I love music, but I'm a pretty lackadaisical music finder and follower. I must attribute much of my keen and sophisticated musical taste to friends* who have made me mixes over the years**.
When I went to Bonnaroo for the first time in 2009, it was a turning point in my music-listening journey. All of these musicians were right at my fingertips, bands I had never heard of or bands I kind of knew. More than once, I'd be listening to a set and hear a song from one of my friends' mixes. It was like putting faces to names.
At the time I had only heard one or two Grizzly Bear songs. I told my friend that she should go with me to see them, but she was caught up listening to someone else. I walked to the tent alone in the aftternoon sun, backpack in tow, and was able to wind my way through the crowd and close to the stage.
It was my favorite concert of the festival, definitely the most memorable. They were the one band who convinced me to buy their album when I returned home.
This past year, I had almost exactly the same experience with War on Drugs, and now I can't get enough of them.
*Shout out to Micah and Ben!
**Make me a mix, and you will make me happy.