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Bonnaroo 2024 Review


Bonnaroo 2024 Review

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival wrapped its 2024 event over the weekend in Manchester, Tennessee. The annual festival took place June 13–16, and featured an array of acts across multiple genres.

Fans filled The Farm for the four-day function on Thursday, June 13, 2024. Kicking off Bonnaroo that first included performances from Happy Landing, Róisín Murphy, Ocie Elliott, BIGXTHAPLUG, Geese, GWAR, It’s Murph, Matt Maltese, Say She She, The Heavy Heavy, The Foxies and more. Headlining Thursday night was Pretty Lights who performed two back-to-back sets at The What Stage.



The good vibes continued into Friday as Gary Clark Jr., Khruangbin, Interpol, Vibez, 49 Winchester, The Mars Volta, Larkin Poe, Faye Webster, GROUPLOVE, Lizzy McAlpine, ISOxo, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Mdou Moctar and more.



The Japanese House

The Japanese House, the stage name of singer Amber Bain, hit the Which Stage at 3:45 p.m. wearing a simple red tank and jeans.

The English indie pop musician sang alongside her saxophonist/keyboardist, guitar player, bassist and drummer on one of the festival's biggest stages. Though the sun was directly beating down on the audience, the audience braved the heat and brought fans to cool down.

The alternative singer, who describes her music as “a modern day, more depressing ABBA," showcased her silky vocals and contemplative lyrics. She sang songs "Worms," "Dionne," "Saw You In A Dream" and "Sunshine Baby," complete with hazy synths and catchy pop hooks.




Gary Clark Jr.

Blues guitarist and singer Gary Clark Jr. took the Which Stage at 5:45 p.m. with a full band and three back-up singers. The Austin, Texas native strolled out in an all-orange outfit, orange sunglasses and a bucket hat. His show brought the biggest crowd to the Which Stage of the day so far.

One of his first songs, "When My Train Pulls In," showcased bluesy R&B vocals and guitar solos. Although Clark Jr. didn't take the first solo of his Bonnaroo set (that honor went to his rockstar guitarist, King Zapata), Clark Jr.'s rockin' solos were soon to follow.

He played "Don’t Owe You A Thang," letting his tambourine-holding back-up singers shine alongside funky keys. He belted, paced the stage, played his guitar so hard his sunglasses flew off his head, and let the music take him over.





Dominic Fike

Dominic Fike was the first face-tattooed singer-songwriter to perform at Roo on Friday.

The alternative rock and hip-hop artist, known for songs "Baby Doll" and "3 Nights" wore a pullover with the "TIME" Magazine logo, though he soon was shirtless due to the heat—and, of course, the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. "Bonnaroo what the f*** is up? My name is Dominic Fike; thank you so much for having me," he said. "I'm so happy to be back in Nashville, I love Nashville so much."

His favorite things about Nashville? The people, the food and the fact that "the music energy is crazy," he said. Fike told the audience he visited Carter Vintage Guitars in Nashville today and bought a new Telecaster. After picking up the guitar, he said someone came up to him and said, "Good luck with the gig tonight." Fike said that so many people in Nashville make their living playing gigs. He likes that in Music City, he's just the same as any other working musician.



Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers made her Bonnaroo debut Friday night at the Which Stage just as the sun began to set and a nice, cool breeze swept over the crowd.

Getting to Manchester was a long-time coming, Rogers told the crowd. "I've been trying to get to this festival since I was 16," she said from the stage. "My parents had a rule you couldn't go to a festival until you were 18. I'm from Maryland, so this is the closest music festival. I watched my older sister back her car out of the driveway on her way to Bonnaroo... I think this might be the biggest crowd I've ever played to."

Dressed in a black strappy leotard, sheer wrap skirt and tall black boots, the singer emoted a Stevie-Nicks-meets-Debbie-Harry vibe throughout her set as she sang and danced around the stage.

Her presence was free-spirited and her performance was fantastic.



Post Malone

Post Malone's Friday night performance was the show of the weekend.

With a charismatic strut, Malone appeared onto What Stage at 11 p.m. with a red Solo cup in hand and a smile on his face. Bonnaroo's 2024 Friday night headliner was ready to deliver.

The hip-hop and pop artist thanked the Bonnaroo fans for coming, complimented the crowd's signs and totems, and chugged his beer.

Malone's tight 20-song set included plenty of moody strings, ample fireworks and gusts of fireballs, and a surprise appearance from guitarist Billy Strings. Malone's gritty, flickering voice shone.

"Make some noise for our special guest tonight, Billy mother***ing strings," he shouted. In response, Billy Strings said, "I just wanna say one thing," and shouted, "Yeee!" Malone said he couldn't have said it better himself.



Afterwards, the duo performed a slow, acoustic version of Malone's 2018 song "Stay." Billy Strings layered acoustic finger-picking and sonic guitar flutters underneath Malone's raspy voice. The two worked off one another with ease, breathing a new life into one of Malone's most vulnerable songs.

Post's performance ended with fireworks galore and a three-song encore.



