With the 2017 BottleRock lineup including heavy hitters like Maroon 5, Foo Fighters and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, it’s easy to miss all of the amazing up-and-coming bands playing at this year’s music festival.
Though main stage acts are cool to catch, it’s good to remember most of them started on smaller stages before they made it big.
As with most festivals, it’s hard to choose where to head and which new bands to see, when so many different ones are hitting the stage at the same time. So, we took a look at the long list of more than 80 bands on this year’s lineup poster, and picked a few toward the bottom of the list that we think you’ll be glad you made a detour to see.
Why you should catch them: Formed from the remnants of Drop, Dead Gorgeous, a band who played on The Vans Warped Tour and all throughout the United States, the members of 888 leave behind gritty guitar riffs and raspy vocals to form a new project.
The band is composed of former Drop, Dead Gorgeous singer Danny Stills, drummer Danny Cooper and synth player Aaron Rothe.
Though the trio continued with the mentioned instrument roles, with the exception of Stills joining in on the synth and moments when all members pick up a pair of drumsticks, their sound is nothing like the previously mentioned band.
The group’s new tunes are layered in synthesizer beats, melodic vocals and catchy hooks with infectious beats and are bound to have you dancing along.
Song you hope they play: What a better anthem to cut loose at a festival than “Gold,” with the opening lines of the song boasting “a creature of the night, anything goes.”
Fun fact: Though the band no longer plays hardcore music, the members still do some serious headbanging during live sets, so much so that their hair appears permanently freeze framed.
Recommended if you like: The Unlikely Candidates, Vinyl Theatre, Night Riots.
Why you should catch her: With an electric stage presence and commanding voice reminiscent of a young Florence Welch, Bishop Briggs is a must-see act at this year’s festival. The London-born singer, whose stage name is inspired by the town in Scotland from which her parents hail, started writing her own songs at the age of seven after discovering her love for performing at a Karaoke bar in Tokyo.
At the young age of 24, she speaks well beyond her years and writes soulful, heart-wrenching lyrics speaking of self-reflection. Briggs has contagious, high-powered energy during performances that’s hard to match. Try and keep up with Briggs during her set but be warned, the singers’ feet hardly seem to touch the ground as she leaps around the stage.
Song you hope she plays: While the song “Darkside” speaks of pain and putting up a cold front to keep from getting hurt, the lyrics also explain Briggs’ writing style as she chants “Welcome to my dark side, we’re going to have a good time.”
Fun fact: No horses were harmed in the music video for “Wild Horses.” Despite the song name, the video for the song features plastic carousel horses instead of live ones.
Recommended if you like: Tove Lo, Halsey, Florence and the Machine.
Why you should catch them: After spending the majority of last year playing big-name festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Fuji Rock in Japan, the seasoned Bay Area festival champions Con Brio return to Northern California to play a hometown festival. Singer Ziek McCarter’s dance moves rival those of a young Michel Jackson and pair beautifully with the remaining six-piece band members. The San Francisco-based number has an infectious and catchy sound that’s bound to have you craving funk tunes for weeks after you see them. Though the band has catchy high- energy brass instrument driven songs, some songs touch upon hard subjects such as the Black Lives Matter movement, with songs such as “Free & Brave,” a political anthem inspired by the death of McCarter’s father at the hands of East Texas police.
Song you hope they play: “Money,” which McCarter wrote about financial struggles while trying to pursue his dreams, is both relatable and danceable with a catch clap-along intro.
Fun fact: Con Brio means with great energy and vigor in Italian, and by the end of this band’s set, you’ll understand why the name is relevant.
Recommended if you like: James Brown, Royal Jelly Jive, Pimps of Joytime.
Why you should catch them: Daydreaming though decades of time is the best way to describe the Los Angeles-based trio Dreamers. The group blends pop, punk and psychedelic riffs to create a genre the band refers to as “cosmic rock.”
With hazy, at times gritty and an illustrious story telling video elements to songs, the band leaves you feeling as though you’ve just woken up from a nap with refreshing new takes on rock n’ roll. Since the group’s start back in 2014, the band’s had a somewhat manic touring schedule and were playing festivals long before dropping a full-length album, which shows just how infectious and energetic their sets are.
Song you hope they play: “My Little Match,” an older track from the band’s self-titled 2014 EP, is a bit more punk-inspired than the rest of the band’s songs and is fun to bounce around to.
Fun fact: The video for the song “Wolves,” was shot during a marathon one-day session at a biker bar in New Jersey and edited together with animations singer Nick Wold made on his laptop.
Recommended if you like: Arkells, Finish Ticket,Talkie.
FITZ & THE TANTRUMS
Why you should catch them: Chances are you’ve heard the Fitz & The Tantrums single “Hand Clap,” on the radio over the past few months. With the mix of two singers, creative brass instrument arrangements and catchy contagious lyrics, it’s no surprise the band’s songs have often been featured in commercials and earned them spots on Festivals such as Las Vegas’ Life is Beautiful and Chicago’s Riot Fest.
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific musical category for the band’s sound: at times their songs scream indie pop, but their tunes also feature funk, soul and blues elements.
The band’s set offers a little something for everyone. Live shows often include crowds of all ages. It’s the perfect band to drink a beer with your parents or cut loose with your college friends.
Song you hope they play: No Fitz & The Tantrums concert or painful trip to the DMV would be complete without “The Walker,” a song with a video featuring an aggressive reaction to the line at the DMV.
Fun fact: “MoneyGrabber,” off the band’s first album Pickin’ Up the Pieces, was used in an episode of the TV show Criminal Minds in 2010.
Recommended if you like: Passion Pit, Young The Giant, Neon Trees.
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