Bonnaroo for the Classic Rock Fan
Sets You'll Probably Catch: As the only headliner with no opposing sets, Elton John will have tens of thousands of Bonnaroovians' undivided attention. His recent set lists have leaned heavily on his 1973 classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which he recently reissued with covers by Ed Sheeran and Fall Out Boy. Meanwhile, Lionel Richie's hipster-approved Hall and Oates phase could easily begin on Saturday. Though he's finding success with country, recent concerts have shown a mix of solo hits like "Hello," Commodores classics like "Easy" and even a version of "We Are the World." Adventurous classic-rock fans will also want to check out Bonnaroo's celebrated "Superjams," one of which is being led by the Allman Brothers Band's guitarist Derek Trucks and features Chaka Khan and Taj Mahal – the other will feature Doors guitarist Robby Krieger jamming with Skrillex.
You Might Also Like: Rock runs deep in the festival, from a 30th anniversary screening of This Is Spinal Tap to a showing of the recent Grateful Dead–related doc The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir. Music-industry iconoclast Jack White will likely dig back to classic blues and if Flaming Lips aren’t covering a Beatles album in full they'll at least bring experimental-pop freakery. Rockers who like their music more traditional can check out southern- and blues-rock groups like Drive-By Truckers and Tedeschi-Trucks Band; alt-country fans can opt for Lucero and the Henley-rankling Okkervil River; and folk fans can pick from the Avett Brothers, Amos Lee or maybe just attend the Bluegrass Situation Superjam. Like your rock harder? J. Roddy Walston and the Business project a floor-shaking Black Crowes vibe live, King Khan and the Shrines are a garage-rock riot.
Best-Kept Secret: Those in the know will check out Syd Arthur – a band whose name references psych-rock hero Syd Barrett – who hail from the same breeding ground that produced proggy, psychedelic bands like Soft Machine and Caravan in the late Sixties. The music of their recently released Sound Mirror is a convincing update.