If you are like me, your body and mind have finally recovered enough to start reflecting back on another year of surviving one of the largest and best music festivals the US has to offer, the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
held annually in Manchester, Tennessee. This was my third consecutive year going to the festival with my two buddies Chris (aka CJH² or Cockjack Houndhammer) and Mitch (aka Robbie Roo III) and this year might have been the best thus far. Disregard the nicknames, those were earned in side stories at Bonnaroo and are funny to no one else but us three weirdos. It may sound harsh to say we survived another year, but that is exactly what it is. Survival. It takes a special breed of person to brave the marathon four-day weekend in the dead heat of June every year on the 800-acre farm. It's a place where heaven and hell seem to cross paths quite often. But, for the 80,000+ festival freaks who make the trip every year, Bonnaroo offers up some of the best music across all genres that the industry has to offer. And even a few surprises! 2012 was no different. And luckily for us, the weather this time around mostly cooperated to let us enjoy the most important thing to the fullest. The music. Here's a recap on some of it...
My Roo Schedule:
Thursday, June 7th
The Lonely Forest 5:30 - 6:30 (This Tent)
The Lonely Forest
(TLF) is a band I have been following for awhile. I saw them open for 'We Were Promised Jetpacks
' at the Old Rock House
a few years ago and liked their sound. Back then they were touring an earlier album, We Sing The Body Electric
. Since then they have released their latest album Arrows
. It is crazy how far this band has come into their own. This was my fourth time seeing them and each time is better and better. The more experience they get, the better their live show is. This was a great way to open the festival and the crowd seemed to think so as well. If you are unfamiliar with TLF, start with "We Sing In Time" and "Turn Off This Song and Go Outside" off their latest LP.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. 7:15 - 8:00
I was looking forward to seeing the fellas from Jr. Jr.
for awhile. I had never seen them live, but I have always had their debut album, It's A Corporate World
, in regular rotation. They are a fun group as witnessed by their on stage neon checkered jackets. I enjoyed the set they delivered which was full of electric energy and sounds you can truly only get with a live performance. We even caught some of their set the next day on the Sonic Stage.
The Lonely Forest 8:00 - 8:30 (Ford Escape Tent)
One of the best surprises of the weekend came early when we were sitting on some benches having a delicious beverage waiting for another show when I heard TLF playing in a small tent nearby after their main set. Houndhammer thought it was probably someone covering them. I thought no way. So after an investigation, we caught a surprise pop-up show. This was a much more intimate show in a smaller tent and we got to hear some new stuff on the next record. The new stuff is awesome! I again thought to myself it is crazy how far this band has come since I first saw them. They generated quite a buzz at Bonnaroo from over-hearing people talk. I also read a couple tweets saying I don't know who The Lonely Forest is, but they are a great band. Also, for the first time, with the new stuff they played, I noticed the main guitar from Tony Ruland was taking a lot of the lead and standing out with some pretty sweet riffs that were Albert Hammond Jr (The Strokes) esque. The vocals in the video below from John Van Deusen are hard to hear because I was so close and it was fairly loud but it is still good none the less. The end of the song is money...
YelaWolf 8:30 - 9:15
After hearing YelaWolf
's set at Bonnaroo, this is one of those times I kicked myself. I had skipped his show at Plush
in Saint Louis a few days prior and now I regret it. I actually hadn't even planned on catching his show at the festival, but after over-hearing one of the nastiest remix mash-ups of the Beastie Boys I have ever heard, along with the massive crowd packed around the This Tent going nuts, we ran over to join in. You would have thought the Hall of Fame legends of rap were up on stage themselves if you didn't know any better. It was a great tribute. One which was a repeat theme throughout the festival weekend. Most hip-hop/rap shows I leave disappointed from because they do not translate live on stage (more on that later) but, YelaWolf had me quite impressed. I would definitely go see him again.
White Denim 9:15 - 9:45
is a band I have heard some buzz about in the past and I wanted to catch their show at The Firebird
when they came through Saint Louis in April but I had to miss it. So I wanted to catch some of their show at Bonnaroo. I am glad I did. For me, their psychedelic rock lived up to the hype. My fellow comrades enjoyed them as well.
