[REVIEW + PHOTOS] Bonnaroo 2016 | Thursday & Friday

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“Celebrating 15 years of magic” was the tagline of Bonnaroo this year, as the seminal festival, inarguably a catalyst for helping usher in a boom of American festival interest, crossed a major milestone. For those who attended Bonnaroo 2002, Bonnaroo 2016 might feel like a distant cousin, having transformed, incrementally at first, into something more eclectic, something more competitive with the ever-growing music festival landscape, and something more necessarily corporate. That last point, especially, seemed to be a place of anxiety for attendees this year, faced with changes spurred at least partially by new owner LiveNation. Some pros and cons of the new arrangement were tangible (a new “pay to camp” model and slightly increased ticket prices, but also, a positive tradeoff: nice new bathrooms and running water), while others might take a few years to gauge; but, in general, Bonnaroo 2016 felt exactly like Bonnaroo, and anything new seemed generally in-line with the festival’s constant need to compete in the space year after year, LiveNation or not.

The festival has drifted far from its Woodstock-esque, jam band geared early days, and, yet, the spirit of that culture continues to inform the vibe and unique spirit that makes Bonnaroo so special. Morning yoga still attracts hundreds of attendees, incense still burns, handmade artisan goods are still sold, and acts like Dead & Company still find prominence; your average ‘Roo-goer may no longer be a conventional “hippie,” but it’s the good vibes, sense of community, and palpable positivity that make it a safer, friendlier, and superior experience to its top-tier festival peers. As an outlet, we’ve been documenting the Manchester, Tennessee based fest for half a decade, but as attendees, our love affair with ‘Roo extends twice as long. Change, bit by bit, can be scary, and sometimes even clunky, but it’s also a necessary part of life, and change, in the long-run, has been necessary to Bonnaroo’s growth, endurance, and perseverance. We love the foundation on which this festival is built, and, 15 years in, and with the same open minds, we went seeking magic, and found it in the same passionate community that will undoubtedly prop Bonnaroo up for years to come.

Once again, we turned our team of writers and contributing photographer loose to catch whatever piqued our interest. Here’s what we saw the first two days at Bonnaroo’s 15th anniversary.

THURSDAY

RootsOfARebellion_Roo16-Insert Roots of a Rebellion. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Roots of a Rebellion

10 years ago, fresh out of high school, and actively involved in and obsessed with music, I attended my first Bonnaroo. A decade later, I returned for my sixth, and Bonnaroo’s 15th, installment of the fest. Even with hundreds of bands on the bill, music festival lineups are highly subjective, and, while I came excited, eager to watch dozens of my favorite artists, this year’s lineup felt perhaps middle of the pack for me; not my favorite (that might go to 2012), or my least, but, with its sheer magnitude alone, still chock-full of plenty of worthwhile musical moments. As ‘Roo weekend approached, and especially as I settled onsite and ventured out to start another exciting four days of musical bliss, I felt an odd calm; there was rarely a moment of downtime, and, yet, never so many sets that felt indispensable, happening simultaneously, that I felt a sense of urgency or FOMO to run around in circles and wear myself out. Instead, Bonnaroo 2016 allowed me to be more present, discerning, and focused on most every performer on my list, and left room to watch a better balance of big and small, without constant sacrifices.

Local artists are typically plentiful, and an important part of Bonnaroo’s DNA, and this year was no exception, slotting longtime site favorites and 2016 Road to Roo winners Roots of a Rebellion in a prime Thursday afternoon spot. It seems like music started slightly later this year, and that’s a good thing, because most of the day inevitably gets spent arriving, setting up, and getting settled. Commanding a respectable, still-fresh crowd at the On Tap Lounge, the band played with the same positive vibes, hypnotic roots and reggae sensibilities, and polished confidence that have earned them so much praise in Nashville. In fact, it’s kind of crazy that ROAR hadn’t played Bonnaroo before, as their sound and style suits the fest perfectly. [PO]

Eager to join the fray after setting up camp, I moseyed on over to the On Tap Lounge to catch this year’s Road to Roo winners Roots of a Rebellion pretty much as soon as the music was kicking off festival wide. The reggae rockers have been on our radar for a while now, and we were thrilled to see them representing Nashville, and the growing Tennessee reggae movement. Equally refreshing were all the familiar Music City faces mixed into the crowd. ROAR plowed through a powerful but tightly scheduled set, including their latest single, “Peace & Love”, off their forthcoming LP, A Brother’s Instinct. When their time was up, we all wanted more, but alas, they could not, so the herd moved on. [JR]

Lolawolf_Roo16-Insert Lolawolf. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Lolawolf

Though billed as a trio, Lolawolf played Bonnaroo as a duo, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the crowd whose attention wasn’t fixated on vocalist, frontwoman, and most visible member Zoë Kravitz, known for breakout roles as an actor in films like DivergentMad Max, and X-Men, and also for her famous father, Lenny Kravitz. It’s the latter fact that should help reassure you that Lolawolf isn’t just another vanity project for an actor with too much free time; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. With an experimental, electronic-laced, percussion heavy, and r&b rooted sound, Lolawolf are an incredibly hip, supremely talented band, and their Bonnaroo debut drew a staggering first night crowd. A lifelong artist and seasoned performer, Kravitz worked the stage with a subdued cool, singing, providing auxiliary instrumentation, and generally working the crowd, while bandmate Jimmy Giannopoulos held down percussion and samples in a way that felt compelling and organic. One of the cool things about Thursday night is that the two main stages aren’t open, meaning tent performers get more attention, and Lolawolf capitalized on this wonderfully, becoming the first big standout moment of the weekend. [PO]

New Breed Brass Band

Always game for some New Orleans Second Line, I decided to try out Snake and Jake’s Christmas Barn for the first time to see New Breed Brass Band’s set. On many a late night/early morning, spaced out on The Farm, I’d walked by the air-condition, multi-colored LCD light adorned barn, but the line was always too long, so I’d end up going elsewhere. This year, on day one, the crowd was still very thin, so I got in no problem. It was bone jarring, bass heavy club music to start, and I was not impressed. Before too long the DJ set was finished, and NBBB were ready to pack onto the stage to kick out the jams. The seven member band, featuring large brass instruments, plus marching band style percussion, made it work on probably the smallest stage at the festival, and belted out some of the funkiest shit I heard all weekend anywhere (and with smiles on their faces the entire time). Everyone in the crowd was instantly dancing, and they brought in enough people from outside to fill the space to capacity, leading a Second Line at Bonnaroo, in the middle of the craziest Christmas themed party I’d ever been to in my life. [JR]

