Bonnaroo 2018 Artist Spotlight: Ron Gallo


Bonnaroo Artist | Ron Gallo
Bonnaroo History | 2016
Stage & Time | Thursday | That Tent | 5:00pm


As we’ve been doing for the past several years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with many of our favorites acts from from Bonnaroo‘s impressive 2018 lineup. As we dig through the entire schedule, we’ll highlight a spread of performers spanning across genres and stages, big and small, new and old, to bring you some of the most interesting, lesser-known, or most highly-recommended among this year’s crop of artists. Though we’ll be jumping around, we’re loosely working our way through by day, and we’ll also be bringing you some special features and longer guides along the way, to help you plan your weekend before the fest. While these previews won’t span every performer, and might omit some more obvious must-see acts, we hope they’ll serve as a way to help you navigate Bonnaroo’s gargantuan lineup, and to make the most of your busy weekend on the farm!

Grab your tickets right here if you haven’t already, and keep reading to learn more in our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight

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Don’t Miss Ghost | TONIGHT @ TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall


Formed in 2008 in the southern Swedish town of Linköping, Ghost are one of many dark, conceptual, and immensely talented bands to emerge from the flourishing Scandinavian metal scene. Influenced by classic acts like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, the band have adopted a doom metal sound with hints of death metal, progressive, and psychedelic rock, enhanced by their Satanic-for-show stage persona, which, until some recent legal drama revealed the name of frontman Tobias Forge, involved closely guarding their real identities (the members are still only known as the anti-Pope-like Cardinal Copia and five “nameless ghouls,” and they’ve altered their personas slightly with each LP), so much so that Dave Grohl was once able to sit in for a show on drums completely undetected. Controversial for their thematic and lyrical focus (notoriously, they couldn’t find a chorus in Nashville to sing their Satanic lyrics, and were forced to seek out talent in LA), it should be noted that the band’s schtick is more of a distilled essence of metal imagery employed for shock and performance art, moreso than a sincere social agenda.

After debuting strong with 2010’s Opus Eponymous, the group quickly found an audience in Europe, soon bowing stateside with festival appearances and acclaim from within the metal community. Their sophomore LP, Infestissumam, debuted at #1 in Sweden, and earned the group a Swedish Grammis award, boosting their global presence. With 2015’s Meliora, Ghost managed to certifiably break through in the U.S., earning a Grammy and landing in the Billboard top 10, setting them on a trajectory which has made them an unlikely modern success story and metal’s next it-band. With their latest effort, Prequelle, the group continue to ride their newfound wave of attention and further explore their conceptual persona, returning to Nashville as dark, weird, and exciting as they’ve ever been.

After appearing last year at Bridgestone in support of Iron Maiden, and headlining Marathon Music Works the year before, Ghost return to Nashville tonight, May 23 for their largest Music City headliner to date, this time to play TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall. While a bit of an oddball and oddly formal space at first glance, given Ghost’s theatrical nature and intricate live style, pairing them with a space that often caters to plays and performance art actually makes a lot of sense. Only a handful of tickets remain as of writing, and we’d suggest grabbing yours here while they last!

Ghost will perform tonight, May 23 at TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall. The show is all ages, begins at 8 p.m., and tickets are available to purchase for $43.

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Nilka Learns How to Bounce Back in Gorgeous Pop Single “Strike”


One of the most powerful ways people can grow is to experience a fall before rebuilding themselves into something stronger. Nashville pop songwriter Nilka beautifully illustrates the process in new single “Strike.” Produced by Mick Utley, “Strike” shows off Nilka’s pristine vocals, a light reggae tempo and a strong resolve to bounce back when things get rough.

The Florida native moved to Nashville in 2014 to study at Belmont University. Nilka Bowman’s music career kicked off in 2017 with the release of the Year of the Escape EP. Followup single “Strike” ended up being inspired by a summer burnout. “Sometimes no matter how motivated we are to chase our dreams, it’s easy to get caught in the web of fears and doubts,” Nilka says. “The idea for this song came to me when I felt like my heart was trying to remind me that the highs and lows are normal and when times get low prepare for the sharp bounce back because it’s always stronger than it was before.”

