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The hottest of summer music festivals

| Monday, September 7, 2015

HottestSummerFestivals_WebEric Richelsen | The Observer

Labor Day has come and past, and with it marks the official end of another wonderful summer season. As the season of flower crowns and tie-dye tank tops comes to an end, let’s take a look at the best music festival performers of the past summer.

Florence + The Machine

Florence Welch and her team of mystical musicians dominated the music festival scene this year, headlining Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Lollapalooza, Coachella and countless other festivals across the globe. Their ethereal sound drew enormous crowds and some of the best reviews of the summer.

Kendrick Lamar

The legendary Compton MC has had an incredible year, releasing the critically acclaimed and socially relevant “To Pimp a Butterfly” along with headlining big name festivals like Outside Lands, Summerfest, and Bonnaroo. His energetic and passionate musicality resonated throughout his shows, unparalleled by many other rappers.

Alabama Shakes

With the recent release of their 2015 album “Sound & Color,” this rock band absolutely conquered the festival scene. Lead by the soulful roar of frontwoman Brittany Howard, Alabama Shakes left their mark on Mountain Jam, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and many other popular festivals.

twenty one pilots

This pop/rock/rap/electronic duo sent crowds into a frenzy at festivals like Bunbury Music Festival, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Comprised of vocalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, twenty one pilots’ eclectic sound brought some of the biggest numbers to their stages throughout the summer.


After rising from the underground electronic music community, Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight took festivals like Firefly Music Festival, Sasquatch! Festival and SXSW by storm, performing at more than 20 throughout the summer. ODESZA’s unique sound turned grass fields into dance floors and brought even more fans into the world of electronic music.

D’Angelo and The Vanguard

Only a year after the praise of his multi-genre 2014 contemporary album “Black Messiah,” D’Angelo’s festival performances were some of the most anticipated of 2015. At festivals like FYF Fest, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival and North Coast Music Festival, the artist incorporated R&B, rock, jazz, soul and lyrical excellence to impress crowds and critics across the nation.

FKA twigs

After coming out of seemingly nowhere, eccentric indie-electronica singer, songwriter, producer and dancer Tahliah Barnett wowed crowds with her hypnotizing performance art. At festivals like Lollapalooza, FYF Fest and Glastonbury Festival, Barnett — known by the stage name FKA twigs — was one of the most popular and critically acclaimed alternative performers throughout the summer.

Gary Clark, Jr.

I can confidently say this man is Jimi Hendrix reincarnated (yes, I do realize that is a very heavy statement).Being one of the best performers I have ever seen, Gary and his mastery of the guitar, accompanied by his extremely talented band, left me — and the rest of crowd — absolutely breathless. His passion ripped through the music and impressed people everywhere at festivals like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Afropunk Fest and Firefly.


Although Queen Bey’s Made in America Festival 22-song set marked her only festival performance of 2015, this is Beyoncé we’re talking about. Need I say more?

Sir Paul McCartney

It doesn’t get much better than an original Beatle. After delightfully shocking the country by appearing on the lineups of two American festivals, Lollapalooza and Firefly Music Festival, the music legend did not disappoint. At the ripe age of 73, Paul has still got it. Performing a cohesive 33-song setlist of solo, Wings and Beatles songs, Paul stole the show and our hearts with the nostalgia of the yesteryears.



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