behind the scenes from behind the mic.
Posted by: Hillary
Friday was quite a day. It started off with the news that Mumford and Sons ended up having to cancel their performance. Their bass player had to have emergency brain surgery, and although they had originally planned to keep their Bonnaroo date, they ended up cancelling for obvious reasons. The good news was Jack Johnson just happened to be at Bonnaroo performing with ALO and agreed to headline the show Saturday night. We were in the right place at the right time and were treated to a private performance.
After the private Jack Johnson show, I went to check out Local Natives. They were playing on the main stage and for the first time since I’ve been at Bonnaroo, it became apparent to me just how very many people are at this festival. It was so packed for Local Natives I laid a blanket down in the back, sat down and listened to their folky music and let the breeze roll over me.
After Local Natives I ran into the classic festival conundrum- two shows I want to see at once. One of them being Of Monsters and Men, the other Glen Hansard, who I have just recently become familiar (and kind of in love) with. The stages were far apart and the sun was beating down hard at this point, but I managed to just about split the two sets in half and check out both. Yay.
One of the bands I’ve been most excited to see at Bonnaroo this year is Wilco. I’ve loved this band for years and will always jump at the chance to see them perform. The crowd was enormous at the main stage when they came on. On the drive here to Bonnaroo I told Nick that if I could hear Wilco do California Stars, I’d be happy, it’s all that I needed. And Wilco provided. They brought on Calexico to help sing the song I love more than some family members. I had goose bumps the whole time. They also did “Impossible Germany” off “Sky Blue Sky” which is such a beautiful guitar-heavy song. It was perfect as the sun was setting and the air was cooling. Jeff Tweedy even mentioned how nice the weather was and how it’s usually “ass-hot” at Bonnaroo. Wilco, so far, has been one of my very favorite moments of the festival.
As I was watching Wilco, there was already a line forming for Paul McCartney who would play hours later. People sure are passionate about this Beatle. I went on to check some Jim James and Wu Tang clan while I waited with the 75,000 other Bonnaroo-goers to see Sir Paul. By the time 9:00 rolled around, the place was packed! Full of crazy characters dressed as Where’s Waldo ( some sort of theme going on here this year), a tele-tubby, a banana, a zebra, lots of fur and tons of lights alllll over people’s bodies and clothes. Paul McCartney started with “8 Days a Week,” which was fun to sing along to. I was so far back at this point, I could hardly even see the giant monitors broadcasting the show. It was also hard to hear among the wall of people. I stayed for about five more songs and decided to check out a more intimate show. I walked away form Paul McCartney’s performance to an almost desolate festival and found my way to Casey Crescenzo from Dear Hunter. Partly because I really did want to see him and partly because I felt bad for the only guy playing opposite a Beatle. We cozied up for a small show that was interrupted by loud, sparkling fireworks in the sky that made me jump. Paul’s show was over and so was my moment of solitude at Bonnaroo.
After Paul McCartney, another two shows at once problem presented itself. The classic ZZ Top? Or the super hip and up and coming The XX? How about both? The XX was ethereal and sweet, soft after a hard day in the sun. Soft to the point that I was afraid I would fall asleep. So I trekked on my very tired feet over to the HUGE crowd at ZZ Top. They did all the classics, they were pure fun and just what I needed after a day full of music and heat.
Everyone. And I mean EVERYONE told me to check out this band Pretty Lights. They went on and on about how awesome they are. So I kept my tired eyes open until he finally took the stage at 2am. I hadn’t realized it wasn’t a band at all but a dude and his computer. The music was so loud, I could feel the bass in my body. And, I must say, the lights were pretty. I see where he got the name. It was full on EDM and the kids loved it. I watched from the sides as they went crazy and the lights lit up the trees. It really was a sight to see.
I finally called it a night when I realized it was 4am. I could still hear the music from Pretty Lights as I layed in bed and fell asleep to the bass reverberating in my chest. More tomorrow!