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Friday Recap – By: Nick Snyder
Friday the 13th. Full Moon. 13th Bonnaroo. Doesn’t get much more superstitious than that. There were lots of reasons to celebrate on Friday, whether you were celebrating the first “full” day of the festival, the return of Kanye West to the farm, the incredible Derek Trucks Superjam, or just celebrating for the reason to celebrate; Friday was a day for the books.
So, we went all over the map of music genres yesterday…
Performances we saw: St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Vintage Trouble, Sam Smith, The Naked and Famous, The Head and the Heart, CHVRCHES, Kanye West, Ice Cube, Mastodon, Disclosure, Derek Trucks Superjam, Diarrhea Planet (yes, that’s the band’s actual name…) and Skrillex. Whew. That’s a lot to digest.
Band that is the “Next Big Thing”: St. Paul and the Broken Bones. A classic big band sound with a horn section that features powerhouse soulful vocals that drive the live sound to another level. The band performed an incredible cover of Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” and had the entire audience wanting more when their set concluded. Don’t miss them when they perform in Columbia at Roots N Blues N BBQ September 26 – 28. Everyone can find something to enjoy with this band.
Biggest Surprise of the day: Sam Smith. Sam performed his first American music festival on Friday at Bonnaroo and did not disappoint. With his new album set to release this Tuesday, Sam is poised for stardom. He wins big points for being able to carry a fast dance song and slow, smooth ballads. We certainly hope to see Sam perform again at a smaller venue, before he is headed for headliner status.
Headliner Recap: Kanye West.
What to say… you either love him or you hate him… really, really hate him. Kanye put on a worthy set of headlining Friday and I happened to really, really love it. Once it began, he did not let up at all. This is the first time Kanye has played at Bonnaroo since a huge delay ordeal in 2008 with the sets being pushed back a few hours.
Was the farm ready to forgive Kanye for 2008?
Mostly. I certainly was and his set was entertaining to say the least.
Dance Party of the day: Skrillex. Skrillex performed a late night set that kicked off at 1:45 am and featured a lot of his recent album, “Recess”. The whole field in front of the Which Stage was full of neon lights, glow sticks, costumes and an audience that was enjoying themselves to the fullest.
Welp, Friday was an overwhelming day with tons of great music. We’re still processing and sorting through it all. We’ll catch up with you all again with Saturday (and maybe more of Friday) coverage soon!
- Nick Snyder
Happy Bonnaroo! * High Five *
Day one of Bonnaroo is in the books and BXR has already encountered some interesting sights and seen some amazing artists.
Acts we caught throughout the day: The Wild Feathers, ZZ Ward, MS MR, Break Science, Cloud Nothings, J Roddy Walston & The Business and Pusha T.
Favorite act of the day: Break Science. Not necessarily in the realm of BXR music, but Break Science had a really fun electronic set with organic instruments. The hour and fifteen minute set at The Other Tent brought good vibes to everyone in attendance, just as the sun was setting over the beautiful Bonnaroo Farm.
Best Sing-a-long: Every song from The Wild Feathers. Being that the band is from Nashville, just down the road from Manchester, the band had a huge following and kicked off the entire weekend with a boom.
Band we want to hear more of: The Preatures. Another one of the first bands of the day, fronted by the wonderfully talented Isabella Manfredi, The Preatures left me wanting more. This Australian five-piece had a very tight set of their brand of synth-pop.
Loudest Band: Cloud Nothings. The three piece tore up “This Tent” last night and had a fast, raw sound. Even though there are only three members in the band, their sound was full, lush and didn’t miss a beat. Sometimes only having one guitarist is enough. Loved the set.
Biggest party: Pusha T. When Pusha T hit the stage around midnight, the crowd was all in at “The Other Stage”. It was dance party central for his entire set. Throwing in a version of Kendrick Lamar’s “B**** Don’t Kill My Vibe” won everyone over.
Naked people we’ve seen so far: 3
Couples making out that we’ve seen so far: 8
We’ll be posting more throughout the weekend – keep an eye to BXR.com!
Check out the photos from Thursday on our Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1ltgJac
- Nick Snyder / BXR
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!