Eaux Claires 2017 Preview

In 2015, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Aaron Dessner of The National teamed up to bring a music festival to Eau Claire, in Vernon’s home state of Wisconsin....
Eaux Claires

Eaux Claires 2017 Preview

In 2015, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (QRO live review) and Aaron Dessner of The National (QRO spotlight on) teamed up to bring a music festival to Eau Claire, in Vernon’s home state of Wisconsin. Eaux Claires showcases musicians from the region & beyond, Friday & Saturday, June 16th & 17th:



Lake Eaux Lune

Chance the Rapper, 10:45 PM – 11:45 PM

Two mixtapes, 2012’s 10 Day and 2013’s Acid Rap, have launched Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper (QRO photos at a festival) into the big time (like an endearing Kit Kat commercial, and his Chicago-sponsored South-by-Southwest showcase in 2015 was shut down due to massive overcrowding – QRO recap). He comes to Wisconsin (QRO photos) to headline Eaux Claires (QRO photos at a festival) behind his latest collaboration, last year’s team-up with Jeremih, Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama, and his Grammy-winning mixtape, Coloring Book. Book was the first streaming-only album ever to get a Grammy nomination, let alone a win – oh, and he also won the Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance!
Chance the Rapper
Bon Iver presents John Prine & The American Songbook, 7:15 PM – 8:30 PM

Festival organizer Justin Vernon – a.k.a. Bon Iver (QRO live review) – has recruited classic folk songwriter John Prine for Eaux Claires ’17. The venerable artist first emerged in the Chicago folk scene of the seventies (discovered by Kris Kristofferson), and has never stopped – not even cancer on his neck in 1998 could stop him, though did add some gravel to his voice. He’s racked up awards, as well, including induction into the Grammys Hall of Fame in 2015!

For Eaux Claires, he will be doing ‘The American Songbook’, so look for some quintessential Americana from this quintessentially American artist.
John Prine

Julieta Venegas, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Music for The Long Emergency, 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Julieta Venegas


Sylvan Esso, 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Durham, North Carolina indie-pop duo Sylvan Esso (QRO photos outdoors) have moved up very fast (QRO photos at a festival) since the release in 2014 of their eponymous debut full-length, with well-titled follow-up What Now (QRO review) just out.
Sylvan Esso
Tweedy, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

Before he headlines Saturday as frontman for Wilco (see below), Jeff Tweedy brings his solo performance to Friday at Eaux Claires ’17. Well, actually it’s a team-up with another Tweedy, his son & drummer Spencer, who together in 2014 put out Sukierae.

This Is the Kit, 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM QRO photos at a festival

This Is the Kit

The Creek

S. Carey and Glenn Kotche, 9:30 PM – 10:15 PM

Two drummers perhaps best known for their work in bands team-up at Eaux Claires ’17. S. Carey is best known as the drummer in Bon Iver (QRO live review), but Sean is a solo artist in his own right (QRO photos at a festival), with 2014’s excellent Range of Light (QRO review). Glenn Kotche is the phenomenal drummer for Saturday headliners Wilco (see below), who’s worked with everyone from Kronos Quartet to a commercial for Delta Faucet. Expect drum solos.
S. Carey

Glenn Kotche

Francis & The Lights, 6:30 PM – 7:15 PM

Francis Farewell Starlite brings ‘The Lights’ (both on stage & on computer) to Delaware. His debut, Farewell, Starlite!, finally came out last year – oh, and he’s previously worked with Friday’s headliner Chance The Rapper (so good chances of a guest appearance, like at Boston Calling last month – QRO recap). At Eaux Claires he’s featuring Inc. No World.


4 Guitars, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

People Mixtape Vol. 1, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Francis & The Lights

Real Bulls, 9:30 PM – 10:15 PM

cup, 6:15 PM – 7:00 PM

Happy Apple, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Trever Hagen & Jon Westerlund, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

Happy Apple


EXC TBA, 6:45 PM – 12:00 AM

Mountain Man, 5:15 PM – 5:45 PM

The female a cappella singing trio of Mountain Man brings Appalachian folk to the valleys.
Mountain Man
The Autumn Defense, 3:45 PM – 4:15 PM

The Autumn Defense, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Begun as a side-project by John Stirratt of Saturday headliner Wilco (see below), The Autumn Defense (QRO spotlight on) have become something much more since recruiting Wilco multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone (QRO interview with both). Their sound (QRO live review) is so sweet that it doesn’t need to rock, like most recently with 2014’s Fifth (QRO review). They play twice in a row at Eaux Claires ‘17 (QRO photos at a festival).


