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Decisions, Decisions: Bonnaroo's Toughest Set Choices

by Photo of Chelsea Perrotty

The hardest decisions concert-goers will make, such as Foals or Grizzly Bear, what will you choose?

Decisions, Decisions: Bonnaroo's Toughest Set Choices

You've been waiting in agony for weeks and weeks for the dirtiest, best, and most music-filled camping trip you will ever experienced. Well, the time has come, it has finally arrived.

Yep, it's Bonnaroo 2013

With an absolutely impressive lineup, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Mumford & Sons are just three of the superb bands playing, the weekend is definitely one nobody will forget. 

However, with all these great bands, there are bound to be some conflicts throughout the weekend. When it comes to a schedule snafu, how will you choose which band to see? 

Well, I've gone through and found the most notable conflicts and am here to help you through those grueling decisions.

Thursday, June 13

HAIM 7:30-8:30 "That Tent" vs. Walk the Moon 7:45-8:45 "The Other Tent"

Talented Los Angeles sisters HAIM will be playing at the same time as Ohio-based Walk the Moon. The decision truly is a tough one, one of many upcoming this weekend. You always have the option of watching HAIM for 15 minutes and then running over to try and catch the beginning of the Walk the Moon set. However, who really wants to run from tent to tent in the middle of performances and fight the crowds on top of that? Not this girl.

Although I do really truly want to see HAIM perform live sometime soon, I'd have to go with Walk the Moon because the band is lighthearted, fun, and awesome to dance to. Plus I am dying to see "Anna Sun" live and Bonnaroo would be the perfect time for this to occur. As talented as HAIM is, starting your night off dancing and bouncing with the crowd to Anna Sun sounds like the way to go. 

Winner: Walk the Moon "The Other Tent" 7:45-8:45pm.

Friday June 14th

Local Natives 2:30-3:30 "What Stage" vs. Charli XCX 2:15-3:15 "The Other Tent"

LA-based indie favorite Local Natives goes up against synthpop/indietronica newcomer Charli XCX on Friday. They have skewed schedules, with Charli XCX starting 15 minutes before Local Natives, giving you the chance to do the "run from tent to the stage" thing. However, that's totally not the best option.

Though I'd absolutely give Charli XCX a try if she weren't in a conflicting time spot, however, Local Natives have won me over in this battle. 

Winner: Local Natives "What Stage" 2:30-3:30

Foals 5:15-6:30 "This Tent" vs. Grizzly Bear 5:30-6:45 "Which Stage"

Coming in at opposite sides of the pond are Brooklyn-bred Grizzly Bear and Oxford-born Foals. It kills me that these two bands are at conflicting times because they're both bands I would want to attend the entirety of their sets. I'd highly consider doing the "half at one show half at the other" for them. 

As is the way of the world, however, I have to pick a winner and this time it is definitely Foals. Maybe I'd be able to catch Grizzly Bear at Lollapalooza

Winner: Foals 5:15-6:30 "This Tent"

The xx 11:30-12:45am "Which Stage" vs. ZZ Top 11:30-1:30am "This Tent"

This pairing, though slightly odd, is one that some people will absolutely have to make. When you have to choose between seeing The xx and ZZ Top it basically comes down to old school versus new school. Do you wanna grove along to the smooth melodic tunes of The xx or rock out with the bearded men of ZZ Top.

As much as I would love to rock out to "Sharp Dressed Man," like I used to in my "Rock Band" days, I absolutely pick The xx. 

Winner: The xx 11:30-12:45am "Which Stage"

Saturday June 15th

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls 3:30-4:45 "That Tent" vs. Portugal. The Man 4:00-5:15 "Which Stage"

Another tough pick to start off the day, we have British singer/songwriter (plus back up band) Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls versus Portugal. The Man. This matchup, skewed by about a half hour, is definitely a difficult decision. While Portugal. The Man has the indie crowd hooked, Frank Turner never ever puts on a bad show. 

Worse comes to worse, I would recommend people go see Turner for the first half hour then make their way to Portugal. The Man. However, I would choose to see Turner's whole set. 

Winner: Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls 3:30- 4:45 "That Tent"

R.Kelly 11:30-1:00am "Which Stage" vs. Billy Idol 12:00-1:30am "That Tent" vs. "Weird Al" Yankovic 12:00-1:30am "That Other Tent"

Here is our first and only three-way tie of the weekend. R.Kelly vs Billy Idol vs Weird Al is a weird three-way tie, however, all three artists are worth putting into the fight. R.Kelly is, well, R.Kelly, and he's worth seeing since who knows what he will do. Billy Idol is worth it because, he's Billy freaking Idol. Weird Al is worth it if you want to dance and laugh for an hour and a half.

The choice, truly, is a tough one, however, I think that as fun as Weird Al would be and as, erm, interesting R.Kelly could be, Billy Idol is a classic and totally wins my vote. 

Winner: Billy Idol 12:00-1:30am "That Tent"

Sunday June 16th

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 2:30-3:30 "What Stage" vs. David Cross ft. James Adomian 2:45-4:00 "Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre" 

In two totally different realms comes this comedy/music hybrid matchup of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis versus David Cross (aka Tobias Funkë on "Arrested Development") featuring James Adomian. With this competition, the choice comes from whether you want to laugh at a comedy show or dance along to the musical stylings of Macklemore.

While David Cross would be hilarious to attend, I think I'd rather start my day off with a massive dance party.

Winner: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 2:30-3:30 "What Stage"

The Mowgli's 5:20-6:10  "New Music on Tap Lounge" vs Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero's 5:30-6:45 "Which Stage"

Newcomers The Mowgli's are up against the indie bigwigs Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero's for this matchup. Both artists are talented and you could watch The Mowgli's and still catch most of the end of Edward Sharpe's set. 

Though catching all of Edward Sharpe's set would be amazing, the Mowgli's prove to be a fantastic up and coming band and since they're newcomers that means a smaller show since not that many people know of them. If the show is smaller, less people are there, proving to be a more intimate experience, a hard thing to find at a festival. 

Besides, who wouldn't want to dance around like a crazy person to "San Francisco" by The Mowgli's?

Winner: The Mowgli's 5:20-6:10 "New Music on Tap Lounge" 

The National 6:30-8:00 "What Stage" vs. Ed Helms' Bluegrass Situation Superjam with Special Guests 7:15-8:45 "That Tent"

Ending the weekend comes indie music veterans The National versus Ed Helms and his bluegrass Superjam. Now, some people might be looking at this matchup and being like pfft easy, The National wins hands down. However, Ed Helms has promised "special guests" for the show. Who could those guests be? The mystery, honestly, is what piques my interest. 

However much I want to say I'd be intrigued enough to attend all of the Ed Helms performance, the shows are scheduled so that if you attend all of The National's, you could still catch the last 30-40 mins of Ed Helms' show. 

Winner: The National 6:30-8:00 "What Stage"

What do you think of my picks? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section!

Let CHARGED.fm find you last minute tickets to Bonnaroo 2013!


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