Phantogram 10:15 - 11:15
I don't know if it was because the beer was flowing like Niagara Falls at this point, or if this band is just that good, but Phantogram
put on one of my favorite shows of the entire weekend. There is always a Thursday night show every year that blows my mind. This year it was Phantogram. Some people may not enjoy the type of music and sound that the Indie pop duo brings, but for those who do like myself, you will love it! Their mix of rock and electronic is perfect and flows seamlessly with the sexy vocals of lead lady Sarah Barthel, creating a super chill experience. Favorite songs for me are "When I'm Small" and "Mouthful of Diamonds". I was already pumped for this show because it would be a preview for this summer's LouFest
Music Festival in Saint Louis. Well those promoters can reassured that they booked one hell of an act. I am predicting now that they will steal the show come August in Forest Park. If you do not have tickets
yet, no need to keep waiting, this band alone is worth the price of admission.
Alabama Shakes 11:30 - 12:00am
If you are a reader of my blog then the Alabama Shakes
are no strangers to you. This was probably the most talked about Thursday night show prior to the festival and for good reason. The Shakes have burst onto the music scene over the past year like no other with their unique sound and look, built on diversity and good vibes. Lead singer Brittany Howard can wail and will make you want to get up and start groovin! It was no different at Bonnaroo. The over-flowing crowd sang and danced along to every song. Then, later excitedly joined in with the lead singer on a parade through Centeroo festival grounds for a night to remember.
Big Gigantic 12:00 - 12:45am
is an electronic act I didn't know much about going in, but came out a fan. It is pretty much a given that any late night show at Bonnaroo is going to be a fun party so I was not surprised by the performance. Unlike most electronic acts of today who rely mostly on technology, Big Gigantic combines the real elements of drums and a saxophone to their music that makes for an excellent sound of livetronica instrumentation. I actually looked up their stuff when I got home and really like their latest album, Nocturnal
which is streaming on their website
. Give the songs "It's Goin Down" and "The Uprising" a listen.
Friday, June 8th
(Probably my favorite day of the festival and CJH²'s birthday.)
Electric Guest 12:15 - 12:30
was a band I had not listened to a whole lot except for their song, "This Head I Hold
" that I really like from their debut album Mondo
, which was actually produced by famed producer Danger Mouse. It is a catchy song with killer vocals, and one I knew they would probably be saving for the last song of their set. So I just checked out a few songs, and then made my way over to see The Kooks, who I am a pretty big fan of, on the second biggest Which Stage. From what I heard of Electric Guest, I would like to see them again one day. It's tough to play to a crowd who is still waking up from night one's hangover, but they did a good job.
The Kooks 12:30 - 1:15
are a band I have been waiting to see live again ever since their show at The Pageant
with The Whigs
back in 2008. That show was incredible and I have eagerly anticipated their return across the pond close enough to where I could catch a show. They were a perfect band to open the day because they have a pretty good catalog of songs and sing-a-longs that can finally get you motivated to get your day going. I was happy they played every song I wanted to hear including even, "Seaside". The new stuff sounded good as well including "Junk Of The Heart (Happy)" which I have had on heavy rotation since it came out.
Ben Howard 1:45 - 2:45
I have been following Ben Howard
since August of last year after I first heard his song, "The Wolves", that appeared in a YouTube video
I saw showcasing biking legend, Danny MacAskill
. I actually had a chance to catch him live for the first time a few months ago at the Old Rock House
on the Communion 2012 SXSW Austin To Boston Tour. After that show (review HERE
) I became an even bigger fan of the English singer/songwriter. I was excited to see him again in a larger festival setting. His performance was excellent once again. He has a unique voice that just soothes your soul down to the very core. My buddies who I had talked into catching his set became fans as well. Check him out, such a talented artist.
