Tag Archives: Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo 2009 – Day 3 In Review

Day 3 really seemed to fly by.  Before I knew it I was watching NIN on stage and planning my escape from all the drugged out drunk folk who came to the ‘Roo to party.

Not this guy.  I came for the music.  In fact, here is my review for the third day of Bonnaroo:

Concert Review: Bonnaroo 2009 – 06/13/2009 – Day 3

Matt, Adam, and I all slept in a little longer than we wanted to.  Needless to say I missed some artists I wanted to see like the Heartless Bastards and Allen Toussaint.  I guess when you stay up till almost 5am sleeping in is expected.

We actually made it to the day lot without getting searched or even stuck in a traffic jam.  It was nice for once to actually get there not pissed off.

One of the highlights of my weekend was sharing the stage with the sorrowful folk singer William Elliot Whitmore.  During his set he decided to invite the fans to come a little closer and join him on stage.  I took the opportunity and actually snuck into the back end of the tent where I got to watch the backside of William Elliot Whitmore and also all the fans who were glued to him.

One thing I like about William Elliot Whitmore is how personal he is.  In between the songs he would run around and shake hands and give out hi-fives.  He’s a friendly fellow who, with his guitar and banjo, is a one man show telling tales of what he sees from his eyes.  His voice is haunting yet so appealing.  His set was one of my favorites of the weekend.

Adam and I walked around a lot again on Saturday and the ever so smart Matt purchased a folding chair at Wal Mart in the morning and took it into Centeroo.  He did his thing, we did ours, and later we would meet back up with him before the Boss took stage.

Throughout the day I was entertained by some artists I knew and others who I had not had the pleasure of hearing before.  One of the new bands to my ears was grassroots heavy The Del McCoury Band.  I really got a kick out of their material but had to cut it short so I could see Ms. Jenny Lewis.

While trying to see Jenny Lewis I managed to make way into a sectioned off side stage area where others were already viewing her set.  As I was looking for the best place to see Jenny Lewis I noticed a certain someone checking out her set.  Elvis Costello.  Pretty damn cool.

After Jenny Lewis played we checked out Wilco, a band I really need to see live in their entirity.  Every time Wilco plays a festival I seem to skip their set to see someone else.  I enjoyed the couple songs I heard them play but really wanted to see Elvis Costello play.

Elvis Costello once again just blew my mind during his set. I saw Elvis Costello perform at the 2006 Bonnaroo so I knew what I was in for. I was pleasantly thrilled to see both Allen Toussaint as well as Jenny Lewis both join Elvis Costello on stage separately during the set. I was kind of figuring it would happen since both artists have worked with Elvis Costello but still when it happens live in front of you, you can not help but get excited.

Seeing how this was my first Bruce Springsteen experience Matt was quick to tell me what to expect. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band were everything I thought they were going to be. Where as I am not a huge fan of The Boss, I have enough appreciation for him and his band to watch the entire set and thanks to the live performance am looking to listen to look last the hit songs and dig deep into his catalog. Matt had taken off get a closer look and later told me he made it about fifteen rows back from the main stage. Good for him. I don’t think I could have done it myself.

Nine Inch Nails was awesome as I expected.  I was pissed because I felt NIN deserved the What Stage, the main stage of the event.  Instead they played the Which Stage which to me was not big enough for NIN. Playing through a mix of songs they shocked me most by busting out “Burn”. That song alone won me over for their set list. Sadly this performance by NIN is slated to be their last US performance for who knows how long… Glad I was there to witness it.

NIN sounded awesome as usual and as soon as MGMT and Moe took their respectful stages some of the douchbaggery cleared out.  That made things much better for us as I am pretty sure the three of us were the only folk who were not retarded on substances.

Once NIN finished up and we got back to our hotel it was almost 4am.  I stayed up till 6am writing the above review and managed to get a couple hours of shut eye.

Today is of course the last day of the event.  We plan on getting there in time to check out Dillenger Escape Plan as well as come other artists.  Once Coheed & Cambria finish their set we are done with the ‘Roo.  I have absolutely so desire to see Phish close the festival with their hippie material.