Bully_Roo16-Insert Bully. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Bully

When Bully played Bonnaroo in 2014, literally their first festival appearance ever, they were the very first band on the very first day on the very smallest stage. I spoke to them then for a different outlet, sensing, even at the time, that the buzzworthy grunge pop group were destined for bigger things. Fast forward two years, a breakthrough full-length debut, a major label deal, a national TV commercial, and multiple world tours, and Bully are fast becoming one of the hottest rock bands in the world, much less one of Nashville’s most exciting success stories. I’ve seen them countless times over the last few years, and their time on the road has certainly helped sharpen and intensify their stage presence; this Bonnaroo outing marked one of the best. More energetic than usual, frontwoman Alicia Bognanno sang with a ferocity and urgency that helped propel their material above and beyond, even peppering in some new tunes and covers to keep things fresh, and connecting in a way that made their larger-than-usual stage feel as intimate as their typical club stage. Not just one of my favorite local bands, Bully are one of my favorite rock bands in the world, period, right now, and their triumphant Bonnaroo return showcased why I believe their career is destined to be long and influential. I’m not usually one to rank festival moments, but if I were so inclined, Bully’s set would take top marks for Thursday, and easily top five of the whole weekend. [PO]

My top must-see for day one, local darlings, and rising national stars, Bully, did not disappoint. Ripping through a powerful grunge-punk set, full of now familiar songs from their kickass debut LP, Feels Like, it was hard not to feel proud of a band from around the way we’ve watched ride an awesome wave of success, from The Stone Fox to a tent stage at Bonnaroo. Pretty badass. Also very badass was their decision to sprinkle in some punk-as-fuck covers: Mclusky’s “Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues” and “No New Wave No Fun.” Frontwoman Alicia Bognanno and the rest of the gang brought their A game, taking top honors for day one in my book. Bravo. [JR]

Bully was my first show of the weekend. My group of friends and I wandered over to This Tent just as the group was taking the stage. The band have been a breakout Nashville success story as of late, and all of the attention is most definitely deserved. They came on and tore through some of the best tracks from their 2015 debut Feels Like, Frontwoman Alicia Bognanno getting the Bonnaroo crowd ready for the next three days. One of the most memorable moments was when they played the title track from their record; Bognanno screamed the refrain in a manner that seemed to reverberate throughout all of Centeroo. Having gone to college with bassist Reece Lazarus, it was inspiring to watch them play a Bonnaroo tent. It said to me that if this fierce and amazingly tough band can crawl to the top,  then there is still hope for the rest of us. [JC]

Vulfpeck

On my way to see Twin Peaks, I stopped at The Other Tent for Vulfpeck. I was very interested to see how this band commanded a live performance. They have gained notoriety for their extensive collection of quirky Youtube videos they have made for their music. The portion I caught of their set demonstrated that these guys were new age masters of funk. The rhythmic connection between Theo Katzman, Joe Dart, Jack Stratton, and Woody Goss was impeccable and had everyone grooving. When they brought out Antwaun Stanley I knew that they were going to play their biggest hit “1612,” an upbeat and lively soul number that sent me well on my way to the next set of the night. [JC]

TwinPeaks_Roo16-Insert Twin Peaks. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Twin Peaks

Perfectly primed for the world of music festivals, Twin Peaks have honed their garage punk sound in a way that works in dive-y clubs yet lands emphatically for larger crowds. At this point, I believe I’ve seen them more more often at festivals than not, and, yet, every time feels new and unpredictable, thanks to their slacker rock sensibilities. Having apparently borrowed a drum set from their friends in Bully, and looking as mischievous as always, the Chicago group blasted through a generous helping of their lean, energetic catalogue, eliciting tons of energy, rowdiness, and punk-primed sing-alongs from the growing crowd. [PO]

A Chicago birthed incarnation of the ever growing new wave of the garage punk movement, Twin Peaks are known for putting on barn burner shows. At Roo, on a tent stage? Of course they were going to rage. Their blistering set got the kids in the front row extra hot and sweaty, and soon most were coated in the omnipresent grease and grime that becomes a festival way of life over the long weekend. Alternating lead vocal duties and shreddy solos, this raucous band are a must see anytime they’re in town, or filling out a fest lineup. [JR]

One of my favorite discoveries of the weekend was the Chicago based punk band Twin Peaks. Until Roo, I had only heard the group’s name from their various performances around Nashville such as their Freakin Weekend show with Bully this year. I was truly blown away by the combination of raw, vigorous punk with pop sensibilities. The band absolutely commanded the Thursday night Bonnaroo crowd with a knowledge that this was only the beginning of their Roo stardom. My favorite was their catchy hit “Making Breakfast,” a heavy hitting rocker with a hook that reminded me of my favorite Pixies songs. I left their show and went to bed, inspired to rest up for all the great music to come in the next three days. [JC]

Polyenso_Roo16-Insert Polyenso. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Polyenso

When I first caught Polyenso last month in Atlanta at Shaky Knees fest, I was impressed and enthralled by their hypnotic, Mutemath meets Radiohead-esque sound, characterized by layered synths, driving rhythmic sensibilities, and impressive harmonies. It turns out that was just a taste of what the Florida group are capable of. At Bonnaroo, with a small yet more prime stage and time, the band seemed even more connected and inspired, and, despite a modest crowd, performed a breathtaking club stage set. Genre-bending and quickly amassing a rabid following, Polyenso are a band whose nuance is best experienced live, and, thankfully, they were given a Thursday night slot that allowed them to sneak a fantastic set in between some heavy-hitters. I sometimes wonder if the small stage spots are worthwhile for up and coming bands, but I know, at least in Polyenso’s case, that they help make my festival experience more well-rounded and enriched. [PO]