Two Door Cinema Club 3:15 - 4:30
Two Door Cinema Club
(TDCC) were in my top five bands I was most excited to see at Bonnaroo. The Northern Ireland trio are one of my favorite indie rock bands out. Their album Tourist History
I have listened to constantly over the last two years. I just love their sound. Full of energy, upbeat guitars, catchy vocals, and will make you dance your ass off! They have never toured the US close enough for me to catch a show so I was pumped for their set. So was the crowd which was one of the biggest of the entire day for tent acts. The band's next album is finished and due out this year so I was excited about hearing some of that as well, which included, "Wake Up", "This Is Moon", "Handshake", and "Sleep Alone". One thing is certain, there is more good stuff on the way from Two Door Cinema Club in the near future! And yes, I did dance my ass off for this show, which ended up being one of my top highlights of the festival.
Fitz & The Tantrums 5:00 - 6:30
Fitz & The Tantrums
are a cool band. Their debut album Pickin' Up the Pieces
is a fun album and that translates on stage. I missed their show last year at the Taste Of Saint Louis
celebration so I was happy to see them on the lineup. It was a tough choice choosing between Fitz and the Avett Brothers
, but I was happy I did not miss their performance. The band's chemistry on stage is great and I was impressed with vocalist Noelle Scaggs' voice and energy. Single "Moneygrabber" was obviously the ending highlight of the set, but the fun thing about the finale was when front man Michael Fitzpatrick made everyone in the audience kneel down on the ground before the ending chorus while promising to call out the stragglers, then made the crowd rise up into an explosion jumping frenzy
to end the song. Good times.
Ludacris (missed) - We sacrificed missing Luda, who was originally on my planned schedule, to head back to camp and get in a shower and change of clothes. At some point each day, you have to give your body a break and re-energize in order to last all night for the late shows. While I would have liked to seen his set, you have to choose your battles wisely while at Bonnaroo. Our nightly shower ($7) seemed to work well to keep us going each day and was a regular part of our routine throughout the festival. Money well spent.
Foster The People 8:45 - 9:30
Foster The People (FTP) is a band that caught fire and was launched into the music mainstream even too fast for Bonnaroo promoters. Usually a band that plays on one of the larger stages (What or Which) has worked its way up through the festival. Starting out in a tent for instance the first few times they play the farm. However, this was the first time Foster The People has played Bonnaroo, and they were given the second largest (Which) stage on a coveted Friday night time slot before headliners Radiohead. And for good reason I guess, their current appeal is undeniable. Not to mention they are perfect for a festival setting. Catchy songs with a good mixture of rock and electronic that you can dance your socks off to. I like FTP, which I saw for the first time live, and I liked their set as well, featuring almost all of Grammy nominated album, Torches. Lead man Mark Foster is super-talented and orchestrated the fun. We took off before the end, so I missed breakthrough quadruple-platinum single "Pumped Up Kicks", but since I have heard it a million times and watched the extended remix version streamed at Coachella, I was content with leaving early and getting a decent spot for Radiohead that wasn't a mile away from the main stage.
10:00 - 11:30
So much for that idea. Even with getting there a little early, the sold-out crowd had filled most of the field of the main What stage in excited anticipation for Friday night headliners, Radiohead
. I probably should have known it wouldn't be that easy to get a good spot. People were already lined up to get in the pit when festival gates opened that morning and veteran Bonnaroovians have been lobbying for the band's return ever since their epic 2006 performance
. However, we still managed to weasel our way through to about the middle of the massive field of sitting/laying/standing scattered bodies of people. Which ended up being good enough to hear the band clearly and see their giant rotating video screens and visuals. Prior to the set, in a pretty cool moment, myself, Robbie Roo III, and other festival-goers all around us joined in to sing Happy Birthday to Mr. Houndhammer, who was totally surprised by the gesture. That's the fun thing about Bonnaroo, everyone is a friend, even strangers, and act like they have known you for years. Radiohead's set
, which mostly featured more recent offerings from In Rainbows
and King Of Limbs
, was superb. But, it didn't touch 2006 from what I have heard and seen, but they probably never will again. Either way, there was no way I was missing other great acts all day in order to get a good spot for one band. I don't think it is ever a good idea to sacrifice the festival experience for one band. Especially since I had already seen Radiohead on this tour in Saint Louis in March, which actually ended up featuring a similar set. Lastly, one exciting thing that did come out of the set was when Thom Yorke hinted at a possible collaboration with Jack White, thanking White for something we'll all see very soon and dedicating "Supercollider" to him in the first encore.
