The H.O.R.D.E. Tour Revisited
What's most missed about the music of the '90s is probably the ability for virtually any band to have a hit -- hell, Big Head Todd and the Monsters had a platinum record. Even the unlikely superstars of the harmonica-defined Blues Traveler had enough clout to curate and headline their own touring festival from 1992-1998, virtually the same time span as the original Lollapalooza run. The H.O.R.D.E. festival had a greater emphasis on jam bands, many of which have more accessible music available than reputation would have you believe (those curious about Widespread Panic and Gov't Mule ought to start with 1997's Bombs & Butterflies and 1998's Dose, respectively). Still, the tour's mix of alt staples (Smashing Pumpkins, Beck, 311) and hacky-sack fare (Spin Doctors, Black Crowes, Medeski, Martin and Wood) show that the gap between hippie cult acts and grungy weirdos didn't always exist.