Borns_Roo16-Insert BØRNS. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

BØRNS

Without competition from formal headliners, Thursday night always seems to boast rising stars who capitalize on the space and buzz to serve to fill that role, often drawing tent stage crowds so massive that Bonnaroo’s first night becomes nearly unbearable in its population density. The first inkling that I had about 2016’s somewhat lower turnout, was when I discovered that I could, in fact, walk around the grounds without squeezing through the masses, though, if BØRNS’ set was any indication, there were still enough people to pack out the most-anticipated shows. While I am admittedly only really familiar with the breakout singer’s big singles, I really, really like his sound and style, and counted him among my most-anticipated acts of the weekend, much less Thursday. I knew the singer was experiencing a pretty huge moment, but I had no idea just how enthusiastic and wild his fans would be, cheering deafeningly, singing along, and packing into every inch of the tent space. With an aura of cool and some seriously impressive pipes, BØRNS proved he was the real deal, commanding the crowd and navigating a strong mix of songs familiar and less so, likely stealing the show for most first-night attendees. [PO]

Drawn in by the enticing sounds of psychedelic indie pop, I stayed for several songs of BØRNS’ set. I’d never heard of him, or his music, but his fairly large crowd showed that I wasn’t the only one feeling what he put down. Once I got back to Nashville and started digging, I found that my first find of the weekend was good one. I might have stayed for the entire set, but at the time I was very stoned, and a double-shot frappuccino sounded too good to be held at bay any longer. [JR]

Lizzo

As my energy started to decline, I opted to cap off my well-paced and varied first day at Bonnaroo with one more set, indie rapper Lizzo, and man am I glad I did. Confident, sassy, fierce, and ferocious, Lizzo, backed by a  great DJ and a whole host of dancers, turned the night into one huge party, eliciting call and response, dance and sing-alongs, and a whole lot of confident crowd work. Scanning the immediate attendees around me, it seemed like a solid mix of fans and folks who’d just wandered up out of curiosity, but everyone was equally enthralled and entertained by the spectacle and sheer talent of Lizzo’s set. Knowing I’d need a solid night’s sleep to power through the long day ahead, I made the responsible call to venture back to my tent soon after, skipping out on the night’s latest sets. [PO]

Cashmere Cat

Opting to step out of my comfort zone to close out the first day of festivities, I ventured to That Tent for late night DJ set from Cashmere Cat. A far cry from the wobble-bass saturation and monotonous builds that seem to dominate the EDM scene as of late, his style is more traditional electronic, with house elements, and just the right amount of bass. He also seems to be carving out a unique niche for himself too, catching the ear of major artists like Lana Del Rey and Kanye West (both of whom he’s collaborated with). I can see why he’s considered one of the hottest young producers around, putting a lot of heart and soul into his no frills set. Constantly bobbing his head and shoulders to the rhythms, as he flipped his headphones on and off his ears, tapping his buttons, and turning his various knobs in time. However, it was his jacket that truly stole the show for me. With the words “Pizza Slime” stenciled onto the back with a matching graphic, I have so many questions, but I guess I may always have to wonder… [JR]

Photos by Mary-Beth Blankenship.

FRIDAY

Henry Wagons

On my way through Centerroo early Friday Morning, I made a stop at The Who Stage where Henry Wagons was playing. I was immediately drawn to the performance because I saw a familiar face playing guitar; Nashville’s own Richie was up there providing some solid backup for the Australian country singer. The set was humorous yet impressive, and, while I didn’t stay the entire time, it was a great and upbeat way to start the first full day of Bonnaroo craziness. [JC]

firekid_Roo16-Insert firekid. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

firekid

We’ve talked plenty about Nashville-based, Muscle Shoals bred breakout artist firekid, whose debut LP is steadily helping making him a household name. The musical vehicle of talented singer-songwriter Dillon Hodges, firekid combines bluegrass and Americana sensibilities with electronic and experimental beats and soundscapes, landing on something wholly original and highly inventive. Armed with an acoustic guitar, and backed by a drummer and local artist Heidi Feek on a variety of synths, sample pads, and even some sort of modded Game Boy to add 8-bit flair, Dillon performed at the On Tap Lounge to a sizable crowd for so early in the day, providing an excellent start to my Friday. Navigating familiar tunes like “Americana Dream,” “Getaway Car,” and fan favorites “Magic Mountain” and “Die for Alabama,” Hodges managed to connect effortlessly with the crowd, a mix of clear fans and newcomers, through his likable demeanor and skilled performance style, all the while seeming humbled and excited to be making his Bonnaroo debut. firekid is a hard artist to put in the box, and that’s likely the reason he’s not an even bigger deal yet, but my gut says he’s destined for greater heights in the near future, and his Bonnaroo outing only cemented that. [PO]

Dungen

If you have ever been to Bonnaroo before then you might have found yourself in this situation. There is a set by that one band you’re so excited for, but can’t seem to muster any of your friends to get up and join you. So, you have to make the decision to get to Centeroo in the peak of the blistering heat and find a shaded spot under the tent. These were the exact circumstances surrounding Dungen’s Friday appearance at The Other Tent. I had to go on my own, but I don’t regret it at all. The quartet from Sweden have made monumental moves in the world of psychedelic rock. They played an intricate and fascinating collection of material that covered the entirity of their extensive career. Drummer Johan Holmegard blew me away with his supreme mastering of in-the-pocket playing with syncopated fills that added that extra touch of awesome. It was the first of some amazing drumming I was set to witness that day at Roo, and since I am a drummer myself, I had no objections. Frontman Gustav Ejstes led the band through some absolutely righteous musical journeys which went from compositions to improv with ease. Although he wasn’t right when he said he was playing the first flute (King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard dropped jaws with their set last year), he still brought such a unique and creative light to the instrument. I left The Other Tent inspired to come home and hop on my set, and beaming with excitement for everything still to come on the Farm. [JC]

Mothers_Roo16-Insert Mothers. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Mothers

One of my favorite aspects of Bonnaroo is having the opportunity to discover new artists, and throughout our coverage leading up to the fest, it’s always great to research and happen upon fresh bands to obsess over. Athens, GA based Mothers are one such example; a small group I’ve maybe seen mentioned in passing, but one I’d never taken the time to listen to until now. A pleasant mix of indie and folk, with some obvious influence rooted in the broader punk scene, the band, led by compelling frontwoman Kristine Leschper, played to a modest but enthusiastic Who Stage crowd, made up mostly of people who seemed to be there very purposely, and excitedly at that. I’m a sucker for math-y, artsy, indie rock, and while it’s not exactly a rampant aspect of Bonnaroo’s overall lineup, it’s always nice to see the inclusion of bands like Mothers. After about half their set, I caved and left for a break from the sweltering midday heat, but not before taking mental note to watch out for a full show the next time Mothers make it to Nashville. [PO]

Allen Stone

It is always hard to follow a set by one of your favorite bands. Dungen had just made my hands shake with a spectacle of psychedelic expertise, but Allen Stone showcased an impressive talent in the world of funk and soul music. I last saw him when he played the SoundHarvest Music Festival last October. While I didn’t stay for his entire performance, I really enjoyed how he worked the Bonnaroo crowd. For a What Stage opener, Stone demonstrated that it is possible to be successful in the pop world and still maintain musical proficiency. [JC]

PublicAccessTV_Roo16-Insert Public Access T.V. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Public Access T.V.