Major Lazer 12:00 - 1:30am
, which features DJ/Producer Diplo
was one of the biggest surprises of the festival for us. We had no idea what to expect really going in. It ended up being one of the most fun late night sets ever! One ridiculous party! Which can best be only summed up in these three crazy videos that I shot from inside the madness...
Flying Lotus 2:00 - 2:30am
is someone I wish I would have seen more of at Bonnaroo, but I wanted to make sure I saw a good amount of Umphrey's McGee before my body shut down for the night, who were starting pretty much at the same time. So I checked out a half hour of FlyLo's set
before Umphrey's and really liked it. He is an act that combines hip/hop and electronic. I hope to see him live again one day. Although I doubt the setting and atmosphere will match up.
Umphrey’s McGee 2:30 - 4:00am
I missed Umphrey's McGee
in 2010 the first year I went to Bonnaroo. I also missed them on New Year's Eve in Saint Louis this past year. I wasn't going to miss them again. Especially after reading a tweet that there would be a HUGE surprise during their set. That surprise ended up coming in three parts. One, Dominic from Big Gigantic
as a guest appearance and jamming on saxophone
with Umphrey's for a few songs. Two, Umphrey's would take a half hour break while Big Gigantic played a surprise DJ set
. And, three, Umphrey's would come back and announce that they were going to jam until 7am when the sun came up! Unfortunately, I only made it through one part of that surprise. What a show though! I'm sure those who lasted and crossed the finish line will be talking about this set for a long time to come. A story for the legends. Especially this "Bulls On Parade" cover...
Saturday, June 9th
Pelican 12:15 - 1:15
Saturday this year started the same way it started last year for me. With hard rock and metal in the middle of mosh pits! Mitchell suggested Pelican
, and after last year's recommendations of Kylesa
and The Sword
, and the fun I had rockin out at those shows, there was no way I wasn't following along. Another good recommendation from Robbie Roo. Pelican brought it hard and started off Saturday with a good raging
Bad Brains 1:45 - 2:45
was more of the same as Pelican. An awesome metal show with a Rastafarian flavor. And the raging may have even been kicked up another notch. We didn't even need to move tents. The performance took place on the same battleground. These fellas are legends of hardcore punk and brought the energy level in the crowd to the max. I liked the odd antics and get up of lead singer H.R., who donned an all white suit and hat with a bleach blond wig. The band was all business while putting on a hell of a performance, and made up for the minimal amount of the metal/hardcore rock genre on the lineup. I spent some time in the crazy mosh pit and worked up a good sweat throwing bows and head banging with the youngsters. A cold beer never tasted so good after this show.
The Temper Trap 3:00 - 3:45
The Temper Trap
is a band that was a late artist addition to the lineup that I was most excited about. They were one of my favorite shows the first year I went to Bonnaroo in 2010. I have been following them ever since, and still listen to breakthrough debut album, Conditions
, regularly. Their challenge this time was playing the main stage during the day when the giant field was not full. It is hard for a band to fill all that space, but they did a good job. I didn't like this show as much as their previous Bonnaroo performance from a few years ago, but happy I got to hear selections from their new album live. I think "Rabbit Hole" is still my favorite so far.
Flogging Molly 3:45 - 4:30
I have seen Flogging Molly
in a festival setting before (Kanrocksas
) so I knew what to expect. These Celtic rockers always put on a fun show. They do well at interacting with the crowd and everyone in the pit seems to form a brotherhood throughout the show. The mosh pit is always a good time, however, I sat this one out because I had gotten my fix earlier in the day at Pelican and Bad Brains. There was a huge crowd at this show under the That Tent which spilled out in every direction. It is hard to say whether they were all there for Flogging Molly or if they were getting there early for a spot for Maynard (Tool) and Puscifer. Probably a little bit of both, like us. Either way, Flogging Molly didn't disappoint, even to the casual fan.
