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what a weekend.

i must say, the bonnaroo people were on top of it this year.

the logistics of the fest were perfect. it rained all weekend, but it was still comfortable and mud was to a minimum. the porto potties were fantastic and it never seemed crowded no matter wehre you were.

it looks like the fest is really comming into its own.

sure, some may complain that they are "selling out" just cuz jambands aren't in the for front. But who gives a shit. JUST JAMBANDS is boring.

what was incredible about this bonnaroo was all the new music i discovered. BRAZILLIAN GIRLS blew me away. Their short, but incedibly sweet late night set before STS9 was one of the greatest musical experiences i've had. De La Soul rocked the late night tent like i've never seen. The energy was through the roof. Dj Krush also brought some incredible grooves that night.

The activities this year, and the artists were fantastic. My favorite activitiy was the silent disco. Pretty music a disco tent with a dj....but no speakers...everyone is wearing headphones...so its totally silent, but everyone is just getting down.

I caught a few local bands playing the small cafe's and i must say... STRUT blew me a away...never thought a tiny little band would put on one of the most impressive showings of the weeekend.

Dave Matthews was wonderful. Warren and Robert Randolph came out towards the end. I went into this show knowing it was going to be good...but dave just totally blew me away ,and rejuvinated my love of his music.

So those were pretty much the musical highlights...other bands i saw were

Gabby La La with LEs (les played upright the whole time and it was pretty damn cool)

Signal Path (awsome live dance grooves...nothing too special though

Perpetual Groove (boring...i left early)

Umphrey's (meh)

My MOrning Jacket (pretty good)

Modest MOuse (wow!)

Particle (farticle...left after a minute or two.the only reason i was even in there was cuz i thought it was keller's slot)

Keller (good times!)

Panic (smallest crowd i've ever seen on main stage...energy was lacking...and i left after a few songs)

Secret Machines (WOW!!! blew me away)

Mattis Yahu (can't wait to see him again at moe.down)



i think you guys will find alot of people saying that bonnaroo has jumped the shark and has sold out. i can't dissagree more.

i think the fest is evolving into somthing more than just a huge hippy fest.

sure the first two years were JAMBANDS in the for front with some spice mixed in to make it intresting.

the third year was a bit of a step away from it...

and this year was just fantastic. the jambands still had their place....but there was just so much intresting music to be seen....

i think next year is going ot be even better.

hopefully panic doesn't headline...cuz it really didnt' fit the mood of the festival.

oh, and TREY!

totally forgot.

omg...i've never been more dissapointed. holy shit. what the fuck. i actually felt sorry for the man.. trey is finished.

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"Panic (smallest crowd i've ever seen on main stage...energy was lacking...and i left after a few songs)

hopefully panic doesn't headline...cuz it really didnt' fit the mood of the festival."

hey...i liked your review and completey agree with many things especially with trey..what was with the sound??? i never thought i'd leave a trey show to see another band, especially one i'd never seen before. but what a great time...no shark jumping at all!

as for the panic, i know it's not everyone's band but look at all the great guests you missed and lotsa energy.

06/11/05 Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN

1: Second Skin, Pigeons, Henry Parsons Died, Papa Johnny Road, Good People, Bust It Big, Chilly Water, Thin Air (Smells Like Mississippi), Christmas Katie, Action Man

2: Conrad, Hatfield, Climb To Safety, Holden Oversoul, I Walk On Guilded Splinters*, Doreatha*, May Your Glass Be Filled, Surprise Valley, Tie Your Shoes, Papa's Home > Drums** > Papa's Home, Big Wooly Mammoth, Love Tractor

