I’m sorry to say, I’m a bit underwhelmed at the latest Bonnaroo lineup:
Celebrating the festival’s 10th anniversary, Bonnaroo has recruited Eminem, Arcade Fire, Widespread Panic, The Black Keys and Buffalo Springfield (feat. Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Rick Rosas and Joe Vitale) to headline this year’s event.
Bonnaroo—which will take place in Manchester, Tenn. on Jun. 9-12—will feature performances by My Morning Jacket, Lil Wayne, String Cheese Incident, Robert Plant & Band of Joy, Mumford & Sons, The Strokes, The Decemberists, Ray Lamontagne, Bassnectar, Iron & Wine, Girl Talk, Primus, Dr. John and The Original Meters performing Desitively Bonnaroo, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Pretty Lights, Florence + the Machine, Explosions in the Sky, STS9, Gogol Bordello, Beirut, Big Boi, Scissor Sisters, Gregg Allman, Ratatat, Robyn, Warren Haynes Band and Deerhunter.
Further down the billing, 2011 lineup will also include Opeth, Atmosphere, Old Crow Medicine Show, Bootsy Collins & the Funk University, Wiz Khalifa, Matt & Kim, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, The Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mavis Staples, Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, Chiddy Bang, Javanotti, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Loretta Lynn, Cold War Kids, The Walkmen, Devotchka, Wanda Jackson, Neon Trees, Portugal. The Man, Sleigh Bells, Amos Lee, Best Coast, Dãm-Funk, The Sword, The Drums, The Black Angels, School of Seven Bells, J. Cole, Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea, Wavves, !!!, Junip, Freelance Whales, Justin Townes Earle, Ryan Bingham, Deer Tick, Band of Skulls, Sharon Van Etten, Abigail Washburn, Omar Souleyman, Twin Shadow, Kylesa, Man Man, The Low Anthem, Alberta Cross, Railroad Earth, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Smith Westerns, The Head and the Heart, Karen Elson, Beats Antique, 22-20s, Phosphorescent, Clare MaGuire, Hayes Carll and more to be announced.
Don’t get me wrong, overall the lineup is solid. But the headliners? Eminem? Meh. I’m so-so on both the Arcade Fire and the Black Keys (I know, hearsay) and I’ve seen Panic at Bonnaroo… 3 times? 4? One of Twitter followers/friends @MikeyTuna said: Bonnaroo’s lineup might as well have been Pitchfork or Lollapalooza in TN. I concur.
Part of my apathy definitely due to a friend of mine feeding my ‘Roo rumors like “Daft Punk, Radiohead, Phish and the Dead. Also, possibly U2.” Hoping for that (well, not U2) and then receiving Buffalo Springfield (I don’t know if I can name three of their songs) is a bit of a letdown.
I won’t deny however, that there’s some good depth here. Pretty Lights, Grace Potter, My Morning Jacket, Cold War Kids, the Strokes, the Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Gogol Bordello, Explosions in the Sky, ST9, Scissor Sisters, Sleigh Bells, Atmosphere, Ray Lamontagne and Béla Fleck & the Flecktones are all artists I’ve listened to in the past.
Odds are, I’ll still end up going. I missed last year and regretted it for the whole summer. And hey, at least this year I won’t have to worry about the Cavs playing in the Finals during the show. So um, thanks LeBron!