Tag Archives: Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons

Amanda’s SD Concert Calendar 7/31-8/5

Posted on by .

I know, I know, I’m late. It’s been a very crazy few days for me which is no excuse I’m sure so I’m just going to get down to it…

Tuesday: Neon Trees, Penguin Prison, and JJamz @ House of Blues @730 $22.50-$37.50
AND: Kevin Martin and Carolina Liar @ Griffin @830 $12/$15
AND: Mattson 2 and Penguin Prison (dj set) @ El Dorado @930

Wednesday: The Burning of Rome, Inspired Flight, Kevin Martin, and Italian Japanese @ Belly Up @8 $6

Thursday: Murder By Death and Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons @ Casbah @9 $15
AND: Chris Isaak @ Humphreys
AND: Real Estate @ Belly Up @9 $16
AND: River City @ El Dorado @9 $5 or Free before 1030 w/RSVP

Friday: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy @ Anthology @730 $18-$66
AND: Bloodflowers @ Griffin @8 $5

Saturday: Cake @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
AND: SDMA Showcase feat. Cuckoo Chaos, Maren Parusel, and Hills Like Elephants @ Bar Pink @9
AND: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy @ Anthology @730 and 930 $12-$56

Sunday: The Romantics and The Short Eyes @ Belly Up @8 $18/$20
AND: SDMA Showcase feat. The Nervous Wreckords, The Howls, and Grand Tarantula @ Casbah $6
AND: David Ramirez @ Soda Bar @830 $5
AND: Brian McKnight @ Anthology @9 $21-$76

Keep in Mind:
August 5-7- Brian McKnight @ Anthology
August 8th- Jesca Hoop @ Anthology
August 10th- Jack White @ Shrine Auditorium
August 11th- Saint Motel and Italian Japanese @ Casbah
August 13th- Franz Ferdinand @ House of Blues
August 15th- Fun @ SDSU Open Air Theater
August 15th- The Dunwells @ Birch Aquarium at Scripps
August 15th- Alabama Shakes @ Fox Theater
August 15th- The Dunwells @ Birch Aquarium @ Scripps
August 18th- Ben Harper @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
August 18th- The Silent Comedy and Stripes and Lines @ Belly Up
August 18th- Ben Harper @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
August 21st- Civil Twilight @ Belly Up
August 22nd- Civil Twilight @ Belly Up
August 23rd- Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers
August 24th- Cuckoo Chaos @ Casbah
August 30th- Little Hurricane @ Belly Up
September 4th- Gotye @ Greek Theater
September 4th- Slash, Foxy Shazam @ House of Blues
September 7th- Dave Matthews Band @ Cricket
September 8th- The Heavy
September 10th- Linkin Park and Incubus @ Cricket
September 30th- The Shins @ SDSU Open Air Theater
October 2nd- Ed Sheeran @ House of Blues
October 3rd- The Head and The Heart @ Spreckles Theater
October 4th- The Black Keys @ Valley View Casino Center
October 4th- Florence + The Machine @ Cricket Wireless
October 5th- Kimbra @ House of Blues
October 5th- The Milk Carton Kids @ Anthology
October 6th- Dr. Dog @ 4th and B
October 9th- Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION @ House of Blues
October 13th- Weezer @ Harrahs
October 14th- The Raveonettes @ Belly Up
October 16th- Bombay Bicycle Club @ House of Blues
October 17th- Allen Stone @ Belly Up
October 24th- Matt and Kim @ House of Blues
October 27th- Two Door Cinema Club
December 2nd- Yellowcard @ House of Blues

Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 1/23-1/29

Posted on by .

Last week was a phenomenal week of shows. I believe I was out every night save the weekend (I much prefer staying in on the weekends anyway). My weekend was also fairly “epic” but in another sense. I made my third batch of 2011 mix CDs while watching the third Lord of the Rings movie (Return of The King) and I started re-reading the third book in the Inheritance cycle. I rather enjoy retreating into worlds full of elves and dragons where epic battles are won and heroes come from the unlikeliest of sources. And as I listen to Annie Lennox sing “Into the West” I am disheartened at the thought of returning to my somewhat less glorious real life.

