Indie rockers ELEL won last night’s Road to Bonnaroo competition, the second of the season, and will join round one winners Blank Range on this year’s epic Bonnaroo bill. We’ve watched ELEL grow from the start, and can testify firsthand that they’re one of the best, most dynamic, and hardest-working up and coming acts in town, and their win was well-deserved. They had some stiff competition last night, however, and the fact that the fans and judges voted entirely different, with ELEL as the only overlap, really proves how much talent was on the bill.
Future Unlimited, the judges’ top pick and one of the most underrated bands in town, set the bar impossibly high out of the gate, and The Young INTL followed with one of the best sets we’ve seen them play. Scale Model delivered one of the most energetic poppy sets of the evening, while Jung Youth spit rhymes with expertise and brought, perhaps, the largest fan showing. The Common Tiger flexed their garage rock chops before our pals *repeat repeat (who will be touring with ELEL soon) delivered one of their most powerful and ferocious performances of all time. The hard-to-Google Music Band rocked the house and worked the crowd, then poppy singer-songwriter Rebecca Roubion mellowed things out with an earnest, heartfelt set. Finishing out the night, retro-leaning guitar rock act Justin Kalk Orchestra brought the over-the-top, technical thrills like only they can, before ELEL took the (apparently lucky) closing spot, and knocked it out of the park.
All and all, we can sincerely say every band who performed deserves a spot at Bonnaroo, and we’re fortunate have such a strong scene. Congrats to ELEL, and stay tuned for the round three lineup announcement and preview, coming soon!