Despite public sentiment, Prince is not playing Bonnaroo this year. How can this be rectified? Must Mercy Lounge and BMI book The Artist Currently Known As … to compete in its annual Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th series — where eight (mostly) local bands go headstock to headstock, battling it out for a blue-ribbon booking at one the nation’s biggest music festivals? Tonight marks the last of three RTB 2012 rounds. Of course, this is the real world, and at least at press time, Prince isn’t on the bill, thus keeping the playing field level. In the dawn of the RTB series, locally established bands like The Features and The Protomen handily sailed to victory. Now that acts of such stature have either gone on to win the competition or make it onto a Bonnaroo stage by other means, this year it’s anyone’s game. The bill is an evenly matched bracket of bands including power-poppy blues-rockers Oh No No, fellow blue-rockers The Electric Hearts, Carter-era revivalists Captain Midnight Band, returning Americana RTB contender Courtney Jaye, bleeding-heart-on-sleeve pop-rock quartet Ravello, hook-heavy, hip-shake-inducing indie-rock troupe Fly Golden Eagle, body-rock outfit Sol Cat and Escondido, the new duo featuring local fashion designer Jessica Maros and local song designer Tyler James. —ADAM GOLD
Personally, I like Fly Golden Eagle. But that shouldn't come as any surprise. As always, the 8 off 8th is free and kicks off at 9 p.m.