T in the Park has never failed to deliver stellar headliners. This year is the same. It is the depth in this year's line-up which is what sets the bill apart from previous years. Jay Z, The Prodigy and the Black Eyed Peas could be argued to be the finest trio of headliners that T has ever boasted, but the crazy thing is that these three acts are supporting acts.
Muse, Kasabian and Eminem are the confirmed headliners, the ones that tick all the boxes. The rest of this year's line up reads as a who's who of festival big hitters. Faithless, Dizzee Rascal, Paulo Nutini, Florence and the Machine and Calvin Harris all suggest a big party is in the offing. Past line-ups have been too indie rock orientated and a succession of these bands can grate. The blend with this year seems right with something for everyone.
Jay-Z as a support act is a brave choice. With the two most successful rappers of the past decade teeing off from the programme, T is a tantalising prospect. Somehow The Prodigy seem to now revel in the tag of support after R.E.M. took top-billing from them at T In The Park a few years ago and Arctic Monkeys did the same at last year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals. None the less I expect that they’ll aim to blitz the crowd and the poor headliner who has follow their set. Black Eyed Peas' party pop is a curveball but may be inspired – it shows the organisers’ intentions to put a little bit of fun back in the bill this year.
Eminem is the headliner promising the great festival comeback of 2010. The return of a live and dangerous Eminem to British shores for the first time since 2003 is a major coup for the organisers. What did Blur, The Verve and Rage Against The Machine all have to prove on their returns? Nothing, People were simply pleased to see those bands back and performing live. Eminem's return carries real meaning. Slim Shady carries huge expectation and he returns to reassert himself as the premier rapper of his generation.
Eminem has faced personal strife in the recent years that has seen Jay-Z storm Glastonbury. You can expect a show with no shortage of bravado and controversy. What show stopping stunt will he pull? Eminem has never failed to whip up a crowd and a Scottish crowd hardly need the invitation. Jigga Man or Slim Shady? In the words of Harry Hill: FIGHT!
Oasis' departure last year has left a vacancy in the lad rock headliner slot. Kasabian are not pretenders to the throne, they are the heirs to it. This headliner slot should be a procession to the new title. 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum' was a revelation with some newly found soul and funk. The stadiums have always awaited them but now they are ready. It should be a coronation to remember.
Muse on the opening night are a no brainer. The Devon trio are still spectacular live as their homecoming gigs in Teignmouth proved last year. They were raw at those shows but they will be fine tuned for 9 July after some major appearances, not least at Glastonbury. They are the band that you can count on. You won't witness a Caleb Followill strop here as Muse are all thrills and spills when they play.
T in the Park is always a wonderful celebration of music but this year's first line-up announcement is flawless. The headliners all have their personal motivations to put on massive shows, while the rest of the line-up is water tight. Not to say that it’s boring! It is also a bill that delivers two of the greatest living hip hop artists around. And Will.I.Am. T in the Park 2010 is going to be a whole load of fun!