2 Banjos, 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
The Autumn Defense




Lake Eaux Lune

Wilco, 10:15 PM – 11:45 PM

For alt-country, there’s pretty much Wilco (QRO live review outdoors), and then there’s everybody else. The Chicago stars, led by singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy (see above), but also featuring bassist John Stirratt, multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone (the two of whom also form The Autumn Defense – see above), guitarist Nels Cline (QRO photos), drummer Glenn Kotche (see above), pianist Mikael Jorgensen, and more (like “Jesus, Etc.” – QRO video), have played everywhere from Conan at home to “Far, Far Away” (QRO video). They’ve also been excellent for so long (QRO live review outdoors) that their set lists are mammoth (QRO live review) and still can’t cover everything (QRO live review) from the late greats like “I’m the Man Who Loves You” (QRO video) to more recent material off of Sky Blue Sky (QRO review), Wilco (The Album) (QRO review), The Whole Love (QRO review), Star Wars (QRO review), and Schmilco (QRO review), like “Hate It Here” (QRO video). The quintessential American band (QRO live review) comes to headline Eaux Claires ’17 (QRO photos at a festival), so look for the full Wilco (QRO live review), as they play it all (QRO live review).
Danny Brown, 7:15 PM – 8:30 PM

Detroit rapper Danny Brown (QRO photos at a festival) earned serious critical acclaim in 2011 with XXX, SPIN’s hip-hop album of the year (QRO photos at SPIN party). He’s since gotten even bigger (QRO live review), even as he got older with 2013’s Old and last year’s Atrocity Exhibition.
Danny Brown
Perfume Genius, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Seattle’s chamber-pop artist Mike Hadreas (QRO photos) comes to Eaux Claires as Perfume Genius (QRO photos at a festival).


s-t-a-r-g-a-z-e Mixtape vol. 1, 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Perfume Genius


Paul Simon with yMusic, 8:30 PM – 9:45 PM

If you’re going to Eaux Claires Festival, you know Paul Simon (QRO photos). As one-half of Simon & Garfunkel, he came up in the sixties folk scene with such classics as “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Bridge over Troubled Water”. After going solo in the seventies, he’s released a long string of hit records, including 1986’s African-inspired Graceland (QRO deluxe edition review), one of the greatest records ever, and most recently last year’s chart topping Stranger to Stranger.

For Eaux Claires ’17, he teams up with New York City sextet chamber ensemble yMusic (QRO photos outdoors).
Paul Simon
Feist, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

When Canadian indie broke out, no one broke out more so than Leslie Feist (QRO photos at a festival) with iPod ad tune “1,2,3,4” and The Reminder (QRO review). Putting some bossanova into accomplished indie, she even flirted with Stephen Colbert (QRO live review of the NYC show right after that). After all the attention, Feist (QRO photos) took some time off, but returned with a flourish in 2011 (QRO live review) thanks to the well-received follow-up Metals (QRO review). Another disappearance, another highly anticipated return with this year’s more challenging Pleasure (QRO review), and now comes to Eaux Claires (QRO photos at a festival).
Spank Rock, 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM

The dirty & notorious Spank Rock (QRO photos at a festival) heads to Eaux Claires, as the Brooklyn art-hop collective (QRO photos in Brooklyn) – which includes the incredible Amanda Blank (QRO photos) – takes their high-energy show to Wisconsin (QRO photos at a festival). Watch out, ‘cause somebody gonna get pregnant…


Collections of Colonies of Bees, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Spank Rock

The Creek

Velvet Negroni, 9:45 PM – 10:15 PM

Mouse on Mars, 6:30 PM – 7:15 PM

Big Red Machine, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

People Mixtape Vol. 2, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

Velvet Negroni


s-t-a-r-g-a-z-e Mixtape vol. 2, 9:30 PM – 10:15 PM

This Is the Kit, 6:15 PM – 7:00 PMQRO photos at a festival

Trever Hagen Mixtape Vol. 1, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Zebulon Pike, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

This Is the Kit


EXT TBD, 9:45 PM – 10:15 PM

Sam Amidon Mixtape Vol. 1, 6:45 PM – 7:15 PM

Sam Amidon Mixtape Vol. 2, 5:15 PM – 5:45 PM

From a highly musical family, Sam Amidon (QRO photos) makes his way from the folk sounds of Vermont back to the folk sounds of Wisconsin.
Sam Amidon

Mountain Man, 3:45 PM – 4:15 PM

EXC TBD, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Hrrrbeck, 12:15 PM – 12:45 PM
Mountain Man



For festival website, go here: http://eauxclaires.com/