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Bonnaroo 2013 Super-Review (NCFNN, MM)

25 Jun 2013

written by No Country For New Nashville

bonnaroo13

Bonnaroo Super-Review

No Country for New Nashville:

Mod Mobilian: Borland Does Bonnaroo

 

Day 1: Thursday

Matt – No Country for New Nashville

After settling in around lunch time on Thursday, it was time to check out the Asheville, NC post rock outfit Asian Teacher Factory. I gave them a shout out during my preview post, and I was pleasantly surprised. I expected this quartet to pull out more of a jam band sound than the Bandcamp links that I found, but their set was packed with solid post rock which perfectly complimented the tempermental Thursday afternoon weather. Next up was DIIV at This Tent only to find out that they cancelled. Not surprising after seeing the giant Mickey Mouse t-shirted Beach Fossil guitar prodigy Zachary Cole Smith at the DIIV set at Exit/In last September. However, this left me in the prime position to check out some awesome twangy gospel from New Orleans singer songwriter Andrew Duhon.

Bonnaroo 2013 Andrew Duhon

Andrew Duhon. Photo by Brad Hochstetler

Satisfied for the moment, it was time to wander off for a couple of beers before Ariel Pink took on the This Tent. The Los Angeles based definition of a hipster, Pink, ran through a series of tracks sounding like they were pouring out your grandmothers Buick. It was time for a meal before the evening truly took off. The next stop was a swing through for the femme rocking Deap Vally, but it was time to get set for Django Django. The British elecro rock group was one of the reasons that I journeyed to the farm early this year, and they did not disappoint. The incredible energy of their live show had the overflowing crowd going bananas. When they finally get a Nashville date, you should make this a very high priority. It was time to race across to get a spot for Japandroids. After talking to a number of people after the show, position mattered for this one. Perched sidestage in an incredible spot, this show was everything that I wanted it to be, however, others far out from the stage were less impressed. Regardless, if you get another chance to see this hard driving rock band in another small Nashville club, it should not be missed. While momentarily confused (I blame $7 Miller Lite), I wandered across the farm to check out Alt-J, but was serenaded by the soulful pop music of Father John Misty. It was good, but, after the confusion cleared, it was time to head back to my previous locale to see if Alt-J could redeem themselves after my Cannery Ballroom let down… let’s just say I’m a Django Django fan. Apparently a lot of other folks were more excited about math rockers Maps and Atlases at the smallest tent of Thursday night, because you couldn’t find an angle to see. Thursday night came to an end with anticipation of one of the best Bonnaroo’s yet.

Philip – No Country for New Nashville

The drive to ‘Roo was the easiest time I’ve ever had getting in. Granted, I took the secret back roads route the press coordinator supplied, so I cheated a bit. Still, I made it in in time to catch just about everyone on my Thursday agenda. I’ll get more in depth later, but here’s the quick and dirty:

I made a point to catch a few songs from Milo Greene. Admittedly, I didn’t know much beyond the couple of singles I’d heard, but they were solid performers and a fantastic kickoff to this year’s fest.

twenty | one | pilots are a band that have long been on my radar, but that I had never gotten a chance see. I knew they were getting a lot of buzz, but the size of their crowd, especially for an afternoon set on day, was insane. The energy was insane too– the singer was diving off of pianos, climbing lighting scaffolding, and more!

I always love catching the smaller bands, which is why I focused so much energy on individually spotlighting them in the months leading up to BonnarooOn an On are a band I wasn’t familiar with before writing about them, but one that struck me and stood out in my memory. I found myself watching them on the tiniest stage with a small, but enthusiastic, crowd and they were pretty stellar. Give this band a listen!

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Ariel Pink has had a pretty hit or miss track record with “solo” performances and, since he was billed sans Haunted Graffiti this time around, I checked him out with lowered expectations. He played well (and had a full backing band – not sure if it was THG or not), and he’s good at what he does, but seemed kind of grumpy and didn’t have much of a crowd. Is chillwave dead? Probably.

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I caught the end of HAIM, another band I wasn’t familiar with beyond a few tracks, and was really impressed. They’re really lively and had a super enthusiastic crowd dancing the whole time.

Walk the Moon have been riding the success of “Tightrope,” and it’s turned the indie rockers into a pretty solid festival force to be reckoned with. The Ohio group only recently catapulted to mainstream success, but worked the stage like they’ve been doing this for years.

The first time I saw Purity Ring, a couple of years ago, the duo had yet to release an album, and only had a limited performance history. They were a bit disappointing. Clearly a few years and a healthy amount of touring has paid off. I’m a huge fan of their music, and, finally, I felt their performance matched it in quality. The confidence, energy, and ability to tweak the songs just enough to keep them sounding fresh paid off in a big way. Absolutely one of my favorite bands of the day!

As much as I love Japandroids, I was a bit let down by their set. Not because it was bad- it was actually pretty amazing. It was because I caught the group at Exit/In back in November and the intensity of their performance style just doesn’t translate on a gigantic stage the way it connects in a small club. Great band, but catch them on a solo tour rather than a fest if you have the option!

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Apparently the entirety of Bonnaroo has boarded the alt-j train. I shouldn’t be surprised- the group sold out Cannery Ballroom not long ago at lighting speed. I’m a big fan of alt-j’s music, but I felt like the energy wasn’t all there. Maybe it was just the 11:30 crash of a long day and the fact that I was all the way in the back, but for a band so great and with so much hype, I just expected more.

I ditched alt-j a bit early to catch the last couple of songs from Maps & Atlases. I’d only ever seen the group in basements and dive clubs, so seeing them at a festival felt weird. The great sound quality at ‘Roo really let their incredible, mathy indie sound shine and showcased their chops. Also, props on the “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” cover.

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Killer Mike was not only my most-anticipated Thursday act, but also ended up being my favorite. I was pretty bummed when the rapper’s opening spot for Big Boi in Nashville was abruptly cancelled but, thankfully, his Bonnaroo debut made up for it. The ATL rhyme-smith ripped through a solid set- mostly pulling from last year’s critically acclaimed R.A.P. Music. He’s an old school, no frills, real deal MC and he’s one of the dopest artists in hip hop. With a ton of great rappers present at ‘Roo, Mike really set the bar high.

