This year's Bonnaroo festival is nigh at hand, but — with a more eclectic lineup than ever — there are going to be some hard decisions to make. (With acts ranging from Wu-Tang to Weird Al, the festival took a something-for-everybody mentality and ran with it.)
That said, we decided to make it easy for you by picking 10 bands that are especially worth checking out. Read on for our festival favorites, and be sure to let us know who you'll make a point to catch in Manchester, TN, when Bonnaroo officially kicks off June 13.
Over the last 10 years, Animal Collective has morphed from masked weirdos into one of the biggest bands in the world. The group's live show is a psychedelic mishmash of the band's catalog, which presents Animal Collective as both the stadium-sized rockstar it has become while hewing close to its experimental roots.
What could be more nostalgic than seeing Paul McCartney take the stage to run through a host of classics? He may not be some hyped, new thing, but seeing the former Beatle take on songs like "Hey Jude" and "Eleanor Rigby" will be an experience like no other.
Last year's breakout hip-hop act, Kendrick Lamar, managed to reignite West Coast rap and release an album that was immediately hailed a modern classic. While there's no shortage of great MCs at Bonnarroo this year, Lamar is number one on our list.
One of the most inventive, electronic musicians in the world, Kieran Hebden (a.k.a. Four Tet) continues to break new ground. From recent collaborations with Thom Yorke and Burial to fantastic solo material, Four Tet's music brims with intricate beauty.
L.A. sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana have quickly become one of the most buzzed about bands in music. Over the past year, the band has toured with Rihanna, Mumford & Sons, and Florence and the Machine, released a fantastic EP, and only continue to gain momentum. At this rate, they could be headlining come next year's festival.
DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith may have a shaggy-haired, born-to-be-a-rockstar vibe, but the band's sound is tailor-made for days spent lazing by the pool. DIIV's reverb-saturated take on guitar rock has made this Brooklyn band one of our favorite new acts.
Rock N' Soul Dance Party Superjam — featuring Jim James, John Oates, Zigaboo Modeliste (of The Meters), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Carl Broemel, Bilal, Cyro Baptista, Larry Graham, and more
While this year's jam-band lineup is lighter than usual, considering Bonnaroo's history as a haven for noodle-y guitar acts, the festival's all-star cast of players for its Rock N' Soul Dance Party makes up for it. With a ton of special guests, and My Morning Jacket's Jim James, this will be the place to be for all you flower children out there.
Over the years, Wilco has shifted from alt-country stars to indie darlings to a workman-like act that delivers solid albums year after year. With nearly two decades of material, Jeff Tweedy and company are still one of the best live bands touring today.
Montreal's Mac DeMarco has a knack for waxing poetically about the seemingly mundane, from ex girlfriends to just hanging out. With a jangly guitar style and lackadaisical delivery, he's the sort of charming burnout we need more of these days.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
This year's other big headliner should appeal to baby boomers, Jerry Maguire fans, and anyone who's ever driven down the 101 with the top down. What better place than Bonnaroo to hear "Mary Jane's Last Dance"?