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Concert Preview

8 December Concerts in the Triangle to Look Forward to

December can be an uncharacteristically busy month for a lot of folks. But, if you’re looking to get away from family, or spend time with them making memories, I’ve compiled a list of 8 shows the WKNC crowd may be interested in seeing throughout the month.

  1. Medium Heat — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 @ 8 p.m.— The Pour House Music Hall
  • Openers: Roar the Engines & The BQs
  1. Jeff Rosenstock — Thursday, December 2, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Cat’s Cradle
  • Openers: Slaughter Beach, Dog & Oceanator
  1. Old Crow Medicine Show — Thursday, December 2, 2021 & Friday, December 3, 2021 @ 8 p.m.—  Carolina Theater (Fletcher Hall)
  1. Milky Chance — Saturday, December 4, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — The Ritz Raleigh
  1. Slow Pulp — Sunday, December 5, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Cat’s Cradle Back Room
  • Opener: Strange Ranger 
  1. Lawrence — Tuesday, December 7, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Lincoln Theatre
  • Openers: Proxima Parada & Reliably Bad
  1. Wednesday — Thursday, December 16, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Cat’s Cradle Back Room
  • Openers: Truth Club & Bangzz
  1. The Mountain Goats — Thursday, December 16, 2021, & Friday, December 17, 2021 & Saturday December 18, 2021 @ 8 p.m. — Cat’s Cradle
  • Openers: Mac McCaughan (Night 1), Flock of Dimes (Night 2) & Bowerbirds (Night 3)

Maybe concert-going isn’t quite as festive as going ice-skating or seeing an old Christmas movie in theaters, but don’t count it out in the month of December. The Triangle is an awesome place with some amazing venues, try to check them out.

Until next time,

Caitlin

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Concert Preview Festival Coverage Local Music

Preview: Chapel Hill’s Manifest Aims to Break Barriers

In my training class to become a WKNC DJ, among the many pieces of advice our then station general manager gave us was to “not just play music made by four white guys”. This was met by laughs, but that line stuck with me because of how relevant it still is. When I was a daytime DJ I tried to have sets with a strong female representation, but four or so guys still made up most of the songs aired from 10 to 11 p.m. on Thursdays. And that doesn’t even take into account the “white” part of that; many genres such as modern indie rock are overrepresented by white artists and artists of color will often have their work labeled as R&B even when that label doesn’t fit the music, which can box in both exposure and creative freedom.

Enter Manifest. This is a festival that, according to the website, is “focused on dismantling patriarchy, misogyny, and white supremacy” with a diverse lineup that draws from a wide variety of races, sexualities and gender identities. Now dismantling vast social hierarchies is a lofty goal, but they’ve definitely got the lineup down. This is a festival that has seen acts like Skylar Gudasz and Hopscotch 2021 attendee Sarah Shook, and this year the acts range from Basura who make minute-and-a-half long death metal bangers to trans experimental artist KHX05 who brings a nervy and rebellious energy to her mixtapes and remix EPs. 

Manifest bills itself as mostly a punk festival, and there are a number of punk bands making an appearance. Gown is a hardcore metallic punk band that has seven members, three of whom play the cello, while Fortezza is an doom punk band out of Asheville whose long guitar solos and verses screamed over a lone drumbeat create a chaotic and apocalyptic feel to fit their hand-drawn album covers. The artists have a distinctly local flavor too. Of the 28 acts coming to Chapel Hill this weekend, 21 are from the Triangle area, and five of them won’t have to leave their hometown to make it there. 

This is the fifth iteration of Manifest, and it’s the fifth time in these exact three venues. The festival is mostly based around Local 506, a bar and club that, when not hosting live acts, is known for having themed dance parties such as the 80s-style one that I went to this summer. This is where tickets and wristbands are picked up and where WKNC is running the merch table. When not at the Local 506, festivalgoers can head to two other locations, one of which is The Cave. This is another bar/club hybrid, iconic in Chapel Hill for its alley location and will often host rock and punk rock bands. 

