Sunday, June 22, 2008

Return from Bonnaroo

So it has taken me a while to get back to reality. This is completely apparent from my lack of participation on the blog. After scrambling back to normalcy, here I am.

So, Bonnaroo.

Wednesday to Monday of psychotic exploration from Albany to Maryland to Tennessee. I experienced so many different things that it's hard to place in one cohesive blog post. But, I will tell who I watched, first of all, person by person:

Thursday: Newton Faulkner, Janeane Garofolo, Mike Birbiglia, Leo Allen, Vampire Weekend, Dark Star Orchestra, Lez Zeppelin

Friday: Drive By Truckers, Umphrey's McGee, The Bluegrass Allstars, Les Claypool, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, Chris Rock, My Morning Jacket, Disco Biscuits

Saturday: Mason Jennings, Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet, Donovan Frankenreiter, The Wood Brothers, Ozomatli, BB King, Jack Johnson, Pearl Jam, Phil Lesh and Friends

Sunday: Robert Randolph's Revival, O.A.R., Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Derek Trucks and Susan Tudeshi, Widespread Panic

On Wednesday, sidenote, we saw R.E.M. and Modest Mouse play in Columbia, Maryland. Kick ass show.

Definite bands/artists to check out: Mason Jennings, Newton Faulkner, Lez Zeppelin, Umphrey's McGee, The Raconteurs (voted best performance by myself), Robert Randolph

Overall, I can't get over how well run the festival was and how many people were there. I will show pictures below, but when you looked over the 700+ acre farm, tents were EVERYWHERE, people were swarming everywhere. It was insane, but a good insane. People flocked from all arond the country in the sole interest in the love of music and art. The dynamics was well thought out as well. Art was displayed everywhere, which I greatly appreciated. It was gorgeous.

Despite the cleanliness issues, the Bonnaroo staff did an excellent job. I don't see how they could get around it either. All we had were portapotties (spelling?) for four days, limited showers, and water tents. My hands didn't feel clean for days, despite hand sanitizer. It really doesn't do the job. But they provided good shade and clean facilities as much as they could. The music crew did a fantastic job; hardly any shows were late.

The only show worth noting with lateness is Kanye West. Kanye was supposed to go on at 2:15 following Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam was supposed to end at 12:15 but played an hour over. Kanye's set was really elaborate and needed set up time, but he still didn't go on until after 4, and he only played for half of his alotted time. All in all, Kanye couldn't get his ego out of the way and his fans suffered because of it. When I went to see Robert Randolph the next morning, he commented something along the lines of "I understand that you all pay good money to be here and you want to see who you want to see. No one should be so conceited as Kanye that they can't perform, because that's why we're all here. So let us chant 'Kanye sucks.'" And we did. Throughout the whole rest of the day, everyone did chant Kanye sucks. It was a bold move by Randolph, but everyone loved it.

Random notes:

-Pearl Jam ended with "All Along the Watchtower." He made political comments throughout, about bad gas prices, and flinched during one of his songs when the screen flashed to a man wearing a scary mask. "It is important to always remain positive" he noted afterwards.

-Eddie Vedder came out and played "Constellations" with Jack Johnson in his own style. Johnson was very nervous to play in front of so many people and messed up a couple times due to this fright. I can't blame him.

-Money Mark came out to play "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" with Jack Johnson.

-BB King played "You Are My Sunshine," and periodically spoke to the audience as if it was a constant two-way conversation.

-Eddie Van Halen jammed with Gogol Bordello and Les Claypool during Super Jam.

-Jakob Dylan made a sarcastic comment about playing on Father's Day, his favorite holiday, referencing the falling out between him and his father.

-Disco Biscuits played "Killing in the Name of" and "Safety Dance," going over their alotted time by hours.

-Derek Trucks emitted a wonderful chemistry with his wife, Susan Tedeschi. He played excellent covers of "Hey Jude" and "Take a Load Off Annie."

-O.A.R. introduced two new never before played songs: "This Town" and "Mine."

Below I will post pictures of the event. Let me know what you think.

Janeane Garofolo

Umphrey's McGee

Stephen Marley

Les Claypool

The Raconteurs

Chris Rock

meeting Mason Jennings

Donovan Frankenreiter

BB King

Jack Johnson

Pearl Jam


Robert Plant

Derek Trucks

So what do you think? For those of you who went to Bonnaroo, what comments do you have? What acts were awesome/horrible? Highlights? Downfalls?

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