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Moby Taps Busta, Bowie, More For Area2

Busta Rhymes and David Bowie are among the artists set to join Moby on the Area2 tour, the sample-lover’s second foray into the world of eclectic summer outings.

The three-week trek is scheduled to begin July 28 in Bristow, Virginia, and cover Eastern seaboard stops before heading West, according to the event’s publicist. The trek draws to a close August 16 in George, Washington, with Moby and co. visiting 12 North American cities in all.

Last year’s Area:One was notable for its varied lineup, which included Outkast, the Roots, Incubus and Nelly Furtado. In choosing this year’s roster, Moby employed a similar ideology, tapping Area:One vet Carl Cox; sample-happy Aussies the Avalanches; and turntable mavens John Digweed, DJ Tiesto, DJ Dan and Tim Skinner to join him. Additional artists are expected to be added, according to a tour spokesperson.

The chrome-domed musician isn’t the first artist-turned-promoter to stage a tour of such diversity, and when MTV News caught up with him last, he made sure to give credit where credit was due.

“Lollapalooza was in large part my inspiration for putting the Area tour together,” Moby said. “I had done Lollapalooza in ’95, and I had such a good time, and I was so impressed with the ethos behind the tour. Sonic Youth were on the bill, and Cypress Hill and Pavement and Beck, and on the second stage you had some really, really interesting bands… just that ethos of eclecticism and genuinely alternative music.

“When Lollapalooza ended, I felt that there was still a need for genuinely eclectic, interesting, alternative music festival, and that’s one of the reasons why I tried to put Area together,” he added, “but [it was] very much, in large part, inspired by the ethos of Lollapalooza.”

Simply making good music doesn’t guarantee an artist a slot on Area2, however. To pass Moby’s muster, applicants must be able to walk the walk, as well as talk the talk – or sing the song, as the case may be.

“There’s a lot of musicians in the world whom I love and who put on very boring live shows, so obviously we don’t want to have them involved in the tour,” Moby explained. “So part of the criteria for picking people for the tour is that they have to make really interesting records [and] they have to be really eclectic, interesting musicians, but they also have to be able to put on a great show.

“I played a concert a few years ago. It was Sonic Youth, Busta Rhymes and myself, and I was so impressed with Busta Rhymes’ performance that I really wanted him to be involved in Area. And David Bowie is my favorite musician of the 20th century,” he continued. “I mean, he’s an amazing live performer, and I can’t think of a single musician from the 20th century who made as many remarkable albums as he did. Also, he influenced everybody. Without David Bowie, popular music as we know it pretty much wouldn’t exist.”

Both Moby and Bowie will be performing selections from their new offerings on Area2. Bowie’s Heathen is set for release June 11 while Moby’s latest opus, 18, drops May 14 (see “Moby’s Next Album Is Called 18, But What Does That Mean?).

Tickets for Area2 go on sale beginning May 3, though potential concertgoers can get first crack at tickets on May 1 and 2 through MTV2.com.

Area2 Itinerary, According To The Tour’s Publicist:

  • 7/28 – Bristow, VA – Nissan Pavilion
  • 7/30 – Camden, NJ – Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
  • 7/31 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
  • 8/2 – Wantagh, NY – Jones Beach Amphitheatre
  • 8/3 – Mansfield, MA – Tweeter Center
  • 8/5 – Toronto, ON – Molson Amphitheatre
  • 8/6 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
  • 8/8 – Tinley Park, IL – Tweeter Center
  • 8/10 – Denver, CO – CityLights Pavilion
  • 8/13 – Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
  • 8/14 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
  • 8/16 – George, WA – The Gorge
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