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  • Bonnaroo 2007 - Sunday/Monday

    21 Jun 2007, 5:15

    Thu 14 Jun – Bonnaroo 2007

    SUNDAY
    "It's gettin hot in herrre" 8:00
    Take my Sunday communion ;) (drank a bottle of wine in the car's AC while listening to ipod) 10:00
    Bonna Rouge (all 3 shows) 1:00
    Wilco (5:30) - Being on the main stage, they were playing to a much larger crowd that they were used to (as Jeff Tweedy referred to atleast once or twice.) I don't think this rattled them, really, but the crowd wasn't larger due to the wider range that people had traveled but more due to the fact that it was the main stage and they were performing between Bob Weir and Widespread Panic. Now that is not necessarily an incompatible line up, but I can recall a younger woman turning to her older husband(?) and naively asked "What is that?", referring to the tirade of noisy riffs playing along side Jeff Tweedy's pretty, bittersweet singing. I got the sense that he didn't really have an answer to this as he awkwardly assured her that it was okay. This was my fourth time seeing them perform live and there is a familiarity and connection I sense while watching them play, and that was definitely there for me this time too. This was the first time I have heard a couple of the newer songs live and they worked fine. I look forward to them taking on a unique familiarity of their own as I will surely see them play again in the future. So, to sum it up, it was a really great set, despite its atypical venue.

    White Stripes (7:15) - The White Stripes trumped all the other acts I saw this weekend making for a spectacular closing to an already incredibly remarkable concert going experience. They seemed to be very in their element performing in front of the largest crowd I'm sure the Which stage has ever hosted. Jack played up the brother/sister schtick like they've always done but he also more openly addressed his home-state crowd. Particularly thematic was their performance of Jolene by Dolly Parton. While this is a staple of their live shows it felt even more relevant and standout being played 50 miles from Nashville. Meg got in on the accessibility factor too by taking center stage for her performance of "In the Cold Cold Night". I've seen them 3 times previously and each lives on in memory in its own way and this performance too had its own distictions. For one thing it was the first time I've seen them play from "Icky Thump" which fits in with their repertoire very well. There wasn't as diverse an arsenal of instruments brought in as when I saw them after "Get Behind Me Satan" so in that sense the new songs are more a return to form. The new song set also featured a nice mix of wild, skull-bashing tunes ("Icky Thump") as well as honestly innocent but still with a sense of desperation songs ("I'm a Martyr for my Love for You") that I've come to depend on in Jack's songwriting. Along side the new numbers were many crowd-energizing favorites such as "Hotel Yorba", "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and "Seven Nation Army" and some personal favorites like "Black Math", "Ball and Biscuit" and "We're Going To Be Friends". And for some reason I was particularly moved by "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself". When they performed "Motherless Children" I couldn't help but consider it as some sort of twisted Happy Fathers Day wish. (Which similarly made me want them to play "Union Forever" though they didn't.) The only part of the set which was at all quizing was when they took time out to anonymously give some audience member the opportunity to propose marriage. Aside from that, from start to finish it was a completely captivating and invigorating show.
    Shopping 9:00
    Drinking 10:00
    Done 11:30

    MONDAY
    Wake up <i>not</i> covered in sweat...oh it's 6:30
    Decide to play the early bird 6:45
    Break camp & outside festival gates in record time 7:30
    Make it back to Lexington around 1:30 after repeating IHOP breakfast like last year on way into Nashville
    Start looking forward to next year's Bonnaroo 1:35
  • Bonnaroo 2007 - Saturday

    20 Jun 2007, 1:33

    Thu 14 Jun – Bonnaroo 2007

    SATURDAY

    Please somebody murder the sun for me 7:45
    At least I'm not hung over...must try harder 8:00
    Headin to the office 2:30

    Dave Attell (3:45) - The comedian I was least excited about seeing the without doubt the one I loved the most! His Jaeger promos were hilarious, as was pretty much everything else he went into.

    Franz Ferdinand (6:30) - Absolutely my most anticipated set of the festival (in part due to the fact that I had previously seen the White Stripes 3 times who otherwise would have challenged them for the title) Wished they had a larger time slot than 1 1/2 hours because it was so much fun but suppose they wouldn't have had too much more material to fill it with. There was a couple technical difficulties that arose as they went along but they handled it very gracefully. They perform very true to their recordings but in addition to the great sounds they also put out great vibes which got the whole crowd going. I think many of the people there might have approached the set with vaguer familiarities based on the dancing:dancing/singing ratios I observed but everyone certainly seemed to enjoy it.

    Police (9:00) - Playing to 80,000 people can be daunting even if you are head strong enough to make the world call you Sting. However he and the rest of the group definitely over came these threats and delivered a very good performance. All 3 members showed wonderful artistry with their respective parts which also came together very cleanly. Their parts didn't necessarily feed and build off one another but rather coexisted very nicely along side one another. Unfortunately, with a crowd that size that lack of physical interaction sometimes makes it difficult to connect with the performer. I wouldn't call their show a disappointment but I also would not declare it tour of the summer either as so many places and people are. I'm very happy to have seen them live but am very glad to have done so at Bonnaroo rather than spending literally hundreds of dollars to catch them at Churchill Downs next month.