E: Maggot Brain*** > Solid Rock*** > Come Together***

* with Warren Haynes on guitar

** with Hunter Williams on djembe, Matt Abts on percussion

*** with Danny Louis on keyboards, Warren Haynes on guitar


06/12/05 Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN

0: Space Wrangler, Tall Boy, Old Neighborhood, Time Zone, Diner, City of Dreams, I Ain't Superstitious*, Wang Dang Doodle*, Little Red Rooster*, You Should Be Glad**, Arleen**, Life During Wartime**, Drums***, Bowlegged Woman, Cows Come Home, Jack, Rebirtha, Imitation Leather Shoes, Fixin' To Die****, Junior****, Fishwater****, Red Hot Mama

* with Bob Weir on guitar/vocals

** with Herbie Hancock on keyboards

*** with Cody Dickinson on washboard, Derrick Freeman on percussion

**** with Col. Bruce Hampton on guitar/vocals, Luther Dickinson on guitar, Robert Randolph on pedal steel

[Only 'I Ain't Superstitious', Only 'Little Red Rooster'; Last 'Wang Dang Doodle' - 10/16/98, 515 shows]

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Jambands are not boring... at all. If they bore you I hear warped tour is coming back around ;)

As for my take on the festival..

STS9 - These crazy fools started playing at midnight and didnt stop until 5:45am. We all watched the sunrise while dancing like the world would end the next day. The first half of the show was so-so but the second half was absolutely rippin. More than likely they were so impressed with it that the kept playing for almost 2 more hours after the show was schedualed to end.

Allman Brothers - The show was wild. They followed a pretty loose pattern of 1 newer song followed by 1-2 classic tunes. They also covered Franklins Tower which brought down the house.

The Word - Un-fucking-beleiveable. It may very well have been the best thing I heard all weekend. Randolph has that amazing ability to alternate from frenzied fast paced jams to mellow solos that could easily sing you to sleep. His music entered my body and exposed me to a full spectrum of emotions (and colors for that matter ). They also brought out Herbie Handcock to play a few tunes. Think about that for a second, herbie, randolph, medeski, north Miss? Thats an all star lineup, no pun intended.

Bobby Weir and Ratdog - Not much you can say about ratdog. They played some amazing dead covers including a scathing playin in the band, cassidy, bird song, sugar magnolia, and Im sure a few others Im blanking on.

Xavier Rudd - this dude is mindboggling. He plays drums, guitar/dulsimer, and sings/didgeridoo/or harmonica. And he jams his ass off on whatever three instruments he happens to be playing.

Panic - They played two shows. They were both pretty ok. The saturday show was much better than sunday, despite the sunday show's guest preformers. On sunday they had Robert Randolph on stage, Herbie, Bobby Weir (he played and sang wang dang doodle), and Colonel Bruce. Aside from the guests the show was lackluster, no encore or anything. It was like "BAM BONNAROO IS OVER! GO THE FUCK HOME!" Ill agree with Dim on this. I was a little down on panic on sunday.

I suppose I listed a few of my personal highlights so I might as well list the complete and utter dissappointments.

Dave - ha, he sucked. go figure.

Robert Randolph couldnt even pull his mediocre show out of the toilet. And yet again he drew either the first or second largest crowd. Bonnaroo sets it up that way though, they didnt have any other music playing besides dave. Forget him man. I wish he would hang up his hat and just go away.

Modest Mouse - I needed to fill up on water so I left the word for a few minutes to grab some. I walked right past modest mouse on the way. I guess I was a little dumbfounded. I had been seeing incredible musicianship all weekend and this band plays nothing but muddy craptastic chords. They sounded awful. It really put a damper on my trip. I think what I might do is try and catch them on their own tour. So I wont be expecting something they cant deliver. Im not sure if that makes a whole lot of sense or not. I just felt they were out of place.

Thats about it. Of the bands I saw those two were the only ones I couldnt stand. I left dave quite early to limber up and stockup for STS9 and like I said I quickly returned back to The Word from my brief encounter with Modest Mouse. Im sure OAR sucked, but Ive come to expect that from them so I didnt bother even looking.

Im still somewhat burned out from the 4 day extravaganza which ought to account for my apparent lack of writing skills and my obvious short term memory loss as far as playlists went.