Now despite having essentially grown up in downtown Chapel Hill, I’ll admit I had to look up the last venue, Rosemary Street’s The Nightlight. It’s the only one of the venues not located on Franklin Street, and its website is at time of writing a single page detailing its closures due to COVID and in the spirit of Manifest, a link to a mutual aid fund. All of these are within a quarter mile walk of each other so it should be easy to go between any of the simultaneous shows being played.

Continuity is a major theme here, and not just in the venues. Manifest 5 marks the fourth appearance of Raleigh’s Fruit Snack at the aforementioned festival, a band whose members work at multiple venues in the Triangle and whose themes of anti-capitalism, openness about sex and dislike of the police fit right in with Manifest’s mission statement. It also features a ukulele player. Meanwhile, punk act Pie Face Girls has attended every single iteration since the festival began in 2016. This in combination with its many local sponsors including Orange County Arts Commission, Chapel Hill’s own Midway Market and this radio station gives this festival a strong feeling of community that puts those goals of social change front and center.

I’m personally quite excited to cover Manifest. While I won’t be able to see every artist (The Cave being 21+ is unfortunate but understandable) there are a lot of acts I really want to see and blog about, and a lot of artists I had never heard of before and really want to get to know as part of my ongoing efforts to further connect with the local music scene here. After all, homegrown music with a message is the new punk rock. And the old one too.

-Erie

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Concert Preview

Function / Newa @ Basement

The dark dancefloor of Basement
Photo Credit: Paper Magazine

Over a year and a half later, Basement is back open.

Facing financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear whether the newly established Basement would ever reopen their doors. Until this past August Basement made a total of 6 social media posts, most of which centered around fundraising and live streamed DJ sets with proceeds going towards the NYC club scene. However, on July 27 they posted a simple image onto their Instagram reading “WE ARE BACK” followed by a lineup for the month of August.

The August lineup was stacked with some of my favorite DJs including LSDXOXO, DJ Stingray 313, and DVS1. The monthly lineups have only gotten better and October is shaping up to be the best month yet. Opening the October lineup this Saturday is none other than Function and Newa. Function is a New York City native and has been a part of the techno scene for over 25 years. His move to Berlin in 2007 alongside the formation of the duo-turned cult classic label “Sandwell District” solidified his influence in the underground techno scene, producing various EPs and singles which Octopus Agents described as “decentralizing the artist ego, blurring the lines between the artist, label and DJ; rearranging the DNA of modern dance music.” Playing alongside Function will be Bassiani resident Newa. Newa started out as a DJ in 2012 in her hometown of Tbilisi, Georgia, quickly making a name for herself through her deep basslines and intense melodies. Since 2016 she has co-ran the diverse Icontrax imprint, presenting undiscovered local talent from the flourishing Georgian techno scene.

I am extremely excited to be attending this show, not only to see the artists but also to experience the venue. Basement is the only one of its kind in the US, and soon enough I will find out why.

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Concert Preview

MerleFest 2021 – Our Most Anticipated Ask

Merlefest is back after a year off (there was some kind of virus last year?) and it’s a packed four day weekend with plenty of local bluegrass and big country names. Sturgill Simpson opens the festival this Thursday night, but WKNC coverage begins Friday afternoon – here’s what we’re most excited for (listed in bullet form, not numerical, because we refuse to rank):

  • Amythyst Kiah: Wary + Strange, Kiah’s third album, came out earlier this year and we’re more than ready to hear it live. We’re most excited to hear the new electrified version of her song Black Myself, previously released in 2019 with her group Our Native Daughters (composed of Kiah, Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell) and getting to feel her voice vibrate through our bodies. Friday at 7:50pm.
  • Leann Rimes. Perhaps after hearing Blue live, we can die fulfilled and content. A revisit of the critically acclaimed 2000 film, Coyote Ugly, was necessary to prepare for our visit with Ms. Rimes. Fun fact: we all know that Leann’s first album, Blue, dropped when she was only 13 years old, which is crazy enough. Even crazier, she had recorded Blue as an 11 year old, re-recorded it two years later for the album, but the tracks got switched and the earlier version was accidentally released. She was eleven years old, singing like that – she won a Grammy for the album at age 14. We’ll see her Friday at 6:45pm.
  • Tedeschi Trucks: Although great through headphones or in the car, the full power of this group is only unleashed in their live performances. In lieu of a formal discussion, I’d like to direct you to this cool graphic showing their shifting band over the past 11 years. We’ll see them Friday at 8:30pm.
  • Sarah Shook and the Disarmers: Although well known around the triangle music scene, this is the group’s first Merlefest. In our interview with the group, they teased that they’ll be playing some tracks off of their upcoming album, Nightroamer, at the festival. We’ll be seeing them Saturday at 5pm.

