It’s no surprise that Mayfest has been trying to book throwback acts, or bands that were extremely popular when we were young, for Dillo Day in recent years. We had the classic horns and ska of Reel Big Fish in 2012 and the nostalgic excitement surrounding Smash Mouth in 2013, and maybe we’ll see the trend continue this year.
These are obviously some of the acts that bring most excitement to Dillo Day thanks to the place that these classic bands have in our preteen hearts and iPods (I am proud to own the “All Star” HitClip). So what if Mayfest took advantage of this and booked an entirely retro Dillo Day?
12:45-1:15 Daytime Act
JoJo is still going strong, ten years after “Leave (Get Out)” graced MTV and made her a star at the age of 13 years old. Jojo is set to release a new album this year after getting out of an unfair record label and signing to Atlantic Records. Her recent work has made her a critical darling, with re-workings of Drake and Phil Collins songs helping her regain the spotlight. As an underdog, she would be the best fit for first act of the day.
1:30-2:30 Daytime Headliner
Blink 182 helped to define modern punk rock with Dude Ranch and Enema of the State. They’re also still alive and kicking, headlining Riot Fest in Chicago last year and beginning work on a new studio album this year. Nothing would be more perfect for the Dillo daytime headliner than mosh pits and Travis Barkers pounding drums to keep the crowd’s energy going with more music yet to happen.
3:00-4:00 Midday Hip-Hop
Bow Wow and Romeo ain’t “lil’” no’ mo’. The two former child rap stars, and kids of adult rap stars P. Diddy and Master P respectively, tag team the hip-hop slot. Even though both rappers are now nearly thirty years old, their set would consist of track from their hey day, enchanting us with stories of their love for basketball or a girls, which helped propel them both to Billboard No. 1 singles. Regardless, they could rap as little kids, and they could have only improved since.
4:30-5:30 Afternoon Rock
Bowling for Soup would turn back the clock 30 years and rock the Lakefill like it’s “1985.” In the slot that is traditionally saved for these throwback acts, Bowling for Soup would be the ultimate throwback band because not only did they provide the soundtrack to our 2004 summers, but they did it with a song about acts that they considered vintage growing up. It’s like an ongoing time machine of music – maybe one of these days, a cheesy alternative band will mention Bowling for Soup and Fountains of Wayne in the chorus of their one-hit wonder.
DJ Darude brings the “Sandstorm” to the Lakefill, whipping up a special 45 minute set that includes the popular 1999 track that has been everyone’s favorite tradition at Dance Marathon for the past decade.
7:00-8:00 Penultimate Act
Biz Markie, with his famously distinct voice, can put on the show. Whether rapping through the dulcet piano of "Just a Friend" or the underground jazzy hit "Nobody Beats the Biz," the penultimate slot would undoubtedly keep the Lakefill bumping. Classic hip-hop never fails (see: Outkast reunion tour), so this is a no-brainer for the lead-in to our throwback pop headliner. When you ask your friend how she liked the show, she would respond "I was very amused." The Biz never sleeps, even when you're taking your pre-headliner nap.
8:20-8:30 Special Guest
Smash Mouth, of course, would return to perform a reprise of “All Star,” after their stellar performance of the crowd-favorite at last year’s rain-soaked Dillo Day.
If Mayfest could coax her away from her current Las Vegas show, Britney Spears would be the ideal headliner for a throwback Dillo Day. In a perfect world, this headlining spot would be a special concert – Spears would only perform …Baby One More Time and Oops!... I Did It Again. Think about it: she's a highly energetic female pop star, and she released handfuls of hit singles that college students all grew up listening to. Even though the crowds would probably have been singing along to everything else during the day, chants of "My loneliness is killing me" would reverberate along the rocks of the Lakefill for years to come.