telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Seriously Serious Concert No. 10: Bonnaroo, Friday 6/12/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 16, 2009, 12:36 pm
Filed under: Concert review | Tags: , , , ,



After a surprising decent night’s sleep (despite the shouting couple in the next tent over at 5 or 6 am) as well as a fortuitous trip to the port-o-john right after a cleaning, we got ready for a packed day of shows that would start with Dirty Projectors at 1:30 and ultimately end in a ridiculously awesome Girl Talk set until 4:15 in the morning. Alth0ugh to be honest, we really didn’t catch much of Dirty Projectors at That Tent before heading over to get a spot at Which Stage for Animal Collective. Whoever stuck Animal Collective with a 2:45pm set time should be fired. Seriously. Because the crowd didn’t get into it as much as I feel they would have if they had played at, say, 11:30pm that night. I enjoyed the set, which comprised of  “My Girls,” “Summertime Clothes,” “Brother Sport,” and Strawberry Jam jam “Firecracker.” But still, afternoon set? Really?!

One of my most anticipated sets was Grizzly Bear, though I wasn’t quite sure how it would work in an outdoor setting. Boy, I was way off, as they put on a top 3 set of Bonnaroo for me (not to mention these were my best photos). After a slight delay, they opened with “Southern Point” off Veckatimest. Keeping mostly with songs off that album, they did play some older songs including “Knife.” Both “Two Weeks” and “While you wait for the others” (both album highlights) were set highlights. The band was on point, and just sounded amazing live.

A song or two into the set, I noticed a familiar-looking girl standing quietly near me. “Wait, is that Hannah from American Teen?” I thought to myself. Turns out it was, and hopefully she wasn’t too creeped out by me asking to take a photo with her after the set. But seriously, check out American Teen on dvd; great documentary and Hannah is by far the best part of it.

We moved back over to Which Stage for TV on the Radio. I feel like sometimes it takes a while for sound guys to get their mix just right, which left the first few songs as kind of a mess. The band and sound guy eventually hit their stride and the rest of the show was great, including a fantastic version of “Family Tree” towards the end of the set. After TVOTR we took a break for several hours and listened to some of the Beastie Boys show from our campsite. I probably should have wandered over to What Stage to see them, as I actually do like them and Nas came out for a song from their forthcoming Hot Sauce Committee album.

The Phoenix set at 11:30 might have been the most collectively anticipated set among our group. And it. was. awesome, though unfortunately my camera batteries died during their set. Every song they played from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix sounded really good – “Lisztomania,” “1901,” “Lasso,” “Armistice” especially – and they mixed in some songs from It’s Never Been Like That. This was another top 3 set of the festival for me, and my only complaint is that they only played for 45 minutes. So, so good, and the crowd wasn’t pushy like it was the previous night for Passion Pit.

I left during the setup for Crystal Castles to check out Public Enemy playing It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in its entirety at This Tent because I wanted to take advantage of them being at the festival. I caught probably 3/4 of their set and although I am not as familiar with that album (I’m more of a Fear of a Black Planet guy myself), it was cool to check them out. I then headed back over to That Tent and caught the last song of Crystal Castles, which the crowd seemed to insanely be into.

I wish I had some photos to capture just how awesome the Girl Talk set was, even with the two mishaps with his laptop because of people dancing on stage. I’m not a rave kinda guy and never will be, but after a nearly 2 hour set of dancing with glowsticks and balloons and huge blow-up pillows, I can maybe see the appeal. And he didn’t just hit play on a cd of his, he mixed up samples from the past two albums with newer or different songs than from the album versions. The set ended about half an hour later than it was supposed to, but I could have gone on for another hour. If you’re playing at home, this is the other top 3 set of Bonnaroo for me. So you can see just how awesome Friday was.

More photos after the jump…


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