Take it easy fellas,


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Well...we made it back all in one peace and one piece. It was more than anything I could have ever imagined. I mean there was so many people. We got set up by these great girls from Indiana and Florida and had a all around good weekend. Aside from the fact that I am burnt I say it was fantastic. Unfortunatly I missed a few bands I would have like to have seen but I pretty much got it covered. Toots and the Maytals kicked my ass, Gov't Mule, benevento russo duo..oh so much to remember...

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I mean Im not out to be a dick.

but honestly.

Its rediculous to go to bonnaroo and tell me that brazillian girls, who played run of the mill dance tunes for what and hour a half? were somehow the best show out there.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Some are just wrong.

Bonnaroo is about musicianship. If a band cant meet that one requirement they dont need to come. Period.


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Bonnaroo is about musicianship. If a band cant meet that one requirement they dont need to come. Period.


I agree...I think that the hacks that slip in should be obligated to watch some bands with skill. Escorted by the Bonnaroo crew.

Maybe some shirts that say "music ed."?


"Integrity injection squad."

With little reverance for actual musicianship these days in the main stream, one would hope that the 'roo would be treated as a sanctuary for just that; gawd knows the radio is a bastian for the exact opposite and is a scary beast.

After all Bonnaroo gained its following on the backs of bands that exemplify solid musicianship.

A place where writing tunes based on gut feeling and the pursuit of exciting people through inspired playing is needed in a big way and that's what Bonnaroo represents to me.

Joss Stone can sing, but gives little in the way of originality. Another ass with a producer and a voice...no thanks. Currently searching for songwriting credits on this album....I smell formulae and some heavy studio players.


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Guest Low Roller

I can't say I agree with you guys that Bonnaroo is only about great musicianship. I think the Bonnaroo Festival showcases good musicianship, but it is not a mutually inclusive relationship.

From the Bonnaroo website: "Bonnaroo features many of the top artists in the grassroots rock genre, along with hosts of acts in complementary styles such as jazz, bluegrass, singer/songwriter, hip hop and electronica."

As you can see, the organizers make no claims that the festival is solely dedicated to top musicians, rather it is dedicated to great music. You don't have to do 10 minute guitar noodling solos to write great music. Don't forget that artists like Jurassic 5 were at the inaugural Bonnaroo, and they don't fit into your narrow criteria of what Bonnaroo is all about.

This is where personal preference comes into play. As a newb to the board lessthanjoseph, I would encourage you to replace strong generalizing words like "suck" with more opinion-based statements like "I don't like" or more strongly "I hate".

We've already had differing opinions on bands that played at Bonnaroo, and everyone is entitled to their opinion and preference.

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Don't forget that artists like Jurassic 5 were at the inaugural Bonnaroo, and they don't fit into your narrow criteria of what Bonnaroo is all about.

J5 definitely fits in what you perceive to be my narrow view of acceptability. Their tunes show sophistication that THEY produced. They are a band not a thrown together group of people. Everyone in the band relates directly to the music and the messages they put across in hard to execute hip hop tunes. They move in and out of vocal lines with some serious precision in an organic way.

I don't think Joss Stone's band members relate to the following lyrics.


Joss Stone : You had me

You had me

You lost me

You're wasted

You cost me

I don't want you here messing with my mind

Spitting in my eyes and I still see

Tried to keep me down

I'm breaking free

I don't want no part in your next fix

Someone needs to tell you this is it

Hey listen you'll be missin'

Out on all my love and my kissing

Make your mistakes on your own time

When you come down you're just no good to have around

Instead of making money you took mine


You had me

You lost me

You're wasted

You cost me

I don't want you here messing with my mind

I've realized in time

that my eyes are not blind

I've seen it before

I'm taking back my life


The fact that these players back this is an inevitablility in music unfortunately. I guess I want Bonnaroo to represent music played in a collective fashion not in that studio band vein that pervades radio.

