Lucy Dacus was the perfect soundtrack for a lazy, hungover Saturday at Bonnaroo. Breezy, soothing and undeniably well-crafted, Dacus’s songs could almost slip by unnoticed were her lyrics not so striking and poignant. Another homerun signing by Matador, Dacus first popped up on most people’s radar in 2015 with her sarcastic pop gem “I don’t wanna be funny anymore.” Dacus’s relatable lyrics and earnest demeanor make you feel like you know her personally, like an old friend you haven’t seen for a long time that has plenty of good stories saved up.
The Front Bottoms
New Jersey punks The Front Bottoms recall the catchy pop punk of yesteryear. Watching a whole field of people gleefully scream along with every snotty lyric might have you questioning the decade for a moment but this movement didn’t happen overnight. Formed in 2007 by Brian Sella and Mathew Uychich, the band have since released a slew of records and EPs and carved a niche not only for themselves but for their entire scene, helping other bands like PUP out on the way. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s review, for a fest that hasn’t prioritized punk in many years, it was nice to see it represented in a big way on the main stage.
Chance the Rapper
Watching Chance the Rapper perform is a lot like going to church. Even his songs that aren’t directly dealing with his faith have a spiritual feeling and he commands the stage like a reverend. Backed by neo soul group The Social Experiment, Chance’s arrangements had an extra sense of urgency and unpredictability. At one point during the set the rapper predicted that his show could be the craziest of the entire weekend, a bold and likely accurate statement.
Cage the Elephant
Bowling Green rockers Cage the Elephant played their first nighttime set at Bonnaroo this year and it was way overdue. From the moment guitarist Brad Shultz walked out from the crowd and up on stage with a knowing grin, it was clear this was going to be a special set for the boys. Moments later his brother, frontman Matt Shultz, burst forth seemingly out of nowhere, bobbing and jiving like the restless child of Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop. The crowd roared, fire rose up from the stage, pyro exploded, confetti flew through the air and Cage the Elephant felt like they should’ve been headlining Saturday night.