11 Must-See Acts at Bonnaroo

06.12.14 5 years ago

The 13th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival kicks off today in Manchester, Tenn. As usual, there”s something for everything across the 700-acre farms”s multiple stages–except for Outkast fans– it's one of the few festivals the reunited duo is skipping. If you”re having trouble figuring out who to see, you can”t go wrong with this list of 11 acts. For the most part, we stayed away from recommending the main headliners since you can make you own mind up on those famous names.  The acts are listed in order of their time slot.

Real Estate
June 12, 7:30 p.m.

Ease into Bonnaroo with a nice set by a this guitar driven indie band from New Jersey, who are sure to deliver an uplifting, care-free set. They may have tackled some darker issues on new album, “Atlas,” but there”s still an unquenchable lilt to what they do.

Sam Smith
June 13, 2:15 p.m.

Chances are good the British crooner will join Disclosure for its set later Friday night, but if you miss that, check out his solo set where he will dazzle you with his strong voice and confessional tales of heartbreak.

Janelle Monae
June 13, 5:30 p.m.

Monae is the complete package. She is a great singer and a great dancer and she puts a premium on entertaining as she skittles across the stage in her black and white outfits. Go to Wondaland with her. You'll be glad you did.

June 13, 11:30 p.m.

If you”ve had a little too much of the acoustic, hippie vibe, then go get your head twisted around a few times by metal band Mastadon, who are sure to be the loudest act at the festival. Be among the first to catch songs from the Metallica-influenced band”s “Once More ‘Round The Sun,” which comes out June 24.

June 14, 12 a.m.

The British electronic duo, Guy and Howard Lawrence, have their breakthrough hit in  “Latch,” featuring Sam Smith in the U.S., but they”ve already had a slew of hits in the U.K. and were big on the festival circuit last year. In their first Bonnaroo appearance, expect lots of songs from their No. 1 U.K. album, “Settle,” and lots of dancing. It will probably be very crowded.

Chance The Rapper
June 14, 2:30 a.m.

If you didn”t catch him on tour with Childish Gambino a while OK or guesting on a slew of other artists” tracks, here”s your chance to see the Chicago rapper, who draws from diverse influences that span genres and generations, while his star is still ascending.

First Aid Kit
June 14, 3 p.m.

Lovely Americana music courtesy of two Swedish sisters. There are a lot worst ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than listening to their golden harmonies.

Lionel Richie
June 14, 8 p.m.

We”re staying away from recommending top headliners for the most part, but for the past several years some of shows people are buzzing about afterwards come from the WTF veterans, like Kenny Rogers two years ago (who Richie joined on stage) or  … If you want a break from the up-and-comers and hip acts and want to dance all night long to hear wall-to-wall hits (and to dance on the ceiling), then satisfaction is guaranteed at Richie”s show.

Carolina Chocolate Drops
June 15, 12:30 p.m.

They describe themselves as an old-time string band, but they are so much more. Rihannon Giddens” pure voice has to be heard live to be believed and the sheer musicality of the quartet will take your breath away. You may have heard their song, “Daughter”s Lament” on “The Hunger Games” soundtrack.

A$AP Ferg
June 15, 4:15 p.m.

As if seeing  the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards recipient of Rookie of the Year confidently run through tracks from “Lords Never Worry” and “Trap Lord”  isn”t enough incentive, you have to imagine that other members of the A$AP Mob will show up.

Avett Bros.
June 15, 7 p.m.

They are good on record, but they are great live. Brothers Scott and Seth Avett, and band mates Joe Kwon and Bob Crawford create a lot of noise and it”s usually all harmony-filled and fun. Even if you don”t know the acoustic rock songs, you”ll still be singing and dancing along to many of the tracks. Why they aren”t as big as Mumford & Sons is unfathomable.

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