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Bonnaroo 2016

The 10 Best Performances of Bonnaroo 2016

Another year, another amazing array for music. From Hayley Williams' Bonnaroo debut to Kamasi Washington's masterful jam session, here are the sets that stayed with us the longest at this year's festival

10 / 10

Miguel with Chance the Rapper

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 11:  (L-R) Miguel and Chance The Rapper perform on June 11, 2016 in Manchester, Tennessee.  (Photo by E
Erika Goldring/Getty Images

The R&B heartthrob was expectedly phenomenal on Saturday night, but the fact that he brought out Chance the Rapper for a rendition of Biggie’s “Juicy”? That earns an automatic spot in the Top 10.

9 / 10

Hundred Waters

Jatnna Nunez for Fuse

Hundred Waters’ soulful electronica has always teetered on the edge of full-blown pop, especially in their live show, but the debut of new music during the group’s Thursday night set hinted at a riveting future. While “Out Alee” and “Xtalk” were peaks, the new songs—sweaty, uptempo, danceable but also entrancing—made this the highlight of Thursday night.

8 / 10


Friday afternoon was hot—as in, so hot that you didn’t want to move at Bonnaroo, even if your favorite act was playing on the other side of the field. For those brave enough to fight the heat and see Ibeyi, however, the twin-sister duo offered a midday oasis. The performance offered rich textures, but more importantly, the emotional refrains stirred even the sleepiest audience members onto their feet.

7 / 10

Jason Isbell

GULF SHORES, AL - MAY 20:  Jason Isbell performs at the Hangout Music Festival on May 20, 2016 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  (Pho
Josh Brasted/WireImage

No matter what your deal is, it wasn’t possible to hear Isbell’s mid-afternoon set on the big stage on Sunday and not get knocked on your ass by the depth and straightforward honesty of his country-tinged rock (or rock-tinged country, depending on your point of view). You might have even seen a few tears leaking out of the corner of some Bonnaroovians’ eyes when he played his rawest love song “Cover Me Up” with his musician wife Amanda Shires at his side. And a few more tears when he made a plea for “compassion and empathy” in the wake of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings that killed fifty. "It's a happy day on stage,” Isbell said. “But it's not a happy day everywhere in the world right now.”

6 / 10

CHVRCHES with Hayley Williams

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 10:  Recording artists Hayley Williams (L) and Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches perform onstage at What Stag
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival

Paramore’s Hayley Williams is a festival veteran, but she was a Bonnaroo virgin until she popped up on stage for “Bury It” during Chvrches’ set on the Friday. The fiery performance was a true duet, with Chvches frontwman Lauren Mayberry and Williams trading verses and sharing the chorus.

5 / 10

Sam Hunt

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 11:  Recording artist Sam Hunt performs onstage at This Tent during Day 3 of the 2016 Bonnaroo Arts And
FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival

Exposed biceps, girlish screams and songs called “Single for the Summer” and “I Met a Girl”: Sam Hunt’s Saturday showcase was the epitome of bro-country, and yet, it totally worked. Credit Hunt’s endless charisma for guiding him through sing-along after sing-along, a medley of country classics and multiple monologues in the We’ve come so far since we started playing music variety. Hunt is a force of nature, and at Bonnaroo, he was definitely a positive force.

4 / 10

Superjam with Kamasi Washington

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 11:  Recording artists Miguel (R) and Kamasi Washington (2nd R) perform onstage during Superjam at This
FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival

The Saturday night Superjam is a high point of every Bonnaroo, but this year’s collection of eclectic musicians felt especially poignant. A tribute to the music of Tennessee featuring performances of songs by B.B. King, Dolly PartonJohnny Cash and Justin Timberlake, the Superjam benefited from the wildly talented and particularly enthusiastic Kamasi Washington serving as curator and lead saxophonist.

3 / 10

Pearl Jam

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 11:  Recording artist Eddie Vedder and Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam perform onstage at What Stage during D
Jeff Kravitz

With two-plus hours of full-throated rock 'n' roll with all kinds of heart (and a few words in support of transgender equality), Pearl Jam brought its well-honed live show to the Bonnaroo main stage after a lightning storm delay. The Seattle powerhouse rocked well into the wee hours, mixing favorites (“Alive,” “Better Man”) with deep cuts and covers—taking time for both frontman Eddie Vedder and lead guitarist Mike McCready to step out into the pit to commune with the crowd of tens of thousands.

2 / 10


MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 11:  Este Haim of Haim performs during the Bonnaroo Music + Arts Festival on June 11, 2016 in Mancheste
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

The Haim sisters make songwriting look so easy that sometimes you can get lulled into thinking that their songs aren’t uniformly excellent. The truth is, Haim has unlocked a corner of pop music that’s beyond special, and on Saturday night at Bonnaroo, Este, Alana and Danielle previewed a new album with two songs that pushed their sound into even more euphoric territory. Haim has become a can’t-miss act at festivals, and their sophomore LP will be a must-hear whenever it’s released.

1 / 10

LCD Soundsystem

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 10:  James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem performs on June 10, 2016 in Manchester, Tennessee.  (Photo by Eri
Erika Goldring/Getty Images

LCD Soundsystem was never going to command the biggest audience at Bonnaroo. Headlining the Friday night main stage, however, LCD’s set was a frantic showcase of their three albums and a full-on percussion assault that thrilled the longtime fans and converted longtime skeptics. The beats literally never let up as the group glided from one song to the next (including “Tribulations” and “Movement” back-to-back), plowing ahead as their onlookers were trying to catch their breath. James Murphy and co. might have gone away for five years, but on Friday night, they refused to let up, even if a second.

Read all Fuse's Bonnaroo 2016 coverage!

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Photo of the day

Apr 2: Basket-Bros

Currently on his 'The Man of the Woods' tourJustin Timberlake brought out a special guest for his Cleveland show. LeBron James surprised concertgoers by showing up alongside Timberlake and taking a shot on stage. On Friday, the singer was also seen cheering on LeBron during the Pelicans and Cavaliers game. James gave a shout out on Instagram, "My brother @justintimberlake showed up and showed out last night at the Q! One of the greatest to ever do it in my lifetime and still going strong."