Rejuvenated after lunch, coffee, and a break in the shade, I returned to the Who Stage, where I’d earlier watched Mothers, for Public Access T.V., my most anticipated club stage performer of the whole weekend. Fronted by John Eatherly, who cut his teeth in the Nashville scene, drumming for Be Your Own Pet and Turbo Fruits before relocating to New York City, the band’s post-punk, new wave, and raw retro sensibilities are right up my alley, and their performance was the driving, no frills, anthemic experience I had hoped for, combing Ramones-esque punk deconstructionism with a more modern indie/garage rock flair. The propulsive energy of their set was enough to perk me up for an especially packed afternoon, and left me confident that this would be another varied and memorable year on the Farm. [PO]

Shamir_Roo16-Insert Shamir. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Shamir

Though this year’s lineup had no shortage of interesting and unique performers, up and comer Shamir certainly stands in a class of his own, defying genre classification and even gender lines. Hailing from Las Vegas, the young singer caught my ear with wonderfully weird breakout single “On the Regular,” and his debut album, Ratchet, is a lot of fun. After a few minutes of extended soundcheck, standing calmly on stage, Shamir quickly introduced himself and launched into hometown ode “Vegas.” After his wild Late Show debut, I was expecting more production and fanfare, but the minimalist setup of a keyboard/sample player and backing singer did nothing to detract from Shamir’s infectious personality and instant likability. He’s a hard artist to just wander upon blindly, but, thankfully, much of the crowd seemed to know exactly what they were in for, donning some of the most interesting, hip, and varied attire, and enthusiastically transfixed on the singer’s entertaining set. Thankfully, I got to hear “On the Regular” just a few songs in, before bolting across the field for my next stop: FIDLAR. [PO]

FIDLAR_Roo16-Insert FIDLAR. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

FIDLAR

Ho. Ly. Shit. I’ve seen FIDLAR a handful of times at this point, most recently at last fall’s Riot Fest, but this set was something bigger, louder, wilder, and better than ever before. Revved up to 11, the breakout LA skater punks erupted into the most ferocious (and faithful in spirt) Beastie Boys cover I’ve ever witnessed, of punk primed banger “Sabotage.” Eliciting an absolute apeshit reaction from the crowd, the tent turned into a full on mosh pit by “Cheap Beer,” setting the tone and unwavering momentum for the remainder of the set. I’ve long been a fan of FIDLAR, and knew that their performance would be killer, but I wasn’t quite expecting one of the most undeniably gnarly rock performances on the weekend, adding, along with Bully and Twin Peaks, an adrenaline shot of contemporary punk relevance to Bonnaroo’s often legacy-skewing pedigree. Even though many of the day’s biggest moments were still ahead, by FIDLAR, I was pretty much convinced that Friday’s lineup had won the year by a healthy margain. [PO]

Waking up to some of the most intense heat I’ve ever felt at a Roo (I feel like I say that every year), I had to fight off a hangover with some good pot, natural sugar cane sodas, and some campsite R&R. By the time the sun had started to head west, I felt rested enough to wear myself out at FIDLAR. An acronym (Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk) for the way they live and perform, FIDLAR are the skate kids from around the block who made it big. Their party punk anthems, with crowd friendly, sing-along hooks like “I drink cheap beer. So what? Fuck you,” always seem to bring a very boisterous, diehard fan base. The thrashers (and tallboys) were there in force, and despite nearly sweltering to death, I partied hard with the rest through their set, kicking back several brews along the way in an effort to ‘get back on the horse’ as they say. At one point, they even shouted out Bully, whom they’d seen perform the night before. At least we know that in a addition to setting stages ablaze, FIDLAR also have good taste in music. [JR]

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay for all of FIDLAR’s set due to a scheduling conflict with Kamasi Washington, one of my most-anticipated performers of the weekend, but that wasn’t going to stop me from checking out as much of the band as I could. The punk band have shocked audiences with their energetic and captivating performances. Their chord changes and their hooks are simple, but they possess a ferocious blast of raw vitality and young adult angst. Hell, they even have a song that repeats the line “I drink cheap beer. So what? Fuck you!” I especially enjoyed their decision to come on stage and open with a blistering cover of “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys. I look forward to this fall when I get a chance to see a FIDLAR set in full. [JC]

AmandaShires_Roo16-Insert Amanda Shires. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Amanda Shires

Wandering out of FIDLAR just a little early (Friday afternoon was the most painful block of scheduling conflicts this year for sure), I made a point to catch a bit of local Americana singer-songwriter and violinist extraordinaire (not to mention backing player to her husband, Jason Isbell), Amanda Shires. It’s been a bit since I’ve seen Amanda live, and I don’t profess to be intimately familiar with all of her music, but she’s a really wonder to behold live; profoundly talented, expressive, and exuberantly sweet, Shires is one of Nashville’s biggest talents. Over the course of a few catchy tunes, and backed by a  truly wonderful band (including local drummer and man about town Jerry Pentecost), Amanda simply hypnotized with her fiery and sincere delivery; definitely a reminder that I need to see her play a proper show again soon. [PO]