Life does have a few treats in store for me this week, however. Bonnaroo highlight (and ’11 mix artist) Cory Chisel will be in town Tuesday night at The Echo, San Diego faves, Endoxi, will be rockin’ The Roxy Thursday, and LA love Queen Caveat is back in action with their first show of the new year Friday night at The Viper Room. But that is only the tip of the show iceberg this week. Here’s a full list of my recommendations:

 

Monday: Chasing Kings, Chevin, The Californian, Nightmare the Cat FREE at The Satellite (9pm)
ALSO: It’s a School Night at Bardot featuring The Good Natured…FREE with RSVP http://www.itsaschoolnight.com/losangeles/ (9pm)
ALSO: Kusewera Benefit Show at The Hotel Café featuring Lindsey Ray, Javier Dunn, Cary Brothers, etc. (7pm)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)

 

Tuesday: Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, Olin & The Moon, and Maxim Ludwig FREE at The Echo (9pm)
ALSO: The Belle Brigade at The Central in Santa Monica (11:30)
ALSO: Rumer at The Hotel Cafe (7pm)
ALSO: Dana Williams at Genghis Cohen (8pm)
ALSO: Tuesday’s Beachwood Carousal FREE at The Piano Bar (8pm)

 

Weds: The Watkins Family Hour at Largo (8:30)
ALSO: Alice Smith, Raining Jane, and Jamestown Revival at The Hotel Cafe  (7, 9, 10)
ALSO: Josh Damigo, Ruby Summer, and George Stanford at WitZend (8,9,10)

 

Thursday: Endoxi at The Roxy (10pm)
ALSO: George Stanford at The Foundry on Melrose (8pm)
ALSO: Vicci Matinez at The Viper Room (10pm)
ALSO: The Wood Brothers at The Largo (8pm)

 

Friday: Queen Caveat at The Viper Room (11pm)
ALSO: Jack & White, Neon Hymns, Rocco Deluca at The Hotel Cafe (9,10,11)
ALSO: SO & SO at Molly Malone’s (9pm)
ALSO: Taylor Locke and The Roughs, Bleu, and Mike Viola at Bootleg Bar (9pm)
ALSO: Vicky Cryer at The Troubadour (10pm)

 

Saturday: Anna Nalick and Nina Storey at The Hotel Cafe (9,10)
ALSO: The Shakers, Ice Cream Fire, The Young Rapscallions at The Roxy (7:30)
ALSO: Matt Skiba at The Troubadour (9pm)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 featuring Adrienne Pierce, Liz Foster, Meagan Walsh, and MaryEllen Owens (7:30)

 

Sunday: Tyrone Wells, Mariah McManus, and Jack and White at Saint Rocke (6:30)
ALSO: Lovers Drugs at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)

 

 

 

To Keep in Mind:
January 31st: Atomic Tom at Bootleg Bar
Feb. 2nd: Mutemath at Club Nokia
Feb. 2nd: Dead Sara at Bootleg Bar
Feb. 8th: Marketa Irglova at The Hotel Café
Feb. 9th: Joss Stone at The Troubadour
Feb. 9th: Harper Blynn at The Hotel Cafe
Feb. 14th: Twin Atlantic and You Me at Six at The Troubadour
Feb. 17th: Ryan Adams at The Hollywood Bowl
Feb. 19th: The Darkness at House of Blues Sunset
Feb. 20th: Milo Greene at The Satellite
Feb. 21st: Scars on 45 at The Troubadour
Feb. 22nd: Will Dailey and Mariah McManus at The Hotel Cafe
March 9th: William Fitzsimmons at The Troubadour
March 13th-18th: SXSW (Austin, TX)
March 18th: Dia Frampton at The Troubadour
March 20th: Needtobreathe and Ben Rector at Club Nokia
March 24th: Ani DiFranco at The Orpheum Theater
March 24th and 25th: Allen Stone at The Troubadour
March 31st: Tyrone Wells at The Roxy
April 13th-15th AND 20th- 22nd: Coachella
April 25th: Ben Kweller at The El Rey
May 8th: Snow Patrol at The Hollywood Palladium

 

~ Kristen

 

http://twitter.com/#%21/_localmusicnat

http://www.localmusicnation.net/

Amanda’s Top Ten Musical Experiences (cont.)

Posted on by .