This has been one hell of a trip so far and I am really looking forward to the final day to this outstanding festival.  Time to head to the farm now, but first we need to stop at Tennessee / Alabama Fireworks for some souvenirs that might be illegal in Ohio.

Pics galore:

Bonnaroo 2009 – Day 2 In Review

I’ll still hanging in there kids.  I will tell you though that I am tired of the patchouli smell that seems to be getting stronger day by day.  Seeing dudes in dresses with nappy hair is a novelty for only so long.  More on that in a moment.

I stayed up late night to post a hopefully composite music review on Blogcritics.Org:

Concert Review: Bonnaroo 2009 – 06/12/2009 – Day 2

Mind you I finished writing that around 5am so if it does not make sense my apologies.  I think I could have left out my actual travel patterns and all but I wanted to just tell everyone what I saw from my eyes and if that included naming off every stage on the grounds then so be it.

One of the highlights of the day was getting searched by the local Drug Task Force.  They said it was a random check and asked me to pull my car over to the side so they could search it.  I was threatened if I did not fess up to my weapons and drugs and told if I lied they would throw me in jail.

I laughed the entire time they looked in my car looking for nothing.  When they were just about finished one of the elder officers asked to look in my CD cases because, and I quote, “that is where they hide the weed.”

Who in hell would hide weed in a CD case?  And why was my car pulled over and searched as at least fifteen stoners drove past me with glazed eyes and smiles that seemed to thank me for letting them in with their eight pound bag of weed without getting caught.

That right there pissed me off.  I am drug free and for the time being alcohol free.  Why me?  Random my ass.  I think Tennessee sees Ohio as a drug lord state and thought they hit the big one.  Sorry boys, better luck next time.

So after that time delaying stop we made it to the day lot, parked the car, and started our second day.

The second day was actually the first full blown day of the festival with much more folk inside Centeroo.  People from all directions were walking to and from checking out everything they possibly could.  There was just so much to see and literally not enough time to see it all.

The three of us, yes Matt actually joined us, walked around for a moment and decided on what our plans were for the day.  Shockingly Matt wanted a map and shade.  He had his own plans for the day and was not too thrilled about many of the afternoon acts and wanted to just hang out.  We would not see him until midnight.

I think Matt has something against hardcore hippies. I do too.  I have had enough patchouli stink to last me a lifetime.  When you are surrounded by a sea of people and that smell seems to get stronger and stronger it just gets plain annoying.  I am also tired of hearing “hey bro!” screamed from one stoner to the next.

I have realized that I am getting old.  There is no doubt about that.  I think I am tired too, this is an angry, grumpy, tired post.

I have nothing against everyone having a good time and popping as many pills as they can fit into the palm of their hands.  Let them be free, let them smoke weed, just stay the hell away from me and for the love of god quit asking me if I have have green!  I was even asked by some girl “where can I find Molly?”  With a confused face I looked at here and asked her what in the hell she was talking about.

She ran away.  Ha.

The second day of Bonnaroo not only was the first day of Bonnaroo for Matt but really the start to the festival with more artists playing throughout the day.  The rain stayed away and the sun shone making for the perfect festival atmosphere.

One of the surprise acts of the day would have to be the Belleville Outfit.  The jazzy cabaret folk act was just the type of band I was looking to discover and made a note to check them out some more once I returned home.

Santigold put on quite the show with their mix of rock and hip hop.  Al Green was one of those experiences I am glad I did not pass up.  I still can not believe I saw the Rev. Al Green live.  I have always been a fan of his older material since I was a kid so seeing him live was pretty damn outstanding.

The Beastie Boys owned the main stage Friday night pushing through a long set full of classic material as well as playing a brand new song with special guest NAS.  It was great to see the B-Boys again on the big stage doing their thing.  Mix Master Mike also put on quite the show scratching the hell out of vinyl and creating some truly unique sounds.

Justin Townes Earl was another act that I randomly walked up to having no idea what to expect.  I was blown away by his indie country mix and complete politeness to all who came to see him.  I even went so far as to grabbing one of his Midnight At The Movies LPs after the show.