I really hate to make an example of Ms Stone because from the sounds of it she means the heck outta what she's saying, but once it's filtered through the corporate machine it really does start to come off as an inorganic music commercial.

That's something to be avoided at the 'roo.

I had the same complaint of Maroon 5s inclusion last year. Despite the weak virtually chopless attempt at bringing the funk and their coy cross marketing the band is a record company produced Poppy McPop Pop brand of tuneage.

I don't hate it I just can't come near respecting it when they are surrounded by bands who choose to make tunes in the admirable and hard-working spirit of The Black Crowes, Allmans, WSP, Govt Mule, Primus, Ween, Particle etc.

Note: the preceding band list is not a list of preferences, it is a list of some people who work hard and speak and play to what they know. Ideally Bonnaroo bands ensure that the don't get filtered and washed out despite ALL of the opportunities that are likely available to them since they have the credentials enough to play @ Bonnaroo.


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Bonnaroo is a music festival, Joss Stone plays music, I think she fits the mould perfectly.

I think the point of Bonnaroo is to be inclusive, not exclusive. Check the ego and attitude at the door, show up, play your best, and hopefully people will like it.

And there was a huge crowd of music fans that checked out Joss Stone, at least when I was there, and by their attendance I'm guessing they didn't object to her inclusion at Bonnaroo.


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I see what you're saying on the inclusion front and I'm for its sentiment, but I don't think I'm unjustified in worrying that once the mass radio artists realize that there are 70,000+ fans waiting in line for this fest that the agents and record companies that represent them won't be lining up with top dollar to get their *amazing* new artists on this cross marketing stage complete with their fashionable hair cuts and dance poses.

Maybe I'm just paranoid, and I really hope I'm wrong, but the thought of the 'roo being soiled by the interests of the afformentioned proprioters of money driven drivel(sp?) is something I'll fight tooth and nail to prevent.

Cheers to the Bonna-crew for the amazing festivals they have put on to date and here's hoping their integrity stays in tact as ther fest gains more and more fame.


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My mind just got back from Bonnaroo and I must say, that on so many levels this 3rd installment was the best yet. Except for a couple bumps in the road, this festival ran about as smoothly as the mud between my toes. There was so much to do... I have hours of video of me and my mates just walking from one bizarre and interesting attraction to the next. The highlights in this respect were the bamboo forest which I caught the glorious last few minutes of it's existance on video... the Silent Disco... the Disco Arcade (Must remember how to play Dig Dug!)... the sonic forest.. and the good ole fountain which stayed suprisingly clean this year.

On the Music end of things here's my two cents... My Morning Jacket was my favourite... but perhaps it was because Sunday was fantasitc already and because I came back with 60 of my 90 Miller High Life, and I spent less than $30 on 'extras' I was good to go, and had the legs to make it to the front of the stages everyday... I mean I literally ran, in pants, from Matisyahu (AMAZING) to Toots, back to Matisyahu (EXTRA amazing) on the sonic stage for his radio performance.

Umprhee's: Umprheal!!!

Modest Mouse was great, though not the best perfomance seen by my hardcore friend fans. I like the yelling though... there's just something about the relation of his vocals and words to the steady floaty melody of the music... nice bass too from 10ft deep. Holy shnikies those guys climbed that tree high!!! 100ft I swear!

Super Jam: It's always great to run into ?uestlove unexpectantly... mmmmmMontreal ;) And it's just really bizzare to keep bumping into Herbie everywhere I went...

Now digging back a little bit I'll go by what I remember:

J5 was great... and when I was introduced to the crazy puppets from Kentucy which eventually ended up populating the My morning jacket set. NuMark played a Desk, and then hardcore classical music on a sampler... I AM HIPHOP... great Vibe... lots of jumping...

ABB... played the Band... VERY WEIRD vibe when Warren belted out "They should of never taken the very best"... Played Midnight Rider... Very satisfied.

