With the Bonnaroo lineup dropping a couple of days ago, here are my thoughts on a range of artists playing the festival:
KANYE WEST - Pretty much everyone I know hates Kanye. Well I say haters can hate, cause this will easily be one of the best sets of the weekend. College Dropout, Late Registration, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy are all legitimately great albums, along with plenty of great tracks spread out through the rest of his discography. Folks who come out to Bonnaroo come to see a show, and Kanye has one of the biggest and baddest stage productions of any touring act today. This is his chance at a redemption show, and it will be intriguing to see what he does with it. His setlists are massive, and possible collaborations with Frank Ocean and Pusha T make this into a possible set for the ages. If I am at Bonnaroo this year, I am at this set.
JACK WHITE - very excited for Mr. White. I was hoping he was going to be Mumford's replacement last year; Jack headlining the night after Macca would have been an unbelievable one-two punch. The White Stripes stuff is awesome, Blunderbuss is awesome, I'm not as familiar with Raconteurs and Dead Weather material but can brush up on that rather easily.
ELTON JOHN - I only know four songs from Elton John, but I'm no dummy. I know this set has potential. Elton is one of the legendary artists of his era, this year's answer to Paul McCartney, who has a veritable back catalog of his own. If I end up making the trip this year, I'll make a concerted effort to learn his setlist.
LIONEL RICHIE - not much positive I can say here, so I'll keep it short. Lionel is obviously one of the greats and I respect that, but his brand of schmaltzy, cheesy 70s/80s love ballads does nothing for me. I'll probably have to sit through his set if I want a close spot for Jack, and I will not be thrilled.
SKRILLEX/SKRILLEX SUPER JAM/EDM IN GENERAL - I don't have the greatest impression of Skrillex as an artist, but seeing some of the things on the linuep this year may honestly be the year I give EDM a shot. I'm glad to see Roo is pushing themselves by putting on an electronic superjam; I'm curious to see how it turns out even if I probably won't know most of the guests that drop in. Not to mention this year is the year that Disclosoure and Chromeo are on the lineup. And hell, even Kaskade is sounding pretty sweet based on what I've listened to so far.
THE REST - Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys are near the top of my list. Wanted to catch each when they hit Nashville, but was unable to due to various conflicts. Excited to check out The Flaming Lips extravaganza for the first time, and also looking forward to what madness Die Antwoord has in store for us. Also really pumped that Frank Ocean is coming nearby; didn't think I'd get the chance to see him. I'm really enjoying what I've listened to from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill; she seems like an artist I should give a chance to.
And of course, I've got to dig into some roots/folk music. First Aid Kit, Shovels and Rope, and Carolina Chocolate Drops should all be a blast. Last but not least, if you know me, you know I've got to get my metal fix. I'm glad to see Mastodon on the lineup. I was planning on heading down to Atlanta to see them with Josh; now hopefully we'll get to see them a lot closer (for me, anyway). And I also can't wait for the grinding intensity of a Meshuggah set. Should be an awesome time and I hope to see you all there!