Puscifer 5:00 - 6:15
In case you don't know, Puscifer
is the side project of Tool
front man, Maynard James Keenan. This is a show that Robbie Roo was most excited about. While I am a Maynard and Tool fan as well (not diehard), Puscifer just did not fully do it for me. I enjoyed it don't get me wrong, but I just kept waiting for most of the songs to go harder, even though I knew they would not. The bass lines and guitars seemed to toy with me the entire time. Another let down was that the stage set up did not have enough time to be completed even after a long delay. Not sure if it was technical difficulties or poor preparation, but half of the monitors were out. Not sure much could have been seen anyways with the sun still glaring down during their early evening set. But, bottom line, it was still a quality show and Maynard seemed in good spirits, rocking out in full airlines pilot gear with the rest of the band. There is never a shortage of talent when he is around.
The Roots 7:30 - 9:00
For The Roots
, who were on the main stage before Saturday headliners RHCP, I heard half of their set back at camp during our nightly break. The sound system at the main stage is so big that it projects out to most of the camping areas in line with it. This was an added bonus of camping near the What stage. I was looking forward to their performance because of their last minute show cancellation due to bad weather that I was suppose to see at last year's Loufest
in Saint Louis. The Roots set the tone for the evening shows with a dirty mix of funk and soul. They started things off with a tribute to the Beastie Boys' Adam 'MCA' Yauch and a cool cover of "Paul Revere". They then blazed through some hits and dropped a few more sing-along covers like, Guns N' Roses', "Sweet Child O' Mine". The whole band was on point and ?uestlove was a beast on the drums as usual.
Dispatch 9:00 - 9:45
CJ brought us to the indie/grass roots show of Dispatch
. I think it would have been a lot more crowded than it already was if the show would not have been smack dab in the middle of the Chili Peppers and The Roots, considering the comeback this band is making with an upcoming album and tour in 2012 after a decade long hiatus. I have to admit I am not familiar with Dispatch's catalog, but they were pretty good. And the hippies loved it!
Red Hot Chili Peppers 10:00 - 11:30
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
were probably the headliner I was most looking forward to seeing at the festival. I even skipped the show in Saint Louis in May in order to have my first experience with this tour at Bonnaroo. While I enjoyed the performance, it would have probably been better had it not been on such a large scale. With that many people there, it becomes a distraction from the music. We ended up not fighting the crowd for long and walked around and listened from a distance after the first half of the set. I am going to try and get closer at Lollapalooza. Flea was the highlight. He is an animal. Still jumping around, headbanging, and pounding the bass like it was the 1990's.
Alice Cooper 12:00 - 12:30am
I cannot believe how awesome Alice Cooper
and his band were. I had low expectations considering the man is pushing 65 years old. But, still wanted to catch some of his show considering he is one of the legends and pioneers of dark heavy metal and shock rock. Shocked I was for sure. Such an entertaining performer! And his backup band was amazing! The show started with a full theatrical performance of "Black Widow" atop a raised mechanical platform, where Cooper was dressed head to toe in black leather as a giant spider complete with attached marionette type stringed legs. From there he blazed through a set of every hit imaginable including some rarities. I took off before the end, but watch below as Alice Cooper and his band perform his unique cover version of Lady Gaga's, "Born This Way". We're not worthy!
Superjam ft. ?uestlove & D'Angelo 12:30 - 1:00am
There were so many predictions for this show I would not have been surprised to see a Jimi Hendrix hologram walk out on stage. Decent guesses of Trey Anastasio, Atoms for Peace (Thom Yorke & Flea), or Jack White even had me excited with anticipation. I was ready for anything though. At last, the crowd found out who the big surprise guest would be jamming during this year's Superjam when ?uestlove said, "I've been waiting 12 years to say this... Ladies and Gentleman, D'Angelo!" That's right, after twelve years in hiding, R&B artist D'Angelo came out into the spotlight and jammed with an all-star lineup of guests who covered songs from Hendrix, The Beatles, Funkadelic, Zeppelin, and more! While this was pretty cool for R&B soul fans, my high expectations let me down a little and we headed out early for a spot at Skrillex.
