamaican reggae legends Toots and the Maytals widely considered pioneers of the iconic dancehall sound. With a career spanning four decades, Toots and Co. are still innovating, claiming the 2004 Grammy Award for reggae album of the year. Warming up the stage for Toots will be Vancouver-based reggae-rockers Freeflow.
Friday, April 15 belongs to fiery hip-hop activists Michael Franti and Spearhead. The San Francisco-based groups socially-conscious groove-raps have legions of fans in Whistler who will no doubt head out in droves to be enlightened and inspired all over again. Warming up the stage for the Spearhead crew is Knaan, a Somali-born, Toronto-residing hip-hop/spoken word artist renowned for a unique African roots-influenced poetic delivery.