French act put on one of my favorite sets on Friday with their French indie / electronica / rock display.  Having first heard of them on the Lost In Translation soundtrack I did not even realize they were playing Bonnaroo.  We all watched the whole set and I know I enjoyed every single song performed.

Public Enemy was another huge highlight of the day.  Seeing the twenty-plus year old band take the stage was something I was not sure would ever happen again.  They played strong and looked good.  The act even busted out their 1988 classic It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back from start to finish.  Wow.

I can say that I am ready for today.  I got some sleep, ate some delicious Shoney’s and am now ready to tackle day three of the Bonnaroo.

Until then, here are some more photos:

Tonight is going to be a long night mainly because of NIN playing a early morning set from 1am till 3am.  That is going to be amazing yet will drain what little energy I will have left in me but I am ok with that.

Bonnaroo 2009 – Day 1 In Review

Still feeling good and excited for today’s second installment of Bonnaroo I thought I would share the link of the review I did for Blogcritics.Org on my day one experience.

Concert Review: Bonnaroo 2009 – 06/11/2009 – Day 1

The first day was insane.  It was just Adam and I as Matt decided to go to see the B-52’s play in Chattanooga.  (To each their own my friends…)  Being the nice guy that I am I dropped his ass off down by the river in Chattanooga and then headed to Bonnaroo with Adam for our first day of the four day weekend.

Bonnaroo is just as great as I remember it.  Tons of people all sharing the same vibe.  Music playing all over the place full of different genres.  Vendors selling their crafts as well as food and taking donations for various causes including something called “Mountain Top Removal“.

It was a little scattered on the farm as many people would not be arriving until Friday. People would actually be piling in all night long as some were not as fortunate as myself in having an extended weekend.

There are plenty more booths that need to be checked out and I will be doing some more of that today.

I saw some great acts I have never seen before as well as some favorites like Those Darlins.  Yes, I am aware that I talk about them entirely too much but once you see them live you will understand my liken for the bunch.  Not only is their music fun and catchy but the girls are super cool too.  After their set Kelly Darlin spotted me and recognized me from her last show in Cleveland.  She gave me a huge hug and chatted for a moment.  I’m not starstruck or anything, but how cool is that?  I know I am an unforgettable guy and all but for someone who has been non-stop touring for months and seen millions of faces, to remember one is pretty rad

John and Katie from Thirty Tigers were there too.  I seriously love those two, they are great.  Where I would have liked to have hung with them more after Those Darlins rocked out it was thunderstorming way too much and they had to help get the girl’s gear to their van.  I’m hoping to run into them today.

So I leave you here with some photos I took with my little camera yesterday.  I am not sure that I want to take in the good camera with the threat of storms and whatnot.  I prefer to come home with no damaged equipment.  We are prepared though.  I purchased a rain jacket and waterproof box and Adam and Matt both got ponchos.

Bonnaroo Day 2, here I come.

And So It Begins – Pre-Bonnaroo Shenanigans

I write this with tired eyes from a Holiday Inn Express in Kimball, TN – a podunk Tennessee mountain town about 40 miles away from the actual Bonnaroo venue located in Manchester, TN.

The ride was tough and I did it all by myself. More on that in a second.

I do believe though I am a bit of a psychic though.  You see, I wrote a little pre-Bonnaroo scenario about our drive as included with a mix I submitted for Addicted To Vinyl’s Monday Morning Mix just this past week.  I comically mentioned things about the drive I found funny including sleeping and physical harm.  Some it what I wrote about actually came true…

For the record, this crap does not work at all... 3 cans of Monster energy drink however does.

Matt, Rad-am (Adam) and I hit the road around 3am Wednesday morning with hopes of getting to Nashville around the lunchtime hour to meet up with some folk.  In a nutshell I drove the entire way while Matt slept most of the time and Adam rose and fell into subconsciousness.  For fun when Adam would start bobbing his head I would relentlessly smack the back of my hand into his chest.  I am sure he did not find it as funny as I did but it kept me going.

