While you’re reading this, assuming you’re reading this on Saturday, I’m at BottleRock Napa. I say. I keep giving up festival coverage because of my increasingly useless body form that crumbles faster than a Russian tank trying to get over a speed bump, but I start again.
Obviously, I’m going to take the easy way out and do a column of BottleRock acts, but since Friday is already behind us, I can’t include Metallica. To remedy this drama, do not hesitate to watch this video from their very first live performance of “Fixxxer” from their first 40th anniversary show. Ahhh, that’s the thing. It still gives me chills six months later.
With that out of the way, here are some acts I like that will be playing Bottlerock today or tomorrow. If you are there, check them out.
Mount Westmore — “Big Subwoofer”
Mount Westmore is kind of an underground rap group. So far they have only released three singles. But they generate a lot of buzz. It is made up of two Oakland rappers, Too Short and E-40; and two LA-area rappers, Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. You probably haven’t heard of it.
The good news is that these four absolute legends have the final spot on Saturday’s schedule. The bad news is that their set is on the second biggest stage, with the big stage going to Twenty One Pilots. This is — let’s be real for a second — absurd. On the one hand, 21 is way too many drivers, and it shows. Second, their music is not very good.
Anyway, tonight I see these four rappers. At a time. Don’t be too jealous.
Tom Morello and Grandson – “Hold the Line”
Grandson is the festival one, not Tom Morello, but it was my first exposure to him and also one of my best songs of 2021, so I used it as a video. If you don’t like it, get your own column.
I realize I’m a little late if I just found out because of Tom Morello. After all, our very own Mike DeWald had covered one of his shows in 2019, interviewed him for his podcast, and recently interviewed him again before his Sunday set. But in my defense, new music that isn’t Fantastic Negrito (whose set was yesterday) or Ghost isn’t usually my jam.
Either way, it’s good! You should listen to his stuff. After all, he is endorsed by Tom-Morello.
Moonalice – “The Time Has Come Today”
Yes, Moonalice was founded as a vanity project by a billionaire venture capitalist after his previous group broke up with other wealthy techies. Let’s face it, it can be a bit confusing. Surprisingly, however, they are good! [Gokhman note: This is the kind of oversimplification that leads to wrong assumptions. I’ll start with one correction: The frontman of this band is now Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers, which is why you’re listening to that song above].
I mean, honestly, it’s not this amazing. They’re a bunch of great musicians from the 60s and 70s playing retro music from that era – it’s gotta be awesome. Yeah, their leader is a rich guy, but the rest of their chops hold up.
Unfortunately, I won’t see them as they are scheduled against Mount Westmore. Although it’s true that if Dr. Dre makes an appearance, they’ll also include a billionaire.
Bahamas – “You Don’t Want Me”
I saw the Bahamas at Outside Lands in 2018 and it was pretty awesome. Her vocals are incredible and compelling, and her largely chilled-out set is a stark contrast to the usual festival fare. I highly recommend checking it out.
That said, probably listen to his stuff first. His OSL set was pretty funny in that a group of people expected something light and tropical and got their baritone, so they strayed a song or two away. Then, as the set progressed, a totally different group of people showed up and seemed to really dig it. The name doesn’t exactly convey a clear idea of what you’re going to get.
Metallica – “No Remorse”
I included a Metallica song after all.
To anyone who saw Metallica’s set last night, I obviously don’t know how it went because I’m writing a few days ago, but please know that I hate you. I hate you so much. I hope you enjoyed it of course, and I hope you gave the band the audience it so deserves, but also I hate you.
I just wanted to let you know. You assholes.
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet him column ideas at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.