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5 must-see artists from the Bonnaroo Club Stage lineup

English band Skinny Lister is among the highlights of the Bonnaroo 2014 Club Stage lineup.
English band Skinny Lister is among the highlights of the Bonnaroo 2014 Club Stage lineup.
Photo by Kevin Winter

If an already stacked Bonnaroo 2014 undercard wasn't enough to break you out in conflict hives, this week they announced their 2014 Club Stage performers, which is the new name for the two Cafe stages from previous years, and it's one of the most high profile ones in Bonnaroo history. While the focus is still on up and comers for the Club Stages, many of these up and comers are already pretty far up and others have been touted as potential breakout stars for 2014.

Here are 5 of the top bands from the Club Stage lineup that should be in your viewing consideration:

Animals as Leaders

2014 is already one of Bonnaroo's stronger years for metal with main stage artists Meshuggah, Mastodon, and Deafheaven bringing the thunder. The metal lineup got even stronger with the addition of DC-based instrumental metal band Animals as Leaders. Led by 8 string guitar wizard Tosin Abasi, Animals as Leaders have been highly received by fans and critics alike for their highly technical but still melodic albums. Considered, along with Meshuggah, to be at the bleeding edge of the djent music scene, Abasi is being hailed as the next great metal guitar master by many. Their Bonnaroo 2014 show is sure to bring a ton of energy.

Skinny Lister

Officially listed as a British folk band on most websites, that label does very little justice to Skinny Lister. While there's certainly a folksy traditional thread in the band's songs, their live presence and energetic music videos put them much more in line with The Pogues or past touring partners Flogging Molly than with Fairport Convention. Their songs can best be described as pub music, the big choruses, clapping hands, and stomping feet evoking images of a bar full of rowdies singing along with the house band. This should be one of the biggest Club Stage parties of the weekend and a great chance to hit the B'rooers Tent on the way to the stage and raise a pint along with the band.

Diarrhea Planet

Quite possibly the stupidest band name on the whole Bonnaroo lineup hides one of the fastest rising stars on the Nashville rock music scene. Having taken Music City by storm, Diarrhea Planet has set out to conquer the rest of the world. Their 2013 album "I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" garnered very positive reviews from the likes of Paste and even the normally stodgy NPR. While nominally placed in the punk genre, Diarrhea Planet is what happens when a punk band decides to take on some of the excesses of hair metal and then see how far they can push it. Like their name, it sounds strange. But it works. These guys have been gathering huge buzz after every festival appearance and there's no reason to believe Bonnaroo won't be one more.

Roadkill Ghost Choir

Florida's Roadkill Ghost Choir has taken the gentle folk-pop of bands like The Lumineers and injected a much needed steeliness into the mix. The groups dark melodies and even darker lyrics have led critics to draw comparisons to such diverse influences as Tom Petty and Radiohead. Their 2013 debut EP "Quiet Light" has gotten a lot of notice and garnered the band a coveted slot performing on The Late Show with David Letterman. With a new album dropping this year, it may be a good chance to hear some new music from a band poised to break out in 2014.

Fly Golden Eagle

Road to Bonnaroo 2012 winners Fly Golden Eagle are proof that winning a slot on the Bonnaroo lineup can launch a career. Since their 2012 Bonnaroo appearance, Fly Golden Eagle has toured relentlessly to ride that publicity wave. A slot in support of current white hot act Alabama Shakes further cemented the electro-rock band's rise as one of Nashville's biggest exports. 2014 finds Fly Golden Eagle doing a takeover blitz of the festival circuit. In addition to Bonnaroo, the band will be playing Shaky Knees, Bunbury, and Lollapalooza.

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