Best of the Bottom: Music Festival Lineups
Bobby Wozniak | Thursday, April 21, 2016
As the summer begins and the always-exciting season of music festivals commences, big names like Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo have broadcasted their lineups on various media platforms. At the top of each lineup, the names of the most popular artists (I’m talking LCD Soundsystem, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, J. Cole, etc.) stand out, isolated in large font as the most popular headliners. As you make your way down the lineup, though, the names get smaller and harder to read, just as the artists’ set times get pushed earlier on in the day. Festival-goers unfortunately often opt out of seeing these lesser-known artists, missing out on a chance to experience some incredible music and expand their music taste. Just like previous years, the music festivals of 2016 have countless brilliant acts that reside at the bottom of the lineups. Here’s a look at a few of the best:
This two-time Grammy-nominated jazz-funk quartet have received critical acclaim for their uniquely captivating albums “Talk Tomahawk” and “Choose Your Weapon” but have gathered only a modest following throughout their five years of working together. Featured in the lineups of Lollapalooza, Osheaga, Pemberton and Outside Lands, this talented Australian group will surely put on incredibly unique performances over the course of the summer. Led by the beautifully poetic front-woman Nai Palm, Hiatus Kaiyote creates an original musical landscape filled with organic sounds that are backed by groovy beats. They’re perfect group to kick off the day.
Louis the Child
This up-and-coming electronic music duo have quickly popularized themselves with their single, “It’s Strange,” which has over five million plays on both Spotify and Soundcloud. Although they are still near the bottom of festival lineups for Lollapalooza, Firefly and Governor’s Ball, their infectious synthetic beats and catchy remixes will certainly create a great atmosphere earlier on in the day. With no current original EP or LP, new music is sure to drop before the end of the summer as they continue their catapult up the electronic music ladder.
For some reason I cannot wrap my mind around, SZA still sits close to the bottom of each music festival lineup she is featured in, including those for Pemberton and Coachella. This Top Dawg Entertainment artist has not gained nearly as much popularity as her frequent collaborators (Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna and Chance the Rapper, to name a few); however, her soulful voice and clever song-writing (see Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé’s “Feeling Myself”) make her one of the most talented female artists in today’s music industry. With three alternative R&B EPs under her belt, SZA is far from new to the world of music, but she has consistently been given earlier and less-popular set times in past years’ music festivals. I would definitely recommend arriving early to catch this performance.
Although this American rapper debuted his first studio album “Last Winter” in 2014, he has quickly proven himself as a talented artist through collaborations with J. Cole, 50 Cent and DJ Khaled, landing him a spot in the lineups of Lollapalooza and Pemberton. Bas released his sophomore album, “Too High To Riot,” back in March, further showcasing his fluid bars and witty, honest style. The record features a more stripped-back confidence that still maintains bouncy, percussion-based beats that are sure to put on a great show.