(Rubblebucket pictured above)
The last week has been a whirlwind. I think I’m still recovering from Bonnaroo and adjusting back to the real life. The weekend was well-worth the money, no doubt, but it sure does drain you! I had so many incredible experiences, went to so many fantastic shows, and met some very notable characters throughout the weekend.
I will be doing a series of summary posts about the bands I was able to catch, so today I’ll tell y’all about Thursday’s shows (EDIT: It was pointed out to me that The Kooks played on Friday…so this is partly Thursday/partly Friday). Thursday was the least busy day in terms of bands that were absolute must-sees for me, so me and my friend Madi were able to check out a few shows we wouldn’t traditionally go to had we not been at Bonnaroo. We caught parts of a couple other bands, but these are the shows we got to see basically from start to finish.
Rubblebucket is one of those bands that simply has the best of times every moment they are on stage. They played at the “Solar Stage” so it was a fairly small stage, but there was no shortage of an audience. They played a bunch of fun dance songs led by the powerhouse vocals of lead singer Kalmia Traver and backed by their band full of brass instruments, drums, keyboards, synthesizers. So many bands now have similar sounds, but I came away from the Rubblebucket show convinced that they have definitely developed their own unique sound that will hopefully take them far.
Prior to Bonnaroo, I had never heard of YelaWolf, but when I listened to a couple of his songs, I figured his set might be fun, if nothing else. I love rap and hip-hop, and YelaWolf put on a great, beat-heavy show that created quite the party. I’ll give that to Mr. YelaWolf.
Despite YelaWolf’s enthusiam, I was a bit miffed and frankly surprised at his off-kilter stage banter and lyrical content, which was probably just me being naïve to what YelaWolf is apparently all about. Throughout his set, he confessed his love for weed, which is not very uncommon in hip-hop songs so it didn’t surprise me too much. But then he also confessed his love for crystal meth and then sang an entire song about it. In said song, he also mentioned and glorified LSD and Adderall-which I’m assuming he doesn’t use for his ADHD. I had a fun time at the show, and I know that generally rap songs are going to have more illicit lyrics, but I think he celebrates drugs just a bit too much.
The Kooks played an all-around great set. I am not overly familiar with their music, but they are popular enough that every now and then they played a song that was instantly recognizable to most audience members. They carried great energy through their entire show and were definitely fun to see live.
Bonnaroo is right around the corner! I am so excited to hear some great live music in just a couple days.
A band I stumbled upon recently is Here We Go Magic. They are an indie rock band from Brooklyn, NY and use lot of great guitar layering and subtle melodies aided by the well-rounded folksy voice of Luke Temple. I love their new album A Different Ship, I think seeing it performed will be great.
Here We Go Magic will be playing on Sunday, June 10 at Bonnaroo. Their first set will be at 2:00pm at “That Tent” and their second set will be at 4:45pm at “The Sonic Stage”.
Check out “Hard To Be Close” from A Different Ship, or check out the entire album on Spotify.
Back in January I caught the Staves live as they opened up for The Civil Wars. I went to their show without much prior knowledge about their music, and was pleasantly surprised when the three sisters began singing their ever so lovely harmonies. Their voices are the center of their music, but they also often play their ukuleles or guitars to add texture to their melodies.
The Staves will be playing on Sunday, June 10, at “The Great Taste Lounge Brewed By Miller Lite” at 6:40pm. Be sure to catch them! Listen to their song “Mexico” below or their newly US released EP The Motherlode EP on Spotify
So I must apologize to Kathleen Edwards and any of her fans, because back in September when I saw her open for Bon Iver I wasn’t too keen on her sound. I didn’t want to write her off completely after the show though because she was mostly enjoyable, there was just nothing that blew me away immediately.
Fast forward to this past January when her new album Voyageur came out. Surprise, surprise, it just so happens that I loved it. At first I thought she was too simple and therefore not very impressive, but I’ve come to realize that the beauty in her music lies in it’s simplicity. Her new record is full of texture and depth, it makes the traditional girl with a guitar music eighty times better than the average girl with a guitar sound, if ya know what I mean.
I am thrilled to see Kathleen again and listen to her live from a very different perspective I had when I first heard her, it’s going to be an excellent show. Bonnaroo just released the schedule for the weekend, and she will be playing two sets on Sunday, June 10. The first set will be at “The Other Tent” at 1:30pm and the second set is at the “Sonic Stage” at 3:45pm.
Check out “Change The Sheets” from Voyageur below, or listen to the whole album on Spotify.
I’ve seen SBTRKT’s (pronounced ‘subtract’) name thrown around on the internet quite a bit, but never did take the time to really check him out until recently. SBTRKT started out his career as a DJ and consequentially, is heavy on the electronic side, and almost borderline dub-steppy. With all the electronics going on, many songs still manage to have guest vocals- most commonly added by a musician named Sampha. SBRTKT isn’t music I would listen to all the time, but everyone needs dance music when you get in those dance-tastic moods. Many of the bands playing at Bonnaroo don’t exactly play “dance” music, so I think SBTRKT will be one of the sets where people will be putting their dance pants on to get down in the Tennessee heat.
Check out “Wildfire” featuring Little Dragon below or listen to SBTRKT’s self-titled album on Spotify.
This band has blown up in the last year. They are topping charts and building their fan base very, very quickly. I’ve never been into blues rock/soul music, so upon first listening to them, I’m not exactly drawn to their sound. However, I still definitely want to see them at Bonnaroo because they certainly do seem to deliver a soulful set.
I think with all the excitement and praise surrounding the Alabama Shakes, this could be one band I end up loving after having the chance to see them play at Bonnaroo.
Listen to “Hold On” below, or listen to their new album Boys & Girls on Spotify.
Nickel Creek has been one of my favorite bands for quite a while now, but they sadly broke up back in 2007. Each member’s musicianship is not something I can easily ignore or forget, so I like to check in and see what the three members are up to every now and then.
My favorite member to keep up with though has to be Chris Thile. He’s worked with so many people (including Yo-Yo Ma) in the last couple years making fantastic music all while cranking out great albums with his band the Punch Brothers.
In 2006, Chris helped start Punch Brothers, a progressive bluegrass band with all the traditional bluegrass instruments; upright bass, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and acoustic guitar. Their third album Who’s Feeling Young Now was released in February and it has definitely been an album I’ve really enjoyed this year.
From all accounts I’ve heard, they put on an incredible show, simply because their talent becomes even more apparent as you watch them live. The last time I saw Chris Thile perform was on the closing Nickel Creek tour in 2007 and I could not be more excited to see him perform again with the rest of the Punch Brothers.
"Movement and Location" has been one of my favorites from their new album, check it out below or listen to the album on Spotify.
I’ve been waiting a couple years to hit up a music festival, and it’s finally happening. The lineup for Bonnaroo is pretty stellar this year, so I couldn’t pass this one up. As I research and listen to bands who are playing at Roo this year, I hope to share those bands with you all. If you’re going to Bonnaroo, I hope this will help you figure out your lineup and prioritize who you plan to see.
If you’re not going to Bonnaroo, no worries because oftentimes, many of the bands who play festivals tour in the areas around the festival. Since Bonnaroo is in Tennessee, St. Louis is probably going to be fortunate enough to get some bands rolling through town the week prior to and the week after Bonnaroo, so keep an eye on tour schedules and venue calendars around town.