Friday, June 12, 2009

Blogaroo from Bonnaroo ’09: Thursday

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 11:21 AM


What was referred to as “Dirtaroo” two years ago has quickly become “Mudaroo” this year. The eighth annual Bonnaroo got underway Thursday under a flurry of wet weather. Shortly after getting my tent set up, the flood gates opened for roughly an hour and a half. Just when you thought it was over and the sun had come out, another passing storm would quickly drench the farmlands.

Mud is everywhere. No matter how much you try to escape it, it isn’t long before you can feel it squishing between your toes again….

However much Bonnaroo is quickly resembling Woodstock, there are no naked people running around and it’s more about the music than the mud.

The day kicked off, musically, with country singer Charlie Allen. He may have performed a quick 20-minute set, but the crowd was ready to go. Allen was followed by Alberta Cross in That Tent, offering up their own brand of rock ‘n’ roll.


The “performance of the day,” however, goes to Janelle Monae whose soulful rock simply tore up The Other Tent. It may have been hot, but that didn’t get Monae to slow down. She tore off her jacket and threw it to the crowd as she shuffled around the stage and danced her ass off. Always the entertainer, she even had a canvas brought up on stage and painted a picture while singing, at one point giving up her brushes to use her hand instead. The portrait was completed and promptly tossed into the audience where a crowd clamored for it.


White Rabbits rocked This Tent after a delay which seemed to be par for the course on all stages. Whether technical difficulties or soundchecks running long, I don’t think one band started on time.

Portugal. The Man drew a large crowd for their rock set which sounded almost like a toned-down version of The Mars Volta.

On the Troo Music Lounge stage, Nashville's Erin McCarley drew a larger crowd than expected which surprised her. I spoke with her briefly after her set and she said it was her first Bonnaroo, and she was hoping for another good turnout for her set on Sunday. McCarley was followed by Those Darlins who featured female three-part harmonies.


The Knux was the first hip-hop act of the day, getting the crowd going with little effort.

Chairlift’s atmospheric dance tunes were moving This Tent, while The Low Anthem’s folk style toned down That Tent.


Passion Pit was simply a madhouse as the photo pit was filled with photographers and beer drinkers who somehow got close to the stage. Zac Brown Band’s country rock was the closer for That Tent.

Midnight, gave the festival a needed reggae vibe in The Other Tent to close out the night there.

Delta Spirit, who were delayed by a flight out of Texas, ended the night with a 12:45 a.m. set that rocked on as storms raged outside.

I didn’t mind the rain — it was actually nice, once I got into my tent, to fall asleep to the sound of it hitting the fabric. I may have only gotten about 6 hours of sleep, but it will have to do — it’s a long day ahead.

Coming this afternoon — a preview of Friday at Bonnaroo.

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