5 Bonnaroo acts not to be missed
In less than a week, the 16th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will get underway, as Manchester will be invaded by music lovers galore ready to enjoy their four days out at The Farm. From Thursday until late Sunday night, music will fill the air nearly around the clock.
While the headliners easily draw the biggest crowd, Bonnaroo has always been known for its deep, diverse lineup, introducing fans to new and undiscovered artists. For those looking over the lineup and looking to be introduced to new acts, here are five, can’t-miss performances at Bonnaroo.
5. Lucy Dacus
2 p.m. Saturday
With a soft, but powerful voice, Lucy Dacus starts the list off in the No. 5 slot. The 21-year-old Richmond, Virginia native will be making her Bonnaroo debut when she hits the stage on Saturday afternoon.
Her debut album, “No Burden,” released in early 2016, was recorded in a single day in Nashville. The indie-rock album received acclaim from several media outlets, including Rolling Stone, which went on to feature Dacus in its January 2016, 10 New Artists You Need to Know monthly list.
While Dacus’ alto voice stands out on its own, the instrumentals, specifically the guitar play, help make her pop even further. All of that combined with sharp, playful lyrics makes it clear that “No Burden” has a keen sense of direction, making it more impressive for a debut album.
4. Charlotte Cardin
9:30 p.m. Thursday
Charlotte Cardin, a Canadian singer and songwriter, has a voice that is reminiscent of the late Amy Winehouse. Oddly enough, Cardin stepped into the limelight in 2013, finishing in the top four of “La Voix,” a Canadian TV talent show, auditioning with Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.”
In early 2016, Cardin dropped her first single, “Big Boy,” which was met with instant success online. The electro-jazz ballad led to a rise in her popularity, including being recognized by Spotify as one of the Spotlight Artists of 2016.
Later last year, Cardin released a debut EP, also titled “Big Boy,” featuring the hit single and five original songs. The momentum of that release fueled a 60-date Canadian tour, with several festivals included, which allowed her the opportunity to open for both Sting and Peter Gabriel.
3. Flint Eastwood
1:30 p.m. Sunday
Detroit singer and songwriter Flint Eastwood, otherwise known as Jax Anderson, is a tough artist to pinpoint. Her sound ranges from rock to rap, dripped with electronica and punk, making her one of the most creative and unique artists on the Bonnaroo lineup.
After a stint in Georgia and Los Angeles, Anderson discovered her passion for pop music and film, returning to Detroit as Flint Eastwood. There, she mixed her love for Motown with pop to form her sound. On top of that, her love for film and theater also makes Flint Eastwood’s shows something to witness.
Earlier this year, she released her newest EP, “Broke Royalty.” The seven-song EP includes five solo songs and collaborations on the other two tracks, including with Tunde Olaniran on “Push.” She followed that with “Rewind,” featuring electronic artist GRiZ, which has received acclaim from fans and media outlets.
While her set is scheduled for the early afternoon on Sunday, Flint Eastwood will also be annual SuperJam held at This Tent on Sunday morning. The Superjam is scheduled to get underway at 1 a.m.
2. Francis and The Lights
4:45 p.m. Friday
Francis and The Lights, otherwise known as lead singer Francis Farewell Starlite, is an electronic-based singer songwriter. With a signature, tenor-sounding voice, mixed with a jittery, unbridled energy, Francis and The Lights has been known for his on-stage performances.
In September 2016, Francis and The Lights released its debut album “Farewell, Starlite,” but has additionally collaborated with several big-time artists in the past. That previous groundwork leaves the door wide open for a star-studded (no pun intended) set at Bonnaroo.
Included on that list of special appearances could be Chance the Rapper, who is slated to perform on Saturday, but has shown up unannounced at the festival the last two years. Francis and The Lights released a new single, “May I Have This Dance,” on May 18, which includes Chance the Rapper. The duo has already taken to the stage and performed the track at Boston Calling Music Festival on May 26.
With that performance hopefully set to happen, don’t be surprised if Francis and The Lights has other further guest appearances during its ‘Roo set.
1. July Talk
7:15 p.m. Thursday
Canadian alternative rock band July Talk tops this list, as the five-member group has been known for its explosive live shows since forming in 2012. The band features two lead singers, as Peter Dreimanis’ unmistakably deep and raspy voice plays off his counterpart Leah Fay perfectly, capturing a unique dynamic and duo love embracing the live stage.
While Dreimanis and Fay play perfectly off one another, it’s the instrumentals that solidify July Talk. With a gritty blues guitar sound, mixed with a new age alternative feel, the instrumentals elevate the band into a unique category.
In September 2016, the band released its second studio album “Touch.” The band released “Push + Pull,” its first single off the album, which was met with instant success, spending 12 weeks on top of the Canadian Alternative Radio Charts.
Zach Birdsong may be reached by email at email@example.com.