Kamasi Washington

I absolutely love how Bonnaroo has mastered the process of  fishing out some of the most talented performers across all genres. When it comes to the world of modern day jazz, Kamasi Washington is not a name to pass by. The saxophone player was a new artist to me when first reading the lineup, but, after some research and a detailed listening of his epic, appropriately titled, The Epic, I knew that he was the new face of jazz music. So, after a good 20 minutes of FIDLAR, I rushed over to This Tent for Kamasi’s set. I was absolutely melted to the blistering Bonnaroo ground by the talent that was on that stage. Washington’s music brings an eclectic stance on jazz, incorporating everything from hip hop to funk. Perhaps it comes from his work with Kendrick Lamar, or maybe it is the groundbreaking material of his father Rickey Washington who he brought onstage for most of the performance, even incorporating one of his originals into the set. My day of witnessing fantastic drumming continued with Kamasi’s set, which featured an extraordinary battle between his two drummers that had the whole crowd going nuts. Bonnaroo was very satisfied, ready to welcome him back anytime. [JC]

Finally settled in for Bonnaroo 2016 (hey, someone had to keep things afloat at the end of the week), I raced in to see one of my most anticipated performers of all of Bonnaroo, Kamasi Washington, and man, what a start to Roo.  Washington has been praised for his work with others, particularly Kendrick Lamar’s award winning opus To Pimp A Butterfly, but it was his nearly three hour masterpiece, The Epic, that has had me salivating for the past year.  His high energy set had touches of electronica laced into what was a pure jazz set, and that drum battle, oh my, that drum battle.  Unfortunately, I don’t know how a local Kamasi Washington set would be received at, say, Marathon Music Works, but this kid is definitely a bright spot in a genre that has been looking for a torch bearer for the younger generation.  Kamasi Washington is the real deal, and my anticipation for the SuperJam that he was set to marshal was peaking by the end of his Friday afternoon set. [MH]

CHVRCHES_Roo16-Insert CHVRCHES. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

CHVRCHES

A breakout band in every sense of the term, Scotland’s CHVRCHES have achieved something of international superstardom thanks to two phenomenal synthpop albums and the numerous singles they’ve spawned. So, while it was initially a little jarring to see them in front of a massive crowd on Bonnaroo’s biggest stage, it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise after two sold out sets in Nashville for about 400 and 1,500 people, respectively. Keeping in pace with their increased presence, so too has their live show grown in scale and grandeur. The somewhat shy, somewhat subdued, a little awkward but supremely talented trio I first saw in 2013 have blossomed into a stadium ready, indie pop powerhouse, frontwoman Lauren Mayberry, especially, settling into her own as a confident, commanding live force. All decked out in black, Mayberry with fierce face paint, the band sounded huge, triumphantly ripping through an even mix of old and new tunes. Coming across as sincerely humbled by the huge crowd response, and playfully bantering between songs, the band truly felt like they’d earned their spot at big kid’s table; more than just a flash in the pan, CHVRCHES are building a foundation that is likely to carry them well behind the electro-pop boom, their songs so good and so substantive that they’ll remain timeless. In a repeat of a surprise from their Marathon show last year, Paramore frontwoman and local resident Hayley Williams emerged near the end of the set to sing “Bury It,” a song they recently formally re-recored to include Williams’ powerful pipes. Though sonically quite different from Paramore, that band serves as a likely template for CHVRCHES’ next few years; a scene-built taste of breakout success destined to evolve and grow with time. They’re an amazing group and at their top of their game as performers; no shock here, but CHVRCHES helped make the day one of my favorite single blocks of music in Bonnaroo history. [PO]

Other than hearing their name buzzing around indie stations on satellite radio, or catching them on Lightning 100 occasionally over the last couple years, I’d never given CHVRCHES much attention or thought. Nothing against them, there’s just so much stuff out there, I’ve been fixating on other things. But, with time to kill before shows I’d planned on seeing, I wandered over to the What Stage for some of their set, and I’m so glad I did. Owning the main stage with a flare usually reserved for more seasoned pros, they rocked through their synthed-out indie pop with grace and high energy. Seeming genuinely thrilled to be performing in front of the growing Friday night crowd, they’d won me over after just two songs, and I added them to my ’to be downloaded’ list. [JR]

Keys N Krates

Yet another find, and probably my favorite discovery of the entire weekend, Keys N Krates’ unique blend of trap, electronica, and hip hop made my eardrums quiver with delight. Masters on the turntables as well as the synth board, they blended the aforementioned genres together with ease, which seems like it would be easy to do, but is rarely done well. They made it look easy, and made me a believer, and have been on my Spotify ever since. [JR]

Andrew Combs

It’s always nice to see some real Nashville talent showcased at Bonnaroo. This year, it was a pleasure to see Andrew Combs serenade the crowd at the On Tap Lounge, backed by a great band which featured Dominic Bilett from Toy Soldiers on drums. Performing selections from Worried Man and All These Dreams, his two emotionally compelling full-lengths which have taken the music world by storm, Combs was welcomed by the impressive crowd with open arms, surely paving the way for future appearances on bigger stages. [JC]

Halsey_Roo16-Insert Halsey. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Halsey

I’m a sucker for singers with compelling, enigmatic, and artistic visual flair, so, even before I’d heard much of her music, I was attracted to the presentation and aesthetic of Halsey. Also a sucker for a electro-pop, I knew her set was a must-see for Friday, especially after spinning her sci-fi inspired debut, Badlands, a few times in preparation. Running quickly to camp as CHVRCHES finished and Halsey began, I had time to take in a snack, down a few drinks (how convenient is camping and not worrying about a need to drive?), and get ready for the evening endurance test. Since my spot was a direct path to the stage, I heard her kick in with “Gasoline,” a confident and powerful opener to what would be an expectation-defying set. Oozing with confidence and cool, Halsey sounded nearly flawless, balancing artistry and showmanship, and dazzling with lights, pyrotechnics, and a crisp, booming wall of sound. “Castle” had everyone singing along at their top of their lungs, and, at the mid-point, St. Lucia even emerged for a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” I’m told Halsey herself later crashed The Chainsmokers’ late night set to debut a new single (I was at Purity Ring), proving that she’s not only a pop powerhouse addition, but truly gets the spontaneous spirit of ‘Roo. Pop is having a very exciting renaissance right now, trading fluff for substance, and it’s great to see that spilling over into Bonnaroo as well, Halsey the chief example in how to balance radio-primed success with festival-appropriate material. Though I wished I could watched her from start to finish, I had to make the tough call to migrate to Leon Bridges, longing for another Halsey experience ASAP. [PO]

LeonBridges_Roo16-Insert Leon Bridges. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Leon Bridges