I bet you thought I forgot all about this! Well, the truth of the matter is… I haven’t been home to write and when I am home, I’m sleeping. I’ve been out making new musical experiences for 2012! As such I’m giving you three more of my top musical experiences and I promise the top 2 won’t be far behind.

 

5.SXSW- I don’t really know how to describe SXSW to anyone other than calling it a musical orgy of sorts. There is so much to see and do whilst in Austin, Texas that it’s hard to keep your head on straight. Last year was my first year and I hope to be going every year after. The cool thing about SXSW is you really only need money for a place to stay and some food. We never went to any official shows (which is what badges are required for) and we had a hard time keeping up with all the musical options out there. During our time at SXSW we saw; Fierce Creatures, Viva City, Purple Melon, AWOLNATION, Neon Trees, The Head and The Heart, The Kin, Dead Sara, Fitz and The Tantrums, Tailor Made Fable, Keaton Simons, Liam Finn, Atomic Tom, Ivan and Alyosha, Queen Caveat, The Gallery, Sabrosa Purr,  The Greenhornes, The Silent Comedy, Mother Mother, Agnes Obel, Brian Wright, Brooke Fraser, Cary Brothers, Holly Conlan, Jim Bianco, Joey Ryan, Kenneth Pattengale, Laura Jansen, Little Red Radio, OK, The Milk Carton Kids, Deluka, Hugo, Meriwether, My Cousin The Emperor, Sinai, Taylor Locke & The Roughs, The Good Natured, Augustana, Doll and The Kicks, Empires, Lenka, Twin Atlantic, and The Stone Foxes. Well, you get the idea…

 

4. Blink-182- I was never a huge fan of Blink. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t change the radio station when their music came on or anything but nothing about them made me have a burning desire to see them live. In 2011, I saw them not once but twice and they will always have a warm spot in my heart. The first time I saw them was for the Honda Civic Tour. I was working with Kevin and Rebecca Joelson and doing some shooting of the event which means I was in the pit for the first few songs and was able to be side stage for the rest of their set. I was surprised at just how many Blink-182 songs I knew and Rebecca and I sang along from the sidelines. What really blew my brain was when they ‘finished’ their set and this giant rig comes down from the batons where all the lights are. I had been staring at it all night trying to figure out what it was. Well, it was a giant arm with a drum set attached! Travis got on this rig and was taken out over the audience while he played a solo for a few minutes. The rig would tilt down, back up and move around. It was mind blowing!!!! Needless to say, I was a fan after that.

 

3. Bonnaroo- In 2011, Bonnaroo was what Coachella should have been lineup wise. If you’ve ever been to or know about Coachella, think of Bonnaroo as the cooler sister who is both hippie and hip. Bonnarro is also held in a giant field and while it lacks the artistic attractions like the wandering robot and the giant hand that can kill a car, it has yoga and it’s own post office. Bonnaroo also has this giant fountain which I’ve been told gets painted different colors every year but it’s a great way to stay cool in the heat. Coachella doesn’t have that. Granted Coachella is easier to get to, but flying out gave us the chance to hang out in Tennessee and check out Nashville for a day or two. Our highlights from Bonnaroo were already posted on this site but we had a blast watching Eminem, The Head and The Heart, Portugal. The Man, Neon Trees, Kopeckey Family Band, Mumford and Sons, Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, Alberta Cross, The Black Angels, and The Decemberists. Bonnaroo is a new tradition in my book and I can’t wait to see the lineup for 2012!

 

See you soon for my top 2!

Kristen’s ’11 Mix – Bonus 1 – Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons

Posted on by .

Bonus 1. “Never Meant to Love You” – Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons 

LMN made the trek to Bonnaroo this summer. This is my favorite festival. From early morning yoga to the late night dance parties, I treasured every moment of my Bonnaroo ’11 experience. I discovered so many great bands (Aunt Martha, The Black Box Revelation, The Kopecky Family Band, Fences, JEFF The Brotherhood), saw several favorites for the first time (Scissor Sisters, Amos Lee, Neon Trees, Freelance Whales, Black Angels, Alberta Cross, Robert Plant), and enjoyed beloved bands like The Decemberists, Emimen, Deas Vail, Mumford & Sons, Nicole Atkins, The Head & The Heart, Band of Skulls, The Black Keys, etc.  Going into the event Corey Chisel and the Wandering Sons were on the top of my list of bands to check out. I ended up seeing them three times. “I Never Meant To Love You” is one of my favorite songs. I couldn’t locate a recorded version, but I tracked this bootleg. Check out the bands album, Death Won’t Send a Letter.

