Blood. Pythons. More blood. Guillotines. Electric chairs. Baby dolls. And, of course, classic authority-targeting rock tracks like "School's Out." What else do you want from a rock concert?
Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, seems to get better every time we see her live, and we've seen her live a lot. She blends moments of rock squall with ethereal beauty on her latest album, 'Strange Mercy,' shifting from distorted riffs to angelic keyboard swells with the grace of a ballet dancer, and confidence of a linebacker.
Aubree Lennon for Fuse
Like you're going to go to Bonnaroo and NOT see Radiohead? Have you ever seen a bad Radiohead concert? Have you ever even heard of someone seeing Radiohead and saying, 'yeah, it was just okay.' No: That's because everyone who sees Radiohead remembers the concert with closed-eyes reverence. So yeah, go see 'em.
A white rapper from Alabama who spits with incredible fury, Yelawolf is signed to Eminem’s Shady Records. And he’s a wild live performer: he had to cancel some of his last tour because he ruptured his spleen. There’s only one way to do that!
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Mos Def and Talib Kweli have been rocking together as Black Star for more than a decade, fueled by a lone album and long legacy. The on-and-off collaboration (fine, mostly off) resurfaced last year when the duo began playing shows together again and Kweli stated that new music was on the way. Will we hear any more new tracks this weekend?
South Dakota native-turned-California girl Erika M. Anderson—the former frontwoman of noise folk outfit Gowns—is a viscous, yet oddly beautiful force onstage. Metal-grinder guitars collide her screams about self-mutilation. The spirit of Kurt Cobain is alive and well in this one.
This New York rap trio, two rappers and a hype man, are the current reigning champs of druggy, post-modern, hyper-self-referential rap. And they’re hilarious live.
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Imagine James Brown and Mavis Staples inhabiting one body—that's Sharon Jones, the most talented vocalist and explosive performer in the recent soul/funk/R&B revival. She'll have you on your feet, doin' the funky chicken. Seriously, it's part of the show.
The War On Drugs
They're nothing new—singer-guitarist-songwriter Adam Granduciel formed Philadelphia's War On Drugs in 2005 with his buddy Kurt Vile, who has since launched a successful solo career. But War On Drugs have become one of Fuse's favorite new discoveries thanks to the colorfully psychedelic, woozy sound of their latest album, 'Slave Ambient.'
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Arguably the best solo album from a Wu-Tang Clan member (although every single Wu members makes an appearance), GZA's 'Liquid Swords' is an undeniable classic of 1990s New York rap. We’re glad that GZA’s taking some time off from hanging out at Harvard and MIT to deliver this powerful record live.
This 24-year-old Florida DJ, nee Sonny Moore, who spent his formative years in a screamo band, is sure to put on the biggest, loudest, wildest show at Bonnaroo. Just make sure you don’t get your ears blasted off!
The last time I saw Black Lips on stage, one of them puked, took a swig of beer and just kept on rocking. If there's one band on the scene today that exudes the snotty, fuzzed-out glory of '60s garage rock, it's Black Lips.
Aubree Lennon for Fuse
Kurt Vile, the founder of Philadelphia's War On Drugs turned prolific solo artist, has an acclaimed release of his own with 2011's gentle guitar fuzz-and-gentle psychedelia 'Smoke Ring for My Halo.' It's beautiful both on record and when delivered live via the layer upon layer of reverb.
It’s crazy that Ludacris has stayed this good for this long! The Atlanta spitter, who first became relevant more than a decade ago with classics like “Area Codes” and “Rollout (My Business),” is guesting on the next Justin Bieber single. He’s got a massive catalog, so you’re in for an hour of straight hits.
This New York math-rock quartet play stunningly tight, frenzied, deeply layered electronic rock. And they do it astonishingly well live. You'll have your ears twisted in crazy directions!
Like Feist? Meet her fellow female singer-songwriter from the Great White North, Ms. Edwards, whose emotional ballads are simply spellbinding on her latest album, 'Voyageur,' which was co-produced with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.
The last time the jam band kings played Bonnaroo, Springsteen joined them onstage for three songs. Springsteen isn't on this year's bill, so here's who we want to see rock out with Phish at Bonnaroo 2012: Flea, Thom Yorke, Skrillex and/or Aziz Ansari. And we're only half kidding.
Hardcore punk, funk, reggae, metal—it's all part of Bad Brains' sonic soup. If you're jonesing for something edgier than a jam band, Bad Brains will be ready to box your eardrums.
At the recent Roots Picnic, two dancers brought one male fan onstage, stripped him and proceeded to dry-hump him for a full song. Yeah, that’s what this show is like. Diplo and co. blend reggaeton, drum n’ bass, hip hop and whatever else they damn feel in their genre-hopping set.
Last time we saw the Swedish electronic duo was in a cramped New York club, with vocalist Yukimi Nagano belting to a bottle-service crowd. We're excited to see what they'll do when given a larger stage.
Aubree Lennon for Fuse
Fitz and the Tantrums
Fitz and the Tantrums have become as close to festival mainstays as any group without "Black" or "Keys" in its name. The L.A. retro-soul group has been debuting material from their upcoming new album, but it’s a horn-blasted cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" that’s been highlighting recent sets. "Some of them want to abuse you" never sounded more cheerful.
The London dance producer has released a series of acclaimed remixes over the years that have made him a figurehead in the UK dance music scene, yet it was 2011’s eponymous album—utilizing dubstep as a foundation to explore myriad sounds and textures —that broadened his appeal to a much wider audience. Long story short: Dude is going to make you dance while wearing a crazy mask.
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The Beach Boys
Two reasons you need to see The Beach Boys: 1) Brian Wilson & co. just released their best album since 1971's 'Surf's Up.' 2) They are probably the greatest American singles band ever. Just try to name 'em all, we dare you...
Comedian Aziz Ansari has become a national star through his role in 'Parks and Recreation,' though we prefer his stand-up, which paints Ansari as your everyday dude who just happens to hang out with Kanye West and Jay-Z.
Questlove and the Superjam
The Roots' drummer Questlove is anchoring this year's all-star jam session. Although we don't know who his special guests are this year (it's a secret!), Questo's 2007 Superjam included Ben Harper and Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. So be ready for something epic.