Best Bets for Bonnaroo 2014

Bonnaroo-2014This upcoming weekend of June 12-15 will mark the 13th installment of Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and the lineup is simply overwhelming. Kanye West, Jack White, Disclosure, Skrillex, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Kaskade and Zedd are just a few of the 80+ artists that will be invading the stages of the 700-acre farmland this weekend with an estimated 80,000 fans following suit. The headliners speak for themselves, but who on earth has time to sort through every single artist in the lineup to sort out the “WOW” from the “not so much?” Even if you do, save your time and put away your worries. Here are 5 non-huge-famous-Top40-artists that you should probably work into your Bonnaroo schedule.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones:

Lead singer Paul Janeway has one of the funkiest and most soulful sets of vocal chords you are likely to find at Bonnaroo or anywhere for that matter. I don’t consider myself of a fan of neo-soul, but these guys are on fire. Fun fact: these Alabama boys did a bit of recording at the historic FAME Recording Studios, where some of the most successful country, folk and soul artists have recorded a beyond impressive amount of number 1 hit singles. Maybe some of that good juju rubbed off on St. Paul and the Broken Bones.

First Aid Kit:

The name says it all. The two sisters Söderberg have a way of making folk-pop that is just as cleansing and pure as it is groovy and heavy. Their new album Stay Gold just dropped today and is expected to make some waves on the CMJ charts.

Vintage Trouble:

This last weekend at Wakarusa Music Festival, I saw the lead singer of Vintage Trouble (Ty Taylor) climb about 100 feet above the crowd with no ladder or safety devices up the sound booth tower, where he belted out a couple of songs before dangerously shuffling down slanted pipes into the crowd. He could have died, yet he went back on stage like a true rock star, where he continued to whip around his voice like James Brown. Vintage Trouble are a must-see act. They provide an amazing mix of soul and blues rock, plus the live show is unreal.

Little Dragon:

Nabuma Rubberband, Little Dragon’s newest record, was just released mid-May. It showcases her voice like no past release possibly could. Her voice has matured and the result is staggering. The following song “Klapp Klapp” is the best song on the album and one of the best singles out right now. It’s a fact.


David and Blake of Classixx are two of the most talented live electronic artists you’ll find at Bonnaroo this year. The multi-instrumentalists make their way through plenty of synthesizers, drum machines, guitars, effects modules, acoustic drums, and whatever else they can get their hands on. They produce a unique brand of neo-disco funky-electronica you won’t likely find anywhere else – I’ve been looking.

– Joseph Noga, Contributing Blogger | FirstCom Music


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