On the surface, the lineup for EdgeFest '98--the annual music festival put together by 94.5 FM The Edge--looks like one of those package tours from the '50s where the songs got top billing because nobody knew the names of the bands that played them. Other than Everclear and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the list of bands on the EdgeFest bill reads like a who's who of who-are-those-guys?: Brother Cane, Econoline Crush, God Lives Underwater, Fuel, The Crystal Method, Creed, Our Lady Peace. Exposing new bands has always been The Edge's game plan for EdgeFest. The festival has been the proving ground for a number of new acts, and there's always the chance that one of the mystery bands on the bill could be next year's Next Big Thing. Remember, when Pearl Jam played EdgeFest several years ago, they were just another unknown group of hair farmers from Seattle.
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While there probably aren't any bands on the bill that will reach Pearl Jam's level of success, a couple of up-and-comers might be big stars next year, such as Fuel, which already has a single--"Shimmer"--creeping up the charts. In a perfect world, the band to break out of the pack would be Dallas' own Bobgoblin. The band has long been underrated, their mix of matching jumpsuits, video monitors, and Black Market Party rhetoric striking some as hokey. As gimmicky as the band's routine is, Bobgoblin is one of the best live bands here or anywhere. They've finally started to win over Deep Ellum club-goers, as shown by the band's recent--and surprising--victory in the Best Alternative Rock/Pop category at this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards. Maybe now it's time for the world to listen.
Unfortunately, the world doesn't really want to listen to anything original. That's why it's more likely that the stars of this EdgeFest will be Our Lady Peace. The Canadian band has two less than impressive singles, "Clumsy" and "Superman's Dead," that sound so much like the Smashing Pumpkins that legal action should be taken.
EdgeFest '98 happens at The Ballpark in Arlington on Sunday, May 17. Gates open at 11 a.m. Tickets are available at Blockbuster Music locations in Lewisville and North Richland Hills, and at the Lovers Lane location in Dallas.