The Bottlerock music festival in Napa released its schedule this week. Hey Listen! Host Nick Brunner shares his take on the gathering, happening May 22-24. Find a full list of artists here.
Personally, I hate festivals. The heat. What passes for restrooms. Even modest amenities require a loan officer. ("I'm sorry, sir but THIS bottle of water is for Ultimate VIP wristbands. YOUR wristband comes with our premium dehydration experience sponsored by Verizon.") Anything with a "Ultimate Platinum Experience" makes me run for the nearest grimy stage in the darkest dive bar, thank you.
Nevertheless: Bottlerock! This week the festival announced the lineup for its eighth year and some of the best acts are further down the list. So rather than blackout on moscato while your friend Alan scream-sings the lyrics to "Ants Marching," here are a few acts to take the edge off.
Headliner: The Red Hot Chili Peppers
What NOT to miss:
Going strong since 91. Old school, jazz-laden hip-hop (with a nickle-bag of funk).
Dancy power pop. Pure and simple.
The Haden Triplets
Warm, three part harmonies. Folk music that calls to mind the golden era of Hank Williams. The Triplets' second album is due out late this month.
Headliner: Stevie Nicks
BUT! Be sure to see:
She is hands down, the reason to be at Bottlerock on Saturday (and perhaps at all). That Janelle Monae is riding sidecar to Miley Cyrus just proves that what's right isn't always popular. If you're going, do not miss this powerhouse.
The Proto-punk pioneers shouldn't have to tour anymore but I'm happy they do.
Eric B. & Rakim
Eric B. is (still) President.
Headliner: Dave Matthews Band
Lucky for you there's also...
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
Riding high on the heels of two stellar albums (2018's "Oxnard" and 2019's "Ventura") not to mention last year's debut record from The Free Nationals, .Paak will have a serious bag of tricks to draw from this year.
Trampled By Turtles
Between a lonesome country fried sound, clever wordplay and a sense of humor makes this band stand out in a field of Americana. Lucky you should the group breakout their cover of this Radiohead gem...
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
High energy soul out of Austin, Texas.
Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers
From NPR's Tiny Desk to touring Australia, Sacramento's own super-duper star plays Bottlerock after a big 2019.