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Killer Mike

I was seriously dragging by the start of The Vaccines 1AM set, but I’m a big fan and made a point to catch a bit of it. Their over-the-top energy and driving, rock and roll sound was almost enough to wake me back up. These guys are seriously solid performers and were a great contrast to some of the more trendy, indie acts on this year’s lineup.

 

Borland – Mod Mobilian

Thursday featured mainly smaller acts, providing an opportunity for people to walk around and explore. Many fans expressed their surprise at the ALO set when Jack Johnson guested on a song. Texas based band The Polyphonic Spree held perhaps the most surprises of the night.

While listed on the official lineup, the Polyphonic Spree was not actually featured on a main stage. Instead, the band performed a note-perfect rendition of the entire Rocky Horror Picture Show score in the Cinema Tent, prior to the screening of the movie. The Cinema tent was filled to capacity, forcing many fans to enjoy the music from the fire exits located on the sides of the building.

The Polyphonic Spree announced a surprise set would occur at 2 a.m. According to Inforoo, fans petitioned Bonnaroo for a Polyphonic Spree rock set. A temporary stage depicting a boom box was erected for the band in the middle of Centeroo next to the fountain.

Polyphonic Spree performed several original songs, such as “Light and Day/Reach for the Sun” and “Two Thousand Places.” The encore including a surprise cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium” replete with trumpet and trombone swells as well as cello and keyboards.

(Courtesy Lauren Logan and The Polyphonic Spree)

“If you’re tripping right now, just remember that it will go away eventually!” lead singer Tim Delaughter informed the crowd.

Day 2: Friday

Matt – No Country for New Nashville

Friday got started early with a check in at the media tent for the official announcement that Jack Johnson would be replacing Mumford and Sons as the Saturday night headliner. This included a couple of stripped down (if there is such a thing) songs for the press in attendance. We pepped things up a bit afterwards with an inspired set by Alanna Royale that definitely brought some new fans to the Nashville soul standouts. A few passing moments were spent with southern favoriteJason Isbell & the 400 Unit en route to check out British pop phenom Charli XCX. You should mark your calendars for September 24th when this incredible songwriter rolls into Nashville’s Mercy Lounge. Heading back to check out the smooth twangy rock sounds of local Rayland Baxter was a pleasant change. After a quick recharge, it was stroll throughs for Grizzly Bear and Foals en route to the obligatory Wilco set.

Bonnaroo 2013 Wilco

Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler

After seeing Wilco a number of times now, it amazes me how they continue to keep things interesting and the fans engaged. However, I had no idea what was about to happen when Sir Paul McCartney finally took the stage. The 70+ year old Beatle tore through 37 songs over three hours with close to 100,000 singing along to absolutely mesmerize any music snob out there. Philip has a stand alone review of this one, so I’ll leave the full review to him. After McCartney, there was little that was going to impress, so the rest of the evening was taking my overpriced beer for a walk around the farm, while checking out The XXZZ Top, & the hip hop Superjam featuring numerous members of Wu Tang Clan, Solange, and Lettuce. Sleep beat out the desire to see Animal Collective or Pretty Lights again, and two more days of music lay ahead.

Philip – No Country for New Nashville

Feeling the effects of Thursday, I made a point to get an early start just for my homies (and friends of the site) Alanna Royale. Of the many, many stellar Alanna sets I’ve had the pleasure of catching, this might just have been the best. It’s amazing to see so many talented locals representing, and Alanna did Nashville proud. It was really impressive to see such a solid and enthusiastic turnout so early as well! Now taking bets on how long it takes Alanna to make it to the main stage.

1012741_473033882774163_1168116360_nAlanna Royale

British pop singer Charli XCX is an artist I’ve had my eye on for awhile. She was instrumental in the success of Icona Pop and she’s doing the electronic pop thing in a way that appeals to fans of the EDM scene, but retains enough pop song structure to appeal to broader mainstream radio. She turned out to be a really incredible and fun performer to boot, refreshingly backed by a band and not just a DJ or track. She also covered the Backstreet Boys, so there’s that.

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After Charli, I did a bit of afternoon stage hopping. I wandered to Of Monsters and Men just in time for their performance of breakout single “Little Talks”- just enough to tide me over. They’re great, and I’d love to see them in an environment where I can actually better see and here the specifics of their performance. After OM&M I watched a bit of Passion Pit (er, rather, napped in the shade across from Passion Pit). The indie group has become a main stage act in an impressively short amount of time and their performance proved why; they sounded amazing!

Foals might have won the day in hype. Of the many similar indie acts of the bill, they’ve been my favorite so far. I was kind of shocked at how gigantic their crowd was, but good for them! They also seemed to be one of the bands most talked about, Instagram’d, and tweeted. Another case where I only know a few of their songs well, but, after this, I’m sure I’ll find myself spinning them a lot more often.

More wandering brought me to a bit of Grizzly Bear. They’re a great band and I’m a fan, but I’ve seen them at several festivals and didn’t prioritize checking out much of their set. I ended up catching a bit of von Grey, a young Atlanta folk group made up of four sisters who seem to be poised to explode. Their performance skill is unreal, full of harmonies and pop sensibilities. Bonnaroo’s smallest stages are the most-often overlooked, but truly do host some of the fest’s best talent.

I’m sure Jessika will have much more to say about Wilco, but the legendary Chicago rockers certainly didn’t disappoint. The block of their performance I caught was more or less like a greatest hits performance, and I loved it! Calexico joined the group for a couple of songs as well, which was great since I didn’t get a chance to catch their set earlier.

It’s always a tough decision at fests whether to stay put and get a better spot for the big headliner (McCartney), or to bounce between stages to catch everyone you’re excited for (Wu-Tang). I took a gamble on the latter, and, in transit caught a bit of LA hip hop dup Cloney. I was curious to see how the mysterious group, which performs in suits and George Clooney masks, would come across live. They were pretty great, very Beastie Boys-esque in delivery! In fact, they were so technically sound that I found myself questioning whether or not the gimmick was really necessary.

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Cloney

Bonnaroo was the third time I’ve properly caught the Wu-Tang Clan and was, perhaps, their most over-the-top throwback set yet. They blasted through all of the usual tracks from 36 Chambers and gave the whole Clan (plus some additional guests and posse) opportunities to shine. As much as I wanted to see them bring the entire ruckus, I made the decision to ditch a little early to claim my spot for Paul McCartney.

