Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2011: 5 on-the-cusp acts

Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2011: Five on-the-cusp bands to see

Sure you know the big names at Virgin Mobile FreeFest, but who are the lesser-known acts you should see?

Virgin Mobile FreeFest acts to see

10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. 21044

Alberta Cross

Another Brooklyn, N.Y., band with more style than substance? Nope, this quintet of English ex-pats will remind listeners of a cross between Depeche Mode and My Morning Jacket.

Empire of the Sun

One of the best moments all day will come when the Australian electronic duo performs their infectious single "Walking on a Dream," three minutes of unadulterated dance-pop and soaring falsetto.

James Murphy

We may no longer have his band, LCD Soundsystem, but we still have Murphy, the DJ with impeccable, cooler-than-thou taste.

Porter Robinson

This North Carolina teen caught the ear of David Guetta with his electro-house hit, "Say My Name" — all before Robinson had ever been to a club.

Big Sean

The Kanye West protégé has a radio smash, "Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay," with enough bass to make your rib cage shake.

—Wesley Case

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