He’s in Nashville at least every six months or so it seems, and, yet, I’d somehow missed every opportunity to see soul crooner Leon Bridges in concert. Grabbing a spot in the grass to relax and soak up his retro sound (those tent stage TV screens are a few years old now, but I still feel inclined to point out how great they are), I ended up watching the bulk of Bridges’ set, stuffed with singles I’d heard a hundred times, and some deeper cuts that really soared in action. From the look to the sound to the swagger, Leon feels unbelievably authentic; not a gimmick, so much as a love-letter to a musical era past. His band, too, performed with top notch expertise, and it was especially cool to see Nashville’s own Jonny P join Bridges for a soulfully reworked cover of Ginuwine’s “Pony.”  [PO]

Of course I have heard all of the soaring praise for Leon Bridges for the past couple of years.  From the sold out shows at Marathon and the Ryman, the stories wouldn’t quit about how amazing Leon Bridges is live.  I’ve heard the highly acclaimed debut LP, Coming Home, numerous times, and it is great.  I mean, really great.  The throwback retro sound is common in today’s musical scene, but it’s the delivery that is what everyone was talking about.  Bridges came out dressed like Marvin Gaye, and preached to The Other Tent like he was leading a baptist congregation in a social gathering.  I’ve seen the light. [MH]

With an unmistakable old school ‘60s look and matching era soul-sound, Leon Bridges felt very familiar. Even though he’s a relatively new arrival to the contemporary scene, you’d never know it based on the throng of supporters packed into The Other Tent. We all know his insanely popular track “Coming Home,” and you’ve probably seen him in commercials too; but let me assure you, based on his performance, this guy is no flash in the pan. He’s not just record label fluff. A pure soul performer, in the vein of James Brown, with a profound Texas flavor, Leon had everyone grooving and sweating as soon as he got up to the microphone. His stupendous backing band broadened his wonderful sound, and made his pitch perfect vocals pop. Just before he started, I’d crossed paths randomly with former co-workers from my time at The Hilton in downtown Nashville. Thrilled by the chance encounter, we all danced our asses off until Mr. Bridges damn near burned the place to the ground. An amazing performer, and I look forward to seeing him again. [JR]

Leon Bridges should have been on The Which Stage. A Friday evening set there would have been way more amenable and appropriate for the dance party this man brought to the Bonnaroo crowd. The man has a voice for the ages. I started listening to him about a year ago, being wooed by the soft Motown touch he brings to mainstream music. His album Coming Home is a stunning collection of material that hearkens back to the magic of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, something wildly underrepresented in the modern music scene. The man had the crowd swooning over his smooth dance moves and absolutely commanding stage presence. I hope to hear more from Bridges in the coming years, and I will most definitely hop on any chance to see him again in the future.  [JC]

M83

A band I only know from their 2011 smash hit, “Midnight City,” I pretty much checked out M83’s set just to hear that song, but I was pleasantly surprised by their extravagant light show and catchy as hell synthpop setlist. They deserve way, way more credit than I was giving them in my mind before the show; those guys can play. Barely understandable in their thick French accents during song breaks, they sang in perfect English, surprising even though other French bands like Phoenix seem to have a similar dilemma. No matter, because the music was pitch perfect and the lights were beautiful with the sun setting behind us, and when the song most of us were waiting for came, the crowd went apeshit. [JR]

I used to listen to M83 way back in my freshman and sophomore years of high school. Before the Dawn Heals Us was one of my favorite albums of that era; however, soon after that, they faded off my radar. It wasn’t because I didn’t like them anymore, I was just moving on. So, you can imagine that I chuckled upon seeing their name on the lineup this year. It was a trip down memory lane watching M83 perform. They have come a long way from France to Los Angeles, and their detailed career shows that. The group played a set that covered almost all of the records they have released, drowning the Which Stage audience in a wave of synthesizers and washed out effects which made for a great warmup for the night.  [JC]

TylerTheCreator_Roo16-Insert Tyler, the Creator. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

Tyler, the Creator

As a longtime Odd Future fan, but one who never got the see the collective perform as a whole, I jump at any chance I have to see members of the group play solo. As it turns out, most of those chances have occurred at Bonnaroo. Next to Frank Ocean (another ‘Roo vet), de-facto Odd Future leader Tyler, the Creator topped my list. He’s never played Nashville, so the festival finally afforded a long overdue chance to see him in action. I’m fascinated by Tyler; he’s an undeniable creative genius and equally a controversial figure, but the more you pay attention to his thoughts, actions, and art, the more layers and enigmatic qualities become apparent. He’s unpredictable, certainly, but there appears to still be a lot of forethought and deliberateness in his actions. Chaotic and intense, Tyler’s set captured the punk spirit I expected (interestingly, not the most insane hip hop show I’ve seen at Bonnaroo: that would be Death Grips), and, opening with a new song called “What the Fuck Right Now,” he commanded a crowd just as wild. Transitioning into newer tune “Deathcamp” before kicking it back to “Tron Cat,” if Tyler didn’t yet have the audience in the palm of his hand, he reeled them in with Odd Future song “Sam (Is Dead).” The whole set, with its wild energy, intense visuals, and bombastic delivery, felt like fan service, eliciting wild response from the diehards, and likely confusing passersby. Tyler is one of the most important figures in hip hop, not for his technical skill or even his presentation, but for his auteur like total control of every aspect of his art, and his unrelenting commitment to intensify his unapologetic and often brash worldview. This year’s hip hop slate was a little weaker than some in recent years, but, for me, Tyler, the Creator not only made up for it, but stole the show. [PO]

Which Stage and This Tent are the two easiest stages to hop back and forth between at Bonnaroo, so I found it necessary to check out some of Tyler, the Creator’s set. I wasn’t familiar with his music beforehand, so I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I was most definitely very intrigued at his unique style, which came with a distinct and powerful voice. Usually I like live hip hop that features a band, but I was impressed at Tyler’s ability to still perform a raw and rowdy collection of material that relied on the audience’s participation and energy to make it worthwhile. And as a filler between M83 and LCD Soundsystem, it was definitely worth my time. [JC]

