With the first Fuji Rock line-up announcement looming we thought we’d risk our non-existent musical reputations and take a punt at predicting which overseas acts will be on this year’s main stages. A few options have already been taken out of the running with early announcements from other Japanese festivals (My Bloody Valentine/ Nine Inch Nails), but there’s still plenty to choose from.
This list is a highly unscientific prediction based on album releases set for 2018, previous Fuji Rock line-ups and the E-team’s personal favourites.
Arctic Monkeys (Odds-on Favourite)
Having already cut their teeth headlining Glastonbury twice the Indie-rockers would make a perfect headliner on the Green Stage. With their last appearance at Fuji Rock in 2011 and an album scheduled for this year, now would be the perfect time to bring them back.
With many mags predicting that the British noisemakers will be dropping an album later this year, The Prodigy seem like the next biggest shoe-in for a headline slot at this year’s fest. Though their first appearance at the inaugural festival in 1997 was cancelled by that legendary typhoon, the band returned in 1998 and again in 2002.
A favourite among the E-team, these New York gypsy punks last appeared in Naeba in 2008. A ten-year wait for a reappearance seems worth the wait.
Other Contenders: MGMT (2010), Manic Street Preachers (2001, 2014)
These massively popular pop-rockers last played the Summer Sonic festival in 2016 so it’s entirely feasible they might make it back to Japan to promote forthcoming album “Music for Cars”.
The UK alt-rock outfit release new album “Technology” on February 2nd this year, which puts them into tour mode for the rest of it, with tours of the UK and the US keeping them busy in the first third of the year. Having made their first appearances in Japan last year supporting ONE OK ROCK, the band have a following here already and would make for a great White Stage appearance in the vein of Royal Blood and Queens of the Stone Age.
Placed 5th in the BBC’s Sound of 2018, Pale Waves seem like the perfect fit for Fuji Rock with their accessible guitar-driven indie-pop. The four-piece from Manchester toured with the 1975 last year and will be embarking on a US tour this Spring.
Other Contenders: SZA, Khalid, Chvrches
A Perfect Circle
With their first album in fourteen years about to be finished, the enigmatic American super-group would provide the big heavy rock sound Fuji Rock likes to dip its toe into. The first two tracks released from the forthcoming 4th album have whet our appetites and will certainly draw in a crowd. This won’t be the first time singer Maynard James Keenan has performed at the fest: Tool played in 2001 on the same bill as System of a Down, a year after A Perfect Circle first appeared at the fest in 2000.
The Fuji Rock crowd is now the perfect age to relive their youth on creaking knees, bouncing about to their old punk heroes and screaming that line from “Bad Habit”, but the likelihood is that The Offspring will be picked up by one of the other big rock festivals instead.
Other Contenders: Judas Priest, Megadeth, Godsmack,
2017 Rookie Stage Winners
The best band on the Rookie Stage last year are heading to Coachella this spring and they deserve another spot on a bigger Fuji Rock stage. The punk rockers would also make it an all-female first as Rookie winners. Definitely a band on the up.
Fuji Rock tickets go on general sale on February 2nd 2018. Which bands do you think will be appearing this year?