Best Worst-Kept-Secret at Bonnaroo: Chance the Rapper
The rumor mill at Bonnaroo is always running. Every year, speculation runs wild with suggestions of who is going to show up when and during whose set. Pharrell, Justin Timberlake and Chance the Rapper topped the reddit posts and tweets this year. While Pharrell’s presence at the fest was confirmed by a selfie on his Instagram, the JT theory proved false.
Chance the Rapper, on the other hand, was literally everywhere. If you heard a rumor about Chance showing up anywhere, it was probably true. He showed up during J. Cole’s set. He hopped on stage with Bryson Tiller. He did a track with Macklemore and then another with Miguel.
Not enough? Fine—he also stuck it out until Sunday afternoon and played a set at the silent disco, all the while showering fans that showed up with a supersoaker. Legendary status = achieved.
Best Unbeknownst-to-Me Bonnaroo Set: Lizzo
Every year when Bonnaroo announces their line-up, I’m always super stoked by the headliners, excited about the late night shows and eager to see what sort of crazy screenings are going on in the Bonnaroo Cinema. My favorite pastime over the next handful of months is always diving in and checking out the artists who have, for one reason or the other, evaded my ears.
The first night of Bonnaroo, Thursday, is always an interesting one. I’ve caught amazing shows in the past years including Phantogram, Glass Animals, Jungle, Gramatik and so forth. The two main stages stay dormant on Thursday and all of the action goes down in the tents. This year’s first day was stacked with incredible performances from Hundred Waters, Papadosio, The Floozies and Cashmere Cat. That said, one of the people in my campsite made me promise to check out Lizzo. The Minneapolis-based artist was described to me “…like, sort of rap, sort of r&b and Prince was a big fan!” Uh, okay, sold!
My crew set of for That Tent to catch Lizzo at 11 p.m. Her set got started with a HYPE set by her DJ—who I made a point to look up later, her name is Sophia Eris, and I’m now obsessed—the small crowd immediately came to life, bouncing along to the trap-heavy beats. And then—Lizzo happened. Soulful, energetic and incredibly fun, this set was never far from my mind the rest of the weekend. Her music was entirely new to me and I haven’t stopped listening to her since. Get into it.
Best Bass at Bonnaroo: Flosstradamus
You don’t grow up in Atlanta without having a healthy affinity for trap music. While the term has been appropriated by different genres of music over the year, you still know it when you hear it—heavy sub bass, double-timed high hats, aggressive rhymes.
Flosstradamus has been at the top of the edm/trap crossover game for years. I’ve seen them at plenty of festivals, but there was something special in the air for their Friday night That Tent set. It was the heavy, dirty good time you’ve come to know and love from Floss, but the crowd was especially tapped into what J2K and Autobot were putting down that night.
Most Dropped Track During a DJ Set at Bonnaroo: “Panda” by Desiigner
Did a single DJ at Bonnaroo NOT drop “Panda”? If they did, I missed it. Repetitive? Maybe, but I’m not even mad. Bonnaroo is, after all, only about three hours from Atlanta, so plenty of the song lyric’s said “broads,” were likely in attendance.
The lyric video that came out recently was certainly helpful for the rap-a-longs that ensued all weekend. More “Panda” remixes, please!