An Independent Music Fan’s guide to Bonnaroo 2014: 10 Artists You Can’t Miss
This California-based rock band is making their debut at Bonnaroo Music & Arts festival this year! Their natural, breezy, 60’s style sound has earned them much praise by Pitchfork, The Quietus, and on NPR’s World Café since their first single, Catamaran, was released in 2011. They’re currently on an expansive US tour for their self-titled album including a stop at Denver’s Larimer Lounge on June 18th. In March the four-piece was Bonnaroo’s Band of the Day, where they said Allah-Las’ “whimsical nature of West Coast Rock” will make for a spectacular show that they strongly recommend attending. See you at That Tent from 4:30- 5:30pm, Bonnaroovians!
2. Real Estate
New to Bonnaroo, this five-pack from New England has the breezy, beachy sound down. Their first and self-titled album debuted in 2009 and received an 8.5 rating from Pitchfork following its release. Since then, the band has pumped out two more albums titled Reality (2010), Days (2011), and Atlas (2014), all of which received stellar reviews. Real Estate is currently on a world tour which includes dates in the UK, Mexico, Australia, at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, and of course the Underground Music Showcase in Denver! The indie-rock band will perform at Bonnaroo on the 12th at 7:30 pm in That Tent!
Who says forming a band and becoming rich and famous isn’t a good way to get back at an ex? Although it was probably less spiteful as we imagine it to be, Poliça was formed as a result of vocalist Channy Leaneagh’s need for a creative outlet after her break-up from her former music partner and husband. The American synthpop and alternative rock band was officially formed in 2011, where they collaborated with artists like Bon Iver during their early sessions. The 5-member crew has released 3 albums and an EP, all of which gained the Minneapolis natives much attention from independent music fans everywhere. We’re marking our calendars for their first ever show at Bonnaroo at 10:45pm in The Other Tent, 6/12!
This American rock band is nothing to f**k with. Known for their energetic live shows and killer piano riffs, the band returns to Tennessee, their original stomping grounds, to play Bonnaroo for the second time. No Country For New Nashville reported that their first time at the festival in 2011, J Roddy himself fell off the piano stool in exhaustion and just chilled on the ground for awhile until he got up the energy to keep on jammin’. Need we say more? This band will have every sunburnt, dehydrated concert-goer jumping out of their Converse to the tune of “Don’t Break the Needle” and “Heavy Bells” for not one, but TWO nights at the ‘Roo. Look for them on 6/12 at 11:30pm in This Tent and on 6/13 at 6pm at the Sonic Stage.
This Scottish trio makes electronic-pop music that we just can’t get enough of. The band formed in 2011 and released the single “Lies” in May 2012. Later that year, they debuted their first official single “The Mother We Share”, which was ranked #51 on the Huffington Post’s Top 52 Songs of 2012. CHVRCHES was also named #5 on BBC’s Sound of 2013 list of the most promising new artists. CHVRCHES is currently on a world tour, making stops in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and of course Tennessee. They’re playing The Other Tent at 7:30pm on Friday the 13th, so look out for some Instagram posts of us having too much fun at the show!
The duo of Lizzy (MS) and Max (MR) comprise the New York based band MS MR. Even though “Hurricane” just recently made its radio debut, the single was actually released in 2010 and earned many positive reviews for its “vintage” sound. With only 2 albums released, MS MR is definitely a new band to keep an eye on as they become more and more popular. Currently on a North American tour, MS MR will play at Bonnaroo for their first time before making a stop in Colorado at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater on July 19th. Roo-goers, head to The Other Tent at 7:45pm on 6/12 for MS MR’s sure to be killer performance.
THEY’RE FRENCH, which we probably think is way cooler than they do, but who knew the French could jam so hard? Their punky, alternative-rock sound is similar to that of the UK’s The Wombats, but better. Phoenix was formed in 1995 in a garage in the suburbs of Paris, and one of their first songs, “Too Young” was used in the soundtracks of Lost in Translation and Shallow Hal. The album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”, where you’ll find the widely popular song “1901”, won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2009 following its release. The album also received major kudos from Rolling Stone Magazine and BBC who called the album “their finest to date”. Phoenix is playing at Bonnaroo on 6/13 at 8:45pm on Which Stage.
Tedeschi Trucks Band was formed in 2010 by husband and wife Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. Their bluesy-bluegrass sound won them a Grammy award for Best Blues Album in 2012, and the band’s first album Revelator earned 4 out of 5 stars by Rolling Stone who called it a “masterpiece”. Under the hot Tennessee sun, this show will be a nice break from the constant jumping up and down and inevitable sweat swapping that happens at those electronic and punk concerts. The band’s performance will give you a chance to sit out, enjoy the day, and soak up the sweet melodies of vocalist Susan Tedeschi. Find them at What Stage at on 6/14, 3:30pm.
The guys of Chromeo have style that can’t be matched, they refer to themselves as “the only successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture”, and they’re playing on the most epic night of Bonnaroo- Saturday. The duo found each other in college in the mid 90’s, and, with their mutual love for gettin’ fawkny, they were like “hey let’s make some groovy music”, and the rest is history. Chromeo’s most popular songs include “Night By Night” and “Needy Girl” – trust us, you’ve heard them- and earned them worldwide recognition. Also super cool- Dave 1 (lead vocals) is a lecturer at Barnard College, so if you needed a reason to move to Manhattan for school, you’ve got one. Catch the funkmasters at 7:30pm on Saturday at Which Stage for the dance party of a lifetime.
10. Avett Brothers
Last but definitely not least, ah the Avett Brothers. This rock-country-folk-bluegrassy band got its start in the 90’s by brothers Scott and Seth. In 2013, the group was nominated for a Grammy for Best Americana Album, they were nominated for a CMT Award for Collaborative Video of the Year, and this year the group was nominated for Best Duo/Group of the Year by the Americana Music Association. Their earthy and honest sound is a signature of the band and has influenced groups like Mumford & Sons, and many more. The Avett Brothers are currently on a cross-country tour, and after they headline Bonnaroo they’re headed to Red Rocks Amphitheater July 11th-13th to soak up that Colorado air. Find them at Bonnaroo’s What Stage on Sunday at 7pm.
That sums up our list for the 10 shows we want you to see at Bonnaroo this year. Did reading this make you want to pack up your bags and head to the ‘Roo? DO IT! Tickets are still available at Bonnaroo.com/Tickets. Can’t make it this year? That’s okay, stay updated on all the fun by following Bonnaroo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr.