Friday, June 11, 2010

Live review: Bonnaroo Thursday

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 2:30 AM

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

June 10, 2010

Manchester, Tenn.


By the time I rolled into the campgrounds on Thursday for the first day of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, I had already heard about the "monsoon" the area got on Wednesday night — everyone was wearing boots and talking about mud.

Yep, it's no joke. There's plenty of mud to go around — hopefully between the sun yesterday and hopefully nice weather all weekend it will dry out.

So far, I've run into Ramseur Records founder and Avett Brothers manager Dolph Ramseur three times, and found out that Scott Swimmer has a booth set up to promote his DrumSTRONG foundation. Sometimes pieces of home are closer than you think...

After nearly melting while putting up my tent — which suffered a broken pole in the process (I'll see you on Tuesday, REI!) — it was time to head out and catch some music.

The Postelles kicked things off in That Tent with their generic rock sound. I've heard lots of good things about these guys, but they didn't do much to stick out in the first couple songs that I saw.

I headed over to catch The Entrance Band in This Tent who had a great psych rock energy. The trio could barely stand still while they performed, drew out feedback and got things going.

Due to a time mistake, I thought I had missed Ramseur's Frontier Ruckus, but I was able to catch part of an impromptu set they did behind the stage near one of the large bobbleheads that dot the grounds here.

Diane Birch was next up in That Tent with strong vocals in front of her pop rock sound.

Baroness woke everyone up with their brand of metal in The Other Tent.

Here We Go Magic offered up some mellow indie rock in This Tent.

By this time, I hadn't seen much to make me say "Wow!" or have me craving more. Birch was good, but I was already familiar with her music.

That sentiment changed, however, once I saw Local Natives — the crowd's energy was as infectious as the band's. Great indie rock that I'm curious to hear more of.

This was followed up by a strong showing by Manchester Orchestra. I had only heard their single on the radio, but their performance and energy had me wanting to hear more.

I caught Miike Snow in This Tent, but I wasn't impressed... Electro pop with falsetto vocals. Just not my thing.

Sarah Jarosz was playing in the Troo Music Lounge — great acoustic folk and she's a talented instrumentalist, as well. Banjo, guitar and she picked up a mandolin for a cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."

Neon Indian offered up their electro music in That Tent next.

South Carolina's Needtobreathe may have had a delay getting started, but they sprung into high gear, opening with "The Outsiders" and getting a large crowd singing with them.

I'd also like to hear more of the psych rock of The Dodos who use heavy drum beats and a xylophone paired with vintage guitar sounds.

The pop rock of The Temper Trap didn't do much for me...

Blitzen Trapper had a great energy — chalk that one up as another to check out. (They'll be at Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte on June 13.)

Mayer Hawthorne brought some old-school soul and grooves to This Tent.

The night ended with The xx playing some gloomy electro rock in That Tent — not impressed, despite all the hype.

Lotus tore through mostly instrumental jams in The Other Tent...

Wale brought hip-hop to This Tent — he also brought a few people with flip-cams on stage to video his performance, saying he didn't know what to expect at Bonnaroo, but there were clearly fans here.

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