Bonnaroo fans braved the heat yet again for day three of the music and arts festival, bringing another chock-full day of tunes with a star-studded lineup.

Earlier sets in the day included Nashville singer-songwriter Jobi Riccio, Ryan Beatty, d4vd and Bakar.

Around early evening, Brittany Howard took the stage, followed by Jon Batiste, Jamaican feel-good artist Sean Paul, Americana's Gregory Alan Isakov and up-and-coming pop singer Reneé Rapp.

An Emo Superjam led by Dashboard Confessional brought the house down, and Nashville's own rock band Cage The Elephant brought the heat.


Reneé Rapp

Reneé Rapp got the crowd singing and dancing just as the sun set over the Which Stage Saturday night. Donning a black mesh top and black long, Diesel shorts emblazoned with "78," Rapp chatted with the crowd, let them do some of the singing and put on a high-energy show.

After her hit "Not My Fault," Rapp, who emoted Billie Eilish vibes, told the crowd she was happy to be back in the South. "I'm from North Carolina, so not too far from here," she said, adding "I'm just in a good mood."

She sang "Pretty Girls," "Colorado," "Bruises" and "Follow You," before pointing out a totem in the crowd that then showed up on the massive video screens. It had a rolling digital display that read "Let's hear those Broadway vocals."



The crowd roared as she said, "If you are a theater kid and you are loud like me, I need a vocal. Can you do that for me?" Then she launched into "The Wedding Song."

Rapp's contagious energy, coupled with her powerful belt and bellowing R&B vocals riffs and runs had the crowd going crazy. She held the eager audience in her palm, asking them to sing along and pointing the mic out their way on song "Poison Poison."

Rapp's evening performance confirmed that this is just the start of her reign at music festivals.



Cage The Elephant

There was a fiery start to the night on the What Stage when Cage The Elephant began their set with bursts of fire, taking the stage as the last set before headliner Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Lead singer Matt Shultz wore a red shirt and suit pants along with an "LA" baseball cap and sunglasses. Kicking off the show with song "Broken Boy," the energetic frontman delivered gritty rock vocals—sometimes punk-like—accompanied by the band's recognizable alternative sound.

"Bonnaroo we are Cage The Elephant! We are happy to be back. A lot of history!," Matt Shultz said about their time at Bonnaroo. He added that they've had a lot of amazing experiences at 'Roo, both as concert goers and performers.



Gregory Alan Isakov

Gregory Alan Isakov performed at That Tent as the sun began to set over day three of Bonnaroo, hitting the stage for a 7:45 p.m. set. Isakov’s ambient, folksy singer-songwriter tunes accompanied the sunset colors perfectly. In cloudy blue lighting and wearing a flat-brimmed hat and flannel, Isakov crooned on the song "The Fall," and was backed by soaring harmonies on "Miles To Go," a song where he gently played the harmonica. 

Supported by a band with a violinist, upright bassist and banjo player, Isakov played songs from his newest album, "Appaloosa Bones," as well as some of his older hits like "Big Black Car."

"We all come from Colorado...it’s such an honor to be here. Thank you so much," Isakov said. "We don’t tour a lot and we don’t honestly play a lot of festivals…this has been really fun," he said with sincerity. 

Isakov’s set brought a quieter, intimate vibe to a huge Bonnaroo crowd—making a large music festival feel like a private performance.



Red Hot Chili Peppers

After making an impromptu stop to jam at a honky-tonk on Broadway in downtown Nashville Friday night, Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith joined the rest of his bandmates to light up the What Stage at Bonnaroo Saturday night. Chili Peppers', singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, guitarist John Frusciante and Smith, took the stage at 10:45 p.m. Saturday night and rolled through crowd favorites as well as some newer material until after midnight.

After a cinematic pre-recorded intro, the four bandmates launched into a jam and then dropped right into the all-too familiar riff of "Can't Stop."



Flea, dressed in a very L.A. Lakers-themed purple man skirt with one purple and one yellow sock, told the crowd the band was grateful to be at Bonnaroo and then proceeded to steal the show with his thumping bass licks.

The show was everything fans wanted including hits "Californication," "Under the Bridge," "Snow" and "Give It Away." Well, almost everything. Some fans might have missed hits such as "Scar Tissue," "Dani California," and "Otherside," which were eliminated from the night's setlist.



Sunday was the final day of the 2024 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and the musical artist lineup did not disappoint. Shows kicked off with a massive reception to Chappell Roan and extended through the evening ending with DJ Fred Again..

Though a round of storms delayed the day's tunes for about 40 minutes, the festival got back on track quickly, resuming music for the 70,000 Bonnaroovians in attendance.


Chappell Roan

Chappell Roan was originally booked for Bonnaroo in one of the performance tents. Between then and now, she blew up and was moved to the second-largest stage at the festival.

