The Best, The Mess & The Rest: Big Ears 2022

An enormous electronic bass drop, an impossibly high falsetto run, a slinky blues guitar solo: These are your typical “holy shit” moments at popular music festivals. (Pick any one you want: At this point, they’re basically all minor variations of each other.)

Here are some “holy shit” moments I experienced at Big Ears 2022: a percussion quartet abusing string instruments, a composer conducting violent jazz-metal, a “transnational” indie pop band mingling electronics with violin and pan flute. As always, there is nothing conventional about this festival, an event so wonderfully weird that lumping it in the same bracket with the world’s Coachellas feels almost insulting.

Did the seventh Big

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