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stu dog's mumblings from bonnaroo

stu dog

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... enough is enough i can't get my pheet clean .

But what can I say what a wicked time, mud, music, may ham. Another Bonnaroo another adventure.

I arrived home late Monday night with many of brain cells left behind along with my shoes, They were lost the last night after the Trey show, there some where left behind in the mess along with several ground scores of junk the mud decided to gobble up.

I had the advantage of having a press pass so I got to see things the rest of the ticket holders wouldn't have. That said I would have to say a high light was seeing jim james from my morning jacket http://www.mymorningjacket.com/ play and acoustic three song set in the press tent. If you haven't listened to these guys yet, do it, a very unique sound.

There are many of cool high lights that's for sure, first off was getting in the venue only waiting 20 mins, I didn't even get a chance to crack open my second beer before having to set up all the tents etc. But we were a distance away from the stages, so maybe I would of taken the 6 hours in line for a better camping spot, its all a party anyway.. lineups can be fun too. I swear I had to walk about 35 minutes to get to my tent and totally bombed it felt like an hour.

I did get millions of pics, some I'm satisfied with, some well their pic's . Got some beaut's of Dave. It was nice to see Trey come on and play with Dave right off, the crowd noise was awesome. To me though Dave played a bit slow. If your headlining any given night, you better rock the place out, Dave only gets two and a half stars out of five..

The Dead the second night was unreal, from the photo pit looking back and seeing the sea of people for miles and miles, it was just sweet to be up front a dig it for a while. I got to listen to a lot of the show from underneath the stage, just waiting for my turn to get to the photo pit.. There were so many photographers they put us in groups, so I decided to go last and dig it for a while.. I should mention the reason they did this. The previous night for Dave Matthews there must have been 150 photog’s in the pit, I was getting lenses in the back of the head, it was crazy everyone fighting for the right shot, but I fought and fought elbows out. It was may ham but stu dog held his ground and came up well. As for the Dead I got some nice shots of Bobby and Phil. My shots from last year were ok, but I think these shots are better, especially of Phil.

There were so many awesome things that happened during the days, I think I visited the majority of tents though out, shooting, shooting and shooting.. Day 1 I got a lot of the bands, Los Lonely Boys, Calexico, Xavior Rudd, The black keys, Neko Case, Younder Mountain, Wilco, Patty Smith (she rocked, love her), and a few more. I was spent missed out of partying like I AM USED TO, no beers just doesn't cut it for me. But doing it this way I got to sit in the photo pits for a lot of shows, in the smaller tents the photographers could pretty much sit and watch the hole show, there was no kicking us out at all, that was awesome, so if I loved a show, I would just sit and listen. A band I did do this for along with many others but this one knocked my socks of was Xavier Rudd a Didg player from southern Australia, Amazing.. prolly some of my best shots came from him too..

http://www.xavierrudd.com/welcome.html a must check out.

To go back to the first night after Dave my buddies and I with a backpack full of beers decided to go check out Umphrey’s Mcgee. Should mention this to, after the headliner I put my camera away so I could get messy, hang out with the kids I came down with. But this, oh my god, was one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen, the energy in the tent was NUTS .. These guys I just can’t say enough about, I know I was all messy but I danced and danced. They even covered two Matellica songs. It gives me goose bumps today even thinking about it. I know they played until about 5:30am that morning.

I crashed out about 6am..

The second day I awoke to some serious sun, I pretty much slept outside that night, I was ready to giver.. looking at the line-up after the Dead I couldn’t believe it. Primus, Robert Randolph, Ween, holy cow. To me it’s all about the little tents at night, the energy in center Roo is awesome, everyone all wide eyed !!

So I was pumped all day for nightfall, but you gotta get though the heat of the day first and I had to do some shooting as well. Here is what I shot during day 2. Los Lobos, one shot of Kings of Leon (long story), Gomez, Acoustic Syndicate, Del McCoury (saw willy in the photo pit, fun times), My Morning Jacket and Sam Bush (love this dude, electricity went out in the middle of his set, he was pissed). During the day I got some nice shots of several press conferences too. These are fun to be at, there are some big press folk there, CNN, Rolling Stones Magazine and so on. These are fun b/c anyone can ask questions, from the littlest guy to the big honchos like CNN. They always had the same question to ask to every artist or band, “knowing this is an election year blah, blah, blah, what do you think about Bush and what is happening over sea’s, who are you going to vote for... some artist answered very seriously like Dave Matthews but some like the lost lonely boys couldn’t even tell you who the president was !

By the third day I was pretty beat, my feet were screwed, there were blisters inside of blisters, OUCH, but I still managed to make it around stage to stage, but couldn’t giver like it was the first two days. I did have some help with a few treats, thank god, let me tell you, you treats ……

So after a few unmentionable thingy’s I was off to see David Byrne. Like I said I didn’t have a lot of energy left, but after a treat or two I made it back stage to hook up with the press to do some shooting of David and talk about kicking in all those goodies.

