Except for Bon Iver last year, this year’s Rock the Garden lineup has the most Current-y headliner of all RTG lineups since 89.3 the Current became a co-parent of the Walker Art Center event in 2008.
Los Angeles’ shaman rocker Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman, due on at 8:45 p.m.) has been in steady rotation at the nonprofit radio station going back to his 2012 album “Fear Fun.” His live sets since then have grown from smarmy, aloof rock showings to more personal and dramatic affairs, and the drama is piled on further for his heavily balladic new album “God’s Favorite Customer.”
A much more surprising RTG pick, saxophonist Kamasi Washington (5:15 p.m.) is the act to watch this year, a jazz revivalist with a futuristic vision who first earned widespread notice via Kendrick Lamar’s landmark 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly.” He and his stellar Los Angeles-based band have been kicking up dust storms on tour ever since.
Canadian indie-popster Feist (7 p.m.) returned from a four-year hiatus and put on a charmingly playful yet tautly rocking set at last summer’s Eaux Claires fest. In addition to Nikki Lane (3:45), Philadelphia’s “Boozophilia”-singing, boogie-woogie rock band Low Cut Connie (2:30) lends some rootsy flavor to the schedule. Doomtree hip-hop hero P.O.S. (8:05) and hard-touring folk-rocker Chastity Brown (6:20) each put out strong 2017 albums to represent the hometown scene on the Garden Stage, where Meghan Remy’s Toronto-based avant-pop band U.S. Girls open (4:35).