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It should come as no surprise, but Paul McCartney was hands down the best thing about Friday night, all of Bonnaroo (I’m calling it now), and, possibly, my entire life. The former Beatle is inarguably one of the most gifted songwriters to have ever lived, and still, after all these years, one of the most talented performers in the world. His voice is still incredible, almost identical to how it sounded decades ago, and his energy and humor is entirely intact. His performance lasted nearly three hours, and included just about every Paul-penned Beatles track, Wings song, and solo McCartney song you could imagine. Nearing the end of the set, the singer busted out the pyrotechnics for “Live and Let Die,” which transitioned into all-around fireworks and confetti canons by the very end. I’ll write about the singer’s set in-depth in the coming days, but it was truly spectacular; likely to go down in Bonnaroo history.

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McCartney ran long and getting 50,000+ people out of one spot is not a quick task, but I still managed to get out in time to float to some late-night sets. I wanted to see more of The xx, but settled for just a few songs instead of fighting through their massive crowd. What I heard of their set seemed like they opted to perform more of their downtempo, brooding tracks instead of their dancier ones. Also, they had giant lasers that they shot into the sky like canons, visible through all of ‘Roo.

In transit to the Hip Hop Superjam, I made two pit stops. First, I just couldn’t resist the spectacle of ZZ Top. They seem so oddly of place, but fit so strangely well at ‘Roo. They were fun, but after a long day (and the insanity of McCartney), I was pretty wiped out. Next, I made it to the New Music On Tap Lounge just in time for Luxury Liners. Another band that piqued my interest during pre-fest previews, I was a bit surprised to see him DJing rather than playing. He finished the set on guitar, however, and sounded great. I’ll definitely be making a point to catch a full set in the future.

Next to McCartney, my most anticipated Friday performance was the Hip Hop Superjam and It. Was. Awesome. Though the lack of Earl Sweatshirt (who was also slated to perform earlier in the day, but cancelled entirely) was disappointing, the strong Wu Tang presence made it worthwhile. I’ll report back with a full list of guests (I only caught about a third of it), but between the RZA, Schoolboy Q, and Method Man and Red Man, this Bonnaroo first was incredible enough to hopefully become a recurring event in the future.

1005968_473039166106968_116160385_nHip Hop Superjam

We’re all stoked for the last two days. In addition to the great performances, we’ve had a chance to see some great press-only sets from Jack Johnson (the last minute headliner replacement after Mumford & Sons’ abrupt cancellation) and Portugal. The Man. More cohesive, in-depth coverage coming up this week. If you’re at ‘Roo as well, have fun and stay hydrated!

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Portugal. The Man

 

Jessica – No Country for New Nashville

After wandering Centeroo a bit to hear a little of this and a little of that (Of Monsters and MenFoals, etc.), I plopped down in a prime spot to enjoy the sweet sounds of one of my most favorite acts of all time, Wilco. I was instantly reminded of the last time I saw Tweedy and his merry men in Manchester: on this very stage, at a very similar time of day, the Sunset Set. There’s something positively magical about watching the sun slowly start to sink into the horizon as you enjoy some of the greatest contemporary American songwriting around. Things got started with “Poor Places” from the legendary Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and the whole set was in fact, YHF heavy — which was just fine by me. Highlights I caught included nearly all of my favorites, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” “Handshake Drugs,” and “California Stars” (with Calexico, bonus awesome abounds!). And, just as I felt that it was time to head over to the Which Stage to catch a little Wu-Tang Clan and I slowly started to mosey across the field, the band started up my #1 all time loved of their catalog, “Jesus, Etc.” It was a little too perfect for words and kept me hanging around through another fave, “Via Chicago” – a song Tweedy joked about as perfectly designed to “bum us all out on a perfectly beautiful day.” No bummer here though, nothing could harsh my mellow as I made my way back through the zombie crawl that is the tracks between the What stage field and the rest of the happenings (speaking of – can anyone explain to me why it gets inexplicably muddy in these crossings? Actually, maybe I don’t want to know…)

The Wu-Tang Clan did not disappoint. They for sure ain’t nothin’ to fuck with. Having had a high school boyfriend who once owned pet rats named after the various members of the Wu-Tang ranks, it’s safe to say I’m pretty much an expert on their body of work (read: possess only a working knowledge based mostly on viewings ofChapelle Show and snippets overhead via boys that tried to “act hard” to impress me in my teens). I will say they were infinitely more entertaining than their rodent counterparts and quite the showmen. I was totally bought in as I watched the crowd throw their hands in the air and lose their collective mind. Even without a holographicODB, the surviving members of Wu-Tang were totally larger than life and their ASL interpreter was insane good, totally bringing back memories of Nine Inch Nails‘ “farewell performance” a few Roo’s back where I was transfixed watching their interpreter sign the lyrics to “Closer”. Check out this year’s ASL translator doing her Wu-Thang below…

After a little time with the Wu, I high tailed it back through the cross-over to the What stage field to grab my first of far too many arepas and get prepped for Sir Paul McCartney. And man, oh man. So, while I had fairly recently seen the “cute” Beatle blow it up (pyro and all) at Bridgestone and his Bonnaroo set was essentially the same, both song for song and incidental anecdotes alike — absolutely nothing beats a sing-along to “Hey Jude” with 80,000 folks all sharing a moment many thought they may never live to see. In this melodic instance we were all connected to a living legend and to one another, we were taking a sad song and making it better, we were “Na na na, na na, na na na na, hey Roooooo!” And while the man did play far too muchWings and solo material (seriously, who says “play more Wings!” Yeah, no one) he also gave the people exactly what they wanted. And he serenaded a stuffed walrus! The cute is almost too much to handle! “Let It Be,” indeed, friends. Oh yeah — and then this happened… and it was good.

fireworks

After Paul’s third(!) encore, I headed back to the camp to get prepped for the second half of my Friday – Bonnaroo after midnight! The hypnotic grooves of The xx helped me transition into a more expanded state of mind prepare for the spectacular spectacle that is the aptly named, Pretty Lights. The photo below in no way does justice to the insane laser show I soaked in as our editor caught some much needed Z’s. Needless to say, I was hyped as I made my way through the crowd, glow sticks raining from the sky, paper lanterns floating out into the night.

prettylights

Dizzy from the day’s events, I peaked over at what was happening at the Animal Collective set and was glad to see they were finally getting their after dark gig they so rightfully require. Were those giant octopus tentacles? I was reminded of Lady Gaga‘s (shit, I wanna see her at Bonnaroo!) fame monster puppet and Beetlejuice’s sand worms all at once. I felt a little creeped out and decided to see what the Ferris Wheel line looked like at nearly 3am because when/where else can you ride a giant illuminated Ferris Wheel in the middle of the night? Hell to to the YES.