After shooting I skipped out of the photo pit and started to dance my ass off. Hearing some talking head tunes makes me feel good, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..

Shit I forgot to mention Moe, another fine show, to top it off when I was shooting I looked into the crowd, who do I see Avory from Guelph front row. What are the chances, got a nice picture of him with about 50 000 folk behind him. I must say Moe enjoys it all, I swear they couldn’t believe how many people were there, moe enjoyed every second. Got some nice shot of them ripping it up..

I think I could go on and on, but I’ll finish it off with trey, now this was sweet, I am not a big phish fan at all, never have seen them, never have seen Trey before, Friday was my first with Dave Matthews. But this show was very cool. About two hours before he came on it started to rain like mad, huge drops, dark, dark clouds, the only reason I mentioned this is because you could see them coming for miles, it gave you a chance to take cover. I had the advantage of knowing a good friend with an R.V. so we sat on the top and watched the storm arrive, lighting and all.. Beautiful, we knew we were in for another duzzy.

It gave me a chance to hang out with my buddies for once, I was so busy shooting and running around I didn’t get a chance to see them a lot. A great bunch of folk, I better mention them because there a fun bunch, so here they are, boss, aubrey, ross, ob1, vil, imran, Kormack, dave, jer, and rankin. Cheers dudes.

Like I said it was muddy before the storm, so trying to picture how sloppy it was going to be after this storm, impossible. I should mention this to, after the first storm came Saturday, the place stunk like shit, I often wonder if the porta johns leaked or purposely leaked. Walking around in the mud it was soft, smelt like shit, felt like shit ---- I think it was shit ?

When I lost my shoes it was a blessing really, every step was a challenge your foot would just disappear into the deep brown unknown , so many people taking the dirty unexpected plunge, some were just hilarious and me I was just waiting for my turn.. glad it never happened..

But back to trey, he was playing with a huge orchestra behind him. I thought the show was going to be delayed until the rain stopped but I wasn’t sure, I was at the R.V loving the company the drink and stuff. But not being back stage I didn’t know if the show was delayed or not, normally hanging with the media you know all the happenings, so I had a decision to make at the R.V. Either I take off in the rain in case trey comes on and get totally drenched walking there myself or take the chance and have as many beers and stuff as I can and take off when the storm stops? But there is the chance I would miss shooting trey, of course I took off and got wet.

I think trey came on in time, maybe a slight delay, but all was good. Got some o.k. shots of Trey playing acoustic though..

And to finish it off my plan was to sneak on stage to watch the rest of the Trey show, my buddy who I met that day (another photographer) snuck back and partied with the dead the previous night, couldn’t believe the pic’s he showed me. So the plan was set, it was in place, we were to hang back from the rest of the photographers and walk the opposite way when they were outta site. The plan was working well until my buddy said lets chill here underneath the stage and smoke a bowl. We were burning away with trey hitting the tunes above us when security came back with wide open eyes and spotted us and said what the f%$k I am trying to get all u guys outta here and u two are smoking bowls? lol, oh it was classic. That said no back stage, but we did watch the show from these bleachers they had set up, beautiful spot, I think the best spot in the hole place, seriously, we were at the very top of the bleachers, could see the hole crowd, loads of people, $2 beers too, just danced and drank and had more bowls, a sweet, sweet time. Gotta say i am now a trey fan.

It was nice to say good-bye to Bonnaroo for sure it’s a hard, hard festival to do, but WORTH EVERY BLISTER.

pic's to come soon.

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Right on Babs, ya sam bush was sweet ! but when the power went out on him, he was pissed to say the least.. appearently the generator quit on him due to lack of gas ..

his words " you would think they would put gas in the f'in generator before i started "

but lucky for me i got to chill for a while a listen, best seats in the house.

I was a bacon's house last night and he said the stag/doe was awesome, wish i could of been in two places at once..

mabye i can give u a nice shot of Sam when i see u next brah.

peace babs...

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Great review Stu.

A great bunch of folk, I better mention them because there a fun bunch, so here they are, boss, aubrey, ross, ob1, vil, imran, Kormack, dave, jer, and rankin. Cheers dudes.

Any idea how i can get a hold of Ross and Rankin, email address'maybe, cheers brah, maybe I'll see ya at CTMF.


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haha... over the years, i've actually gotten pretty good at deciphering stu 'dialect'! I have even been used as 'translator' on more than one occasion. A simple five syllable mrblglandalj... depending on the tone and tempo, could mean, "yeah, I'm not too sure, we'll have to wait and see."

ha! stu just walked in as I'm typing this! He says he's going to kick your fucking ass, sheikyourbouti! You won't be shakin nothin!

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I'm kicking myself for missing it Stu! We'll have to make an effort to get a big crew down next year again. I'm glad you had a blast.

Blair and Christie's party was a blast! I hear the after party was fun too?????

moe.(the whole band) was on stage with UM for three songs if were having too much fun to notice. They played Enter Sandman and a couple others. See you sonn buddy!

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