BLARE’s 20 Must-Hear Bands At Bonnaroo

A legendary event in its own right, the BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL isn’t the music festival your parents warned you about. It’s more like the one they are never too shy to discuss, excessively using words like “man” and “bodacious” to make their point about how awesome it was. Spread across four days at a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, this one’s pretty awesome. To make sure it’s even more “radical” (thanks mom), BLARE has created a concise guide of who’s worth checking out in the boiling heat and the sea of sweaty summer bodies.

For your Bonnaroo 2011 fix, keep a tab on @blaremag

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NEON TREES

(PROVO, UTAH | MERCURY RECORDS/UNIVERSAL)
“Like The Killers playing backup for Duran Duran” (Rolling Stone)

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ARCADE FIRE

(MONTREAL, QBC | MERGE RECORDS)
“They never aim for anything less than grand statements” (Pitchfork)

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BAND OF SKULLS

(SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND | SHANGRI-LA MUSIC)
“A gritty mix of guy-girl vocals, Bonzo-style drum bashing…” (SPIN)

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NOFX

(LOS ANGELES, CA | FAT WRECK CHORDS)
“One of the most reliable punk bands around” (Punknews)

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SLEIGH BELLS

(BROOKLYN, NY | N.E.E.T./SONY)
“The world will have to reckon with their fierceness” (Paste Magazine)

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LIL WAYNE

(NEW ORLEANS, LA | YOUNG MONEY/UNIVERSAL)
“Is he the next 2Pac or Biggie? Who the f*ck cares?” (SPIN)

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JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD

(KENT, OH | NONESUCH RECORDS/WARNER)
Looks like an ingénue but sings like a worldly-wise veteran” (Rolling Stone)

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MUMFORD & SONS

(LONDON, ENGLAND | GLASSNOTE RECORDS/UNIVERSAL)
“A delicate fusion of vintage Americana and English folk” (Paste Magazine)

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PORTUGAL. THE MAN

(WASILLA, AL | ATLANTIC RECORDS/WARNER)
“The epitome of prolific” (AbsolutePunk)

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THE BLACK KEYS

(AKRON, OH | NONESUCH RECORDS/WARNER)
“An overnight success story that took one decade, six albums..” (SPIN)

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RIVER CITY EXTENSION

(TOMS RIVER, NJ | XOXO RECORDS)
“Molds the instrumental bric-a-brac into a cohesive whole” (Paste Magazine)

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RAY LAMONTAGNE

(NASHUA, NH | RCA RECORDS/SONY)
“Very sweet, timeless work that could be described as ‘mountain soul'” (Spinner)

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BEST COAST

(LOS ANGELES, CA | MEXICAN SUMMER/WICHITA RECORDINGS)
“A meditation on the stickier hooks of classic indie pop” (Pitchfork)

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EMINEM

(WARREN, MI | INTERSCOPE/UNIVERSAL)
“Shy of 40, he sounds content to be rap’s wittiest head case” (Rolling Stone)

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TRISTEN

(NASHVILLE, TN | AMERICAN MYTH RECORDINGS)
“A woman who’s never considered being a damsel in distress” (Paste Magazine)

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WAVVES

(SAN DIEGO, CA | FAT POSSUM)
“Set to be one of indie rock’s next big things” (SPIN)

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EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY

(AUSTIN, TX | TEMPORARY RESIDENCE LIMITED)
“Current masters of the quiet-loud dynamic” (Exclaim!)

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NEIL YOUNG

(TORONTO, ON | REPRISE RECORDS/WARNER)
“A restless master caught in the pursuit of ideas” (Rolling Stone)

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WALK THE MOON

(CINCINNATI, OH | “UNSIGNED”)
“For fans of bold, broadly beaming FM pop rock” (NME)

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FLORENCE + THE MACHINE

(LONDON, ENGLAND | ISLAND/UNIVERSAL)
“A self-proclaimed ‘choir girl gone horribly wrong'” (SPIN)

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