~ Kristen

Top 5 Acts of Bonnaroo 2011

Posted on by .

1. The Decemberists at What Stage

The Decemberists have been on my list of bands to see ever since I first heard “Engine Driver” playing on a speaker system at my local Borders bookstore back in 2005. Finally seeing Colin Meloy and Co. play through some of my favorite tunes like “We Both Go Down Together” and “16 Military Wives” was a dream come true and the band delivered on every note. For an extra bonus, Sara Watkins was playing with them (filling in for Jenny Conlee). Her version of “Won’t Want for Love” (off 2009’s Hazards of Love) gave me chills!  The band seemed as happy to be there as the audience was to have them and the playful and easy interaction created a joy that rippled out over the crowd of thousands relaxing in the grass. Thinking back to all the sets we saw, The Decemberists at What Stage is the one that sticks out most clearly in my mind, representing the epitome of my Bonnaroo 2011.      ~ Kristen

Another one of my favorite Decemberist songs:

 

2. Eminem at The What Stage

Truth be told, Eminem was probably the artist I was most looking forward to seeing at Bonnaroo. When Kristen and I first saw Eminem at Epicentre in Fontana last year, we were skeptical with an attitude of, “let’s watch him just to say we saw him.” We were subsequently blown away with his performance. I was hoping for a repeat and got so much more. Eminem’s show features a car crash backdrop and an LED screen alerting the audience that we are witness to his “Recovery.” After the powerful opening of “Won’t Back Down” he took us on a ride through his extensive discography playing hits like, “Airplanes Pt. II”, “Love the Way You Lie”, “So Bad”, and “Till I Collapse”. He also brought out Royce da 5’9″ and they rapped a few songs from their new project Bad Meets Evil. And unlike some artists who only play new and current songs, Eminem took us back to his very beginnings by doing a mashup of, “My Name Is”, “The Real Slim Shady”, and “Without Me”. Perhaps the best part was his consistant chatter with the audience and dedications to the fans coupled with his intense focus on stage. It gave the feeling that he was there in the crowd with you rapping instead of up on stage in front of thousands of people. With an encore of “Lose Yourself” and endless gratitude to the audience at the close, Eminem was definitely a top act of Bonnaroo 2011.    ~Amanda

 

3. The Head and the Heart at The Other Tent

I’m not really sure what to say about The Head and the Heart. It’s hard to define what exactly it is about them that makes them special. It could be that this Seattle based six piece offers a folksy soulful outlook on life or their unique sound filled with shakers, piano, and violin in addition to the standard guitar, drums, and bass. It’s definitely not something I can easily put words to but seeing them again re-affirmed my love for this band. The first time I encountered them was at SXSW where they were playing a small stage in a bike shop. I was unfamiliar with the band and how largely popular they are. The Head and the Heart had no problems filling up the tent and they handled the larger stage with such ease, it seemed almost second nature. They are currently set to join Death Cab for Cutie in Germany and the UK and then tour with The Decemberists while attending festivals such as Calgary Folk Festival and Austin City Limits. If given the opportunity, this band should be at the top of your “to check out” list. After all, they made it to #3 on our Top 5 Acts of Bonnaroo.    ~Amanda

 

4. Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons at The Ford Focus Lounge

I had high hopes for Wisconsin’s Cory Chisel before the festival even began. Fortunately, Cory and his Wandering Sons did not disappoint. Cory crafts my favorite type of soulful folk tunes and accompanied by delicate harmonies provided by Adriel Harris, it’s impossible not to fall in love. I enjoyed Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons so much that I ended up seeing them three times. The first set at The Solar Stage cemented my love and introduced me to his songs including the crowd pleaser and highly appropriate “Tennessee.” The second, nighttime set at The On Tap Lounge really got the crowd going and featured a guest appearance by Brendan Benson as well as a more rockin’ version of “Born Again.”  But it is the third set at The Ford Focus Lounge that I enjoyed the most.  It felt the most intimate. It was a stripped down set, featuring only Cory and Adriel. This made songs like “Never Meant to Love You but It’s Too Late Now” all the more powerful.  It was also more interactive with Cory taking audience requests and singing songs that I could, by now, sing along to. My enhanced enjoyment could also have something to do with the location, an air-conditioned and carpeted lounge where we could sit on plush seats with handkerchiefs full of ice. The set ended with Cory doing a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” I don’t think I could have had a better introduction to a new favorite band than seeing Cory Chisel at Bonnaroo.    ~ Kristen

