Woo Hoo for Bonnaroo!
With mind-blowing headliners and an amazing lineup, I think I’m going to have to trek to Tennessee in June for the nation’s premier music festival.
I told myself I’d never go back to Bonnaroo unless they announced a really awesome lineup. Not just good bands I like, but my favorite bands and other unique performances would have to be booked to reel me in. And that’s exactly what happened.
The Bonnaroo lineup, which was announced Tuesday, has an incredible group of headliners. Funk-rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers (one of my favorite all-time bands), Radiohead, Phish and The Beach Boys (with Brian Wilson) are at the top of the list.
As an eclectic music fan, these headliners are a perfect combination. You get your funk and rock from the Chili Peppers, you get your ambient/indie/weird stuff from Radiohead and you get your jams from Phish. The Beach Boys will take the audience back in time with some good vibrations.
And that’s just the headliners. One of my other favorite bands in the world, Umphrey’s McGee, will be there--another great reason to make the trek.
Some all-star combinations of musicians who don’t perform too often will have sets at Bonnaroo. One is from The Word, which features pedal steel extraordinaire Robert Randolph, jazz keyboardist John Medeski and blues-rockers the North Mississippi Allstars.
The other set is a tribute to jazz drummer Tony Williams called Spectrum Road, which features Cream bassist Jack Bruce, John Medeski, Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid and Cindy Blackman Santana, best known for playing drums with Lenny Kravitz and being the wife of Carlos Santana.
I’ll get a big dose of hip-hop with performances from The Roots, Black Star and Ludacris. I’ll get bluegrass from the Punch Brothers, punk and reggae from D.C. legends Bad Brains and funk from Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk.
So why did I say I’d never go back? For one, it’s in Tennessee, and driving is the way to go when it comes to music festivals. Also, it will undoubtedly sell out, which means spending four days with 80,000 or so people, standing in long lines and fighting crowds to get close to the music. With an enormous lineup playing music on multiple stages, it’s impossible not to miss at least a few choice acts due to schedule conflicts.
All that being said, the opportunity to see some of my favorite bands and spend four days absorbing new music far outweighs any of the negative stuff. Looks like I’m off to Bonnaroo in June!