Mavis Staples: Mavis Staples. In the flesh. You may have seen the gospel legend in Questlove’s documentary Summer of Soul about the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place in the summer of 1969. Fifty two years later, at 82 years old, Mavis Staples has only become more of a commanding presence, both musically and as an icon. We’ll be seeing her Sunday at 2:25pm.

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Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Music Festival 2021 Series: Animal Collective

Animal Collective is difficult to pin down and a lot of fun to consume. Luckily, the band is performing this year at Hopscotch Music Festival on Saturday, September 11th at 9:30 pm at City Plaza. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the band and their discography.

The American experimental band came together in Baltimore, Maryland in 2003. Animal Collective, consisting of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz), weave genres through their unique vocal combinations, ambiance, and pop foundations. The members began to musically collaborate when they met in school before the band was officially formed. Their discography consists of a variety of retroactively added music, studio albums, extended plays, live albums, visual albums, and a soundtrack album. 

Check out their full discography below:

Studio Albums:
– Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (2000) (as Avey Tare and Panda Bear)
– Danse Manatee (2001) (as Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist)
– Campfire Songs (2003) (as Campfire Songs)
– Here Comes the Indian (2003) (also known as Ark)
– Sung Tongs (2004)
– Feels (2005)
– Strawberry Jam (2007)
– Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
– Centipede Hz (2012)
– Painting With (2016)

Extended Plays:
– Prospect Hummer (2005) (with Vashti Bunyan)
– People (2006)
– Water Curses (2008)
– Fall Be Kind (2009)
– Keep + Animal Collective (2011)
– Transverse Temporal Gyrus (2012)
– Monkey Been to Burn Town (2013)
– The Painters (2017)
– Meeting of the Waters (2017)
– Bridge to Quiet (2020)

Live Albums:
– Hollinndagain (2002) (as Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist)
– Animal Crack Box (2009)
– Live at 9:30 (2015)
– Ballet Slippers (2019)
– 2 Nights (2020)[112]

Visual Albums:
– ODDSAC (2010)
– Tangerine Reef (2018)

Soundtrack Album:
– Crestone (Original Score) (2021)[113]

I know I’ll be at the Animal Collective set at Hopscotch and I hope you will be, too.

Here’s to my favorite Animal Collective track, “Who Could Win a Rabbit,”

Silya Bennai

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Concert Preview

Hopscotch Day Parties

For over ten years Raleigh has been home to the three day music festival, Hopscotch. Because of Covid-19, there was no festival last year, but it is returning this week with a star studded line-up of acts which include Carolina Polachek, Animal Collective, Parquet Courts, and Dr. Dog. 

For many people it might be too expensive to attend the festival, but unlike most festivals, Hopscotch has day parties that are free and open to the public. All you need is proof of vaccination or a negative covid test and you can enjoy shows at Hopscotch for free! Music venues all over Raleigh are hosting day parties with a variety of local bands. Venues like the Pour House, Ruby Deluxe, Slim’s, The Night Rider, Lincoln Theater, and other locations will be home to these day parties. 

WKNC and the NCSU Libraries are hosting a party on Thursday September 9th from 12pm to 3pm. Outside of the DH Hill Jr. Library, Sand Pact, en-decay, JOB, and Mid Century Modular will be performing. There’s a few acts that will be playing multiple shows throughout the weekend that you can catch like BANGZZ; a punk duo from Durham, The Veldt; an alternative-shoegaze band, and Tongues of Fire; a heavy alternative band from Asheville. 

