06/12/12Posted in Features by L4LM

The Good And Bad At Bonnaroo 2012


 
Live For Live Music made the journey down to Manchester, Tennessee to catch the last two days of Bonnaroo and there's definitely a lot to talk about. From the headliners, to the late nights and everything in between, we'll let you know some of the best…and worst to come out of Bonnaroo 2012.
The GOOD

- The Headliners All Delivered. Between Radiohead, Phish, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, there was a little something for everyone this year. Fans raved all weekend about Radiohead's visual show. It was brought up in nearly every conversation about Friday night. The Red Hot Chili Peppers quelled all worries about new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer fitting in with the band. After nearly a year as the official lead guitarist, The Red Hot Chili Peppers found theire groove and put on one of the best shows of the weekend. Flea seemed to love Bonnaroo, constantly praising the festival in-between slapping his bass like a mad man and running around the stage. For those who prefer the jams over the sing-a-longs, Phish gave all attendees who chose not to beat the traffic a lesson in rock and roll, showing them why the band has such a devoted following.

Phish

- SBTRKT performed one of his live sets along with frequent collaborator Sampha, introducing many in the crowd to his unique stage presence. Overlaying live synth samples with fast passed drumming, alternating between drum set and keys, SBTRKT kept the energy high, sampling lyrics when Sampha chose not to sing. He led the crowd in a giant sing-a-long to his Drake approved hit 'Wildfire' while the entire tent bounced along. The only complaint? This would have been a perfect late night act, instead of early evening.

SBTRKT

- The Roots are one of the most consistent live acts out there, but they seemed to have outdone themselves yet again. Announced by JB Smoove they opened with a cover of the Beastie Boys song 'Paul Revere' in honor of the recently passed Adam 'MCA' Yauch set the tone for the rest of the set, allowing fans to celebrate the life of a true musical star while simultaneously dancing and shouting out lyrics. They continued on with renditions of ‘Sweet Child O'Mine’ and ‘Jungle Boogie’ and kept the crowd warmed up for the night's headliner.

- Saturday Late Night Sets. It wouldn't be Bonnaroo without some late night snacks. No real music fan is ready to sleep at midnight. This year's Saturday late night had tons to choose from. Starting immediately after the headliners, heavy metal legend Alice Cooper took fans on a musical tour throughout his career, pulling out all the theatrics that he's known for – I'm talking spider arms, robots, life sized dolls, light up shirts, you name it – while mixing in some songs that even the youngest attendee could sing to. His medley of Cooper's classic 'Schools Out For The Summer' into 'Another Brick In The Wall pt. 2' by Pink Floyd was a crowd pleaser. Immediately after, dubstep king Skrillex took to the Which Stage in the middle of a light up star fighter, dropping signature beats and expertly mixed remixes for two hours while kids literally tore the field apart, making it one of the crazier crowds of the whole weekend. Spectrum Road, a super group combining Cream's Jack Bruce, Living Colour's Vernon Reid, John Medeski and Cindy Blackman Santana, jammed for longer than their allotted time. To close down the night, Wu Tang Clan's own GZA performed his legendary album Liquid Swords backed by Grupo Fantasmo, best known for their association with Prince. There was so much music to listen to between 12-4!

Alice Cooper

Ben Folds Five made a return after over a decade. Early on in his set, Ben Folds addressed the crowd, saying "The last time I played with my band was….seven days ago. But before that it was 12 years" – teasing his fans about the group's long hiatus. While Folds has stayed busy touring solo, it was great to see him finally back with the full band, bringing many of his most well known classics back to life. The band ripped through an hour and a half set playing only Ben Folds Five songs, including classics like 'Brick', 'Army', 'Uncle Walter', and 'One Angry Dwarf & 200 Solemn Faces'. During 'Song For The Dumped', bassist Robert Sledge jammed by using the feedback created from the amplifier's cord touching his hand, while Folds mashed the microphone onto his piano creating one of the more unique moments of the weekend.

 
- Brian Wilson Returns to The Beach Boys For The First Time In Over 40 years. The legendary surf rockers played essentially all their hits, and lead the giant crowd into a daytime sing a long. The band still can recreate there songs even if they need help from a huge backing band, but hey, you're really only there for the harmonies. Yeah, it's a nostalgia act, but the new album is a little more Brian Wilson than Mike Love, and the set was one of the most fun sets of the weekendnd.

- The Adult Swim Ragbag of Jollification. The guys from Adult Swim brought their mini carnival to Bonnaroo creating some of the most hilarious moments of the weekend. Weirdly awesome carnival games filled the area giving away t-shirts and stuffed animals to the winners. Some were fairly standard, but the 'Baloonicorn' made the whole thing worthwhile. As you watch as drunken girls (and some boys) bounce around with a unicorn helmet on, trying to pop balloons that are held above them in a net. Probably one of the funniest sights you will ever see.

Adult Swim

- The Vending. I never went thirsty or hungry. There was beer, water, and food literally all over the venue to the point where there were nearly no lines at all. What a welcome change of pace, especially at the reasonable $6 beer prices. The only lines all weekend were at the rush for posters at the main merch stand.

THE BAD

- The Weather. One thing Bonnaroo organizers can't control is Mother Nature and it definitely showed. It rained on and off for most of the weekend, with a couple of large showers. The biggest casualty was the Beach Boys daytime set in our opinion. While it wasn’t really pouring at all, the prospect of seeing the original Beach Boys singing those California songs in the hot sun sounded amazing, and instead we got a slight drizzle and with a cloudy sky. The campgrounds ended up a little muddier than most would have liked as well.