Borland – Mod Mobilian

Friday was arguably the best of the festival. Wilco appeared thrilled to be opening for none other thanPaul McCartney on the main stage. The alt-country ensemble ripped through hits like “Impossible Germany,” “Shot in the Arm,” and “Jesus Etc.”

“Next up is Paul McCartney, but we are completely unfamiliar with any of his work,” Wilco lead singer and guitarist Jeff Tweedy quipped.

Excitement was already in the air an hour prior to McCartney’s performance as the main stage screens scrolled black and white photos of the rock legends’ youth. By the time the former Beatle appeared onstage and began performing “Eight Days a Week,” the crowd was at fever pitch.

The 70-year-old rock legend entertained the audience with stories of his life in between songs. McCartney related how his friend Jimi Hendrix learned and performed “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” two days after the album was released. Not only was this significant, but McCartney and Eric Clapton were in the audience during the legendary show. Hendrix discovered his guitar was out of tune and famously requested Clapton to come onstage and tune it, although Clapton refused.

Gems like this are evidence of why seeing McCartney live is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The man has rubbed elbows with the likes of Bob Dylan and Super Furry Animals. McCartney spryly traversed the stage, digging deep into both the Wings and Beatles catalogs.

“Just let me take a minute to soak this up,” McCartney said as he walked the stage and surveyed the crowd.

Many Beatles songs were performed live for the first time on this tour including “Lovely Rita,” “Eight Days a Week,” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” More Fab Four hits were thrown in such as “All My Loving,” “Blackbird,” “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” “The Long And Winding Road,” “Paperback Writer,” and “We Can Work It Out.”

McCartney paused several times to acknowledge the deceased. The first was a tribute to John Lennon in the form of a song written about conversation he was never able to have with his old friend. The next was a tribute to George Harrison with a version of “Something” beginning on ukulele and expanding to a full rock rendition. McCartney dedicated “Maybe I’m Amazed” to his late wife, Linda.

The James Bond soundtrack hit “Live and Let Die” was the biggest climax of the night with nonstop pyro and fireworks during the instrumental portions. After the audience sing-along “Hey Jude,” McCartney disappeared from the stage before returning for the first of three encores.

In addition to “Helter Skelter” and “Day Tripper,” the final encore contained nearly the entire Abbey Road medley, beginning with  ”Golden Slumbers.” As McCartney thanked the crowd, canons dispatched streamers and confetti into the sky.

The night was far from over. ZZ Top performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” during a well-received set, and Animal Collective played ambient mood music with a huge inflatable stage setup. Electronic musician Pretty Lights performed two full hours over his set time, ending just as the sun was peaking over the trees at 5 a.m. The DJ’s mash-ups of Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and a remix of the Bob Marley song “Exodus” kept fans jamming well into morning.

 

Day 3: Saturday

Matt – No Country for New Nashville

Saturday began late for me with an absolute shredder of a set from hip hop phenom Death Grips. I had heard enough about him in the post SXSW aftermath, and I was blown away by the sheer energy that this solo MC con DJ act brought to the stage. Next up was a total find, when I strolled past the Sonic Stage to check out a set from Kaleidoscope Space Tribe pulling off an incredibly tight set of Talking Heads covers. Of course, they didn’t remain unknown for long when they told this uninformed audience member that they also operate under the moniker “Walk The Moon“… bet you know them now.  Break time lasted a bit longer than expected, and kept me out of the fray until Bjork. Again, this was a pick of the festival, just based on the lack of appearances in Nashville. However, I couldn’t believe the energy of the international pop star. It was sweet and powerful and beautiful and experimental all at the same time… “tank you”.  Next up was Nashville’s SIMO, who absolutely shredded that little stage in the middle of Centeroo. The in-demand local session man, J.D. Simo, could have taught a number of the higher billed artists in Manchester a few licks last weekend, and the ever growing crowd immediately recognized the virtuosity by (unsuccessfully) chiding festival organizers to give SIMO “one more song”. The Lumineers were likely the biggest winners of the Mumford and Sons cancellation when all of the folk-pop starved fans absolutely packed the Which Stage to the biggest capacity this long time Bonnaroovian has ever seen. Next it was time to embrace out some of my New Orleans heritage with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and, man, was I ever excited when Jim James came out to sing “St. James Infirmary”.  Surely, there will be some video surfacing in the coming weeks, but you can get an idea of what it sounded like here. We checked in briefly for an beautifully moving and hypnotic set from local guitar virtuoso William Tyler and a bunch of local studs backing him up. Really, nothing all weekend (save McCartney) had anything on the amazing Rock N’ Soul Superjam featuring Jim James, John Oates, the aforementioned Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sly & The Family Stone bassistLarry Graham, Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard… and even included stop in’s by the already warmed up Billy Idol and R. Kelly who performed only moments before in their solo acts. Needless to say this clearly made up for anyone that was disappointed by the Mumford & Sons cancellation. After one last beer to keep our collective spirits flowing, we wandered back out to check out the instrumental mastery of Led Zepplin with Brooklyn band Bustle In Your Hedgerow, where we had another surprise guest appearance with Brittany Howard filling in the Plant lyrics.

Philip – No Country for New Nashville

After a morning writing session and press performance from Portugal. The Man (which resulted in my last recap), I made it to the Which Stage just in time to catch the end of Cults. For me, Cults are one of those bands I really enjoy, but often forget about. After such a great performance, especially for so early in the day, they’re sure to stick out in my mind more often from here on out. They really commanded the crowd on every song, not just breakout hit “Go Outside” (but that was pretty epic as well).