Day parties are a great way to spend the weekend, hanging out with friends and seeing live music, you can even discover your new favorite artist. I haven’t listened to many of the artists, but I am excited to go to some day parties and see different bands. One day party I’m already excited to go to is at Ruby Deluxe on Friday. Wednesday, an indie rock, shoegaze band from Asheville, NC is playing and their latest album, Twin Plagues, is one of my favorite releases from 2021. The album effortlessly blends blissful guitar sounds, heavy bass tones, classic indie rock guitar licks, and admirably raw and honest lyrics. The show will be outside from 12-5pm along with Google Dolls, BANGZZ, Tall Juan, and Spider Bags.

You can view the official day party schedule on the Hopscotch website to plan your weekend of shows! 

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Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview Festival Coverage

Bands to Watch at Hopscotch 2021: Patois Counselors

General Manager Maddie here to tell you all about a band I’m very excited to see play this year’s Hopscotch Festival: Patois Counselors.

Before I indulge in my own personal relationship to the band, the important information to know is that they’re playing Hopscotch tomorrow, Sept 9, on the Moore Square stage at 3:45PM. In terms of genre, they fall under the wide umbrella of “post punk”, so check ’em out if you like stuff like Parquet Courts or Gang of Four.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to tell you my story about the discovery of one of my favorite local bands. We have to go all the way back to October 2018, the fall of my first year at NC State. One of my favorite bands, Screaming Females, was playing a show at one of my favorite venues, the Milestone, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The only problem with this fantastic set-up was that I was stuck in Raleigh without a car. So, I got together with a friend of mine who had a car, agreed to skip my calculus class (the first class I ever skipped in college!) and we drove 2 and a half hours to see Screaming Females.

They were great, of course, but that’s not who I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about the second band I saw at the Milestone that night, a local opener called TKO Faith Healer. I didn’t have high expectations; based on the band name, I was expecting some sort of Southern garage-rocky type dad band. However, as they began playing, I found myself enjoying their music a lot more than I was expecting. I’m not gonna say it was like nothing I had ever heard before, but at this time in my life, I wasn’t really listening to bands like Wire or Powerplant much, and I certainly didn’t know how much I would come to love bands like that later on in my life. Besides being sonically interesting, they also played just an overall super clean and tight set.

Also, I have to add that their singer came out wearing an Amnesia Scanner long sleeve t shirt. I did not know who Amnesia Scanner was at the time, but now, I look back on this move and realize how cool it is. Any guy in an “indie rock” band wearing an Amnesia Scanner shirt is a cool guy.

Unfortunately, TKO Faith Healer didn’t have any songs up on Spotify at this point (and they sadly still do not, but they have one EP on Bandcamp), so I more or less forgot about them after the show. I’ve gotten better at this since 2018, but really, the convenience of being on Spotify is a selling factor on if I’ll listen to a band’s music or not- I know, I know, but I gotta make sure all my songs scrobble!

In October 2020- two years later- I was browsing Instagram and came across a post from Charlotte independent record store Lunchbox Records (the second best thing about Charlotte, with the first being the Milestone) that instantly captivated me. I’m a big album artwork guy, and my opinions on an album can strongly be swayed by the album art alone. I had one glance at the eerie, larger-than-life eyeball painting and knew I was gonna like the album. Also, the band was from Charlotte, and I’m always looking for more local bands to love.

I remember quickly going to Spotify and checking out songs from the band’s previous album, Proper Release, in anticipation of the new album. When the new album came out, I proudly uploaded some songs from The Optimal Seat into WKNC’s Local Lunch segment, because our local segment definitely needs some more post-punk.

Since then, the album has been a local favorite of mine, and I find new songs and parts to enjoy with every listen. Some of my favorite tracks are the super-danceable yet anxious The Galvanizer, and angular, jerky Give Me Voltage. I also still continue to be absolutely transfixed by the album artwork; it’s probably one of my favorite album covers of all time (you can see more paintings by the artist on her website, although none of them strike me like the red eye featured on the Optimal Seat).

