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BONNAROO review.

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so first off, let me say:

this bonnaroo, from a sheer weather and organization stand point was a complete home run. Absolutley no traffic getting in. No long waits for portopotties. No disgusting, filthy mud pits in high traffic areas despite the hard rain. The way centeroo has been set up is truly a festival planning work of genius. Never was i stuck in a crowded bottle neck of people trying to move. Never was i in line for more than 1 minute to buy food. This year put the previous years, along with all other big fests i've attended to shame.

The people: amazing. Not one bad experience with anyone, and still, completley chill, laid back and intresting to talk with. no hassles from security as long as you knew the tricks to sneaking the vitals in. My back pack has a flap to keep your Lap Top which was perfect for sneaking in a cold 6 pack and all other essensitals into the place. LOVE IT. The metallica fans were amazing, respectful, and were totally a welcome addition.

so on to the MUSIC:

FRIDAY: after setting up camp, we headed into centeroo for the first time, and started our day with a ride on the ferris wheel. Afterwards, I made my way to the Sonic Stage to catch 30 minutes of some grateful dead covers for DSO. It was a fun set filled with covers, however, I will take caution jam anyday of the week.

After warming up with some drinks and some covers, we made our way to THE OTHER STAGE to get awsome spots for THE BLUEGRASS ALLSTARS. this was my first real bluegrass set, and I felt so fortunate to be seeing a show that from a regional standpoint, I probably would never see where I live. Love every single minute I was in that tent. Lots of smiles and jokes exchanged between both audience and musicians. their talk on the flecktones SHIRPA was wonderful.

After about an hour of bluegrass, I decided to make my way over to WHICH STAGE to catch the last hour of CLAYPOOL. my oh my. CLAYPOOL and his band pretty much blue my mind. He had this chello player that played the most obscure sounding solo's I've ever heard. WHAMOLA was definitley a highlight.

After Claypool, the lady and I went and caught an early dinner and went our seperate ways. She headed over see Willie, and I thought I'd walk over to MIA and see what the hype was about. It was about fucking nothing is what it was about. Complete failure of a set although the crowd seemed to be having a good time. Personally, I thought all the screaming and over blown stage antics were all sizzle, no steak. I stayed around long enough to catch the PACKI DUN DUN GET CRACKIN GET GET CRACKIN song, and decided that I better head over to WIllie and see some real talent.

WILLIE was good, although I thought his set was so freakin quite that he was totally drowned out by all the talking. Not only is his music very low sounding, but the band's volume over the PA seemed very low. After Willie, is was time to head over to see CHRIS ROCK.

CHRIS ROCK fucking killed it. my group and I pounded back the beers, and laughed our asses off. my personal favorite line was "ofcourse america can handle a black president, we just had a retarded one".

By the time Rock finished up his set, we decided to was best to head back to camp, shower, eat, and change and come back to Centeroo totally refreshed for the late night. Listening to Metallica from the camp site was awsome, but I couldn't help but kick myself for missing their set loaded with pretty much everything you wanted to hear from them. The fireworks ended didn't help matters either. I should have stuck around. sounded like a killer time.

Walking into centeroo, we began our late night ragin at MSTRKRFT who allowed their stage to be littered with fans. It was nice warming up to these guys, and they definitley acted like a spring board for the rest of my mushrooms trip. Turns out they are from toronto, which explained the Canadian flags being waved by fans throughout the crowd. lovely. As MSTRKRFT wound down, we head over to THIS TENT to see TIESTO. scoped out great spots, and it was awsome avoiding the fairly large looking storm that hit. we pounded back the beers and waited in the crammed fucking tent for party to start. From start to finish, TIESTO tore the fucking roof off the tent. It was the most electrifying room I've ever partied in. Unbelieveable. You could tell that he was loving the crowd and the whole bonnaroo festival as a whole. Tegan and Sara and Jose Gonsalaez did an amazing job coming out to help with the vocals. I'm telling you fuckers right now, TIESTO brought an absolutley amazing stage show, incredible vibe, was totally humbled by the audience and was definitley the place to be that night. We stayed for his entire set, only leaving to use the restrooms. totally a highlight.

NOTE: fuck all you fools that will make fun of tiesto and blah blah blah. you're all jaded ingrates. go back to thinking drum and bass is a respectable form of music and playing in your shitty fucking livetronica bands.

After tiesto's monster of a 4 hour set, I thought I would make my way back to camp, but noticed that the disco biscuits were still playing. Having never really seen them before, I walked over to see whats up. Boy was I convinced that I made the right choice. Where as Tiesto's crowd was 100% in the moment the entire time, The biscuits were playing to a half empty tent of people just standing there or barely dancing. WEAK. Their music sound like some circus band took some acid and thought they were talented. I flipped off brownstein and threw a plastic bud light bottle at Barber and called it a night.

what I love most about looking back on my first day is the list of artists I saw


most of that, I would never get too see in toronto, and every single artists (with the excpetion of my late night) is completley different. love IT!