 

5. Neon Trees at This Tent

I was super excited at the prospect of being able to actually see Neon Trees on stage at Bonnaroo. The last time I ‘saw’ them was at SXSW and I was relegated to the back of the pack for my lack of being there early with nary a visual. This time around, was a whole different story. I had managed to sneak in the side of the tent (which was a might bit too small for them in my opinion), and work my way to a comfortable spot in the shade. This was one of my most memorable shows at Bonnaroo. At one point in time durin their set, the sound went out and they kept playing their song. As soon as the sound came back, they did a reprise of the song so everyone could hear it at full volume. At one point in time, singer Tyler Glenn discussed the difference between love and lust and also admitted to having a crush on a girl but was a coward so he wrote a song instead. Perhaps the most memorable moment was when Glenn took off his pants, revealing his American flag boxer briefs and danced around the stage, telling everyone it was ok to be a freak. Either way, it was a show I will not forget.     ~Amanda

 

Amanda’s Honorable Mention: Kopecky Family Band at The Ford Focus Lounge

I was just hanging in the Ford Focus Lounge, trying to cool of and get some energy back when I heard people talking about this upcoming band and how awesome they were. I was at that point in the day for me when I didn’t really care much about who was playing, I just wanted to cool off and relax. This rather unassuming band came up and caught my attention. They reminded me of Fresno’s Fierce Creatures with a less ethereal and more jam band sound, but still with a captivating presence. The people around me were not wrong about the Kopecky Family Band I hope they come out to California soon because I would love the opportunity to see them again, in a less heated environment.

 

Kristen’s Honorable Mention: The Black Angels at The Ford Focus Lounge


It could have something to do with the intimate setting…or perhaps how the set started with the band announcing they didn’t have paper for setlists so they made some t-shirts with a list of songs they wanted to play and handed them out for people in the audience to wear. It could even have something to do with the fact that the guitarist broke a string (supposedly for the first time ever on stage) and the band had to improvise while he tracked down a replacement. For some reason, The Black Angels at The Ford Focus Lounge was the most fun I had at any set all weekend.  ~ Kristen

 

Kristen’s 5 “Must See” Acts of Bonnaroo ’11

Posted on by .

Tonight, we’re leaving for Bonnaroo!  I’ve done the usual; listen to all the artists, create my schedule, figure out how to pack a tent and a sleeping bag to take on a plane…  I don’t know what was more difficult, narrowing down the number of books I want to bring or narrowing down the number of bands to put on my top 5 “must see” acts of Bonnaroo ’11 list. But both tasks needed to be done.  There are so many acts that I’m excited to see, but here are my top:

 

  1. Deas Vail http://www.deasvail.com/

This band captured my attention at Warped Tour and I’ve been craving another helping of this Arkansas-based group ever since. Their uplifting melodies and calming vocals always manage to lift the spirit. Deas Vail is the kind of band that can take you to another, much better place. And that’s what Bonnaroo is all about (for me at least). It’s the physical representation of that mental place I go every time I see my favorite bands perform. And there is absolutely nothing better than seeing one of my favorite bands in this place…and that’s why Deas Vail is the group I’m most looking forward to seeing this year.

Where to see them:  Friday 2:30 at Cafe Where

 

2. Eminem http://www.eminem.com/

One of my favorite things about Bonnaroo (and music festivals in general) is being able to see so many big acts that I would never pay to see individually (I go to way too many shows to pay big bucks for any one artist). There are quite a few big names I’m looking forward to this year, but none more than Eminem. I was never a huge fan of Eminem, but then I saw him perform at another festival (Epicenter). This man has a gift. I’ve been hesitant of big name rappers at Bonnaroo ever since that whole Kanye debacle of ’08, but I know Eminem will be more embracing of the Bonnaroo spirit and put on a show worthy of the event. Now that I’ve had a taste of this live performance, I cannot wait to get more!