“Strike” is the first of three singles Nilka is set to release this summer. Listen to to the track below, and stay tuned for more on Nashville’s burgeoning pop scene.

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Nada Surf Celebrate 15 Years of ‘Let Go’ | TONIGHT @ Mercy Lounge


Though originally formed in New York City in 1992, it wasn’t until over a decade later, with 2003 third album Let Go (released in 2002 in Europe), that alt/indie rockers Nada Surf really found their artistic stride and critical breakthrough. After starting strong by attracting major label attention and famed producer Ric Ocasek for their 1996 debut, the band, despite early traction, found themselves at odds with and subsequently dropped by their label. Following the independent release of a followup and returning to their day jobs for a few years, the group reemerged with Let Go through indie label Barsuk, met with renewed and widespread critical acclaim and breakthrough buzz, especially for lead single “Inside of Love.”

In the subsequent 15 years, Nada Surf have remained a beloved fixture in the indie scene, and have released four more original full-lengths and a covers album, while continuing to tour and maintain a respectable fan base and ongoing critical praise. After all these years, though, Let Go remains both a fan favorite and perhaps the band’s best known and most universally praised effort. Thankfully, the group have not let the LP’s anniversary go unnoticed, first by releasing a special record, Standing at the Gates: The Songs of Nada Surf’s Let Go, which features a variety of exciting artists (including Nashville’s own Ron Gallo and Adia Victoria, and former Nashvillian William Tyler) covering the album in U.S. track order, with proceeds going to charity.

Extending the anniversary celebration, Nada Surf have also hit the road to celebrate with a special tour dubbed “An Evening with Nada Surf,” where they’re playing two sets each night, first Let Go in its entirety, then, after an intermission, a second set of additional favorites. This nostalgic, fan-geared run hits Mercy Lounge tonight, May 22, and tickets are still available right here. Since it’s double the Nada Surf, there won’t be an opener, so if you’re planning to attend you’ll want to be early, especially since Let Go is first on the agenda!

Nada Surf will celebrate the 15th anniversary of ‘Let Go’ tonight, May 22 at Mercy Lounge. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $22.

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Don’t Miss Melvins w/ All Souls | TONIGHT @ 3rd & Lindsley


After a few unique turns in recent years which saw both the resurgence of their classic “Melvins 1983” lineup and a stripped-down “Melvins Lite,” iconic Pacific Northwest experimental, grunge, alternative, and metal outfit the Melvins have, for the most part, settled into a modern incarnation (helmed by frontman Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover, who briefly played bass at the group’s start in 1983) over the past few years, churning out a prolific series of varied and inspired new releases, and staying active with pretty constant touring.

While they’ve made it to Nashville several times in recent memory, including last fall, the fact that they’re far from a legacy act- something few groups 35 years in can claim- means there’s always something fresh and new to take in, plus their rich and incredibly varied back catalogue means you never quite know what to expect on any given night at a Melvins show. The legendary band, who helped directly inspire the grunge explosions of the early ’90s, return tonight, May 22, once again to play 3rd & Lindsley, and this time around they’ve tapped LA heavy, post-rockers All Souls to support, who, while new, clearly pull influence from the ’80s rock scene the Melvins helped pioneer.

A loud, weird, eclectic, and iconic group, the Melvins’ most recent effort, Pinkus Abortion Technician, arrived just last month. While it absolutely deserves a spin, you don’t have to worry about the set being dominated by all new stuff- the band do a great job mixing fresh songs and classic tunes, while incorporating some fan-service deep cuts and their signature inspired covers. A Melvins show is like no other, and whether hardcore fan or causal newcomers, we encourage you to grab tickets while they last!

Melvins and All Souls will perform tonight, May 22 at 3rd & Lindsley. The show is all ages, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.

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