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Though I had no realistic expectation that Paul might be hanging around at the Miller Lite Lounge, I checked out his son James McCartney, a singer whose music I’m only vaguely familiar with, just out of curiosity. James has the voice (and, to an extent, appearance) of his father, and he wasn’t bad. The stage presence just wasn’t there. I know how incredibly hard it must be to exist in the shadow of such a great artist, but that’s the fact of the matter. Perhaps if I had seen James before Paul, it would have been easier for me to appreciate. James is good at what he does, but what he does isn’t as much up my alley.

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After James, I spent a few minutes watching Nashville local Rayland Baxter. I’m ashamed to admit, it was my first time catching Rayland- and he was a real treat. His honest, laid-back delivery (he was even sitting down), nonchalant style, and real-deal country-tinged folk songs were a great, unpretentious addition to Bonnaroo lineup. Nashville had some serious talent on this year’s bill, and Baxter certainly did us proud.

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Lord Huron is a band I fell in love with early in my Bonnaroo preview write-ups, and one of my most-anticipated acts of Saturday. I wish I had gotten a bit closer, but, nonetheless, they were really fantastic. They didn’t let the indie cowboy shtick overshadow their genuine performance chops, and their storytelling performance style really connected hard with the true fans in the crowd.

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Another of my most-anticipated, Death Grips, really tore the place down. They delivered hands-down the most agressive, explosive, intense, and unpredictable set of the entire fest. Their not-quite-rap, not-quite-hardcore sound, angry and socially-conscious themes, and uncontrollable presence got the crowd as riled up as I’ve ever seen them, erupting into a nonstop mosh pit. Frontman MC Ride is a larger-than-life stage presence, able to singlehandedly incite chaos, and provide thematic weight to every ethereal growl.

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After  a break, I caught a bit of Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. Frank’s an old favorite of mine, and an artist I’ve seen everywhere from dingy basements to various festival stages over the past several years (he was even hand-selected to perform the London Olympics’ opening ceremony). His folk-punk sound has really grown into something more evolved and confident, with universal appeal, and his performance chops have been refined by years of relentless touring. He’s one of the best, most consistent artists making music today, and seeing Turner performer some of his newer material for the first time at ‘Roo was one of my highlights.

1017588_473410606069824_984101598_nFrank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

After a bit of Turner, I made a break for the New Music On Tap Lounge to catch perhaps my most-anticipated country artist on the bill, Daniel Romano & the Trilliums. Despite the fact that he’s Canadian, the singer looks and carries himself like he just stepped out of a time machine from 1970′s Nashville. He channels a golden age country sound, a bit of an outlaw demeanor coupled with honkey tonk-twang, but able to land a real emotional resonance. Romano and his band sounded great, and really committed to their performance, but I couldn’t help but feel like they took the retro-country act a bit too seriously and it sort of detracted from their genuine performance talent.

184586_473412132736338_1602088912_nDaniel Romano & the Trilliums

Though I had caught them first thing in the morning, I stopped by the main stage to get a glimpse of Portugal. The Man‘s proper set. I’ve been a fan of this group since their early, tiny venue days and, though I knew they’d gotten much bigger, I was still a bit shocked to see just how massive an afternoon crowd they were able to draw. Their performance was pretty unreal sound-wise, and tracks from their new record, Evil Friends, really stood out.

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After a bit of Portugal., I ran to the main stage for Nas. Have I stressed enough how great a year this was for hip hop? This was my first time seeing the NY rap legend, and he lived up to every ounce of his reputation. Even from relatively far away, the performance felt personal and electrically charged. Nas flirts with the line between real, no-BS MC work and mainstream-accessible hip hop, and does so like no one else. From a technical standpoint, he absolutely killed it, but he also kept the momentum and strong hooks running throughout, giving even casual or uninitiated fans something to grasp onto.

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I spent a bit of time chatting with locals JEFF the Brotherhood (feature coming soon), before running in circles like a madman, trying to catch the ludicrously stacked lineup of Saturday night headliners. I’m a big Beach House fan, and absolutely loved their show last fall at Marathon Music Works, so I made a point to catch a bit of the dreamy indie rockers’ set. The crowd was so huge that I could barely see, but they sounded incredible!

1003647_473416432735908_387878011_nBeach House

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Bjork‘s music, but felt compelled to check her out for spectacle alone- and oh, the spectacle abounded. She had a choir, the songs I heard where all drone-y and experimental, but sounded even more modern their her music I’m most familiar with, and she screeched and worked the stage like a being from another planet. Oh, and she looked like this:

DANNY_CLINCH-0491Bjork (via Danny Clinch/Big Hassle)

I’m a fan of The Lumineers, but, by the time they hit the stage, I was feeling the effects of three straight days of ‘Roo catching up with me. I spent most of their set sitting in back in the grass, making friends with the people around me and casually listening for songs I knew. The bit of the set I caught up close was great, and the rest sounded really refined and wonderful- it’s pretty amazing that they’ve become so big so quickly. As big as their crowd was, it almost seems like bumping them to Mumford’s spot might have made more logistical sense. I think Jack Johnson is good at what he does, and have some nostalgia for his earlier work, but opted to spend his set resting up for the late-night performances and giving my brain a break.

The first late-night set I caught, one of my most-anticipated of all of Bonnaroo, was R. Kelly. I’m still not exactly sure how seriously R. Kelly takes himself, or how ironically vs. sincerely most people enjoy him, but I was definitely there for the comedic value, coupled with the singer’s legitimate talent. R. Kelly did not disappoint in the outlandishness department. He entered above the stage on a crane, performing about a third of his biggest hit, “Ignition (Remix)” before spending a good five minutes in relative silence getting back down (this is after 20 minutes of pre-performance hype building). He mostly blasted through his biggest songs in the chunk of the set I caught, and his butt-of-many-jokes sing-speak stage banter came out in full force (“Can I get a towel, so I can wipe my faaaace?” was repeated for about five minutes). I was throughly entertained and, really, that’s what it’s all about, right?

1001322_473424126068472_746114063_nR. Kelly

Though I’m not the most hardcore Billy Idol fan in the world, the singer is a legend in his own right and one I’ve never had the chance to see live. I caught just enough of his packed set to tide me over, though my reluctance to get stuck in the crowd kept me from a spot I could see or hear the performer well.

