Bonnaroo's this week! Which means scores of bearded men and legions of collegiate white girls from across the country will come together to don crop-tops and Native American headdresses, and enjoy four days of live music, comedy, drug abuse, and prime Instagram fodder. And if you're in the northeast like us, it'll mean having to go south of the Mason-Dixon line (!!!), so we want you to get the most bang for your perplexingly-located cultural-wasteland music festival buck. We've taken it upon ourselves to prepare for you a list of Bonnaroo's six must-see sleeper acts, from hidden gems to stars-on-the-rise to bigger names assigned mystifying time-slots.
1. MS MR
Thursday, 7:45 PM @ The Other Tent
This playfully grandiose pop outfit, consisting of vocalist Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow, first stepped out of the ether in 2012 with the music video for their single "Hurricane." The promising pair's since followed up with 2013's full-length Secondhand Rapture
, and you won't want to miss their performance amongst Bonnaroo's more low-key opening rounds on Thursday evening.
2. Die Antwoord
Saturday, 1:45 AM @ The Other Tent
This year, South Africa's premier rave-rap nightmare duo are fittingly due to perform a late night slot (Saturday at 1:45 AM.) It nevertheless seems that a group fresh off the release of an album (Donker Mag
) is entitled to a less contentious time-slot — they'll be up for audiences against Skrillex and Chance the Rapper. But we trust you to make the right decision.
Saturday, 1:45 PM @ The Other Tent
Sunday, 12:30 AM @ Silent Disco
Producer/DJ team Classixx are well known for their silken, house-style electronic dance remixes. 2013 saw the release of their first full album, Hanging On
, featuring collaborations with Active Child and LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang, and Bonnaroo's giving you two opportunities to dance to their tunes live: their Saturday afternoon performance, and a Sunday night DJ set to round off the weekend.
4. James Blake
Saturday, 8:45 PM @ That Tent
Singer-songwriter James Blake sealed the deal on his indie darling peerage with the release of his second album — the melodic, critically-acclaimed Overgrown
— last April. This Saturday, he'll be performing at Bonnaroo for the first time, sandwiched interestingly between Lionel Richie and the more-understandably-present Ms. Lauryn Hill.
5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Saturday, 12:30 AM @ That Tent
Alt rock's dark godfathers are rolling into Bonnaroo Saturday night / Sunday morning, slipped inconspicuously between performances by The Flaming Lips and Frank Ocean for a show starting at half-past midnight. Rediscover goth and take the opportunity to ride out the witching hour under Nick Cave's brooding guidance.
Saturday, 2:30 AM @ That Tent
Darkside made their stunning debut last summer with the release of the eleven-minute-long downtempo electro-ambient "Golden Arrow." Though they share a time-slot in the wee hours of Sunday morning with other electronic names like Kaskade and The Glitch Mob, the pair's performance is sure to be one of the most interesting sonic experiences this year's Bonnaroo will have to offer.