With Bonnaroo starting up in less than 48 hours, we decided it’s time to begin our coverage for this years festival. Bonnaroo is always home to plenty of acts that everyone knows are must-sees, and this year is no exception. Wu-Tang, Animal Collective’s late night show, Paul McCartney, etc. Well in case anyone out there is looking for some mid-day/early evening recommendations that you may or may not have heard of yet, here is a short list of artists that just may be worth your time in checking out. The fact that I have dubbed these “under the radar” were all based on the surprising low attendees votes on the Bonnaroo website. Granted, I have never personally seen any of these myself, but I have my hunches that they won’t disappoint. Hopefully I will catch you at one of these shows:
Call me hopeful, but I expect good things out of this 19-year old British bombshell. Her album was fun, honest, and raw and I hear her live shows follow suit. My guess is that Local Natives will focus mostly on their snoozy second album material which never makes for a good afternoon show on Friday anyways. The good news is that she begins a good 15 minutes before Local Natives, so if her show is going south, you can always abandon ship with and hit up your back-up plan.
When: Thursday (Technically Friday), 12:15 AM
Where: The Other Tent
Biggest Competition: Allen Stone
From Austin’s first-hand account of seeing Killer Mike open for Big Boi, it sounds as if he is certainly no slouch in the energy department. Apparently Killer Mike is one to pour everything he’s got into his live shows, and is also incredibly grateful to finally being able to make it on his own to a larger audience. Let’s just hope that audience scurries on over after Alt-J to see the man.
If Solange Knowles’ live act contains 1/8 of the energy and sex appeal as big sister Beyonce’s, we will all be in for a serious treat. Running up a different genre than Beyonce, Solange is doing well in her neo-soul/motown revival efforts. Although I am sure she won’t ever peak the charts as much as big sister, I am excited to see how it plays out for the younger Knowles.
Yes, I realize that this time slot conflicts with my previous listing, but consider it a either/or type of recommendation. If funky soul revival from Solange ain’t your thang, maybe satanic punk trip-hop is. This performance is sure to be a shit show and one that you will certainly remember after the weekend is over. This is not a show for the faint of heart, but if you’re in for an insane ride than strap yourself in and get to The Other Tent.
Wild Nothing’s shoegazing indie pop might not seem like a fun lively way to spend an afternoon but consider two things: 1) This is Sunday afternoon, where energy is low and chill time is bliss. 2) Wild Nothing’s music is touted at being incredible live, taking new shape over the studios renderings and becoming a dreamscape reality for all that witness.
Yes, I don’t want to miss Kendrick either. However, since I have seen him before, and I am bringing my dancing shoes to ‘roo, I may feel the need to be checking out some Holy Ghost!. Cut from the same musical cloth as LCD Soundsystem, and having even been produced by James Murphy himself, I can’t imagine these guys being anything but a blast live.
I would not have guessed this one to fall into the “below the radar” category, but for only yielding half of the attendee votes as the two acts that he is sandwiched between, and dually for being what I consider to be the most anticipated show of Thursday, I have to list him. Former Fleet Fox Father John has seemingly had a good past year on tour. He has a quirk about him that makes him as hilarious to watch as he is wonderful to listen to. I am excited to finally be seeing this show myself.
OH, AND ONE MORE BONUS …. :