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10 Non-Headlining Artists to Catch at Bonnaroo 2013

June 13, 2013  |  11:53am
10 Non-Headlining Artists to Catch at Bonnaroo 2013

As festivals grow bigger and bigger, and the names at the top of the bill continue to impress. But festival-goers don’t only benefit from once-in-a-lifetime shows like Paul McCarteney—often, the artists playing the smaller stages are just as likely to be this year’s favorite live show (and even more likely to be next year’s favorite album). So although we at Paste will surely be hitting all the obvious shows on the Which and the What stages this weekend, here are a few sets you might want to add to your schedule in between.

1. Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls
Anyone unfamiliar with Frank Turner won’t feel that way for long. After just a few songs in any set, this English punk/folk singer-songwriter feels like an old friend between his witty quips and relatable lyrics. Turner brings foot-stomping energy to any stage he plays, and with a band behind him it’s sure to be quite a party down on the farm. —Dacey Orr

2. William Tyler
William Tyler is an astoundingly talented guitarist whose sprawling instrumental songs transcend your standard assumption of a one-man show. His compositions are fragile yet ferocious, delicate yet destructive. William Tyler commands attention as his guitar lines sing out like vocal melodies, containing a rich contour that takes on a life of its own. —Clifton Golden

3. Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves has a beautiful voice and a burgeoning country career, but her influence is spreading beyond genre lines thanks to clever, insightful songwriting and a knack for telling it straight. For her Bonnaroo set, she’ll be taking a break from playing stadium after stadium with Kenny Chesney’s summer tour, but Musgraves is sure to bring a stadium-quality performance to any stage she plays. Don’t miss this chance to catch the singer up close. —Dacey Orr

4. Japandroids
Paste gave these guys a lot of love in 2012 for their top-notch album Celebration Rock and their stand-out track The House That Heaven Built. But even those unfamiliar with their work will love these rockers who play with just as much passion as they do precision.—Ben Hurston

5. Jason Isbell
No stranger to touring or putting on a momentous live show, the subject of this week’s PASTE.COM cover story is surely poised to make an even bigger impression at this year’s festival. This week’s warm reception to his freshly released album Southeastern only makes his heartfelt lyrics, southern-tinged vocals and personal interaction with the crowd even more of a must-see.—Dacey Orr

6. Matrimony
Bonaroovians have two chances to see this visceral folk-rock act from Charlotte on the vast Tennessee farm. Matrimony’s passionate songs ooze with personality. The husband-and-wife vocal duo who front the band belt out gorgeous harmonies atop the intricately woven instrumentation. Matrimony serves as a fantastic getaway from the constant hustle and bustle of Bonnaroo. —Clifton Golden

7. Father John Misty
If the tracks on J. Tillman’s 2012 album Fear Fun aren’t enough to make this set a must-see, his stage presence is something you should experience. Father John Misty shows are a passionate reminder of what freak-folk should be, and Tillman’s dance moves and amusing banter between songs win new fans every time. —Dacey Orr

8. Four Tet
Kieran Hebden’s heady electronica tunes incorporate elements of hip-hop, pop and jazz that bleed into an overwhelming array of timbres and textures to create infectious dance music. Four Tet’s set may be in the early evening hours, but even heat can’t stop the funky grooves produced by this innovative producer. This frequent Radiohead collaborator may not be a headlining act, but his music certainly has the gusto to command a crowd to dance their sweaty, sunburnt asses off.—Clifton Golden

9. Lucius
Brooklyn-based band Lucius may not be playing Bonnaroo’s largest stage, but snatch up this chance to catch the band in an intimate atmosphere while you still can. Fronted by vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, Lucius blends gorgeous harmonies with strong percussion and instrumentals (along with a healthy does of attitude) for a live show you aren’t likely to forget.

10. Allen Stone
Washington’s Allen Stone is a soulful, bluesy artist with a killer voice. No stranger to the festival atmosphere, Stone’s live performances continue to bring new fans on board. —Patrick Filben

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