The 11th Bonnaroo Music Festival is set to take place in no man’s land Tennessee (Manchester, to be exact) from June 7th-10th, and is locked and loaded in terms of the lineup. The lineup was revealed yesterday, and here are our initial thoughts.
The four headers for Bonnaroo this year are strong, but not earth shattering. Here is our thoughts on each.
Radiohead: The strongest of the four headers, Radiohead headed Bonnaroo in 2006 in which all three of us attended. If the band is half is good as they were in 06 (where they debuted some In Rainbows tracks), festivalgoers will be in for a treat.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: No doubt an entertaining live band, but we are not sure how they will fare now that guitarist John Frusciante has left the band, and they will likely be covering material from their mediocre latest release, I’m With You.
Phish: All three of us have seen members of Phish in some capacity, but none of us have seen Phish altogether. Bonnaroo always has a jam band headline to stick to its hippie roots, and Phish is arguably the best you can have nowadays when you want to dance with glow sticks and drop a bean.
Beach Boys: Probably the biggest get of the headliners now that Brian Wilson is back touring with the band. My excitement is fairly tempered though after seeing their Grammy performance and just thinking about how a vocal-based band can do 45 years after their heyday.
There are plenty of names on this lineup we are super jacked about, but the biggest three are as follows.
Bon Iver: Fresh off winning Best New Artist at the Grammys (even though he has been around four years), we have heard nothing but great things about Justin Vernon and his crew live and think they will not disappoint.
Black Star: The dynamic rap duo of Talib Kweli and Mos Def (or Yasiin Bey as he would now like to be called), who have now made names for themselves for their excellent solo careers, return to perform together to release their followup to their ’98 smash self-titled album.
Dispatch: Someone I haven’t listened to in five years, but Dispatch was the best of college rock bands from the early 2000s. The New England jam band reunited last year and this marks one of their first big festival dates.
A few people we would have loved to see on the lineup that didn’t make the cut:
Jack White: Jack White is set to release his first solo album ever, and Bonnaroo would have been just about the perfect place for him to play his new material. Few own the stage as well as White, so hopefully he can be a late lineup addition.
My Morning Jacket: If there is one band that has made Bonnaroo its stomping ground, its My Morning Jacket. The Louisville band has done Bonnaroo a whopping six times, performing everything from blazing afternoon sets, to four-hour late night sets, to headlining the festival last year. Any Roo without MMJ, there is a huge hole.
M83: A band that took the world by storm in 2011 with its huge double album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, M83 would have made an awesome late night set.
The depth of this lineup cannot be understated. From the top (The Roots, Feist, Avett Brothers), to the mid-lineup (tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent, The Black Lips, The Antlers, Das Racist), to the bottom (Fruit Bats, EMA, War On Drugs) , there is destined to be a good act to see in almost every time slot. Scheduling will be huge, but if done right, you could come away having seen 20-30 great live acts on the weekend.
At least some of LxL will be making this festival, so look forward to our coverage this June!