Asking me to pick my favorite bands at Bonnaroo is like asking me to choose between children. There’s so much talent this year, I’m going to have to make some difficult decisions on what shows to catch. Here are six that you will see me enjoying.
1. Portugal. The Man
If you geek out on amazing lyrics, then Portugal. The Man may become your new favorite band. They are already mine. You will probably see me shedding a tear at this performance in That Tent on Thursday at 8:30pm and 12pm on the Sonic Stage Friday.
2. People Under the Stairs
This two man group has gained positive recognition in the underground hip-hop scene from super-stars like RUN DMC and members of A Tribe Called Quest. One of my favorite songs: Acid Raindrops, off the album O.S.T. always gets the crowd head bobbing. No rhymes about bitches and blunts at this show – just smart hip-hop. Pop over to the Other Tent at 10:15pm on Thursday.
3. J. Boogie @ Silent Disco
The Silent Disco changed my life! This will be my 7th year at Bonnaroo and my 7th year cutting a rug in the Silent Disco. This year, J. Boogie will be spinning some dope beats. If you like Latin Funk, this is a must see. Get to the Silent Disco early and bring a costume. Waiting in line pays off once you are kicking up dust at the best party of the year. It just might change your life too. Check out J. Boogie and Bonnaroo’s quietest act Thursday at 7:30pm and 2am on Saturday.
4. The Dillinger Escape Plan
I was pleasantly surprised to see The Dillinger Escape Plan in the 2009 lineup. Not your typical Bonnaroo band, The Dillinger Escape Plan rocks so hard they break the stage — literally. They might tone it down, but don’t be surprised if all hell breaks loose, especially in the mosh pits. If you need to get some aggression out, see them go wild on the That Tent on Sunday at 1:45 pm.
5. The Mars Volta
Like many of you, I was bummed to hear the fall of At the Drive In. But with the death of one band comes another. I haven’t listened to much after Mars Volta’s second album, but know for a fact that their first, “Deloused in the Comatorium” is the shit. It doesn’t matter what they’re playing. This will be a show worth catching. Mars Volta plays Saturday on the Which Stage at 7:15pm.
6. Raphael Saadiq
Remember Tony! Toni! Tone!? Raphael Saadiq, the lead vocalist from that trio, has an all-new sound. With three albums under his belt, Raphael Saadiq has made his mark in the neo-soul movement as a singer, songwriter, and record producer. I’s hard not to groove to his musical mix of funky soul hip-hop. He will be demonstrating that talent on the That Tent at 3:15 on Saturday.