Bonnaroo, the granddaddy of music festivals kicked off last night and even thought Mumford & Sons had to cancel, there are a ton of really interesting acts performing this year. Lollapalooza has been around for longer, but Bonnaroo has really influenced the “modern” music festival. It started out in 2012 by including a lot of “jam bands.” It has changed it’s formula.
The thing I like about Bonnaroo is that it gives different, diverse acts a large stage to show off. Bonnaroo is not scared to have acts that might be considered weird by others. In fact they embrace it. Do you think it’s a coincidence that R. Kelly is playing this year? No. Bonnaroo loves to push the envelope in order to make indelible experiences. Bonnaroo started yesterday so I won’t include acts that performed on Thursday. But here are five acts you should check out Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
1. Paul McCartney
Fresh off a stint at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY and an hour long special on The Colbert Report, Paul McCartney is Friday night’s headliner. The usual formula for Bonnaroo headliners is one traditional act (Paul McCartney), one more interesting, unique act (R. Kelly) and one classic act (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers). I really want to see Paul McCartney because I feel like it’s important to see one Beatle before they die. And McCartney’s set should be full of hits. What is there not to like? Listen to “Blackbird” below.
2. Superjam with RZA, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Schoolboy Q, Solange and Chad Hugo featuring Lettuce and Special Guests
One of the best parts about Bonnaroo are the special guest. It’s not uncommon to see special guests during sets. This year, Bonnaroo is doing an inaugural “Hip-hop Superjam” where different hip-hop artists will team up to perform different songs. I cannot wait for the YouTube clips from this. It should be really interesting. Earl Sweatshirt was set to participate until he got sick. He will no longer be performing this year. Listen to “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff below.
3. Wu-Tang Clan
You should not miss the multi-member Wu-Tang Clan. They are releasing a new album at the end of the summer. Put your W’s up! Listen to “C.R.E.A.M.” below.
4. Preservation Hall Jazz Band
For all the new electronic/indie/pop/hip-hop acts at Bonnaroo, festival organizers still like to have a lot of jazz/blues acts. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is just that. If you want to get your dance on, or perhaps just relax after a more intense set look out for the Band. Listen to “I’ll Fly Away” below.
5. Tom Petty & the Hearbreakers
“She was an American girl”