The Environment (Rocks and) Rolls on

Max Boath - Contributing Writer
Posted on Thursday 21st May 2009

As the green movement catches on and continues forward, few are ahead of the game than musical bands and artists. Politically active rockers like Sheryl Crowe, Guster, and Pearl Jam are becoming aware of the status of the environment, and in turn are trying to spread that consciousness to their fans. And how better to preach environmental and social responsibility than with a microphone and a stage in front of thousands? As we round the corner into summer, these revered (as well as lesser-known) music groups are coming to Philly and plugging in for the sake of turning off.

  1. Janes Addiction- 06/05/09 at the Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ: Frontman Perry Farrell has helped bring about the use of alternate fuel sources to power music festivals and concerts. In 2003 he planned to power one stage of the Lollapalooza Festival on biodiesel fuel, but ended up powering the entire show on it.
  2. The Roots- 06/06/09 Roots Picnic Festival at the Festival Pier, Penns Landing, PA: This year’s 2nd annual Roots Picnic Festival will hold performances by TV on the Radio, Public Enemy, The Black Keys, Santogold, Kid Cudi, Asher Roth, and many more (including, of course, The Roots). The Roots band members have worked with PETA on a vegetarian campaign and Global Inheritance to promote composting. Their shows, including a pre-Grammy informal jam this year, raise awareness about green issues.
  3. Willie Nelson- 07/14/09 at Coca Cola Park, Allentown, PA: Nelson (touring with Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp) has started his own biodiesel fuel company called BioWillie to sell biodiesel fuel to truckers. BioWillie fuel is comprised of vegetable oil-based fuel and regular diesel fuel so that it can be put straight into a diesel tank.
  4. Green Day- 07/21/09 at the Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA: One of the most politically outspoken bands of today, Green Day have joined together with the Natural Resources Defense Council on a campaign to reduce America’s dependence on oil. And it doesn’t hurt that the band’s name is eco-friendly, too.
  5. Dave Matthews Band- 07/24/09 at Hershey Park Stadium, Hershey, PA: DMB have partnered with Reverb as one of the first bands to make the effort to cut their carbon footprint: transportation on tours is fueled by biodiesel; CO2 emissions from venue energy, hotels, and flights are cancelled out by funding for construction of renewable energy projects; band merchandise is made from organic cotton and bamboo; and backstage waste is continuously reduced or recycled. The band is touring with artist Jason Mraz.
  6. Jackson Browne- 08/02/09 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ: Long an advocate for sustainable development, Browne has composed green-inspired songs such as “Before the Deluge” that have motivated fans to become more environmentally conscious. He has organized “No Nukes” concerts, and is an influential member of Musicians United for Safe Energy.
  7. Bonnie Raitt- 08/08/09 at the Mann Center, Philadelphia, PA: Raitt, a fierce advocate for environmental concern, helped to found Musicians United for Safe Energy to eliminate the use of nuclear power. During her 2002 tour she started the Green Highway eco-village in order to inform fans of environmental issues, which has helped bring non-profit group Reverb to other tours.
  8. Incubus- 08/08/09 at the Festival Pier, Penns Landing, PA: Incubus is working with Sustainable Minded Artists Recording and Touring (SMART) to lessen their carbon footprint during recording and touring, from alternate fuel and power sources to fan t-shirts.

These cutting-edge bands are sure to open your ears to their music and your eyes to the issues they represent. This summer offers several opportunities to see some big names that might inspire you to follow some of the same courses of actions. Go see these eight, and make your summer green and great!

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