Ten Must-Sees at the Bunbury Music Festival 7/12–7/14

Bunbury logoIt’s easy to judge a festival by its headliners in the same way that you’d judge a book by its cover. That bold face, large-size print hits you in the face and begs all of your attention. Resist! We’re of the notion that the best part of festivals is inviting new bands to take up residence on your list of favorite aural fixations.

Here’s our top ten list of bands to see at Bunbury Music Festival this weekend. Some of these bands you’ve probably heard of, some are local favorites, and we admit, one is a verifiable cast of all-stars. Regardless, they’re all must-sees, and we anticipate these are the names you’ll be reading in bold face very soon. You might as well get ahead of the curve and hear them now, when you can get up close and intimate at their shows, right?

Beginning the Bunbury experience at 2pm on Friday is The Mitchells, a group of Cincinnati siblings that double as skilled songsmiths, whose alternative folk sound is grabbing a lot of attention from the local crowd.

North Carolina natives Delta Rae take the Main Stage at 4:15. This sextet, comprising siblings Ian, Eric and Brittany Holljes, as well as Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee, and Grant Emerson, could win you over with their vocal harmonies alone. Factor in the percussive elements of their sound that recalls old Southern music, and you’re theirs—hook, line and sinker.

Walk the Moon have been blowing up since 2011’s single “Anna Sun” put them on everyone’s radar. Their sound is perfect for summer soundtracks, showcasing catchy beats laced in synth next to sexy bass lines. Paint your face and catch them at the Main Stage at 7:45.

Touring in support of their second full-length album, Garage Hymns, Chicago natives Empires deliver their colossal sound straight to your ears on Saturday at 2:45 on the Main Stage. With this new album comes a grittier, more honed-in, raw sound. Take note: these guys are going places. You can catch them again later this year at Riot Fest in Chicago.

Directly following Empires, we suggest you head over to the Bud Light Stage to catch Vacationer at 3:30. Empires no doubt got your blood pumping, but Vacationer, the chill side project of Kenny Vasoli, is sure to slow you down and make you wish you were lying on a beach somewhere, toes in the sand and a cold beverage in your hand.

The Mowgli’s have that quintessential California vibe going for them, despite the Midwest transplants that account for nearly half the band. Their music effortlessly blends multiple genres as they slip between indie rock, pop, and country. You can catch them on the Bud Light Stage at 5:00.

The Columbus duo twenty one pilots knows how to get the crowd buzzing. They’re over-the-top in all the right ways. Take their hometown show, for instance: they got tattoos on stage, had a professional ballerina perform, and crowd-surfed. We’re hoping they bring some of that craziness to the Main Stage at 5:45.

You don’t need us to tell you why you need to see Divine Fits. This foursome is made up of some of the most prominent musical minds there are to offer: Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner, Sam Brown, and Alex Fischel. Since forming in 2011, they’ve been catching everyone’s ears, be it at their own headlining shows or at festival performances. We think this is only the tip of the iceberg for the rockers, and that’s why you need to catch them at 9:00 on the Rockstar Stage.

Our hometown sweethearts, Bethesda, are sure to win your hearts, too, on the lawn at 3:30 on Sunday. The indie darlings recently released their newest album, The Reunion, and have been relentlessly touring in support of it. The band gets candid about love and loss on the album, and their music will draw you in through the spellbinding performance of their firecracker of a front woman, Shanna Delaney, as she showcases her vocal prowess before whirling like a dervish into a fit that can only end with the tambourine being beaten into the ground.

Savoir Adore creates dance music that pairs electronic elements with some straightforward, beautiful vocals. They’ll get you grooving, even if the rest of the weekend that precedes their 5:45 appearance on the Amphitheater Stage has left you tuckered out. Consider them the soundtrack to your second wind.

With over eighty acts, Bunbury Music Festival has a lot to offer you this weekend. We hope to see you out there and look forward to hearing who you caught that you thought was really spectacular.  

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