Now, to get back to TKO Faith Healer- I’m not quite sure when exactly it was, but at one point, I thought back to the band I saw open for Screaming Females and thought they sounded familiar to a new band I had recently discovered. I did some research, and sure enough, TKO Faith Healer lead singer and Amnesia Scanner-enjoyer Bo White was the vocalist in Patois Counselors. While doing research for this post, I discovered White actually has a slew of other Charlotte bands under his wing- basically, I have a lot of new music to listen to.

But, for now, I’m gonna get ready for Patois Counselors’ performance by re-listening to the album that captured my attention from the first second I saw it. I hope you’re able to catch Patois Counselors’ set tomorrow, but if not, you can listen to their music anytime.

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Concert Preview Music News and Interviews

Phoebe Bridgers’ “Reunion Tour” Makes Some Changes

On September 3, 2021, Phoebe Bridgers’ “Reunion Tour” is scheduled to kick off. The name of the tour is a joke/followup after her first tour was titled “Farewell Tour.” She announced the tour on July 12 of this year, not exactly a last minute announcement but certainly cutting it close. Bridgers is doing some of the shows with openers MUNA, an indie-pop band signed to her record label “Dead Oceans,” and Bartees Strange, an alternative musician from England. The tour has recently undergone some changes in light of COVID-19, including some indoor venues being changed to outdoor venues. On August 23, Bridgers posted on Instagram with updated information regarding the alterations.

The caption reads: “Let’s try this again… In the interest of safety, I’ve decided to only play outdoors for the upcoming tour. We are moving all previously scheduled indoor shows to outdoor venues and we’ve needed to postpone shows in a couple cities so please check the updated schedule. At my request, there are updated health and safety requirements. Entry will require proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Where that’s not permissible by law, we’ll agree to proof of vaccination OR proof of negative test result (PCR preferred/Antigen accepted) within 48 hours prior to entering those venues. And please wear a mask. I love you. See you soon.”

She stated, on “Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast” that “I am slightly terrified [for tour], to be real, because I did it for three years straight really before the pandemic, and I got really good at it.”

Phoebe Bridgers is making her way to the Carolinas about halfway through her stops, coming to Charlotte and Raleigh, on September 19 and 21 respectively. Both of the venues were changed: the Charlotte concert was once going to be at The Fillmore and will now be held at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater, and the Raleigh show was going to be at The Ritz and will now be held at Red Hat Amphitheater. Both shows will have MUNA as an opener.

She is not the only artist to advocate for similar policies on their tour. John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, Jack Antonoff of Bleachers and Lucy Dacus have also instated alike guidelines on their tours or have stated the intention to.

The tour is scheduled to wrap up on October 24, in Atlanta.

I have tickets to the Raleigh show, and am tentatively going to attend.

Until next time,
Caitlin

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Concert Preview

Concerts We’re Looking Forward To

I could not be more excited (though albeit a little anxious) to get back into concert season. Even though I think it’s going to take a hot minute for me personally to feel comfortable enough to be squeezed up against hundreds of sweaty strangers, it’s nice to know that live music is slowly creeping its way back. Here are some of the concerts I’m looking forward to most, all within the Triangle area:

1. Japanese Breakfast

Date: July 26

Venue: Cat’s Cradle

The Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill really has an incredible lineup of concerts for this summer and fall. If you’ve been paying attention to our weekly charts, Japanese Breakfast has been at number one for the past two weeks, and for good reason. Her new album, “Jubilee,” is a work of experimental, indie-pop magic. The intimacy of the Cradle will only enhance the beauty of her discography.

2. Dead and Company

Date: August 13

Venue: Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek

Even though Jerry Garcia isn’t around to bless us with his sweet turtle face and otherwordly guitar skills, it’s pretty incredible that the Grateful Dead (and guests) are still touring. You’ll find all kinds at a Dead & Co show: ageing hippies, dad rockers, new age yogis and pretty much everything in between. I consider myself to have a little bit of all those personalities, so you can bet I’ll be there.