LCDSoundsystem_Roo16-Insert LCD Soundsystem. Photo by Mary-Beth Blankenship

LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem have been one of my favorite bands since the day a record label friend mailed me an early copy of their debut in 2004, when I was just 16. Unlike anything I’d heard at that point, their seamless ability to merge decade-spanning dance music sensibilities with punk and huge, organic indie rock, funneled through some seriously good songwriting to boot, drew me in immediately, and, with each of their three albums, the James Murphy-centered project only seemed to get better. At the time, they felt known, but known in a way that if you regularly read Pitchfork, could name more than one Arcade Fire song (this was the mid ’00s, remember), and you subscribed to hipster culture before it jumped the shark, you were likely to be dialed into their music. The mainstream audience? Not so much. I saw them live once, even, shortly after Sound of Silver, at a festival in Baltimore in 2007. They were hardly obscure (and totally amazing), and yet they still played a smaller stage in the middle of the afternoon, a far-cry from headliner status. I’m not totally sure what changed. It seems to be more than just the effect of breaking up and reuniting (a short-lived breakup at that), though that’s certainly part of it, since the band’s final show sold out an arena in record time, as did the string of club dates leading up. My best guess is that LCD were finally poised to become as big as they are right now, and chose to bow out right at that moment, keeping the coals hot for a return that would inflate their presence even more, enabling them to headline festivals they never could have before. No matter the explanation though, I’m just thrilled to see such a talented and important band back in action, and finally commanding the massive following they deserve.

My most-anticipated performance of the entire weekend, the band delivered above and beyond my every expectation, and will likely go down as one of my top five Bonnaroo experiences of all time, along with Radiohead (’06), Paul McCartney, Jack White, and The Beach Boys. The magic of LCD Soundsystem comes not from a gimmick, not from any sort of special presentation or heightened production, but from their unparalleled strength of their own material, which Murphy and his skilled band meticulosity recreate in detail live, hitting on every note and nuance and percussive beat, to illustrate the genius of his songwriting. Hungover but looking humbled and happy, Murphy mostly stayed anchored to his mic, letting his unique and personal singing style and delivery guide the show. Introducing band members and bantering throughout, he’d occasionally venture off to assist in percussion, or interact with one of several keyboard players. At a lean 14 tracks, LCD went barely over their 90 min slot, still managing to hit most every song I hoped for. “Us v Them” served as a powerful opening, dropping a giant disco ball before transitioning into “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” to get the crowed revved up. Between more conventional and upbeat dance numbers  like “Tribulations,” and more experiential, Talking Heads-esque tunes like “Losing My Edge,” the momentum never slowed, and 10s of thousands of fans, certainly one of the weekend’s biggest crowds, went absolutely nuts throughout, treating it as one giant, feel good, singalong dance party. The transition from somber tune “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” into fan favorite “Dance Yrself Clean” was not only one of my highlights of the whole fest, but perfectly exemplified the two elements that make LCD Soundsystem great, and their almost-escapist sense of “often things are sad, but let’s dance and commune and be happy instead.” All too quickly, the performance was done, and, though Friday night boasted lots more to look forward to, I wandered off feeling like LCD had, like many Bonnaroo headliners before them, set the bar so high that the remainder of the weekend would feel lesser-than. [PO]

A band I discovered in college, loved, and then fell out of love with when they broke up, LCD Soundsystem were my second most anticipated show of the entire festival behind only Dead & Company. Despite admitting to being hungover, James Murphy was a force of nature. A presence on stage that is captivating, because of his crisp/clear voice, plus his minimalist approach to performing while singing. In juxtaposition, when he gets behind one of the many percussion stations the band employs, featuring all sorts of blocks, cow bells, and nontraditional gear, he was a whirling dervish of activity, syncopating his strikes with the other drummer. The art of drumming seemed to be a dominate theme this year at ‘Roo, but more on that later when I speak on The Dead. The fact that LCD’s entire performance is analog, meaning they ‘build’ songs live instead of leaning heavily on pre-recorded digital version (like DJs do today), the stage was also littered with all kinds of knobbed boards, and hundreds of multicolored cables running this way and that. It must have been a nightmare to sound check, but they had it booming on all fronts. The fun I’d got into through the day had me perfectly in the zone too, and the insanely dance-able numbers had us all in a tizzy. A massive beaming disco ball only added to the throw-back club feel (remember, these guys paved the way for all the EDM you kids love today), and when they played “Dance Yrself Clean” I nearly shit myself in excitement. It is easily in the top five music moments of my entire life, and I’ve been writing for this site for three years now, so you know I’ve been to a lot of shows. Please, please please do yourself a favor, and make it a point to see these guys at some point in your life. WOW! [JR]

I was never been an LCD Soundsystem fan. It wasn’t that I had anything against them, just that I missed the train during their heightened period of fame some ten years ago. But in what seems to be a reoccurring trend that I exhibited this Bonnaroo season, I did my research leading up to the festival. I delved into all of James Murphy’s work under the moniker and I liked it. So it was an easy decision to head to their Friday night headlining set. My fellow writer Jacob Ryan said to me that LCD Soundsystem is electronic dance music in its purest sense, but that it is so much more than what you see in these DJs that push buttons and call it a performance. After witnessing their headlining performance, I couldn’t agree more. Murphy and his band blasted through a pleasureable collection of the group’s biggest hits, bringing an all encompassing perspective of what it means to play electronic music. Disco, funk, and punk rock were all part of the experience. I thoroughly enjoyed “Dance Yrself Clean,” and the slow waltz turned power anthem “New York, I Love You.” And who can forget that crazy cool disco ball ending as they rocked “All My Friends.”   [JC]

After a quick reprieve (yes, I escaped to the rowdy, yet air conditioned, confines of the Cinema Tent to watch the NBA Finals), it was time for my most anticipated performer of Bonnaroo this year.  I’ve been a long time fan of James Murphy and his collective of dance rock weirdos, but have never had the chance to see them live.  A few years ago, I thought my chances to check one off the bucket list were shattered, but, alas, the short-lived greatness of LCD Soundsystem had not seen their last light.  They played a setlist of hits that was truly magical, peppering in slow tracks with absolute bangers and the truly goose bump inducing.  Starting off with the appropriate pace setter “Us v Them,” the crowd was eating out of Murphy’s hand by the time he launched into the seminal second song of the set,”Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,” and the show just continued from there to be an emotional roller coaster with highlights including: “Someone Great,” “Losing My Edge,” “Dance Yrself Clean,” and that incredible finale under a giant disco ball for “All My Friends.”  Full disclosure here: Bonnaroo experiences are often heightened by access, and the sheer luck of seeing this all go down from only a few feet from the stage in a VIP viewing area, made this hands down one of my top five Bonnaroo moments ever.  [MH]

