Editors Note – Sorry for the delay, Bonnaroo took a lot out of me and after the long drive home I went to see Rancid/Rise Against at the Tower City Amphitheater with very little sleep.
The final day of Bonnaroo came and went faster than any of the other days and before I knew it I was headed for the first real meal in four days thanks to the Cracker Barrel in Murfreesboro, TN. The Southern Belle served catfish was an absolute delight and the three of us relaxed and talked about the whole weekend and unexpected events.
More on that in a moment. First I should note that I was able to review the final day for BlogCritics.Org:
I kept my reviews on BlogCritics pretty simple mostly focusing on the music aspect and seem to be getting some interesting comments stating I am a “newb” and so on. I did not want to go into detail about Bonnaroo on those reviews because the read would be way too long. It was a music review, not a Bonnaroo journal. After reading them I think I could have done better but what I was trying to do was review each day nightly and sometimes I was up till 5am while doing so. It is what it is…
Thankfully I have this site to blabber on about everything else…read on in a moment for a Bonnaroo wrap-up.
The final day at Bonnaroo was short and quick mostly because I had to cart an ill fated Matt from one hotel to another. The poor kid woke up feeling like hell and asked me how I felt about staying another night at the hotel. I was honest with him and told him I preferred not to backtrack so I found a hotel in Murfreesboro, a city about a half hour North of Manchester. We all drove to the new hotel and dropped Matt and our stuff off. It was bittersweet to see the room number was 420.
By the time we dropped sickly off and got back to Bonnaroo it was going on 2pm. Luckily day four doesn’t get hopping until about that time.
To sum up day 4 at Bonnaroo I will say it was the perfect way to end the four day festival. I saw a great performance by Jessica Lee Mayfield, a Kent, OH artist. I saw Andrew Bird for a quick moment before heading over to see Merle Haggard take the stage. I can not even tell you how awesome it was to be in the crowd as the legendary country artist played.
Coheed & Cambira threw on a killer performance full of interesting covers and a 10+ minute drum solo during their closing song “The Final Cut”. I sang at the top of my lungs throughout all of their songs and enjoyed every minute of it. I am thrilled that they were on the Bonnaroo bill.
Coheed & Cambria Setlist @ Bonnaroo:
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood & Burial)
Apollo I: The Writing Writer
No World For Tomorrow
Gravemakers & Gunslingers
Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith cover) / Under The Milky Way (The Church cover)
A Favor House Atlantic
Blood Red Summer
Red Rain (Peter Gabriel cover)
The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut
The last show of the festival for Adam and I would be the amazing performance by Coheed & Cambira. I opted to skip out on Phish and yes I am kicking myself for missing it as I heard it was an amazing close to the festival with Bruce Springsteen joining the jam rockers on stage for a couple of songs.
Oh well… I am just not a Phish fan and preferred to get on my way. Adam and I drove back to Murfreesboro and were looking for somewhere to grab a real meal when suddenly Matt texted Adam asking us if we had eaten yet, good timing. We picked up Mr. Sniffles and went to Cracker Barrel and pretty much took turns summing up the weekend.
It was a good time had by all.
Bonnaroo Wrap-Up Pissed Off Edition:
If I has to sum up the weekend with five words it would be: “Bro toss me the frisbee”
The three of us had a blast driving from Ohio, pit-stopping in Nashville, and of course kicking it at Bonnaroo. Granted Matt only made it to two of the four days, the three of us have enough musical memories to last a lifetime.
Let’s discuss some shall we?
First there is the good folk at Thirty Tigers who invited us to stop at their office and hang out for a moment. I can not even tell you how nice Katie and John are. We even met the owner later on Thursday, sadly I can not remember his name. Anyways, if you are a folk/country/rock music lover do youself a favor and check out their site and sample some of the bands on their label and thank me later.
Our hotel was in Kimball, TN. I thought it was not going to be terribly far away but I was a little off on distance. The room was booked as it was the cheapest in the area as the surrounding communities tent to hike up their prices of the nightly rates for those who refuse to camp. Extra money or not I am glad we got a hotel because there is no way this guy could camp at Bonnaroo. No showers, no AC, no way.