    Flaming Lips (12:00) - Always a great time to see one of their shows as I have a couple times before and the familiar bits don't get old at all. To make this show even better there were even bigger and better bits which I haven't been privied to before. Things like an enormous space ship that lands and takes off and the opening and closing of the show. Also I'm not sure if this is now part of their regular show now-a-days but the bubble Wayne comes out and walks (crawls more accurately) around in is very cool. I know it made its initial appearance a couple years ago at Coachella but it was absent the one time I have caught them in between that and now. The cover of "War Pigs" they did for a "sound check" was also amazing. Their set was totally packed full of fun and entertainment but in the end I wished there were more songs performed. Wayne spent a fair amount of time making speeches which didn't seem ingenuine but did put a damper on the otherwise non-stop excitement of their live show. Don't get me wrong...I hope for, relate to, and apprecicate all the things he discussed but "relax man"...there is definitely a lot of love between you guys and us but its a kind of love that is best expressed through dancing and trying to catch confetti out of the air while you are high. Speaking of and getting back on track, another extention of his extreme graciousness (one which I will not gripe about) was the larger than normal amounts of confetti and giant balloons to play with throughout the set. Their giving ways kept on going with the way they allowed a large group of fans (as they always do) on stage for their entire set to dance along in provided costumes. A new feature I got to see for the first time involved at least 100 pen lasers that were tossed out to the crowd before the set started and which danced like a swarm of mating mayflies on the top of the stage rigging endlessly all throughout their set. This mating dance reached climax when at his command everyone aimed and fired their beams onto a mirror Wayne was holding and which caused them to be reflected across a huge stream of smoke, which revealed their twinkling splendor. Then everyone was instructed to focus their beams onto a huge white balloon that was release into the crowd. It resembled an orb of red lighting and was also quite an amazing sight whether you were under the influence or not. So while many songs were unfortunately left off the setlist they were sacrificed for the sake of a great number of incredible experiences and memories.

    Call it a day 2:30
  • Bonnaroo 2007 - Thursday/Friday

    19 Jun 2007, 2:43

    Thu 14 Jun – Bonnaroo 2007

    Another great year, so glad I went. This was my 2nd 'roo and approached it this year with a much more reasonable game plan of mixing in other activities with music sets as not to get sensory overload. With my camp site about 2 miles from Centeroo I made a point to only head back and forth once a day. This meant getting to bed around 5 AM only to be awoken by the blazing heat inside the tent around 8. Then get up, ready, and get hammered (as to avoid limit the number of $6 beers I would have to spring for) and head out on the trail with one beer in hand and another a second in the backpack for the last leg of hike up 3rd Avenue. So here's a rundown of what I did aside from my campsite routine.

    THURSDAY
    Exit highway 8:00
    Arrive at check in line & start drinking 8:30
    Arrived at site (2 hours behind intended time) 10:30
    Raid cooler and race off to Centeroo without making camp 10:35

    David Cross (11:45) - Pretty good; very casual performance which felt nicer & more personal. Aziz Ansari(opener) turned out to be good as well, though his "You might be a Deadneck" entries could have used some help. This is where the MC Nick Kroll shined however while his opening character performance kinda sucked.

    Art of Such n Such & Xbox Discoteque 1:00
    Blue Velvet2:00
    Get lost and disoriented going back to camp due to the fact that I had no idea what the site was going to look like after more people parked and campsites were set up. 4:00
    Go to bed in car 5:00

    FRIDAY
    Damn its hot in here 8:00
    Gin & Juice w/ Nutrigrain breakfast 8:15
    Make camp + liquid lunch 9:00
    2 more beers to go, barkeep 12:00
    Planet roo tents 12:30

    Lewis Black (2:00) - Boy, he really is an angry guy! Pretty much what you would expect from him without the profanity being beeped out. John Bowman was a highly entertaining basket case but managed to pull it together after getting the stink eye from Lewis Black from behind the curtain. Lynne Koplitz was funny for a while but was pretty one tracked. I get it lady, you've had a lot of sex and men are pathetic, inept creatures. Finesse Mitchell was funny but not especially memorable.

    Ferris Wheel ride 3:30

    Hot Chip (4:00) - Don't appear to be the sort of guys you would expect to be packing a dance floor but boy did they! The main vocalist performs more soulfully than I expected (based on 2 songs I knew going in) like he maybe was brought up singing at church. The whole group had great energy and came across as both accessible and high spirited. Great fun!

    Roots (6:00) - Definitely the most expectations exceeding set of event. The brass accompaniment was magnificent and the Roots' main MC delivered the verses with vicious charisma. I knew ?uestlove was a dope drummer but had no idea about the calibur of the other musicians. The bass player was funky and impenetrible all throughout their set except when smashing through his solos where his technique was wildly experimental and very captivating and definitely raised the excitement level in everyone. Another real prodigy was their guitar player/vocalist whose explosive performance on their 20 minute cover of Bob Dylan's Masters of War was chilling. Being the way the set it to a marching tune and the festival setting I thought I was seeing Jimi Hendrix's reincarnate provide the Bush-damning counterpoint to his virtuous Star Spangled Banner cover at Monterrey Pop. Fantastic set that just went on and on with perfect enthusiasm and which left me stunned and amazed.

    Brooers Tent
    End of Little Miss Sunshine 8:30
    Beginning of Borat 10:05

    SuperJam (11:00) - A real thrill to get to pay respects to John Paul Jones and see some of Zeppelin's tunes allowed to come out and play. As is probably evident by my set selections more of a nu-roo'r as opposed to the original Bonnaroo fan meaning jam bands and hippie music aren't totally my thing. Perhaps for this reason alone I wasn't utterly blown away by this set, but still feel priviledged to have partaken.

    DJ Shadow (2:00) - Very sincere, humble and passionate when he spoke to the crowd at the ends and between blocks of songs. Fantastic music made even better with great a visual show and fun song interactivity. I don't remember the name of the MC who came out for a few songs but he was a certified born-entertainer too. Without a doubt the best DJ set I've ever seen and danced my ass off to.

    Get only slightly lost this time going home 4:00
    (Flash)Lights out 4:30