Where to see him: Saturday 11pm at the What Stage

 

 

3. Lelia Broussard vs. The Sheepdogs
http://leliabroussard.com/ http://www.thesheepdogs.com/

I’ve been keeping tabs on the whole Rolling Stone unsigned artist cover competition. Although my faves, Chicago rockers Empire, are sadly no longer in the running, there are still two fantastic acts left. I’ve been going to Lelia Broussard shows for years now and have always enjoyed her songs and charming delivery. The Sheepdogs were introduced to me through this competition, but I pegged them early as one to watch (I have a weakness for southern rock). I’m excited to see them both perform and bring about a conclusion to this competition.

Where to see them: Saturday 2pm at This Tent

 

 

4. Mumford and Sons http://www.mumfordandsons.com/

As amazing as their album, Sigh No More, can be, the live Mumford and Sons performance is even better! As these English folk rockers continue to grow in popularity around the world, their performances become increasingly coveted. I don’t know if I could ever beat the front row at The Belly Up, but Mumford and Sons + Bonnaroo is an ideal combination and I am really looking forward to seeing them again.

Where to see them: Saturday 6:15 at Which Stage

 

 

5. Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons http://www.corychisel.com/

What would be the point of a big music festival, if I didn’t walk away discovering a great new band. I mean Bonnaroo is the event in where I first heard one of my LA faves, Carney. Listening to all the acts unbeknownst to me, I heard a lot of promise in Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons. Will they live up to my expectations? Will another unknown act steal my heart? I guess we’ll all have to wait and see.

Where to see them:
Thursday 7:15 at The Solar Stage
Friday 9:20 at The On Tap Lounge

 

 

 

 

Other Highly Anticipated Acts for Bonnaroo ‘11

 

Hope to see you at the ‘Roo!

~ Kristen

Top 5 Acts of Bonnaroo 2011

Posted on by .

1. The Decemberists at What Stage
The Decemberists have been on my list of bands to see ever since I first heard “Engine Driver” playing on a speaker system at my local Borders bookstore back in 2005. Finally seeing Colin Meloy and Co. play through some of my favorite tunes like “We Both Go Down Together” and “16 Military Wives” was a dream come true and the band delivered on every note. For an extra bonus, Sara Watkins was playing with them (filling in for Jenny Conlee). Her version of “Won’t Want for Love” (off 2009’s Hazards of Love) gave me chills!  The band seemed as happy to be there as the audience was to have them and the playful and easy interaction created a joy that rippled out over the crowd of thousands relaxing in the grass. Thinking back to all the sets we saw, The Decemberists at What Stage is the one that sticks out most clearly in my mind, representing the epitome of my Bonnaroo 2011.      ~ Kristen

Another one of my favorite Decemberist songs:

 

2. Eminem at The What Stage

Truth be told, Eminem was probably the artist I was most looking forward to seeing at Bonnaroo. When Kristen and I first saw Eminem at Epicentre in Fontana last year, we were skeptical with an attitude of, “let’s watch him just to say we saw him.” We were subsequently blown away with his performance. I was hoping for a repeat and got so much more. Eminem’s show features a car crash backdrop and an LED screen alerting the audience that we are witness to his “Recovery.” After the powerful opening of “Won’t Back Down” he took us on a ride through his extensive discography playing hits like, “Airplanes Pt. II”, “Love the Way You Lie”, “So Bad”, and “Till I Collapse”. He also brought out Royce da 5’9″ and they rapped a few songs from their new project Bad Meets Evil. And unlike some artists who only play new and current songs, Eminem took us back to his very beginnings by doing a mashup of, “My Name Is”, “The Real Slim Shady”, and “Without Me”. Perhaps the best part was his consistant chatter with the audience and dedications to the fans coupled with his intense focus on stage. It gave the feeling that he was there in the crowd with you rapping instead of up on stage in front of thousands of people. With an encore of “Lose Yourself” and endless gratitude to the audience at the close, Eminem was definitely a top act of Bonnaroo 2011.    ~Amanda

 

