Bonnaroo Main Stage Roundup: Atmosphere, Tears For Fears, Brandi Carlile, Twenty One Pilots, Flying Lotus, So Percussion


Just like last year and the year before, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with every single band on Bonnaroo‘s impressive 2015 lineup.  We started from the bottom and have been working our way up, paying special attention to the smaller and lesser known acts on this year’s bill with daily, dedicated Bonnaroo Band of the Day and Bonnaroo Club Stage Band of the Day posts. Now that ‘Roo is fast approaching, and we’re adminttedly playing catch up through the rest of the fest’s lineup in the form of group posts. Keep reading for your Bonnaroo Band of the Day Main Stage Roundup!



Friday | Which Stage | 7:15pm

Officially a duo, though often mistaken for a single rapper, Minneapolis group Atmosphere are made up of rhymesmith Slug (Sean Michael Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis). Originally formed over 25 years ago by Slug, along with some other high school friends/members who have since left the group, Atmosphere began to pick up steam in the mid ’90s, and are co-founders of tastemaking indie rap label Rhymesayers. Though early albums and EPs found an audience at the underground world, and the duo’s relentless touring earned them a rabid fanbase, it was arguably 2002’s God Loves Ugly that really helped Atmosphere break through with wider appeal, and, with 2003 followup Seven’s Travels, co-released by punk label Epitaph, they managed to find a new niche. Having last played Bonnaroo in 2011, Atmosphere’s raw, earnest style and incredible live show is a welcome addition to this year’s fantastic hip hop bill, and, in recent years, the criminally underrated group have proven nothing if not adaptable.

LISTEN | “Sunshine”

WATCH | “Fortunate” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify




Friday | This Tent | 8:30pm

If you don’t already know seminal new wave act Tears for Fears, you’re in serious need of a music history lesson. And, even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, their music is essentially unavoidable, so you surely know their sound. Hailing from Bath, England, the duo experienced massive success in the ’80s, most notably for their masterpiece sophomore album, Songs from the Big Chair (that’s the one with “Shout,” “Head Over Heels,” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”), going on to achieve multiplatinum hits, and helping popularize new wave and synthrock as part of the “second British invasion.” Absent founding member Curt Smith throughout the ’90s, the group reformed in 2000, and have been more or less active ever since. A sixth full-length, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, arrived more than a decade ago, and a seventh is rumored to be in the works. Though, we know, you’re showing up for the hits, and that’s undoubtedly what will be on display during Tears for Fears’  unbelievably highly anticipated Bonnaroo debut.

LISTEN | “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

WATCH | “Mad World” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify



Sunday | Which Stage | 5:45pm

A long overdue but much welcomed return after first gracing the Bonnaroo stages in 2010, alt country/folk rock singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile is helping inject some underrepresented country sensibility into this summer’s lineup. Hailing from the Seattle area, Carlile began playing music at a young age, and found immediate critical praise following her eponymous 2005 debut. 2007’s The Story helped her break through to a wider commercial audience, and enabled the singer to tour more broadly and find musical placements in film and television. Several years of fantastic major label releases have followed, and, most recently Carlile took a turn to the independent, dropping her latest, The Firewatcher’s Daughter, on ATO Records. A talented vocalist and emotionally dense songwriter, Brandi’s style refuses to conform to a single genre, and her live show, forged by a decade of touring, is one you can’t miss. Add her to your final day “to-Roo” list!

LISTEN | “Raise Hell”

WATCH | “The Eye” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify



Sunday | What Stage | 2:30pm 

twenty one pilots are a serious indie success story if ever there was one. Would you believe us if we told you their new sophomore album, Blurryface, just debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, moving a jaw-dropping nearly 150,000 copies in its first week? All this, from a small town Ohio duo with almost no mainstream radio or media attention, and a fanbase largely rooted in a scene that could be described as “niche.” Combing elements of indie pop, hip hop, alternative, and electronic rock, the group formed in 2009, self-releasing two albums before catching the attention of buzzworthy label Fueled by Ramen, finding almost instant success with their 2013 release Vessel. Fueled by their unorthodox and genre bending sound, unpretentious style, and unbelievable live show, twenty one pilots have managed to be all at once a massive success and a largely under appreciated entity outside of their core fanbase. We saw them at their ‘Roo debut a few years back, and their show was indescribably cool and intense. Their return promises to be just as unforgettable.

LISTEN | “House of Gold”

WATCH | “Stressed Out” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify




Friday | The Other Tent | 12:15am 

Acclaimed artist, producer, composer, and rapper Flying Lotus, the grand-nephew of John and Alice Coltrane, has been steadily rising in critical acclaim, commercial prowess, and artistic clout since debuting nearly a decade ago with 1983. Primarily known as an electronic artist, covering realms of EDM, alternative and experimental hip hop, acid jazz, and more, Lotus, real name Steven Ellison, found early success through an unlikely partnership with late night adult animation station Adult Swim (a relationship that has persisted to present day). By the time he released his third full-length, Cosmogramma, in 2010, Ellison was a certifiable international electronic superstar, accruing countless awards and nominations, as well as universal acclaim. Further flexing his artistic reach, which has also included music for film and television, Flying Lotus released a hip hop album in 2012 under the alias “Captain Murphy.” A staple in the festival scene, Lotus returns to Bonnaroo following a successful 2012 outing.

LISTEN | “Coronus, the Terminator”

WATCH | “Zodiac Shit” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify




Saturday | The Other Tent | 12:45pm 

A late addition to this year’s Bonnaroo lineup, So Percussion are, as their name implies, a percussion-based quartet, formed over a decade ago while attending Yale’s school of music (they’ve since forged a working relationship with Princeton; not a bad pedigree). A definite must-see for technical music fans, So Percussion’s impressive catalogue combines collaborations with acclaimed composers and artists, re-workings of classic standards, and long-form original works, which has earned them a loyal following and well-deserved praise in the percussion and musical education world. The Brooklyn based group are set to kick things off with an early Saturday show; don’t miss ’em!

LISTEN | “July”

WATCH | “Drumming” (Live in Nashville)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify


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