Skrillex 1:30 - 3:30am
After figuring out there would be no appearance of Flea, Thom Yorke, or Jack White, we skipped most of Superjam to get a spot for Skrillex
and what would be the most insane party I have ever witnessed. A massive sea of probably 40,000 raving lunatics ready to lose all reality and go nuts for one of EDM's hottest artists. I am actually a fan of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and "dubstep", and have even been to quite a few "rave" parties in my younger years. But, I have never seen anything like this. It was nuts! The electric atmosphere was almost indescribable. Skrill's performance was just as crazy as the crowd. He orchestrated a thunderous raw and filthy set from a freaking spaceship that raised up above the crowd halfway through his set. My favorite thing about the set was his mixture of hip hop and reggae he introduced into his mixes. Explosions, smoke, confetti, and glowsticks filled the air all night long. I had a great time at this party. I think it may have even been shut down earlier than planned because it was so out of control. Whether you like his music or not, you can't deny the following he brings. A reason promoters placed him on the largest stage (Which) ever for any electronic artist at Bonnaroo. Next year they may have to open the main stage for a party of this magnitude. Here are some videos I shot that don't even come close to portraying the scene from inside the devil's den...
Sunday, June 10th
Delta Spirit 12:30 - 1:15
The last day started with a performance from Delta Spirit
on the Which stage where I started on Friday with The Kooks. It's hard to wake the crowd on the last day of the marathon festival, but I think Delta Spirit did a fine job. I have really gotten into their latest self-titled album
since it was released, and it displayed well on the large stage. The band's instrumentation was excellent and they seemed comfortable in the festival setting. Standouts for me were "Empty House" and "California".
GROUPLOVE 2:00 - 3:00
If you do not know who GROUPLOVE
is by now, take notice. They could easily be the next Arcade Fire
. This was the second time I have seen them live and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time, even with an almost identical set list. Their energy and enthusiasm is unmatched. From the get go, the energy was fueled from lead man Christian Zucconi and vocalist/keyboardist Hannah Hooper. Hooper conducted the fun with her kangaroo-esque dance skills and hardcore rocker like head banging. It was hard to not keep your eye on the only female in the group. Her spunk alone had the entire crowd jumping up and down throughout the set. The group seemed totally happy to be there and even commented on the over-whelming love they received from the Bonnaroo crowd. Well-deserved. A great band with a bright future ahead.
Mac Miller 3:00 - 3:15
for me was terrible. And I was actually looking forward to his set. I could only last 15 minutes. I took refuge with The Beach Boys that is how bad it was. He's a douche on stage and its the typical live rapper deal with a backup hype man screaming and repeating stuff. I actually liked his songs I have heard long before this year's festival, but on stage those songs don't translate. His voice is terrible out of studio and the whole appeal I think was that he was a young white rapper who many thought could be the next Eminem. Clearly now he has hit a growth spurt (deeper voice from age or American Spirit cigarettes, looks older, facial hair, etc) and that appeal is gone. He also did the deal where he stopped mid lyric to let the audience rap words. If I wanted to hear myself rap I would stay home. I don't know, maybe it wasn't that bad and I just wasn't in the mood for it, but for me it wasn't good at all. May have been better late night after a few beers. I don't know why I waste my time with hip hop shows. Most are pretty bad. Only one I have ever seen that was entertaining live was Jay Z in 2010. Eminem was solid as well in 2011.
The Beach Boys (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks) 3:30 - 4:15
I took Mac Miller's advice that he gave to the audience at the beginning of his show and checked out The Beach Boys
instead. I had my doubts about them considering their age and the previous performance I saw on The Grammy's in Feb. But, they were actually quite entertaining. It was crazy how many songs and lyrics I actually knew even though I wouldn't consider myself a big fan. I guess I can thank my dad for that. This was the perfect show to sit back and relax in my chair and soak up the sights and sounds of the last day. Not to mention, it is not often you get to experience a legendary band celebrating their 50th Anniversary! Way to hold it down fellas!
Ben Folds Five 4:30 - 5:00
After The Beach Boys, I caught about a half hour of Ben Folds Five
. Ben Folds is a cool cat and his fingers can work some magic on the piano. They had a large crowd at their show (Which stage) and he told everyone they were happy to be back at the festival. Their music puts you in a cheerful mode. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch more of them again on their upcoming US tour (Sept-Oct), the first in 12 years!
