Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bonnaroo - Day 4

Ah, the last day of the greatest weekend ever.

I managed to find the golden time to get to Centeroo to avoid missing shows as well as trying to pass two hours (around 10:30/11:00, if you're ever planning to go). I started the day at This Tent to see Smith Westerns. A good band with good music, but they still need to work on their stage presence. I will give them a pass though, since they're barely out of their teens.

Seriously, how old are you 12?

I then headed over to The Other Tent (gotta love these venue names) for Nicole Atkins. While I've listened to her music for a couple of years now, I never got deeply into it, but she was incredible live. Much more riveting in person than recorded. The highlight was the audience participation anthem "Brooklyn's on Fire!" I love sing-alongs!

I love your music now!

Next, at the same stage , was Jose Gonzalez's band Junip. Not a terribly exciting perfomance, but their music is pretty low-key. They could have livened it up a bit by playing my favorite song of theirs, "Always", but alas, it did not happen. Sigh.

I still love you, though!

After Junip, I meandered over to Which Stage for Iron & Wine, another act with a suspiciously sparse audience...Iron & Wine had been a solo effort of Sam Beam for nearly a decade and three studio albums, but had a full band for his latest effort, Kiss Each Other Clean. I was pleasantly surprised that he kept his full band on stage with him even when performing songs he had done as a solo artist. It kept the set from being too boring, but he could have used them more to their full potential.

BEARD...soft rock...folk?

I left a little early to head back to The Other Tent to try and get close to the next act I wanted to see. I got over their to catch the tail-end of Robyn's birthday performance (can't say that I'm really that into her, but I am trying). After squeezing through the hoards of people leaving Robyn's show along with the hoards of people entering for the next show, I got about twenty feet (and seemingly 1000 people) away from the stage.

I got squeezed in pretty tight behind a girl who didn't realize that, with long hair, you can't just flip it every other second in that kind of crowd. That somewhat- mild annoyance was worth it, though, for...Beirut! Zach Condon and his band were probably among the most technically proficient musicians of the entire festival; their songs and the set were amazing. And, good for me, there was trombone!

I should start playing again so I can join an indie band.

That was the last show that I really wanted to see of the festival, but the evening was still young, so I wandered around to some of the other shows. I spent about five minutes at The Strokes (despite going on ten years as a fan, I have very little desire to see them live for some reason).

After, I headed to That Tent to enjoy the beauty that is Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys some more. He was playing the Superjam set with Dr. John and several musicians from the festival, including My Morning Jacket's drummer! I guess Dan will only play with drummers named Patrick.

After that show, I headed back to camp and packed my car to the sounds of Widespread Panic in the background.

The weekend was over, but it was great. Saw some of my favorite bands, all of them for the first time and made some new friends. I will be back next year!

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