Baltimore’s summer concert season looked ho-hum up until 11 a.m. Tuesday. It was then that Virgin Mobile FreeFest announced its list of performers, and wow, did they outdo themselves this year. Building on last year’s hip,

-friendly lineup (The Hold Steady and St. Vincent were highlights) and trimming the pop-punk fat (so long, Weezer and blink-182!), 2010’s FreeFest features a bold ensemble of cutting-edge tastemakers and well-respected veterans. Bravo, Virgin bigwigs.


WHAT'S TO LIKE: Just about everything. The lineup's range is staggering: ultra-slick, time-tested Southern rappers (T.I., Ludacris), on-the-verge indie-rockers (Yeasayer, Sleigh Bells, Neon Indian), must-see headliners (M.I.A., Pavement) and the band with the best live show going, LCD Soundsystem (check out the above video from last weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival). Also, the price is reasonable. (Free!)

WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE: No complaints about the performers, but there's a potential bummer for non-Virgin Mobile members and first-time festival goers (subscribers and previous attendees get first crack at the free tickets on Friday). Good luck to the rest of you.

WHAT'S MISSING: It can't be stressed enough that FreeFest deserves an "A" for its discerning taste. If we're being picky, it would have been nice to see a Baltimore-area band get a slot (Beach House would have fit nicely) but there's always next year.

When: Sept. 25, 11 a.m. doors
Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
Tickets: Free. ticketfly.com or 877.4FLY.TIX
Info: Virginmobilefestival.com or merriweathermusic.com