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The Best of Bonnaroo 2013

Close to 200 acts performed this year. Here are the top 14

paul mccartney

Ebru Yildiz

As a festival, Bonnaroo has come to be defined by its diversity – Malian worldbeat duo Amadou and Mariam, bookish indie stars Grizzly Bear and hip-hop legends the Wu-Tang Clan performed within hours of each other on Friday. But the main-stage headliner always plays unopposed, the idea being that the entire Bonnaroo community can coalesce around a single artist. Across cultural, generational and aesthetic lines, whose catalogue could possibly be more universal than McCartney's? The answer: Nobody's. And that made this the single greatest Bonnaroo headlining performance in the festival's 12-year history, as it was moment after awesome moment of fever-pitched collective transcendence. "Paperback Writer," "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Band on the Run," "Blackbird," "Something" (played in tribute to George Harrison), "Eleanor Rigby," "We Can Work It Out," "Hey Jude" – to have not gotten swept up in and invigorated by the life-affirming celebration would be an outright rejection of joy.

divine fits

Ebru Yildiz

Divine Fits

Indie-rock fans didn't have it so easy on Sunday, as overlapping sets from Tame Impala, The National, Divine Fits and David Byne and St. Vincent left many in a near circle-on-circle-encompassing Venn diagram of listeners with some agonizing choices to make. It's a shame that more people weren't checking out Divine Fits. Britt Daniel and Dan Boeckner played with the commitment of a young band on a mini stage, Daniel bouncing across the stage slaying his Telecaster screaming the New Wave hook "Baby Get Worse" and the ragged, charming "Would That Not Be Nice."

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