Purity Ring

Coming off of the ecstatic feeling of LCD’s set, I was half torn over whether to call it a night and end on an unbeatable high note, or power through and keep the momentum going. Ultimately, the promise of Purity Ring and Tame Impala were too good to pass up, so, fighting my way through the crowd and walking past a huge gathering for The Chainsmokers, I arrived just in time to see Purity Ring play “Lofticries.” I’ve seen the duo several times, once before at Bonaroo even, but their inventive, dazzling, and unique live show never ceases to impress me. With columns of beautiful, reactive lights similar to their setup at Marathon Music Works last year, vocalist Megan James and multi-insturemtnalist Corin Roddick sounded as good as I’d ever heard them, dazzling with songs like “Belispeak,” “Bodyache,” and “Fineshrine.” The late night offerings seemed to have divided the post-LCD crowd, as the audience was somewhat thinner than I expected, but everyone there, many sitting down, seemed entranced and warmed by Purity Ring’s poppy, dreamy, textured sound. In fact, I had planned to cut their set short to grab a place for Tame Impala, but found myself so sucked in that I ended up watching until the very end, visiting with some friends before walking back to the big stage for my last show of the night. [PO]

Tame Impala

Despite how excited I was for Tame Impala going into Bonnaroo, it should have occurred to me that late night or not, following LCD Soundsystem might be a tall order. Still, not just any band can get me excited to stay up until 3am at this point (I’m hit or miss on late nights; it’s a long weekend), and their witching hour outing promised on paper to be unforgettable. I think I let my hopes get just a little too high though, because, while an excellent and even standout set, it wasn’t the breathtaking, super special, late night to end all late nights show I wanted it to be. Is it weird that my Tame Impala gripe is that they just played a Tame Impala set? Hear me out though, ‘Roo went so far as to label it “late night” on the bill, and we’ve been so conditioned to special, different, and unexpected post-headliner happenings, that I somehow wanted their already stellar live show to be something more. Maybe I’m just greedy (or maybe no one filled Tame Impala in on Bonnaroo late night). Still, though I arrived late and they ended nearly 45 minutes early, what I got was a wonderful, inspired, and faithful performance, bringing to life many of my favorite neo-psychadelic, near Beatles-incarnate songs, and definitely commanding a passionate crowd, awkward Silent Disco placement be damned (seriously, can we return that sucker to a less obstructive spot next year?). By the time jet streams of confetti rained, and my energy drained, I still left feeling ecstatic, reflecting on what was, without a doubt, one of the best single-day blocks of music in Bonanroo history. [PO]

Still juiced up and rolling hard, I made my way to Which Stage to catch one of my favorite contemporary bands, Tame Impala. I’d already seen them once before at The Ryman, but knew that they’d have something very special planned for their Bonnaroo debut. Humble and charming from the jump, frontman Kevin Parker took us all on an amazing psychedelic rock ’n’ roll odyssey, the only problem was after LCD it was hard to chill the fuck out, which is exactly what Tame Impala’s music is all about. No worries, I’d ended up smoking enough pot to counteract the effects from the other show, and sure enough, I was on the proper level a song or two in. Blizzards of confetti rained down for what seemed like the entire performance, and by the end, most of us whom had managed to push up near the front were covered in the stuff. Certainly a late night show to remember from a great Friday on The Farm. [JR]

There were a few mysteries surrounding Tame Impala’s late night set. Just as Leon Bridges should have been at the Which Stage, Kevin Parker and his knights of psychedelic transformation should have been at the What Stage. The crowd was absolutely humongous at the Which Stage field, making it a challenge to find a spot to hear well in the most sonically challenged section of Centeroo. The band also mysteriously disappeared 40 minutes short of what was supposed to be a two hour set. Nevertheless, they absolutely destroyed it. They performed a show full of songs from Parker’s three masterpiece LPs: InnerspeakerLonerism, and Currents. It gave me one more Friday opportunity to witness more breathtaking drumming. I know that Kevin Parker plays all the instruments in the studio, but his live drummer Julien Barbagallo certainly held his weight. A Tame Impala show wouldn’t be complete without a masterful light show to draw in all the spun out Bonnaroovians, and, to add that special touch, the band blasted all the available confetti in the state of Tennessee during the songs “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes”, of which the refrain “feel like a brand new person” sent Bonnaroo off with an appropriate weekend mantra. Kevin Parker has solidified himself as a rock and roll hero of our age. In 40 years, when we’re telling our kids about the music we witnessed, Tame Impala is sure to be on the list. The band’s Bonnaroo set was an example of that, but please Bonnaroo, next time put them on the main stage so we all have more room to dance. [JC]

Bob Moses

After an incredibly long week, I thought my chances of making it up to see any of Tame Impala, much less anything later, were slim to zero.  I guess it was the magic of LCD Soundsystem or the excitement of confetti cannons at Tame Impala that pushed me along on Friday night as I found myself wandering Centeroo in the late night hours.  Bob Moses popped onto my radar late last year with their ultra catchy single “Tearing Me Up,” and they were one of the acts that were on my to see list.  Frankly, I almost forgot they were playing at That Tent late Friday night, given that I assumed any energy I had would be spent exclusively on Tame Impala, so wandering up just in time to see them wrap up with that total banger of a track was almost, but not quite, the final cherry on top of Friday night. [MH]

Blood Orange

Show of hands, how many of you have ever ridden the Ferris Wheel at Bonnaroo?  This was my seventh (?) Bonnaroo, and I had never taken the time.  The lines are always too long, and I have too much other stuff that I want to see.  However, in the late, late hours on Friday night, with a relatively short line, I saw my opportunity and climbed aboard.  Why, you might ask am I talking about this in the Blood Orange review section?  Because, Dev Hynes (dba Blood Orange) provided the soundtrack for my ride from the nearby The Other Tent.  Soaring over the lights of Centeroo and the campgrounds with the funky R&B tinged electro pop awesomeness of Blood Orange provided the perfect ending to one of the better single evenings in my Bonnaroo history. [MH]

Photos by Mary-Beth Blankenship.

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[JR] Jacob Ryan
[JC] Julian Ciany
[MH] Matt Hall
[PO] Philip Obenschain

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