Bonnaroo celebrates 16 years of live music with Lorde, Flume and more over the weekend

Bonnaroo hit its full swing this past weekend with massive headliners that brought in tens of thousands. Saturday had three of the biggest names from three drastically different genres. Chance the Rapper kicked off Saturday night with as much energy and enthusiasm as anyone on the lineup. Ripping through his early work and touching on all of the highlights of Coloring Book, Chance had the crowd jumping up and down the whole way and the joining pyro and streams of confetti kicked off the massive party that was Saturday night.

Red Hot Chili Peppers followed with a set list packed with some of the most recognizable rock songs of all time. “Don’t Stop” rocked the beginning of their set and they didnt let up while playing “Scar Tissue,” “Californication,” “Give it a Way,” and many more. The best parts of the show were the many left turns provided by Flea, Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer when allowed to jam and rock out. These moments were the most organic, fresh and memorable of the set. Saturday night closed with Australia’s massive sensation Flume. Playing in front of a hyped up massive crowd in costumes, glitter and lit up by leaky glow sticks Flume ran through his chart topping hits and mesmorized the adoring crowd. Playing late into the morning Flume capped off his huge headlining slot in outstanding fashion.

Photo: Josh Brasted

Sunday’s headliners were two of the biggest names in pop music today – Lorde and The Weeknd. Lorde was simply outstanding despite early technical difficulties which forced her to leave the stage and start 30 minutes late. But once she hit the stage she provided a show as entertaining and beautiful as some of the greatest concert acts today. Incorporating stunning visuals and her wonderful moves, Lorde has included backup interpretive dancers which bring her lyrics and music to life. It was a breath of fresh air on the fourth day of the festival because she was doing something no one else had.

The Weeknd closed out the weekend by providing one giant pop hit after another. His voice was soothing and soaring into the late night. Using an impressive lighting rig that moved and floated around the stage, the visuals were just as hypnotic as his voice. It was a fitting and solid way to finish out the festival.


Future Islands

There is nothing like a Future Islands show. The ferocity and connection Samuel T. Herring possesses is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. How Herring embodies his lyrics and how he moves on stage is the definition of hypnotic. It seems he has a goal to make direct eye contact with every one in the audience so you feel like he is singing directly to you. It’s inspiring and such a joy to watch.

Royal Blood

This band rocks. Playing Sunday in the middle of the afternoon was a grueling, hot, sweaty time for the crowd, but these two rockers from England made it impossible not to reach deep and give it everything. There was even the first mosh pit of the fest. These two possess so much talent and their rise to fame is just getting started.

Tank and the Bangas

This 10 piece band was my favorite discovery of the festival. Winning the NPR Tiny Desk Concert contest was a huge break for them which led to them getting their own slot on one of the tents. But their big band sound and their even larger stage presence showed they are primed and ready to play things much bigger than tiny desks. Look this band up and if they come near you, go!

Lead Photo: Jorgensen Photography.
Images used supplied via official Bonnaroo social media.


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