[right: just before entering the Arch. I passed under the arch only twice this year. Thurs morning going in, and Sunday night coming out.]
The Preatures just took the stage and they freakin rock!
Stopped at The Other Tent and the Wild Feathers are killing it!
[being absolutely bushed from the prior week, I didn’t do much Thurs evening. My kids/helpers (Beth 19 and Freedom 18) got out and saw Cherub and some of Banks. They loved Cherub, and said Banks was really good. I had wanted to see Banks, her record rocks.]
(Update 6/13 1:30pm)
Green sky blue grass and security guy. But at least I’m right at the stage!
It’s a cloudy, cool day at bonnaroo, with mild breezes and temperatures in the low seventy’s.
Greensky Bluegrass Bluegrass rocked their set to open the action at What Stage. I’m looking forward to seeing big Sam’s Funky Nation
Big Sam’s Funky Nation are one of the best rock-funk-soul bands ever! They are killin’ What Stage! It’s my 4th time seeing them at The Roo. The weather is holding and it’s nice and cool. The crowd are in a very laid back mood this morning, and there’s a chillin’, groovy vibe everywhere.
I’m still here with the local high school band helping out with hand sanitizer and other toiletries. Still at the What Stage. Umphrey’s McGee just played and they rocked it! I’m sure their fans absolutely loved their show. Hey, I thought it was great, and I’m not one of their biggest fans. Don’t get me wrong they’re great musicians, but I can only handle so many time changes in one song, before it starts to seem intentionally confusing.
(Update 10:40pm) Kanye West
Freedom and I went over to see a bit of Kanye West. With all the controversy surrounding his last visit to the Roo and the online conversation leading up, I couldn’t resist. It seemed to me that West picked up where he left off last time, like a project waiting to be finished. He had a small, mixed crowd (maybe 40,000 and that’s being generous). Roughly 1/3 excited supporters, 1/2 curious ambiguous listeners, and the balance there to prove a point (that small faction produced the strongest negative vibe I’ve ever felt at Bonnaroo).
Kanye didn’t take too long before he launched into his famous proclamations of being the greatest thing since ice-cream and bitching at the audience. That’s when the boo’s (perhaps only heard at one other Roo, and for the same performer) started up. It seems that KW is a bit sensitive to questions of his self-given title, and he started complaining “where’s the press at?! Where’s the damn Press?” Well, the press were on their way out the gate en masse at this point. Freedom and I could hear the “Fuck Kanye” chant beginning with a parade of people leaving behind us. The chant was later described to me as “the most controlled and well organized ‘fuck you’ anyone has ever heard, the crowd using the beat of the music to keep time.
Rolling Stone reported on his “bravado” and stopped just short of calling his performance “genius.” [without the negative ranting, it would have been amazing at Radio City or The Ryman] I don’t think they know the meaning of the word, bravado. They meant to say “bragadocio.” The guy is not “brave,” he’s a “braggart.” His attitude and comments are insulting to the people he mentions and the music loving crowd he is there to entertain. Man, you are at Bonnaroo! There is No Greatest! All Are Great!
As for the show… when the majority crowd gathers at What Stage, we expect a show. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t need explosions and flying dinosaurs. BUT, it needs light and the big screens are there for a reason, you should use them! Kanye left us looking at a red shoe-box for 15 minutes. He was hidden in shadow, used crappy negative images of the set and other bits, later in the “show,” and totally ignored that fact that some of his audience was 200 yards away. This was an especially bad tactic, considering that he only attracted about 50% of Bonnaroovians to begin with, and they were almost a captive audience since his contract specified that no other band could play on any stage during his slot.
Anyways… we left. Freedom went to see Mastodon, and I met Beth over at That Tent where we talked with other people gathering for Derek Trucks and had a great time listening to the sound guys ham it up during setup. We couldn’t help notice the constant traffic flowing from What Stage as people left the other show and went to “just wait” for Derek, Ice Cube, or anyone else they could find…
I spent the night between Ice Cube, who was just a total bad-ass-gentleman and the Derek Trucks Superjam. Beth caught Skrillex, who is her favorite, and we all had a coffee before bed around 4 am. Ok, not all of us… Freedom pulled the amazing Bonnaroo-Houdini trick…
Report from What Stage at Bonnaroo. … first up is Seasick Steve with John Paul Jones! Let me tell ya’ bout it! Damn! I’ll leave it there.
[Saturday is a lot warmer, the clouds are thinner, and things are drying out. It’s still not too hot, but the Tennessee humidity is back.]
Tedeschi trucks band at Bonnarroo … Wow I mean what do you say to that?
[They were a blast, and I got to watch my metal-influenced son develop an appreciation for a “new” style of guitar playing. I don’t think he’ll ever be the same after this Bonnaroo.
That’s part of the magic of Roo… it changes people… for the better. That can be witnessed right here in Manchester, year-round. Even the locals that vowed to hate it, have adopted the spirit of love.]
(Update 6-15 4:20pm)
The Bonnaroo just keeps getting better! Yesterday after a nice chill at camp with some fresh brewed coffee, we came back for one of the best shows I’ve ever seen – Lionel Richie! Lionel set up a sparse stage with beautiful lighting and perfect sound. He was gracious, humble, and intimate with an audience of at least 50,000.
After Lionel Richie we talked over the sea Flaming Lips at Which Stage. A few years ago I caught Flaming Lips’ rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” in the rain. The lips were not at their best that night and to put it nicely it was a very disappointing show. Last night they made up for that with absolute perfection!
Skrillex hosted the super jam that included Mickey Hart and goodness knows who else and went on until 530 this morning.
The humidity moved out and the heat moved in today. No matter, as it has been a beautiful morning (okay this is Bonnaroo time at 2 pm is good morning time).
Here at my station supporting the Coffee County Red Raider marching band from Manchester Tennessee, we have been at the what stage.
We set the day off with the Carolina Chocolate Drops – oh my god they killed it! Yonder Mountain string band played at 230 till almost four and they included Danny Barnes from the bad livers Wow! [watched Beth and William develop their musical tastes, yet again ]
Coming up we have the Avett Brothers and Elton John will close out tonight.
Other shows not to miss today will be Capital Cities at 230. Fitz and the Tantrums absolutely rock! I really wanted to see Broken Bells but I’ll miss that…
Amos Lee plays at 8 o’clock holy crap…
and Elton John closes us out at 10. What a Bonnaroo!
That’s just a small sampling of some of the great stuff happening today at Bonnaroo
I will send some pictures over in a little while