As we rolled through Kentucky there was a terrible thunderstorm that made the drive tough.  This was a reminder of what could come this weekend.  Bonnaroo + Thunderstorms = Not Fun.

It got bad, real bad.
It got bad, real bad.

Having been up since 5am on Tuesday I was having a tough time staying awake but I kept at it, took rest stop breaks when needed, slammed sugarfree energy drinks, and finally got the three of us to Nashville where we met up with the wonderful John and Katie at Thirty Tigers.

John and Katie were supercool folk who I look forward to kicking it with hopefully within the next couple of days.  Very good people who are all about music.

Speaking of music, their office is actually located above one of the sweetest record stores I have ever set foot in, Grimey’s.  This music store specializes in new and pre-loved (awesome) CDs and vinyl.  I was like a kid in a candy store looking around and talked myself out of a lot of purchases.  By the time we had to head out I had purchased two LPs and a 45.

From there we checked out Music Rd. where we had lunch with one of Matt’s friends who runs his own networking music promoting company.  Awesome conversations and a shrimp poboy sandwich made for a great lunchtime hour.

Drained and in need of serious sleep we made way to the hotel.  I can not tell you how great it felt to put my head on that pillow and take a 4 hour nap.  Not wanting to waste the entire night Adam and I went to see what was good in Kimball, TN.

Well, there was the neon heavy Tennessee Alabama Fireworks Souvenir store…

I’ll get a better picture later since my camera fogged up during all of the other ones I took.  This place sold fireworks, beer, and tacky ass typical souvenirs.  It was glorious.

That was about it for the city as far as standout attractions.

Bonnaroo starts around noon tomorrow.  The weather is calling for strong scattered storms tomorrow.  I may play it safe and leave the cameras in the car.  I hope the showers stay away though…

Wish us luck.

I’ll post an update tomorrow when we get back from day 1 at Bonnaroo.

Bonnaroo Is Almost Here…

The time has come for one of the more exciting highlights of my year.  Of course I speak of Bonnaroo!!!

Aerial shot by Taylor Crothers
Aerial shot by Taylor Crothers in 2006

When you go to any four day festival there is a lot of planning involved.  Not only do you need to pack enough to survive four days on a farm in the middle of Tennessee, but you also need to plan ahead with what bands you want to see.  Then there is the food you might want to bring, the mixes you need to make for the ride to and from as well as plan how you are going to get there.

Luckily I went in 2006 so I know how to get there and where to go.  Just in case you do not though, Bonnaroo posted this funny clip:

How to Bonnaroo tip 2 from Bonnaroo on Vimeo.

Now when I get there, who is it I wanted to see?

Well thanks to Bonnaroo’s website I was able to plan the performances I wanted to see.  Of course this is subject to change…

Thursday June 11th, 2009
Roger Alan Wade – Troo Music Lounge hosted by Budweiser 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Black Lillies – Troo Music Lounge hosted by Budweiser 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
MURS – The Other Tent 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM
Those Darlins – Troo Music Lounge hosted by Budweiser 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM
People Under the Stairs – The Other Tent 10:15 PM – 11:15 PM
Tobacco – Troo Music Lounge hosted by Budweiser 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM

Friday June 12th, 2009
Portugal. The Man. – Sonic Stage 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Gomez – Which Stage 12:45 PM – 2:00 PM
Animal Collective – Which Stage 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Which Stage 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Grizzly Bear – This Tent 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
Al Green – What Stage 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
TV on the Radio – Which Stage 6:45 PM – 8:00 PM
Lucinda Williams – This Tent 6:45 PM – 8:15 PM
Beastie Boys – What Stage 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM
David Byrne – Which Stage 8:45 PM – 10:45 PM
Phish – What Stage 11:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Public Enemy – This Tent 12:30 AM – 1:45 AM
Paul Oakenfold – This Tent 2:15 AM – 4:00 AM
Girl Talk – That Tent 2:15 AM – 3:45 AM

