telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Seriously Serious Concert No. 10: Bonnaroo, Thursday 6/11/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 16, 2009, 11:28 am
Filed under: Concert review | Tags: , , , ,



Leaving at approximately 1am from Charlotte, we took advantage of Susong’s insomnia and got on the road to Manchester, TN. I did all I could to stay up (promise) but dozed off at around 3:30am, waking up about 3 hours later in a Wal-Mart parking lot near Manchester. So we start stocking up on essentials in our cart – snacks, bottled water, and beer – until a manager informs us that we actually can’t buy beer in Tennessee until 8am (it was 6am). Debating whether to hang out for a few hours or not, we head on the road to the festival, chancing it that we would be able to buy beer at some point before we got in line. A chance which proved fortuitous once we stopped at a random gas station at 7:45 and promptly bought all of their cold Miller Lite and Bud Light 18 packs.

Once we had finally loaded up everything (including a bang up job on tying the huge cooler to Scotty’s luggage rack not so much by me but by Hal), we were prepared to wait in line for a few hours. However, as luck would have it (a theme throughout a good part of the weekend), we made it through the security line in about 45 minutes without actually having to open our car for a search. I guess the decision to put the minority in the 3rd row seating paid off. From there, it was still another 1 hour, 15 minutes to park but I was prepared for much, much worse.

We parked and then it started pouring down rain. Instead of panicking, Hal stated that we should wait about 15 minutes and the rain would pass. Sure enough it did, and we started our first of three trips hauling our stuff to the camping only area of the festival grounds. We got a cushy area and began setting up our tents. After we finally got everything set up, I took a look at the time (ever since I got to Bonnaroo I don’t wear a watch — my cell phone has a clock) and it was like 10am. It felt like 7pm. But it was a good feeling to bet all settled that early on the first day.

So its early afternoon and we are all settled, and all of a sudden a girl strips off her bathing suit top and bottom, is completely naked and shouting at the guy she was with (we later learned this was her brother through her shouting). We have no idea what she is shouting, only that she is naked in the middle of the road. Obviously people are going to stare and she is aware of this through her drunken/drugged haze and yells at the top of her lungs “WHO WANTS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME?!?” Her brother corrals her away from the road (poor guy) and next thing you know, she has scaled this huge tarp tent Spiderman-style (we have no idea how) and is standing on top yelling at whoever will listen (everyone who is aware that she is still but ass naked at this point). I mean, it was truly bizarre. Finally, her brother coaxes her to come down, but she is not going to make it easy. She flops on her belly and proceeds to slither down the side of the tent, toppling over onto her brother ass first (seriously, poor guy). Words fail me when I tell this story. I got some photos and Scotty got a video, but it seems unfair to post them at this point. Oh, and did I mention that this was before any concerts had even started?

The White Rabbits set at This Tent wasn’t until 4:30 so we hung out and got some lunch until then. I had only really heard “Percussion Gun” but was curious to catch them live. They were kind of a mix of Cold War Kids and Spoon (Britt Daniels produced their latest album), but with an extra percussionist for many of the songs. They started off a big slow for me, but the turning point was when the power briefly went off on stage and without missing a beat they started an audience clap along. The power returned 20-30 seconds later and they finished the song before promptly taking the rest of the show to another level, peaking with a great version of “Percussion Gun.” Great set to start off Bonnaroo.

After a dinner break, we came back and caught the last bit of Hockey at This Tent. They didn’t really do anything for me, but the next two were Chairlift and Passion Pit to close out the night at the tent so we bunkered down in some good spots near some tweens (or at least thats how they looked – they were actually college students) who probably only knew “the iPod song” (aka “Bruises”) . Chairlift took the stage, and launched into a version of “Sensual Seduction.” Simultaneously, all the jaws of the males in the audience dropped at the sight of singer Caroline Kolacheck. She’s cute to begin with, but has so much charisma performing and dancing and singing and being cute that you can’t help but to just be fixated on her the entire show. See?

Being fairly familiar with their album beforehand, I gotta say that it does not do them justice live. They were really good, and I’m not just saying that because I am now in love with Caroline. Oddly enough, they even brought out Solange Knowles for a song (wait what?). “Evident Utensil” was the highlight of the set for me, and the crowd really seemed to get into it (although I did notice a theme of very enthusiastic-in-general Bonnaroo crowds). After the set, the crowd became increasingly pushier and sweatier in anticipation for Passion Pit. Were they featured on an episode of “Gossip Girl” or something? Because the average age of fans around us was probably close to the late teens if not early 20’s. The band finally came on and sounded great. Plus, they had this guy who really knew how to sell his keyboard playing:

However after a few songs off Manners – “Moth’s Wings,” “Little Secret,” “Make Light” – I had to go to the bathroom and was so hot and sweaty and tired of being pushed around that I didn’t bother fighting my way back to our spots. Instead I took the rest of the show in from outside of the tent, where it was incidentally much cooler.

Afterwards, I was prepared to hang out at the campsite for a while before it started to rain and decided to call it a day and rest up for the next day, which was going to be packed. In any case, great start.

More photos after the jump…



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