Bottlerock 2022: 5 Undercard Acts Not to Miss
Photo: Abby Orons
Summer festival season is back in full force, with BottleRock Napa Valley returning this Memorial Day weekend with a lineup boasting headliners Metallica, Twenty One Pilots, and P!nk, to name a few. Located in the heart of California wine country, BottleRock provides attendees the ideal combination of top-tier music, food, and who can forget — wine.
While the festival headliners are sure to close out each night with explosive performances, the undercard packs an impressive punch of quickly rising talent. Ones to Watch has curated a hand-picked list of acts to keep your eye on so you can say “I knew them back then.” Whether you’re looking to spend your holiday weekend dancing in the northern California sun to sizzling summer pop or sipping on chardonnay in the shade with an easygoing indie track, these five up-and-coming artists have got you covered.
If summer was a sound, that sound would be Tai Verdes. Springy guitar lines, layered vocals, and bubbly pop melodies give Verdes all the parts needed for some absolutely addictive summer listening. We may not know his setlist yet, but it’s a safe bet that hits like laidback “Stuck in the Middle” and serotonin-in-a-song “A-O-K” are sure to create an irresistible dance party when they are inevitably played. For those who can’t make BottleRock, queue up some Verdes to inject yourself with these undeniable summer vibes.
For those of us looking to play up the sad summer vibes, look no further than Allison Ponthier. The self-described wide-eyed misfit joins the BottleRock lineup in the midst of touring in support of Lord Huron. Sitting somewhere between singer-songwriter, pop, and country, Ponthier is just as comfortable with dreamy, acoustic guitar-driven ballads (see “Harshest Critic” and “Faking My Own Death”) as she is with twangy, edgier tracks (see “Late Bloomer” or “Cowboy”). Ponthier’s heart-on-her-sleeve lyricism and angelic vocals will leave you with the perfect mix of getting in your feels and up on your feet.
Fresh-faced Niko Rubio is about to be your source for all the hard-hitting, dance-worthy alt-pop you could want this summer. Serving up pop with a bite, Rubio infuses her songs with thumping percussion, expansive vocals, and ethereal melodies for a simply hypnotic effect. A native Californian, Rubio provides the quintessential summer soundtrack to driving down a sunny freeway, screaming like “love me ‘til you hate me,” at the top of your lungs.
Searching for something more hip-hop adjacent to add to your summer playlist? Give Justus Bennetts a spin. This North Carolina native brings a compelling blend of genres that doesn’t sound quite like anything you’ve heard before. Drawing on witty wordplay, anthemic arrangements, and bouncy percussion, Bennetts’ tracks like the biting “Bad Day” and pop-punk-steeped “Don’t Trip” give a distinct coming-of-age movie montage feel to launch you into the summer.
Want to sink your teeth into some funk-infused pop? Look no further than singer and bassist Blu DeTiger. After garnering massive success with her bass renditions of popular songs on TikTok, DeTiger has been holding her own with a slew of singles and EPs that deliver pop with an earworm groove. Full of playful angst and infectiously groovy, songs like “Figure it Out” and “Blondes” showcase DeTiger’s talent for genre-bending with an edge that feels all her own.