3. The Head and the Heart at The Other Tent

I’m not really sure what to say about The Head and the Heart. It’s hard to define what exactly it is about them that makes them special. It could be that this Seattle based six piece offers a folksy soulful outlook on life or their unique sound filled with shakers, piano, and violin in addition to the standard guitar, drums, and bass. It’s definitely not something I can easily put words to but seeing them again re-affirmed my love for this band. The first time I encountered them was at SXSW where they were playing a small stage in a bike shop. I was unfamiliar with the band and how largely popular they are. The Head and the Heart had no problems filling up the tent and they handled the larger stage with such ease, it seemed almost second nature. They are currently set to join Death Cab for Cutie in Germany and the UK and then tour with The Decemberists while attending festivals such as Calgary Folk Festival and Austin City Limits. If given the opportunity, this band should be at the top of your “to check out” list. After all, they made it to #3 on our Top 5 Acts of Bonnaroo.    ~Amanda

 

4. Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons at The Ford Focus Lounge

I had high hopes for Wisconsin’s Cory Chisel before the festival even began. Fortunately, Cory and his Wandering Sons did not disappoint. Cory crafts my favorite type of soulful folk tunes and accompanied by delicate harmonies provided by Adriel Harris, it’s impossible not to fall in love. I enjoyed Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons so much that I ended up seeing them three times. The first set at The Solar Stage cemented my love and introduced me to his songs including the crowd pleaser and highly appropriate “Tennessee.” The second, nighttime set at The On Tap Lounge really got the crowd going and featured a guest appearance by Brendan Benson as well as a more rockin’ version of “Born Again.”  But it is the third set at The Ford Focus Lounge that I enjoyed the most.  It felt the most intimate. It was a stripped down set, featuring only Cory and Adriel. This made songs like “Never Meant to Love You but It’s Too Late Now” all the more powerful.  It was also more interactive with Cory taking audience requests and singing songs that I could, by now, sing along to. My enhanced enjoyment could also have something to do with the location, an air-conditioned and carpeted lounge where we could sit on plush seats with handkerchiefs full of ice. The set ended with Cory doing a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” I don’t think I could have had a better introduction to a new favorite band than seeing Cory Chisel at Bonnaroo.    ~ Kristen

 

5. Neon Trees at This Tent

I was super excited at the prospect of being able to actually see Neon Trees on stage at Bonnaroo. The last time I ‘saw’ them was at SXSW and I was relegated to the back of the pack for my lack of being there early with nary a visual. This time around, was a whole different story. I had managed to sneak in the side of the tent (which was a might bit too small for them in my opinion), and work my way to a comfortable spot in the shade. This was one of my most memorable shows at Bonnaroo. At one point in time durin their set, the sound went out and they kept playing their song. As soon as the sound came back, they did a reprise of the song so everyone could hear it at full volume. At one point in time, singer Tyler Glenn discussed the difference between love and lust and also admitted to having a crush on a girl but was a coward so he wrote a song instead. Perhaps the most memorable moment was when Glenn took off his pants, revealing his American flag boxer briefs and danced around the stage, telling everyone it was ok to be a freak. Either way, it was a show I will not forget.     ~Amanda

 

Amanda’s Honorable Mention: Kopecky Family Band at The Ford Focus Lounge

I was just hanging in the Ford Focus Lounge, trying to cool of and get some energy back when I heard people talking about this upcoming band and how awesome they were. I was at that point in the day for me when I didn’t really care much about who was playing, I just wanted to cool off and relax. This rather unassuming band came up and caught my attention. They reminded me of Fresno’s Fierce Creatures with a less ethereal and more jam band sound, but still with a captivating presence. The people around me were not wrong about the Kopecky Family Band I hope they come out to California soon because I would love the opportunity to see them again, in a less heated environment.

 

Kristen’s Honorable Mention: The Black Angels at The Ford Focus Lounge


It could have something to do with the intimate setting…or perhaps how the set started with the band announcing they didn’t have paper for setlists so they made some t-shirts with a list of songs they wanted to play and handed them out for people in the audience to wear. It could even have something to do with the fact that the guitarist broke a string (supposedly for the first time ever on stage) and the band had to improvise while he tracked down a replacement. For some reason, The Black Angels at The Ford Focus Lounge was the most fun I had at any set all weekend.  ~ Kristen