The Citadel Music Festival gathers over 20 legacy acts. With breaks in between days or weeks long, some might call these isolated incidents “open-air concerts”. Since it’s not possible to buy a festival pass, here’s our editor’s guide to which ones are worth a ticket and a trek to Spandau.
King Crimson (Jun 29, 19:30) released their first album 50 years ago, and “21st Century Schizoid Man” still sounds fresh. Their ever-evolving lineup has featured around 25 players over the decades, making them a truly progressive rock band, with founding guitarist Robert Fripp the only constant.
Bloc Party (Jun 21, 19:00) actually formed in in the 21st century. OK, wait, no, Wikipedia says they formed in 1999. But the band’s first album Silent Alarm came out in 2005, and they feel that time is ripe to perform it live in its entirety on tour, with half the original members.
ZZ Top (Jun 11, 19:00) have been steadfast for 50 years, even adapting to the synthesizer era of the 1980s with aplomb. The video for “Legs” was pretty sleazy, but in a campy way that’s forgivable. Especially considering that last year, the Texan trio fired their opening act for wearing a “MAGA” hat.
The Smashing Pumpkins (Jun 5, 19:00) have rebooted after a flop solo album by self-described “free-market libertarian capitalist” Billy Corgan. His third public offering of the band brings back James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin, but no D’arcy? No dice.
Dead Kennedys (Jun 15, 16:00) split up in 1986. Since then, Jello Biafra – tied with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge for the coolest bandleader named after a food you don’t have to chew – has railed against greed- and nostalgia-driven reunions. Meanwhile, his ex-bandmates are touring with their fourth vocalist, Ron “Skip” Greer.
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- Ich kenne die nicht
Toto (Jun 30, 19:30) reentered public consciousness last year when “Africa” was covered by Weezer and sampled by Pitbull. The fact that they’re now touring to coincide with the 50th Todestag of Judy Garland, who as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz had a pet terrier named Toto, reeks of coarse opportunism. That synth pan-flute, though.
Citadel Music Festival Through Aug 31 Zitadelle Spandau, Haselhorst