Confession time: I spent my pre-teen and teenage years OBSESSED with “Weird Al” Yankovic. If you know me, that probably explains a lot. In fact, Al was my first proper concert. Despite the fact that I’ve seen him several times before, I HAD to catch his late-night ‘Roo set; my first Al concert in quite a few years. Rushing over after a bit of Idol, I made it to Yankovic’s set in time for classics like “Amish Paradise,” “Fat,” and “White & Nerdy.” The singer pulled out all of the stops- including his many costume changes and bizarre video clips between songs. He performed a few tracks I’m not as familiar with or fond of (his Lady Gaga parody “Perform This Way” and The Doors-style “Craigslist”), but the encore of “Yoda” with an ever-extended version of the band’s bizarre chant break more than made up for it. Fan or not, Al is an entertainer everyone should make a point to catch at least once in their life.

1000541_473425569401661_383110328_n“Weird Al” Yankovic

Though I’m surprised I could even stand at this point, I stumbled over to catch some of the Jim James‘ curated Rock N’ Soul Dance Party Superjam in the tent next to Al. I made it in time to see (or, well, hear, because I couldn’t get nearly close enough to see much of anything) surprise guest spots from Billy Idol, R. Kelly, and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, before finally admitting defeat and calling it a night.

 

Borland – Mod Mobilian

Saturday provided even more surprises as headliners Mumford and Sons canceled due to health issues. Jack Johnson filled the Saturday headlining slot in their stead. Other mainstage sets includedBjork, Nas, and Gov’t Mule. The evening consisted of Billy Idol, Weird Al, and the Superjam at the tent stages.

Of the three scheduled super jams, perhaps the most exciting was Preservation Hall Jazz Band withJim James of My Morning Jacket. Other guests included John Oates and Zigaboo Modeliste ofThe Meters. The musicians performed a stellar version of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).” Empire of the Sun drew a huge late night crowd, closing out the evening.

 

“It’s unbelievable we get to share the stage with people we’ve influenced and who’ve influenced us. That’s true beauty.  That’s why we do what we do,” Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band said.

 

Day 4: Sunday

Matt – No Country for New Nashville

I’m not going to lie. I was hungover on Sunday morning. Three days of Bonnaroo were taking their toll, and there was only one cure for that pain… a bloody mary and endless crowd surfing during an absolute burner of a session by Jeff The Brotherhood. Having seen the bros quite a few times now, it was awesome to see them own one of the biggest tents at the festival in the middle of the afternoon. With giant red inflatable “used car lot floppy men” as a fitting decoration, the two piece turned to a four piece just in time to watch Jake hand off his three string to the front row of the crowd, and boggle the minds of the overworked security by taking his own turn crowd surfing. Another long break lead me back out into the masses to catch a bit of the Australian psych rock outfit Tame Impala, but it wasn’t enough to keep me upright. I gave Divine Fits and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros a try, but that wasn’t fitting the bill either. The Bluegrass Superjam put a bit of pep in my step though with a stomper of a good time turning That Tent into a good ole fashioned hoe down. The rain finally started again during Tom Petty. He looked old, I felt old, the songs sounded old… Paul McCartney owned it, Tom Petty allowed me to get some much needed rest.

Philip – No Country for New Nashville

Sunday should have been my slowest day at ‘Roo- my body certainly would have thanked me. Yet, somehow, I managed a second wind and had the busiest day of the whole weekend. I kicked the final afternoon off with Nashville transplant and up and coming country star Kacey Musgraves. Kacey reminds me of an alternate timeline Taylor Swift, had Swift doubled down on her country influences and allowed her thematic focus to grow with her age post-Fearless. Swift isn’t exactly a fair comparison, however, because the Texas-bred Musgraves has a deeper affinity for real, old school country than many of her country radio peers. Though the tracks on her major label debut, Same Trailer Different Park, have poppy/crossover potential and are more conventionally in-line with contemporary country (still the cream of the crop in contemporary country, mind you), it was Musgraves’ decision to bring her band in close, whip out the traditional instruments, and blow through some old standards and stripped down renditions of her own material that really won me over. Then she covered Weezer’s “Island in the Sun,” which was the icing on the cake. Musgraves is a talented performer, a deeper, darker, and more emotional songwriter than the poppier exterior of her material might indicate, and possesses a genuinely down to earth and humble persona. I went into her set without any specific expectations, and left a huge fan. I know we have “No Country” right there in the name of the site, but, when it’s done right, I’m a sucker for it.

999270_473827406028144_613642781_nKacey Musgraves

I followed Kacey with, perhaps, the most opposite artist possible- LiL iFFy. Based in Knoxville, iFFy is the pioneer of wandcore. Rapping about Harry Potter and general wizardry, but incorporating into gangsta and street-centric hip hop songs (apparating to booty calls and such), iFFy and his crew kind of blew me away. When writing about the rapper prior to the fest, the gimmick got my attention but it was the rapper’s legitimate skill and intelligent, well-crafted flow that stuck in my mind. All of that was present in iFFy’s performance, with a ton of energy and a sincere, un ironic delivery to boot, which could have easily just felt too silly, but was held together by great showmanship. Even despite some early technical difficulties, the crowd, which was sizable for such an early set on a small stage, couldn’t get enough of iFFy!

580147_473831109361107_1632183442_nLiL iFFy

Sunday was really an incredible day for hip hop, wandcore and otherwise. I followed up iFFy with another bearded rapper, though you’d be hard-pressed to hear him flow about wizards: Action Bronson. The bit of Bronson’s set I caught was some of the most ridiculous, awesome, and gangsta of Bonnaroo. Bronson was more than a little stoned, proceeding to smoke a blunt on stage, frequently stopping mid-song and deciding to do something else, lounging in a chair, and, for a good 10 minutes, just wandering around the crowd, rapping from the handicapped ramp in the back. Despite his antics, Bronson is one of the most skilled up and comers in the game, and his confident, old school flow really hit hard (when he actually bothered to rap). He’s about the music, and his witty, hard-hitting style is a breath of fresh air in a scene so bloated with gimmicks. Next to Killer Mike (and, obviously, Wu- but they’re OG), Bronson takes the realist MC at ‘Roo award.