Herbies set... all 70's classics... done with respect, and done well... there was some guitarist there the ladies were swooning over too... young dude, tonnes of potential.

Bela: On FIRE... but I had to run to:

DUO: FREAKING ON FIRE... foam was fun, Mike works... but maybe adds too much for me to handle... DUO on the Sonic stage was outstanding and Hilarious... admitted on Satilte radio that he did Acid and had not been to sleep since the performance the day before... and playing a set at 3am in the Comedy Tent wearing a mask... then went on to introduce a song "This song is called 'Eat Green Cheese' which is the same amount of syllables as 'FAcK George Bush"... mmm Satilite Radio, Schmatilite Radio.

Nap time with Dave doodling away... sounded great though, I had a wicked wicked campsite right close to the main stage... but I needed sleep so I could Rock the midnight set... Saul Williams was intense... Galactic was very showy and groovy... Mars Volta were impressive, and STS9 were lots of fun... I did burn out though (after getting rid of those 15 Highlife the day before "This is private property, you can start drinking now sir" 7am local time, said to me in my car, by an official from the venue with State Troopers 15ft away.

Saturady was great:

Ozomatti was fantastic... High energy:

Ran accross the venue to Tea Leaf Green catching the other, unmemorable acts. Tea Leaf was alot of fun... you want that 90's Phish Vibe... check these guys out.

King of Leon Rocked.. 4 Brothers... the word Mom showed up alot in there peircing rough and young lyrics.

Gov't Mule Rocked, but could of Rocked harder... though I'm talking about Warren here, so I should be careful I don't ask for perfection... Warren you rule.

Mouse on Mars: Das Ist Ausome!!!

Yonder Mountain... thanks for grooving with the Mouse on Mars... definately a nap for the ages!!!

Mr Rudd: You've got peoples attention, but the tent was too full for me to get a good spot to hear! re: Gabby La La f/Clay

Pariticle: Good times... but I was a Zombie at this point which was soooooooo perfect for:

Comming up to the Black Crowes jamming out Don't Do it from the band to open there set on the main stage... a light switch got turned on and I was back!!

Jack Johnson: You've really got peoples attention... I'm guessing the biggest crowd? But who knows... it was good, but I was too far back to really enjoy it.

Keller Fuckin' Williams: Though the dude he brought up with him made no sense... That guy's freaking fun to watch how he constructs all his tunes.

Iron and Wine... Nice and relaxing... never got above a 6 on the whole "Permission to Freak out" Scale.

Widespread Nap

Perceptionists: Good, not great

RJD2: MF'nCFATFA great!!! 4 turntables... you can count to four cant you... and just to make sure your paying attention... hes rocking chords on the Drum Macine... Soul Food... Mm. mm. Mm. mm

De La Soul... great, but they had a chip on their shoulders... damn it guys... we're exausted... you party with us, and then cope with someone yelling at you to get your hands up at 2:30 in the morning... just play the songs... and let us flow into it... :P

Secret Machines: Enh

Oh yeah... Thurday... the free stuff

Signal Path was my favourite... they played a great set the next day on the sonic stage..

ALO was fun... and talented... just more for the CHUM FM Jam band crowd.

Perpetual Groove was pretty decent... very Jammy...

Then Gabbly La La was nothing so special...

That's about it!



PS I'll resize or remove this picture soon... I just havta run now.

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I see what you're saying on the inclusion front and I'm for its sentiment, but I don't think I'm unjustified in worrying that once the mass radio artists realize that there are 70,000+ fans waiting in line for this fest that the agents and record companies that represent them won't be lining up with top dollar to get their *amazing* new artists on this cross marketing stage complete with their fashionable hair cuts and dance poses.

And when that happens someone will start a new festival with tons of jamband cred and the cycle to inevitable suck will start all over again.

And are you suggesting the jamband scene doesn't already have it's own fashionable hair cuts and dance poses?


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