Let us not forget about Matt who wanted to skip out the first day of Bonnaroo to just relax at the hotel. I was ok with his decision. During breakfast I joked that the B-52’s were playing in Chattanooga, TN and I almost regret that…haha. Matt was dead serious when he asked me to drive him to Chattanooga and leave him there for the day so he could see the B-52’s play on the river. I was not exactly happy to drive out of my way but he does love that band and I know he had a blast there so I am glad I could help a friend out. Spite my little disagreement with a local officer we were able to pick up Matt up late night and get the hell out of there and back to the hotel for some sleep. He wrote a little blog about his solo experience.
Seeing Those Darlins live made my day. Kelley Darlin giving me a hug after their set was even better. Too bad it was pouring rain, thunder storming, and there were announcements of Tornado watches in the area. Those Darlins had to bail to save their equipment and Adam and I had to save our Matt.
Friday while stuck in a traffic jam on a side road the three of us were quick to see a colossal sized lady selling fruit in once of the random vendors set up on the side of the road. She sat there stuffed in a lawn chair ever so un-ladylike with her chubby legs wide open for the world to see. Poking fun at her with closed car windows did not pay off though…karma is a bitch.
Not even five minutes later we were subject to a random car search courtesy of the local drug task force. As the officer explained how and what they would be doing I am pretty sure that at least 50 pounds of marijuana drove past us. For being a random car search they sure picked the wrong car. We had nothing. Still determined to find a single speck of weed they tore through my CDs looking to see if I hid weed in the CD cases. I honestly wanted to kick all of them in the asses for being so dumb.
Freedom of choice was a good thing too. With such a wide span of performaces Matt did his own thing over the weekend and Adam and I cruised the grounds checking out as many sets as we could. We managed to come across some bands we had never even heard of including Justin Townes Earl (Steve Earl’s son) as well as talk to folk from all over.
I was joking about all the hippies raiding the grounds but to be honest there were music fans of all types filling up the farm. There were indie kids, country kids, punk rockers, douche bags, and even older folk all there to listen to music and for some to get as hammered as possible, slam down drugs, and make failed attempts at picking up members of the opposite sex.
Say what you want about me, I am not one who does drugs. I had my fling with them when I was younger and left it at that. I am not going to judge anyone either for doing them but I was getting a little annoyed at all the wide pupiled, acid dropping, ‘shroom eating, nitrous oxide huffing, ragers bumping into me, asking me where they could score stuff, and even at one time falling on me. That my friends is another reason why I did not camp there, it’s not my style. Sadly one person never made it home from Bonnaroo. It was reported that the Bonnaroo cleanup crew found a 20 year old male deceased in a tent. I am thinking drugs played a part in his death and that my friends is why I do not EFF with that crap.
The entire experience was amazing if not better than when I attended in 2006. Where else could one go to and see that many bands with some major label artists? At no moment the entire weekend was I miserable. I was happy to be a part of the festival and am already planning on next year’s.
All the ladies and their hula hoops were fun to watch. There is something so hypnotizing about a beautiful Bonnaroo lady and her hula hoop. I chatted with a girl before the Beastie Boys performance who was telling me how she made hula hoops and sold them at festivals. That might explain why there was an abundance of hula hoops on the farm. Novel idea if you ask me… In fact I just discovered that I sold my Bonnaroo ticket to a great girl who actually makes and sells hula hoops. Check out her site for more info!
Being a part of 80,000 people is so surreal. You look around and all you see are people who came to the farm the very same reason you did. The only way to really experience Bonnaroo is to be there. I am sure the experience is even more intense when you camp too but again, that is just not me.
The plethora of genres of music kept me going all weekend. Surprisingly I found myself only watching the entire sets of very few artists and instead cutting sets short so that I could see someone else perform.
The weekend was a great success. We made it to and from without any causalities. I did not want to punch anyone in the face, shocking… I am actually considering doing it again next year. I know Matt will be sitting that one out but I am pretty sure Adam is all about coming with.
Now if only I had a hint of what the Bonnaroo 2010 line-up will be??? I am sure it is going to be awesome.