Just Like Heaven 2023: 5 Can’t Miss Undercard Acts

Just Like Heaven returns Brookside at the Rose Bowl this weekend (Saturday, May 13) with a host of 2000s acts to add a spark of nostalgia (and in some cases new music) to the universe. Yeah Yeah Yeahs take the headliner slot, along with many favorite names like MGMT playing their 2007 debut album Oracular Spectacular in full, plus M83, Empire of the Sun and Future Islands. The third installment of the fest follows an inaugural event in Long Beach in 2019 followed by 2022 adjacent to the Rose Bowl. The news this week is that The Sounds will not be appearing at Just Like Heaven due to visa issues, but their time slot (12:35 PM at the Orion Stage) will be filled by fellow Swedish band, The Hives, who played in 2022. The festival is packed with other buzzed-about indie-rock and indie-pop talents including Hot Chip, Caribou, The Walkmen, Fever Ray, The Bravery, Peaches (who is back following a wild set last year), Azealia Banks, Ladytron, STRFKR, Metronomy, The Faint, Cults, Them Jeans, Cosmic Kids, Rory Phillips, “How Long Gone” live podcast and Cinespace DJs.

As we do with the festivals we cover, here are our 5 Can’t Miss Undercard Acts to look out for…

The Bravery

4:15 – 5:05 PM (Orion Stage)

New York rock band The Bravery last played Southern California in Irvine in 2011 so it’s a long time coming for the alternative/dance-punk five-piece. Following a nine-year hiatus with the band members going in different creative directions, in 2021 The Bravery reunited for a show in San Francisco and they have an upcoming date in Mexico City but Just Like Heaven is their first U.S. festival date in over a decade. With three albums recorded and no new music since 2009’s Stir The Blood, it could be the perfect opportunity to test out some new tunes in addition to reviving their big hits like the danceable “An Honest Mistake”, the feel-good “Time Won’t Let Me Go” and the epic, arena-ready rocker “Believe.” 


3:15 – 4:05 PM (Orion Stage)

English synth-pop act Ladytron released their seventh album Time’s Arrow back in January, with European dates earlier this year as well as west coast dates this month. It’s the trio’s first LA-area show since 2019 at the Fonda Theatre and it is expected to be a welcome return with new material as well as hits like the new wave-y “Destroy Everything You Touch,” the synthy “Ace of Hz” and shoegaze tune “Blue Jeans.” Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo on vocals and synthesizers will return with Daniel Hunt on guitar, synth and vocals for a lovely time capsule under the sun. Listen up for new songs like “City of Angels,” Ladytron’s nod to Los Angeles as well as other singles like the moody, 80s-flavored “Misery Remember Me,” the glistening “Faces” and the synth-heavy “Flight from Angkor.”

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2:15 – 3:05 PM (Orion Stage)

English nu-disco/rock band Metronomy played an extensive 47-date European tour in 2022 and they have more European dates coming up including tonight in Oakland and other North American dates earlier this month. “The Bay” group last performed in Los Angeles in fall 2022 at The Wiltern in support of their seventh album Small World. Metronomy’s 2011 hit “The Look”, the harmonious “Love Letters” and the groovy, down-tempo “I’m Aquarius” are tunes to listen up for in addition to new album tracks like punk-leaning “It’s Good to Be Back” as well as the percussive, slightly psychedelic “Right On Time.”

Azealia Banks

2:30 – 3:10 PM (Stardust Stage)

Rapper/singer Azealia Banks remains a strong club culture act, offering a hybrid of hip-hop and house music, with a pop appeal. The Harlem talent known best for her 2011 electro banger “212” (as well as her unapologetic energy) proved that she is as strong a soul singer as she is a rapper. Banks’ fiery stage presence is unmatched and her tune “Liquorice” is a beat-heavy dance jam to prepare for as well. Banks hasn’t appeared in Los Angeles since 2021 at The Novo and she’s sure to make an impact with house tune “Chasing Time” and her most recent track, 2022’s “I Rule The World.”


12:30 – 1:05 PM (Stardust Stage)

New York dream-pop duo Cults are multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion who are San Diego natives, forming back in 2010. While it’s unclear if they will perform just as a duo or with their seven live musicians, the band’s blend of indie-rock and pop on tunes like “You Know What I Mean” should make for an exciting live show not to mention the dreamy piano hit “Gilded Lily,” which has gone through multiple versions since being released in 2017. Cults’ timeless “Always Forever” is another one not to be missed as well as the moody “Go Outside” and menacing “Bad Things.”

The skies open for Just Like Heaven on Saturday, May 13 with GA passes remaining for $189.00 and VIP for $369.00. Clubhouse is 21+ at $649.00.

[Editor’s note: The Sounds will not be performing and will instead be replaced by The Hives].

Words by Michael Menachem
Ladytron photos by Wendy Redfern
Metronomy photo by Hazel Gaskin
Cults photo by Shervin Lainez