3. Jack Harlow

Date: September 14

Venue: The Ritz

The Ritz is one of my favorite venues in Raleigh. Any place that’s just one giant pit is absolute gold to me. There’s no doubt that seeing Jack Harlow in a place like that will result in some moshing injuries, but it’ll definetely be worth it.

4. Crumb

Date: October 16

Venue: Cat’s Cradle

Another gem at the Cradle. Crumb, best known for their hit single “Locket,” is one of the mellowest, most psychotropic bands on the indie scene today. If you’re interested in hearing more about them, DJ Psyched just did an interview with them last month on their newest album, “Ice Melt.”

5. Khruangbin

Date: October 23

Venue: Red Hat Amphitheater

This has to be the show that I’m most excited about. Khruangbin has been one of my favorite bands for the past couple of years, and seeing the trio at Red Hat will be even better. That’s where I experienced my first concert (Cage the Elephant in 2013), and I still feel that good energy every time I go there. The combination of their lo-fi psychedelia and the spacious lawn at Red Hat will make for a perfect concert experience.

I know it’ll be a little scary at first to get back into seeing live music, and I truly encourage everyone to stick to their comfort level. Some have already jumped back in, but I think it’s important to engage in big group activities like that at your own pace. Even though North Carolina is starting to open up again, there’s no shame in waiting for some of those later concerts to roll around.

Happy listening,

DJ Butter

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Concert Preview Festival Coverage Miscellaneous Music News and Interviews

Bonnaroo 2021: Who I’m Excited to See

After much anticipation, Bonnaroo is back in business. After rescheduling from last year (I think there was some sort of pandemic or something), Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee will be flooded with tens of thousands of fans from all over the world. And for good reason too. The lineup for 2021 is definitely going to be one for the books. The headliners for each day include Foo Fighters, Lizzo, and Tyler the Creator, who I would shovel out any amount of money to be able to see. Beyond the bigger names include a modge podge of artists ranging from folk to indie to rap, providing a unique taste for everyone there. Among these names, here are a few that I am especially excited to see. 

Megan Thee Stallion 
I’ll be honest, at my first glance of the lineup for this year I was a bit surprised to see Megan on there. When I usually think of Bonnaroo, artists like Tash Sultana, Cage the Elephant, and Tyler Childers come to mind. But the more I think about it, the happier I am to have the chance to see her there. All of Megan’s music has such an upbeat flow to it and I’m sure it will be a tough challenge for any artist to get the crowd more hype than she does. 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard 
This just seems like the kind of band that would be amazing live. With their eccentric guitar riffs and mellowed out lyrics, they make for a perfect midday vibe to bring the crowd together under the sun. 

Caamp
This band definitely holds a special place in my heart. I’m not a huge folk fan, but Caamp has a perfect balance of bluegrass with just a hint of modern rock sprinkled in. The main singer’s voice is raspy, but not too raspy, and their lyrics remind me of a life I used to dream of when a more adventurous writer occupied my mind when I was younger. 

Tame Impala 
Have you guys heard of them? It’s super underground, super indie, you probably wouldn’t like it. All jokes aside, Tame Impala is known to be amazing live and I would love a chance to see Kevin Parker shred the guitar. 

Resistance Revival Chorus 
This group has some of the most amazing harmonies to date. I’d say it’s a mixture of blues and folk. Their lyrics speak to a wide audience and they send a good message. 

Remi Wolf
The last one on this list goes out to Remi Wolf. Her music is a bit reminiscent of Still Woozy, with a funk bass to compliment her wide vocal range. Any song of hers could easily get the crowd dancing. 

These artists are only a few on this incredible lineup. Words cannot describe how excited I am to be in the middle of a tightly packed crowd all there to get the same, beautiful experience of a music festival. Rain or shine, Bonnaroo 2021 is happening and you’re not going to want to miss it. 
-DJ Chippypants

Image Creds: https://edmidentity.com/2020/09/16/bonnaroo-virtual-roo-ality-lineup/