After a fairly rough morning, I started my day at Little Feat. Loved their set and was amazing by the monster of a bass player they got. His playing totally reminding me of Rob from moe. fantastic way to start the day. I then made my way over to see GOGOL BORDELLO and totally spaced on the fact that BB KING was playing right next door. I am totally kicking myself in the ass for missing that mans set. Either way, Gogol was fun, but complete fluff. My friends and I then headed over to THAT TENT for some ZAPPA action. ZAPPA PLays ZAPPA was a lot of fun, and totally hit the spot for that point in the day. Every single player in that band took a turn at blowing my mind with their talent. After about an hour of Zappa, I made my over for one of my most anticipated sets of the weekend, LEVON HELM. I think I had a smile on my face for his entire set. Amazed by his band, his daughter, the horns, and his playing. Fantastic time.

After helm, my girlfriend wanted to see some Jack Johnson, and I obliged seeing as most of the day, we spent seeing music seperatley. To my surprise, I actally really enjoyed Jack's set and it was totally appropriate for a sunset. Had a few beers and bobbed my head and made out under the tennessee sun. Loved every single relaxing minute of it. For that hour or so, I didn't feel like bonnaroo was a marathon that was kicking my ass. I actaully felt like i was on vacation.

once again, we headed back to camp to prepare for PEARL JAM and the late nights.

Pearl Jam was kinda lame for me but my friends (most of whom were older and were teenagers during their golden years) loved it. Eddie Vedder was fucked up and rambled about a bunch of nonsense on the verge of tears for most of the set. at around midnight, we headed over to THAT TENT to scope out awsome spots for SIGUR ROS.

At first, sigur ros was a bit of a downer. They quiet , bueaty of their music was drowned out by stupid fans, other stages, and generators. It seemed a tad out of place for them. However, after about 30 minutes or so.... the tent cleared out and we could finally focus on the wonder that was coming out of those people on stage. For the hour and half that they played, I kept thinking that it was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. We didn't party.....we patiently let incredible art unfold infront of us. It was a bonnaroo moment like i've never had before.

After Sigur Ros, I stumbled into SOMTHIN ELSE to see what dumpstafunk was up to. To my shock and dismay, I stumbled into what seemed to be the crack ward of bonnaroo. this dirty, sketchy, half empty room will haunt me for a while. I felt sorry for the musicians. it was fucking weird.

we decided it was time to head over to the main stage to see what kanye made the big fuss over. We met up with our crew of eight and waited. and waited. and waited. to be honest, it was some of the most fun i've ever had at bonnaroo. we were all fucked up, they PA was blasting incredible hip hop, and i've never had more fun with my group of friends. I pretty much laughed for 2 hours. Kanye finally hit the stage as the sun started to rise.

KANYE's show is an incredible well produced, well orchastrated, incredibly designed pop show. It is all aobut the stage. I would love to go see this in a place like Las Vegas. Or ACC. However, kanye is complete shit as a performer, as a live artist, and his live "mc-ing" (if you can call it that) is garbage. He had zero charisma and despite having the most impressive stage I've ever seen, he failed to even make me smile. THAT SHOW DID NOT BELONG AT BONNAROO. it was like watching the spice girls perform at 430 in the morning. Compleltley out of place, uninspired filth. And i've seen the spice girls, and managed to have a good time enjoying the lights and atmosphere. To me, hip hop is about how a dj and an MC control a crowd, wow us with their mic skills, and totally slap our faces around with thier talent. KANYE was not a hip hop show. it was a pop show. the worst kind of pop show. it was the strangest thing i've ever seen at 530 in the morning.


By the time we headed back to our camp after Kanye, we made a brilliant decision to pack a bag for the entire day at centroo and walked right back at 6am while we were still "up". centeroo was deserted, the sun was still cool and we ate breakfast, washed up, had some coffee layed a blanket under the trees at which stage. I stared up at the leaves and the clouds until I was no longer "awake" and finally woke up a few hours later totally refresed and amazed to find I was surrounded by a sea people and ROGUE WAVE had just hit the stage.

Rogue Wave was definitley the sleep hit of the weekend. Had I not slept at that location, I would have never caught them. Amazing band. Kinda like MMJ, kinda like Death Cab, kinda like Grand theft Bus. all and all, amazing way to start the day.

After their set, I caught another cat nap, and waited for ORCHESTRA BAOBAB to his the stage for an awsome day set. Their set was fantastic, and totally hit the spot for my foggy, hazzy, beaten up mind. stuck around for their set from start to finish and loved every minute of it. They allowed some fan to hop on stage for a sax solo.

AIMEE MANN was next on our list, and she proved to be the winner for best DAYTIME set i saw all weekend. The entire time she was on stage, I was in heaven. Beautiful stage presence, and her band is super tight. FUNNY TIDBIT: she made mention of how she could smell the portopotties. the thing is, the portopotties are no where near THE OTHER STAGe. she was definitley smelling the crowd. hahahahaha. lots of new tunes, a bunch of older ones, and the favorites from MAGNOLIA made for a complete treat of a day.

The last set of the weeekdn for me was PLANT AND KRUAS which was superb. amazing covers of some zep tunes, all the songs I wanted to hear off the album, incredible atmosphere. It was everything I wanted.

Lastly, I chatted with a few of the vendors while my girlfriend shopped for some presents for her family/father's day and then we decided it was time to say goodbye to centeroo.

We packed up our shit, and left the greatest festival i've ever attended completly satisfied.

BONNAROO is the shit.

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