Riverbend 2019

Celebrating over 35 years, Riverbend is amping up to rock the riverbank once again. This year will be the inaugural run of the remodeled Riverbend format. The festival has evolved from the eight-day event we all know, to a condensed, more potent version. By shortening the event, the Riverbend team has drawn in a higher caliber of headlining acts: Keith Urban, Macklemore, Weezer, and Lionel Richie.

Festival goers will also have new experiential opportunities, including the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey River Lounge area, RFID-enabled wristbands that make admittance easier and provide a new way to carry festival funds, VIP opportunities, the Lookout Winery Club, a huge Ferris wheel, and many more additions.

With exciting new experiences to be had and a mega-star lineup, this year’s Riverbend promises to be an exciting event. Read on to learn more about the all-star headliners hitting the Coke stage!

 

By Katie Faulkner

Photo Courtesy of Atlantic Records/Shawn Murphy

Weezer

On Stage: Wednesday May 29

Right now, Weezer is ‘hot, hot, a hundred degrees’ [“Mexican Fender”]. They’ve released three new albums within the past few years with mega hit singles, including their cover of Toto’s “Africa.” Their most recent release, the Black Album, debuted on March 1, 2019. Early singles released from this album include “Can’t Knock the Hustle” and “Living in L.A.” This recent release was preceded by Pacific Daydream in 2017 and the Teal Album of retro covers earlier this year.

Weezer’s resurgence is a welcome excitement for fans who have been following their discography since ‘94’s three times platinum breakout smash, the Blue Album, with hits like “Buddy Holly” and “Say It Ain’t So.” The group, formed by front man Rivers Cuomo in 1992, has seen decades of critical acclaim in the alternative rock sphere. They’ve won a Grammy (and are nominated again this year) and many MTV Video Music Awards. They’re often revered for their intricate and thoughtful musical composition, credited in no small part to Cuomo. Cuomo studied classical music at Harvard University and is the band’s lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Between their other hits like “Pork and Beans,” “Beverly Hills,” “Island in the Sun,” and all of their new releases, they’ll close opening night of Riverbend on Wednesday, May 29, with their deep reserve of well-loved rifts.

lionel richie chattanooga riverbend music festival

Lionel Richie

On Stage: Thursday May 30

Lionel Richie is an international superstar known for his iconic, foundational pop chops. He is recognizable by his energy-charged, smooth and soulful sound, evident in hits like “Endless Love,” “All Night Long,” and “Dancing on the Ceiling.” He also teamed up with Michael Jackson to pen one of the most groundbreaking pop songs ever written, the charity single “We Are the World.”

From his beginning with The Commodores – a funk group formed in Tuskegee, Alabama, who earned a fan base by opening for the Jackson 5 – to sitting in a judge’s chair on American Idol, Richie’s career has never been anything less than illustrious.

He is one of just two songwriters who has had number one hits for nine consecutive years and has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. The wildly talented, well-known singer songwriter has been awarded an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and four Grammys. He was named MusicCares’ Person of the Year in 2016, and he was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017. Just last year, Richie received the distinguished invitation to imprint his hands and feet in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

With this established entertainer, you can expect a charismatic, dynamic, energetic, and heartwarming performance Thursday night.

keith urban riverbend chattanooga music festival

Keith Urban

On Stage: Friday May 31

Friday night of Riverbend, Chattanooga is set to host the recently dubbed ACM 2019 Entertainer of the Year, Keith Urban. The release of his newest album last year, Graffiti U, was followed by a world tour, which came on the heels of his wildly successful previous album, Ripcord. Ripcord won countless awards, topped the charts, and earned two world tours, keeping Urban among the cream of the country music crop. It was his fifth consecutive platinum or multiplatinum album and included hits like “Wasted Time” and “Break on Me.”

Besides his four Grammy Awards, Urban has won 13 Country Music Association Awards, 11 Academy of Country Music Awards, four People’s Choice Awards, and four American Music Awards. He was also named Entertainer of the Year at the 2018 CMAs.

Urban, frequently referred to as an Aussie, grew up in Australia but was actually born in New Zealand. His musical debut came in 1991 when he released his first album, which had several chart-topping singles in Australia. His first solo American album debuted in 1999, and by 2004, he had won a Grammy. He has collaborated with talented artists ranging from Alicia Keys to The Rolling Stones, and his live performances are touted as electric.

Macklemore chattanooga riverbend music festival

 

Macklemore

On Stage: Saturday June 1

Beat out Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, and Kanye for Best Rap Album at the Grammys? Check. Participate in the President of the United States’ weekly address? Check. Win four Grammy Awards? Yes, that too. Macklemore makes it look effortless. Since his debut in 2000, he has released one mixed tape, three EPs, and four albums. With a relatively peacefully paced production schedule, he has managed to make major waves with hit after hit backed by activist themes and thought-provoking lyrics.

His early career was partnered with producer Ryan Lewis. The pair put out such hits as “Thrift Shop,” “Downtown,” and “Same Love” and produced the Grammy-laden album The Heist, which sold over a million copies. In 2015, Macklemore released samples of his second solo album, Gemini, which features numerous high-profile artists including Lil Yachty, Kesha, and Skylar Grey. “Glorious” is a record-breaking single from this album. Its music video has been viewed nearly 200 million times and chronicles Macklemore treating his grandmother to an antic-filled 100th birthday. He is also one of only two rappers to have a diamond-certified single.

Macklemore’s funky fashion-infused, high-energy performances make him a dynamic entertainer with a musical backdrop. Piano and horns set the stage for his lyrical numbers as he engages with fans as only Macklemore can. No doubt he’ll help Riverbend 2019 wrap up with a bang! CS

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