Fans flooded the area around the Which Stage Sunday afternoon to catch Roan's show, while proudly displaying their love for her with clothes, signs, hats and totems dedicated to the "Red Wine Supernova" singer. Some even waited in line for 12 hours. Minutes before 26-year-old pop music 'femininomenon' Chappell Roan—born Kayleigh Rose Amstutz—took the Bonnaroo stage, screens showed an aerial video of her massive crowd stretching halfway through the festival's grounds.



She started the set out with "Femininomenon," singing "Get it hot / make it b****!" and dramatically kicked her legs with her dancing bassist and guitarist. 

"Are you ready to get naked in Manhattan, Bonnaroo?," Roan said before singing her next song, "Naked in Manhattan." Her soaring vocals flew over the glitzy pop music.

One highlight of Roan's set was when she taught the crowd her "Hot To Go!" choreography, saying, "I’m gonna teach you a dance. I know it’s really hot so you don’t have to do it a lot, but you can do it with your hands!"




Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen has been providing us earworms since her breakthrough hit “Call Me Maybe” back in 2012, and she’s only gotten better with time. Belting underrated bops like “Now That I Found You” and “Run Away With Me” (with a sax solo!) Perfectly dressed for the occasion in a breezy blue outfit and sunglasses, Jepsen was on a roll as she wound through her extensive catalog. Unfortunately, the show came to a screeching and darkly ironic halt mid-lyric in “Western Wind” when a lightning threat put the entire festival on pause. Even just six-and-a-half songs would have been the perfect afternoon set, but luckily Jepsen got to come back to the stage about an hour later and put a cap on it — delays be damned, she was still able to “Cut to the Feeling” effortlessly.



Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell is no stranger to Bonnaroo, having played his first show here in 2004. With his band the 400 Unit, Isbell owned the stage and the night, Sunday, as the sun set and the rain from a few hours before left a beautiful sky full of clouds illuminated by the setting sun.

"I've been here all week," he told the crowd from the stage. "We've been having a great time. I've seen so many good shows this weekend. I saw Chappell Roan today and that was amazing. I saw Brittany Howard's set and I love her so much."

He reminisced about his first Bonnaroo show in That Tent and said he and his band didn't sleep at all that entire weekend.

With his trademark strong guitar work and spot-on vocals, Isbell and his band (with two drummers!) took a stroll through his catalog including "Alabama Pines," "24 Frames," "Strawberry Woman," "Tired of Traveling Alone," "My Love Won't Change," "Cast Iron Skillet," "This Ain't It," and ended with a stunning rendition of "Cover Me Up."



Ashnikko

After a 40-minute rain delay on Sunday, Ashnikko's 6:15 p.m. set was delayed by half an hour. When fans were allowed back into That Tent, they ravenously rushed to the barricade.

It was time for the blue-haired, pop-punk "Daisy" singer to bring her spooky hits to the 'Roo crowd.

Surrounded by large blue tentacle-like structures and an apocalyptic hellscape on the back screen, Ashnikko took the stage with her funky cobalt hair, wearing a black top with chains, a poofy skirt and strappy boots. Her four backup dancers wore Victorian garb, one even sported a black and white neck ruff.



She started her set out with song "You Make Me Sick!" and then lead into song "STUPID," all the while hitting every beat of her intense dance routines with a clear and eerie Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman inspiration. At one point, a fan even gifted Ashnikko a Coraline doll during the set, making her squeal with joy.

"This next song I wrote as an ode to Ms. Dolly Parton. I hope that she would approve—I'm not sure, I do talk about penis a lot," she said. "I wrote this song before I did a whole bunch of psychedelics," she added.

Then, Ashnikko asked if there were any working women in the crowd before singing her 2019 song "Working B****."

Along with the crowd, she belted out, "Too tired to entertain little boys / I'm the boss of my business...I'm a working, b**** / Ain't got no time for d***!



Megan Thee Stallion

Just after the rain paused the music on all Bonnaroo stages, the clouds moved out revealing an amazing yellow and orange sky. About that time, Megan Thee Stallion took the stage wearing a sparkly bodysuit with a yellow-to-orange Ombre to match the last sunset over Bonnaroo 2024.

The "real hot girl" took the stage shortly after 7:15 p.m. alone with her backing tracks and a mic before being joined by backup dancers. As she danced and gyrated, so did the crowd.



Before launching into "Freak Nasty," Megan asked if there were any OGs in the crowd? "If so, I better hear y'all singing this s*** to the top of your lungs." After a brief malfunction in the music tracks she was performing to, she said the next part was the personal part of her show. "I love y'all," she said. "I want you to know you do matter. You are loved and you are appreciated."

Thee Stallion cycled through her hit songs, bringing her feminist power with song "Plan B" and a whole lot of hip shaking during song "WAP."



Megan Thee Stallion then proclaimed it "self-love summer," asking who in the crowd loved their body just the way it is. Then she jumped into song "Body," singing, "Body-ody-ody-ody," as she danced, smiled and showed the crowd just how important it is to hype yourself up.

Thee Stallion ended with song "Savage," bringing the crowd back to one of the best jams of the 2020 COVID summer. Stallion performed her "savage, classy, bougie, ratchet" hit, closing out the set.


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