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Having spoken to them the day before and missed their smaller stage performance, I was determined to catch Nashville’s JEFF the Brotherhood for their Bonnaroo tent stage debut. Not only did the duo turn it up, but the turnout for their set was also seriously spectacular. I missed the opening chunk of performance, where they played mostly older tracks as a duo- but got to see them blow through the second half of their set as a four-piece, a setup I first got a chance to catch at Freakin’ Weekend and really enjoy. JEFF went all out- inflatable stage props, fog, probably the best mid-day lights of the whole weekend, and more energy than I’ve ever seen from the band. If we were awarding Bonnaroo superlatives, JEFF would get Best Nashville Performance- hands down!

994141_474039309340287_952814142_nJEFF the Brotherhood

In transit to my next destination, I wandered upon a bit of Delta Rae‘s set. The mostly-sibling group had even more soul and mind-blowing vocal talent than I even imagined. They’re such a sincere, genuine, and endlessly skilled band and one that fully deserves every bit of success they’re recently achieved. The couple of songs I heard were hypnotic, and I easily could have watched their entire performance if my afternoon wasn’t already so packed.

1000167_474193312658220_237463173_nDelta Rae

Funny story: back in the fall, I was sent a copy of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘s latest album, The Heist, for review. I gave it a half listen and decided it was okay, but not worth getting excited over and probably not something that people would take to, and skipped it. I was very, very wrong. Not only have the duo become something of an overnight phenomenon, for better or worse, but they’re a testament that the “one hit wonder” effect is alive and well. Macklemore may very well have had the largest crowd of the weekend next to McCartney. I was utterly shocked by how many ‘Roovians crammed in to see the rapper perform his hit “Thrift Shop.” I walked up just in time to catch some stage banter, which resulted in the singer rocking a Tennessee bobcat coat belonging to an audience member, before launching into the breakout hit in question. And that was all the Mackelmore I needed, thanks.

After Mack, I caught some of another Mac- Mac DeMarco. The singer and multi-instrumentalist has a pretty broad range of style, from lo-fi rock to psychedelic indie pop, and he did his best to showcase it all at ‘Roo. The energy was great, the weirdness was in full-force, and DeMarco and his baseball cap-clad band possessed a unique ability to flip from scream-y, punk-tinged experimental songs to straightforward, poppy, heartfelt numbers in a more organic way than just about anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s an artist I was glad to catch, and one I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on!

1013708_474195665991318_427168462_nMac DeMarco

A late-addition to the fest, Black Prairie are a band made up of several members of The Decemberists. They bear very little in common musically, however, as Black Prairie exist much more in the sphere of bluegrass. The group were handpicked to participate in the Ed Helms-curated Bluegrass Situation Superjam later in the day, however it was their solo set where they really got to shine. Supremely skilled performers, Black Prairie demonstrated a deep knowledge of traditional bluegrass, balanced with more contemporary, indie-leaning sensibilities. I was shocked at how relatively sparse their crowd was, given the group’s pedigree, but it didn’t even remotely faze their enthusiasm or detract from their fantastic performance.

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Facing the threat of rain, I made the decision to bolt to Wild Nothing. As a Virginia native myself, I’ve gotten many chances to see the performer over the years, mostly in tiny clubs and impromptu venues. Seeing him/them on one of Bonnaroo’s bigger stages, performing to a packed crowd, was a bit surreal. Wild Nothing has always been entertaining, but these days they’re sounding downright amazing. Not only has the band evolved to really carve out a stronger, more relevant niche in a the bloated dream pop/indie scene, but they’ve also proven one of its most talented live acts as well. Believe the hype- Wild Nothing is fantastic.

1044650_474199019324316_898990121_nWild Nothing

After a quick break, I caught one of my most-anticipated artists of the day: Kendrick Lamar. Missing the rapper’s Nashville performance last fall has been one of my biggest show regrets since moving here, but catching Lamar at ‘Roo all but made up for it. There’s a reason the MC has seen such massive success so quickly (and has upgraded from tent to main stage status in just a year): he’s one of the most skilled, forward-thinking, intelligent, and exciting performers to erupt out of the hip hop scene in years. Kendrick’s style isn’t overly flashy, but he sheer intensity and confidence of his delivery makes him sound HUGE. He worked the gigantic stage like a pro, still giving it the intimate feeling of a small performance, but with the energy of an arena. Lamar is one of hip hop’s brightest hopes for a gimmick-free future, and a perhaps the past part of a rap-packed Sunday.

1011171_474213789322839_333314231_nKendrick Lamar

I cut Kendrick  short to check out a much smaller band I’ve been hotly anticipating, LA’s The Mowgli’s. I’ve been plugging them for months in one form or another, and finally getting to see the poppy, indie rock group was fantastic! They attracted possibly the largest crowd at the Miller New Music On Tap Lounge of the entire weekend, and probably should have been on a larger stage. By the time I arrived, I could barely get close enough to see, but the band sounded amazing. Though I’m a big fan, I only stuck around for a few songs- I plan to give them the full review treatment at their 7/17 show at 3rd and Lindsley.

Hitting another patch of unfortunate schedule conflicts, I made a point to watch a bit of Swans. The post-punk/noise/experimental rockers are something of legends in their own right, but apparently Bonnaroo didn’t get the hint (or just didn’t find them accessible enough), because their turnout was sparse. Regardless, they were mind-blowing. I’ll admit, their intensely loud, droning, dissonant style is hard to latch onto but the artistry involved in creating songs framed in that manner is seriously impressive- and the resolution of a 10 minute, seemingly all-noise build is so gratifying that it’s worth the experience. They’re certainly not a band for everyone, but they were an incredible experience and one of the highlights of the entire fest for me.

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Tame Impala are a band I’d love to catch in a proper setting in the future, and what I heard of their set at ‘Roo was great, but I only briefly caught them in transit and didn’t give them a fair shot (if only I could be in two places at once). Lonserism has been in regular rotation for months, so here’s hoping they make it Nashville soon for a club show.

1002084_474218429322375_1641150167_nTame Impala (via Matt Hall)

I was a little late jumping on The National bandwagon. A few years back, I randomly ended up on a live taping of Human Giant, where the group stopped by to perform a few tracks from their then soon-to-be-released album Boxer. We had a nice long chat, and I had no idea that, by that point, they had already made a huge critical splash in the indie scene. In the years since, they’ve all but erupted into the mainstream, as evidenced by their main stage placement relatively late in the day, and the huge crowd they commanded. The National have been around awhile, and it shows. They performed with such a confidence, such a supreme emotional command of their material, and with a surprising vigor given how somber their music is. The band even brought out St. Vincent to assist with new track, “This Is the Last Time,” which was a real treat.

