So, like last year, I went to Bonnaroo again. And once again I would need a book (or a commemorative DVD) to go over everything I saw there. What was cool about this year is we had a huge group of (mostly) Sinfonians, a few of whom had been to every ‘roo, so they knew what they were doing, and as a result we had a killer camp site. We got to camp in the tent-only area closest to the main arch, meaning minimal walking in the incredibly hot Tennessee sun.
I feel like highlighting a few bands that really stood out in my opinion. I just want to say I probably had the most fun on Thursday when I was listening to bands I mostly didn’t know. And now I have at least three new artists I’ve added onto my iTunes playlist.
The Entrance Band was the first band I saw the entire festival. Killer guitar player. Kind of a screwed up psych/blues sound.
Mayer Hawthorne and The County – I’ve already seen them live before (opening for Passion Pit), but they definitely put on a much more powerful show this time.
Lotus – A really sweet electronic kind of jam band from Philadelphia. Of course, once you say the phrase “jam band” I’m interested. I thought they had a lot of energy and their music worked really well live. (After checking out their studio material I’m not so sure how I feel about them though).
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue – one of the funkiest acts I saw, they really got the crowd going.
Tenacious D – I’ve heard many people say this was their favorite show of the festival and I’d have to agree. They really rocked out hard, they worked in their sketches well, and it wasn’t boiling hot when they went on (not that any of the bands were in control of that).
The Flaming Lips – They performed Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, with Star Death and the White Dwarfs (who the hell are they??). I really, really, really enjoyed their renditions of the songs. It was definitely a fresh take on the album. And they had a sweet first set as well.
Mumford & Sons were another act I didn’t know a lot about, but they ended up being an incredibly good act. They brought another band out on stage to perform Wagon Wheel which is a sweet song I got to know when my band went on tour.
Dave Matthews Band – It was the first time I’ve ever really checked out DMB a lot, and I was not disappointed. Prior to this concert, I had only heard what was played on the radio, and a few songs my good friend Matty had showed me. Dave and his band really put a lot of energy forward and it was an awesome way to close out the festival.
Other bands I saw include: Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Weezer, The Dead Weather, Damian Marley and Nas, Norah Jones, John Fogerty, Ween, Zac Brown Band, Les Claypool, Umphrey’s McGee, Jeff Beck, GWAR, Dan Deacon Ensemble, Blues Traveler, Baroness, Dave Rawlings Machine, Jay Electronica, Neon Indian, DieselBoy
And not to mention we heard every band that played at the “That Tent”, because we were camped literally right behind it.