Monday, June 15, 2009

Blogaroo from Bonnaroo '09: Weekend wrap-up Part 1

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 3:39 PM

I gave a quick rundown of Saturday, but here are a few more details - and then I'll get into Sunday in Part 2.

Buffett looked like a late addition, but at a press conference shortly after his performance, he said that he knew for about six months that he was likely to perform at Bonnaroo. It may have been billed as a Ilo and the Coral Reefer Allstars show, but it was basically a Buffett show - in the daytime.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the quirky folk of Elvis Perkins. His singing has an odd cadence to it...

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Allen Toussaint jazzed up That Tent and I checked out the family bluegrass style of Cherryholmes.

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Heartless Bastards were playing on Which Stage... and I found myself asking, what's up with all the sleepy rock bands these days?

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Instead of seeing Rodrigo y Gabriela, I went to check out Bon Iver. Again, some more sleepy rock.

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Meanwhile, Raphael Saadiq was getting the groove going in That Tent.

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A press conference was held in the mid-afternoon that involved Alejandro Escovedo, Tift Merritt, Perkins and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Triumph was clearly the focus as he found time to make fun of many of the artists there:

"The Beastie Boys are getting old. They look more like the Pep Boys."

"Why is it that hippies can make anything out of hemp, except for deoderant."

"Jimmy Buffett was here today. Bonnaroo is so eco-friendly, they figured they would have some recycled music. Maybe that joke is better for Oasis."

"Ani DiFranco's show here was the largest gathering of unmanicured pubic hair at Bonnaroo."

"Bonnaroo has more stages than syphilis. Speaking of syphilis, it's nice that Flavor Flav is here."

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Jenny Lewis followed with some incredibly short shorts, while Of Montreal put on an interesting show in This Tent.

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Of Montreal's band were all in costumes as most people expect, but each song became a tiny play as characters opened Christmas presents that revealed gas masks - and gas for the third person, who "died." And then there were people in pig costumes meeting buddha... It was all just a bit odd, but entertaining to watch.

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I've been a fan of The Mars Volta since I first heard them and the band's live show completely lived up to my expectations. The guitar, vocals and energy the band put forth was infectious. Singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala was all over the place, flinging the microphone cord, jumping into handstands and running about.

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Bruce Springsteen's headlining set went on for three hours, as he opened with "Badlands" on a modified stage that allowed for a walkway down the middle of the audience. He didn't really kick it off with any big hits and I noticed a decent number of people wandering to other parts of the festival grounds.

After "Working on a Dream," he went into a long rant about how the band has "come a long way from New Jersey to fulfill a solemn vow to rock the house." He added that they would build a house of love, faith, hope and joy through the music. It was a bit long-winded in my opinion.

Max Weinberg's son Jay sat in with the band for the last three songs of the main set and all seven of the encore and hammered the hell out of the drums. He's a great fit for the band when Max can't be there.

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As for Nine Inch Nails... it was one of my favorite moments of the weekend. You can read more on that previous Saturday post.

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