1016097_473027592774792_2011683620_nThe National

I’m a huge fan of the idea of Divine Fits, I absolutely love their debut, A Thing Called Divine Fits, and, after finally getting a chance to see them live, I can firmly attest to the fact that they’re every bit as incredible live as I hoped they would be. A supergroup consisting of Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs’ Dan Boecker, and New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown, the band perfectly balances the sensibilities and artistic prowess of its parts to create something unique, special, and unlike any of their other projects. Daniel and Boecker are similar, but have distinctive styles, and, live, found a perfect balance- trading lead vocal duties and even guitar/bass duties. The band blew through their established material, and even snuck a few new tunes into the set, performing with the energy, enthusiasm, and unpredictability of a new band (but one with many combined years of performance experience). My only gripe was how relatively few people were watching the band- I guess ‘Roo didn’t get the memo about Divine Fits’ pedigree, because their primary projects would have commanded a main stage-sized crowd.

998884_474528442624707_1043420688_nDivine Fits

After a bit of of the Fits, I felt obligated to catch some of A$AP Rocky. Not the best rapper of the day by any means, I still enjoy his poppy, of-the-times, over-the-top style, and hoped to see him perform a few of his hits. Unfortunately, A$AP was running behind, and, pressed to move onto White Lung, I only caught a couple of songs, none of which were all too exciting. Still, the rapper’s stage presence is larger than life and the crowd was going absolutely nuts for him. If nothing else, A$AP is a showman, and has done an amazing job of exploding seemingly out of nowhere, while feeling incredibly established.

1013458_473027526108132_1306962143_nA$AP Rocky

I rushed across ‘Roo for White Lung, the only band I made a special effort to see at Cafe Where? all weekend, only to discover that I might have just been the only person at all of Bonnaroo to seek them out. Though the Canadian punks had a crowd, it seemed to consist entirely of people either waiting for Tom Petty, or that had just happened to wander by. Despite my disappointment of the meager turnout for one of my most-anticipated bands, they were absolutely killer. The energy, the agression, the punk spirit in a decidedly non-punk setting (a fact they seemed all too aware of and annoyed by), were intense. I can’t think of another frontwoman in the current punk scene as captivating as Mish Way- she effortlessly commands the room, exploding with a delivery all at once bombastic and aloof. Though they might not have been my absolute favorite performance of the day (I’d like to see them at a show they’re more enthusiastic about), White Lung was probably my favorite band of the day. If you like your punk served without BS, dipped in hardcore, and with a DIY attitude, you’re sorely missing out if you don’t give this band a listen. Though they weren’t my final performance of Bonnaroo, they were the final performance I legitimately cared about, and an amazing note to end on.

1016085_473027489441469_1913862553_nWhite Lung

Out of obligation, I ended my ‘Roo weekend with closer Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I don’t dislike Petty, but I’m certainly far from a superfan. If he wasn’t after McCartney, and wasn’t the last act of a weekend stuffed fulled of artists I cared so much more about, I might have given him a fairer shot. Even mother nature proved lukewarm on Bonnaroo’s closer, pouring down rain almost the moment his set began. After I stayed dry and successfully wasted the first half of the rockers’ set elsewhere, I gave in and watched the home stretch. I last saw Petty at Bonnaroo ’06, and decently enjoyed him at the time. This go-round, however, was a lot harder to endure. The hits were few and far between; instead, the group opted to play lesser known (at least to the casual fan) numbers, and draw them out in a hard-to-endure, jam band-lite manner. Sunday night usually is the jam band slot at ‘Roo, so they were honoring the festival’s tradition, but Petty and co. just didn’t seem to have the chops for it. The solos were boring, redundant, and drawn-out. Everything sounded noodle-y and not especially technical. Petty’s enthusiasm level was muted, despite his band’s best efforts. He’s got some range, sure, and when he did play the mega-hits, the crowd lit up like nothing I’ve ever seen, and I certainly enjoyed them. That’s the beauty of Bonnaroo, however- diversity. Despite my disinterest in the final act, I witnessed easily some of the best festival performances I’ve ever seen, and had an absolutely unreal weekend. Going last is also never an easy task, so props to Petty for filling that daunting slot.

1045218_474536939290524_1686612203_nTom Petty and the Heartbreakers

That’s it for my recap, but I have a few more ‘Roo-centric features coming over the next couple of days. Thanks for another amazing year, Bonnaroo. I think it’s safe to say that this was the best one yet. Until next year!

 

Borland – Mod Mobilian

Sunday drew more hip-hop fans to the mainstage for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis as well asKendrick Lamar. One brave fan wore a full-length fur coat to see Macklemore in the heat of the day. The rapper asked someone to pass it up the stage where he proceeded to put on the jacket and begin his hit song “Thrift Shop.” The rapper then returned the coat to the ecstatic fan.

“I’ve always wanted to wear a Tennessee Bobcat,” Macklemore said.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes did not disappoint fans at the Which Stage. The band’s set included the songs “Home,” “Janglin’,” and “40 Day Dream.” Later that day, Sharpe and company appeared again in a surprise set at the intimate Sonic Stage.

The official Bonnaroo guide listed the thirty-minute set as “Surprise Performance.” Much like the surprise set by Polyphonic Spree, this unannounced Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes set gave the impression that at Bonnaroo anything can happen. Prior to that, new musician Lucius brought their distinctive unison dual female vocals to the Sonic Stage in hopes of attracting new fans.

Lucius “Go Home” Official Music Video

“We are most excited about being a young band and being able to connect to an audience that is willing and interested and intrigued to appreciate the things they haven’t heard before,” Jess Wolfe of Lucius said.

 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers closed out Bonnaroo 2013 on the main stage. The band blistered through the hits “Freefallin’,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Learning to Fly,” ” Refugee,” “Yer So Bad,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “American Girl,” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”

With a sparse stage and little special effects, Petty let the music do the talking.The band even surprised the audience with a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil.”

Bonnaroo 2013 was graced with excellent weather, very little rain, and a lineup jam-packed with something for everyone. In addition to music, comedy lineups, movies, games, prize drawings, and fair rides kept the weekend full of options. Many found they will have to return to Bonnaroo again next year to explore everything the festival has to offer.

 


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