Saturday June 13th, 2009
Heartless Bastards – Which Stage 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
William Elliot Whitmore – Café Where hosted by AT&T 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Booker T & the DBTs – Which Stage 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Raphael Saadiq – That Tent 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Heartless Bastards – Sonic Stage 3:15 PM – 3:45 PM
Gov’t Mule – Which Stage 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Jenny Lewis – That Tent 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
of Montreal – This Tent 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM
Wilco – What Stage 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Elvis Costello Solo – That Tent 6:45 PM – 8:15 PM
The Decemberists – This Tent 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
The Mars Volta – Which Stage 7:15 PM – 8:45 PM
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – What Stage 9:00 PM – 12:30 AM
Nine Inch Nails – Which Stage 1:00 AM – 3:00 AM
moe. – This Tent 1:00 AM – 4:00 AM
MGMT – That Tent 2:15 AM – 3:45 AM

Sunday June 14th, 2009
Cage the Elephant – That Tent 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Other Tent 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Dillinger Escape Plan – That Tent 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Jessica Lea Mayfield – Café Where hosted by AT&T 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
High on Fire – That Tent 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Erykah Badu – What Stage 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Andrew Bird – Which Stage 4:15 PM – 5:45 PM
Shadows Fall – That Tent 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Merle Haggard – This Tent 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
Snoop Dogg – What Stage 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Band of Horses – Which Stage 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Coheed and Cambria – That Tent 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

PHEW!  That is a lot of bands.  This is the first time I have actually planned out a festival in advance and I am pretty sure that I will not stick to this.  There are plenty of other acts that might catch my ears as I walk through the festival grounds.

As most of you know I am attending this amazing trip with Matt from Addicted To Vinyl and his new roomie Rad-am.  I will be blogging as much as I can about my experiences here on this site as well as will try and create nightly wrap-ups once we return to our hotel at the end of the day for Blogcritics.Org.

Hotel you ask?  Bonnaroo offers hotels?

Not at all.  It is a camping environment.  Unless you have a hotel lined up somewhere in the general area, when you get to the farm in Manchester you park your car, set up camp, and hang out within the area for the duration of the event.

When I say 80,000 I mean it.  The picture above shows just 1/2 of the camping grounds.  It is surreal once you are walking around the place.

Now why the hotel you ask?

Seriously, do you honestly think I was going to camp with some 80,000 other people?  Hell no.  I need AC, bed, and most importantly a freaking shower!  I also need internet access, more AC, and peace and quiet when I am trying to sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, Bonnaroo will offer most of what I need sans AC, a bed, and peace and quiet.  It is impossible to think all 80,000 people will be sleeping at the same time so that rules out the peace and quiet.  Plus I am not much of a camper anymore and really hate it when the sun rises and turns the tent you sleep into an oven and you have to rip open the door just to breathe.  I am also a light sleeper and am sure I would not sleep a wink there.  That is why we got a hotel.  Plus I like AC.

When I think about it, it will be worth the extra money shelled out for the hotel.  It was when I went in 2006.  Even if I only spent 6 or less hours a day at that crap hotel we stayed at I got a shower and a sound sleep thanks to AC.  I am thinking though that the hotel I got this time will be a little better.  We are staying at a Holiday Inn Express about 30 miles south of Manchester.  I do not mind the drive at all seeing when I was at Bonnaroo in 2006 our hotel was about the same distance.

The food served inside Bonnaroo is not too overpriced and you can bet your sweet you know what that Matt and I will be eating as much Sonic as possible.  I am sure I will be eating breakfast at Krystal’s too.  I love me some grits.  I am also psyched to learn there is a Waffle House right by our hotel so that means a meal when we come back to the hotel around 5am…

Parking was not that bad either.  There is a visitor lot just to the north of the farm that has easy access to the highway as well is only about a 15 minute walk to Centeroo – the main festival ground where all the fun happens.

The guys and I are leaving Bonnaroo Sunday most likely after Coheed & Cambria around 8pm and were going to pull an all night drive back to Ohio but the more and more I think about it I think I am just going to drive as far home as I can and then get a hotel.  We shall see what happens…

Stay tuned to Brokenheadphones for Bonnaroo 2009 from my eyes.  Should be a pretty interesting!