Jump to content

Notes from Bonnaroo


Recommended Posts

So…the second day started with Jose Gonzalez at This Tent and he, like Newton Faulkner the day before, really set the day in a good folksy mood. I especially dug the bongo beats that were added later in the set. His voice wasn't as good as Faulkners' but he compensated with some awesome grooves and folky melodies that became trance-like after a while. Coincidentally the song highlight for me, like Faulkner the day before was the cover of Teardrops by Massive Attack. Again, I wasn't familiar with his solo work but I do plan on checking it out. (8/10)

Moving over to the Which Stage for the first time of the festival, Umphrey Mcgee pulled out one hell of a set, though it was as inconsistent as it was awesome. This was another band I was unfamiliar with before the festival but they seemed like an extremely proggy jam band who switched time signatures and genres faster than I could keep count. Sometimes I felt that the switch was a bit forced and the beginning of the set didn't really gel. The last half of the set, though, was pretty spectacular, so much so that I literally bugged out at one point and started pulling out my hair and hyperventilating. There were a lot of moments of climax though there was a lot of dead time and the two didn't really reconcile one another. (8/10)

Staying at the Which Stage to see how Les Claypool panned out (one of Omar's Idol's), but we ended up leaving a half hour into it to go see the Raconteurs on the main stage. Claypool was probably the most disappointing act of the entire festival despite his funky virtuoso bass playing. Aside from that there didn't seem to be much substance, the backing band was kind of weak and a total let down. Overall, though, he had amusing gimmicks with the masks and the constant jokes onstage and not much more than his bass playing. (4/10)

The Raconteurs are absolutely amazing live. I saw the White Stripes last year and Jack White was pretty compelling on stage, but here he was absolutely maniacal. The entire band was super-tight and they turned their amps up to 11 and let it fly. During Blue Veins, White decided to throw himself into a monitor on stage and knocked it over. He then proceeded to take every microphone he could find and start screaming into it then throwing it down onto the stage and walking off before the song had ended. Carolina Drama closed the second set and it was truly epic. The only thing that I have a problem with was that Jack's antics, at times, affected his performance and he wasn't always consistent with his vocals or guitar playing. Brendon was really really tight with his vocals and guitar and the keyboardist was one of the most versatile players on stage singing, playing violin, piano, organ etc. Perhaps the best modern classic rock acts at the present moment. (10/10)

From there I went and laid down by M.I.A. at That Tent and when we got sick of her we moved to This Tent and listened to the end of Rilo Kiley which was okay but I didn't hear enough to really judge it. We basically lay down and tried to rest up for the night. Around now the first sign of rain began which continued throughout the night.

Chris Rock took the What Stage at 7:45, introduced by Lars Ulrich, and it had its moments, but on the whole it was pretty predictable. Pretty much the same topics I could have guessed going into it, Sex, Race, and Politics. That's pretty much what Chris Rock is all about and he didn't stray very far from those topics. A pretty mediocre performance for a historical comedic event (70,000+ Audience). He really should have done more jokes about drug use. (6/10)

And then...Metallica. First of all, I'm a pretty long-time Metallica fan, getting into them when I was merely a freshman in high school and I listened to them religiously for about a year and not so much since then. Ever since then, though, they had one of my "first love" affections as far as bands go. Unfortunately, for me, they really did not come close to living up to their hype. In fact, I thought it was a terrible performance. For one, the set list was boring and predictable...they played all of their thrash album and practically none of their more-eclectic 90s era (Load and Reload) and they didn't even touch St. Anger with a ten foot pole and I guess they were justified in doing that. But on the same token, I expected something, anything new instead of just playing the greatest hits and milking for ridiculous amounts of time (Enter Sandman) without even jamming. If I want to here a band just for their greatest hits I'd go and see The Police like we had last year at Roo. Unfortunately the worst part was not the setlist, it was the playing. Not only could James Hetfield not stay in tune but he never sang an entire song. Lars' drumming was equally as terrible. Omar, who’s a metal drummer, told me "Lars Ulrich makes me want to stop playing music." As for the other two, Hammett and Truijo, they really kind of went through the motions, although Truijo was probably the coolest to watch on stage with his dreads and funny stomping motion. Perhaps the highlight of the entire performance was James’ funny maniacal laughing after every song. Weirdly enough, we seemed to be the only ones that weren’t impressed with the performance so maybe there’s something wrong with our ears. (2/10)

By that time the rain was coming down pretty hard as we made our way over to the Which stage to see My Morning Jacket and we stayed for about an hour and it was way too fucking cold and I wasn’t overly impressed although a lot of people said that their four hour set was the best of the festival. I just wasn’t feeling it, the band was tight but it really wasn’t anything special. So we moved on to the Other Tent for Superjam. (7/10)

So we get to Superjam and pretty much get to the front for it and everything is a mystery. Nobody knows who’s going to be on stage. Rumors were flying around everywhere…maybe Jimmy Page, maybe Kirk Hammett, maybe this maybe that. It ended up being most of Gogol Bordello with Les Claypool on Bass and Vocals doing Tom Waits covers. They came on a half hour late because Gogol Bordello was stuck in Chicago with flight delays. It was pretty cool to see it, but it wasn’t nearly as spectacular as last year’s Ben Harper/?uestlove/John Paul Jones lineup. Tom Waits should have come out and then we would have had a truly special Superjam. (7/10)

So we left a half hour into the Superjam set and moved over to That Tent to see the Disco Biscuits at about 2:15AM to give one of teh most awesome dance experiences of my life. They ended up playing over 3 nonstop hours jamming through trance jams and a cover of Rage's "Killin in the Name Of." Two of the best tracks were the "Crickets" jam (see video) and a jam while the bassist told a story about how the Tennessee Police stopped them and busted their stash of weed while he was getting out a big fat doobie. The policeman apparently complimented them on their high quality weed and for some reason hugged the bassist. It was pretty incredible. I got my groove on with dozens of people on Ecstacy as I made my way up to the very front next to the left speaker and blew my ears out. At one point though, this really big guy had a seizure and was laying down for about a half hour before they brought a golf cart and stretcher to take him out. Totally killed teh trip, and I was so concerned for him that I almost started crying. Fortunately, at this very point of the show I met this beautiful Nashville girl, Adrianne, and we got pretty goofy freaky on the dancefloor, exchanged numbers and a quick kiss before the music ended at 5:00AM while the sun was rising. The music was really repetitive and rave like and there wasn't much substance but the experience totally made up for it. Omar and I staggered back to camp at about 5:30. (9/10)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Friday? Where the fuck are you? The Eastern tip of New Zealand?

um, this is a reflection on last week.

I would kill to see the Raconteurs, they are amazing. I'm surprised they played Carolina Drama, to me this song seems like one of those "We put it on the record but because it is so special we will never play it live" kinda songs. Sounds like a blast though.

nah man, that's their set closer. i know, i was suprised as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...