Month: June 2015

Bonnaroo’s Top 10 Performances: Could Anyone Top Florence + the Machine?

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 14:  Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine performs during the 2015 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 14, 2015 in Manchester, Tennessee.  (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

The 14th Bonnaroo is in the books, as tens of thousands of attendees are sent back to their normal lives, left with the memories of the weekend that was. So when they’re inevitably asked for the highlights, what names will pop up? From Unlocking the Future opening the fest Thursday to Billy Joel closing it out Sunday night, a multitude of acts brought their A-game, but it takes an awful lot to crack the upper ranks of Bonnaroo.

From all that Billboard’s Chris Payne and Dominick Grillo witnessed in Manchester, Tenn., this weekend, here are their picks for the top 10 sets:

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Bonnaroo 2015’s Least Attended Acts

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 12: Musician Joel Woods performs onstage at The Who Stage during Day 2 of the 2015 Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival on June 12, 2015 in Manchester, Tennessee.  (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival)

Most Bonnaroovians came to this year’s fest for the big name acts — Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, etc. But if they only stuck to the main stages, they would’ve missed out on a ton of great music — and perhaps even an act or two who stood on the cusp of widespread recognition, only needing a stellar performance to push them over the top into the mainstream (in other words, Bleachers).

Last year we sent Billboard’s Dominick Grillo around the fest to check out the five acts that had received the least number of “check-ins” on the official Bonnaroo app. This completely unscientific approach (the numbers tend to fluctuate by day, time and inclination of attendees to pay attention to their phones) brought us into the audience for James Bay’s 2014 show at Bonnaroo, a stunning performance that heralded the English singer-songwriter as an artist on the rise. That promise was fulfilled over the past year, with “Hold Back the River” hitting No. 2 on Adult Alternative Songs and “Let It Go” popping up on radio stations around the country.

Would ‘Roo 2015 help launch another talented act into the mainstream? After picking the least-checked-in artists (as of Thursday afternoon), Dominick headed back to the small stages to find out.

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Bonnaroo Superjam!: Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis Join Pretty Lights, Bleachers & More for Retro Bash


Where else but the Bonnaroo Superjam! would you be able to find superstars, rising up-and-comers, and A-list actors coming together to make music that will never be replicated? 2015’s Superjam! took things back with a collection of (mostly) ’80s dance-ready tunes curated by electronic artist Pretty Lights.

Like last year when Skrillex reigned over the sprawling affair, the 2015 party featured the guiding presence of an electronic artist – manning the boards, offering remixes and thunderous bass as needed, and playing the backbone of the just-formed group — as well as a “house band” and a stream of guests playing the lead.

More at Billboard.com