The Joy Formidable 5:00 - 6:15
The Joy Formidable
(TJF) was incredible. I had actually planned on skipping my favorite Wales rockers because I wanted to see most of Bon Iver and I had already seen them live three times before in Saint Louis. But, I got out voted and I'm glad I did. They put on a show! People kept coming up to the tent and packing in. Everyone was like who the hell are these guys. They kept toying with the crowd egging them on to go nuts. For "Whirring", me and CJH²
got in close. They absolutely lost their minds! Matt kept launching drum sticks at Rhydian. Rhydian then was smashing his guitar on Matt's symbols. At the end Ritzy threw her guitar like a javelin through a stand up bass drum. Then they threw and destroyed everything on stage including the entire drum kit. It was a 9 minute version of chaos and the crowd loved it! I cant imagine if that was my first time seeing them. Even me and CJ, who have seen it all before were high-fiving with excitement. Great show from TJF once again! After this show, Robbie Roo cashed out and called it a festival. Myself and Houndhammer pushed on.
Bon Iver 6:15 - 6:30
I had actually planned to see all of. But, like I said above, ended up catching the whole The Joy Formidable show instead. What I did see I was impressed with. His voice and instrumentation had no problem filling the main What stage field. I also got to hear my favorite song "Holocene" so I was happy about that. I will definitely go see him again when they come to town. His music is much more suited for an indoor intimate setting anyways I think.
The Civil Wars 6:30 - 6:45
Sunday scheduling sucked! I had to chose between The Civil Wars
, Young The Giant
, and Fun.
, who were all scheduled at the same time. Since I had already seen YTG live, my plan was to catch a little of The Civil Wars, and then watch Fun.'s whole show. Looking back, I wish I would have stayed for the whole show from the Grammy winning duo and skipped Fun. They were absolutely amazing! Those two were born to make beautiful music and nothing else. Well, and babies too I guess considering Joy Williams was so pregnant she could of had her baby on stage right there in the Tennessee heat. What a trooper! And what an angel of a voice! John Paul White is beyond incredible as well with his vocal and acoustic ability. I will not miss this pair ever again. This perhaps may have been my only regret of the festival.
Fun. 6:45 - 8:00
was good. And they did live up to their name I guess. But, they were not great as I had hoped. I don't know if it was because I was still thinking about going back to The Civil Wars or what. I kept sitting there waiting for the same thing everyone else probably was ("We Are Young", "Some Nights"), even though I know most of the songs off their latest album. But, ultimately I was too tired at this point to care or move again. The ending did indeed live up to the hype. It was cool to sing their two monster hits with literally tens of thousands of the diverse Bonnaroo crowd that crossed every demographic at this show. I will definitely give them another shot when my body and mind haven't gone through 4 straight days of festival abuse and sleep deprivation.
Phish 8:00 - 11:30
Houndhammer and I finally cashed out during Phish
which was good considering it was the last show of the entire festival. Took a nap in our chairs in the middle of the main stage field for an hour and a half of the 4 hour set. Woke up in time for an appearance of Kenny Rogers doing "The Gambler" with Phish. The light rain was welcomed and Phish was the perfect band to close down the festival. I have never seen them live before and I am not in tune with their massive cult-like following, but I can see why they have such a fan base. They jammed like no other! I almost worked up enough energy again to dance with the rest of the crowd. I don't know why I haven't given them a shot before, but either way I came out a fan. I think I will catch their show in Saint Louis
now in August. Great stuff! And just like that, another year at Bonnaroo came and went. The festival closed down with a spectacular fireworks show over the main stage sky. And then it was time to start looking forward to next year!
Concert Creep's Bonnaroo 2012 Top 10 Performances
On The Bubble: The Civil Wars, Bad Brains, YelaWolf, Ben Howard, Fitz & The Tantrums, GROUPLOVE, Foster The People
10. The Lonely Forest
9. Umphrey's McGee
8. The Joy Formidable
6. Alice Cooper
4. Two Door Cinema Club
1. Major Lazer
Comments? What were your favorite shows? I'd love to hear about them! Especially if you went to any of the shows I missed. Drop me a line over on my Facebook Music Blog Fan Page HERE
. I'll see ya next time out on the road!