- The Stage Names. It's a really cool concept, and I guess at this point it's a signature aspect of Bonnaroo that is never going away, but they sure do get annoying. If you're not familiar, the two main stages are titled The Which Stage and The What Stage, and the main tents are This Tent and That Tent. This creates some hilarious Abbot and Costello like conversations (Is it This Tent or That Tent? Which Stage is the What Stage?), but also makes getting around the festival a little more complicated. Maybe you end up exploring a little more and finding something cool, maybe you laugh more, but what if I just want to get to the main stage in time for Phish?

- The Superjam. While it seemed like the general consensus around Bonnaroo was excitement that D'Angelo had returned for the first time in a decade, I just didn't get it. The Grammy Award winning singer is surely talented, and from all accounts it was a fun set full of classic covers, but compared to Superjams of the past, this was more "SuperSoul". Last year's Superjam featured Dan Auerback from The Black Keys and Dr. John, 2008 had Les Claypool and Kirk Hammet of Metallica, 2007 had John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Ben Harper, and Questlove, while 2006 featured Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish, Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead. For serious rock and jam fans, this year's was a bit of a let down.

The Silent Disco. This year's Silent Disco seemed awesome. Unfortunately, most fans couldn't score a pair of headphones unless they waited on long lines. The only time the line seemed short was during the day, when there is other, real, loud music to be heard. Hopefully for next year the Silent Disco expands at nighttime and increases headphone allotment to allow for more attendees to experience it.

 
-Justin Charles


Related



Comments


San Fransico Giants Pitcher Spends $15,000 On Signed Grateful Dead Poster

While Bill Walton may be the most famous athlete/Deadhead, he certainly isn't the onl ...


Former Mars Volta Frontman & Deadhead Explains Why He Quit Smoking Weed After Spending $1K A Week

California native Cedric Bixler-Zavala, former frontman for Mars Volta and At ...


Prince Removes His Music From All But One Streaming Service

Prince has devoted his support exclusively to Tidal by removing his discography fr ...


Listen to Prince's Kickass New Song, 'HARDROCKLOVER'

The Purple One is back with a brand new track! After his most recent release, "Balti ...


100 Free Tickets To George Clinton & P-Funk and Lettuce Side Project, This Friday In NYC

This Friday, July 3rd, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic will be throwing it ...


Bill Walton Gets Major Airline To Tweet Grateful Dead Lyrics

Everyone's favorite NBA Deadhead Bill Walton got a major airline in the Grateful Dead ...


Free Webcasts Announced For Pink Talking Fish Are Dead Chicago Shows

Didn't get tickets to the three sold-out Pink Talking Fish Are Dead concerts in Chica ...


Grateful Dead's Soldier Field Setup Raises Questions For Some Ticket Holders

With the final three Grateful Dead 'Fare Thee Well' reunion concerts fast-approaching ...


Childhood Jerry Garcia Photos Highlight New Video Editing Contest

Aside from being a member of Strangefolk and the leader of Assembly of Dust, guitaris ...


Watch Peter Dinklage's Brother Jam With Rush At MSG

While Peter Dinklage is off befriending khaleesis in Mereen as Tyrion Lannister in Ga ...


Deadhead Had No Idea Bob Weir Was His Biological Brother

Before running away from home to join what would become the Grateful Dead at the ag ...


Dispatch Releases First New Track In Three Years, 'Bound By Love'

Ahead of their only 2015 concerts in North America, Dispatch has released their first ...


Journey Drummer Charged With Raping His Wife

Journey drummer Deen Castronovo's earlier domestic abuse charges have escalated to in ...


FOX News Says Kendrick Lamar Is Worse For African-Americans Than Racism

Rising hip hop icon Kendrick Lamar was lauded for his recent album, To Pimp A Butterf ...


Natalie Cressman's California Tour Kicks Off This Weekend

Trey Anastasio Band's Natalie Cressman will be kicking off a California run beginni ...


Grateful Dead's Security Flyer For Dealing With People On LSD Leaks

A security precaution regarding handling people who are on LSD at the Grateful Dead ...


Camp Bisco Adds Another Live Act To Lineup

Camp Bisco is fast approaching, and continuing to tack on to its massive 2015 lineup ...


The Complete Guide To Grateful Dead Chicago Pre- And Post-Parties

The final Grateful Dead "Fare Thee Well" reunion shows at Soldier Field in Chicago ...


20 Times Electric Forest Broke Down Boundaries To Unite Fans Of All Genres

Electric Forest is widely considered a festival favorite amongst fans, artists and m ...


L4LM Premiere: Slightly Stoopid's Soulful Alternate 'Rolling Stone' Remix Ft. Karl Denson

Today, June 30th, marks the release of Slightly Stoopid's eighth studio effort, Meanw ...


Catching the Break: Dispatch Is Bringing The Funky Dawgz Brass Band To MSG

“I just thought the energy The Funky Dawgz bring is really infectious.” - Pete Fr ...


Top 8 Highlights From Firefly Music Festival 2015

Firefly Music Festival’s fourth annual gathering took place in Dover, DE this past ...


The 100 Thoughts Of Someone Watching Labyrinth For The First Time

Somehow, in my 26 years of existence, I missed out one defining life experience: the ...


Video Playlist: Pink Talking Fish's Best Guest Appearances

We love them Pink Talking Fish! Not only does the band seamlessly blend the music of ...


L4LM Premiere: Late Night Radio Remixes Dynohunter

L4LM is pleased to present Late Night Radio's remix of DYNOHUNTER's hit tracks, "Soun ...


12 Photos From A Spectacular Night With Umphrey's McGee, Widespread Panic & Tauk

TAUK, Umphrey's McGee, and Widespread Panic put on an ultimate triple-billing at ...


Expect The Unexpected: The Legend of Col. Bruce Hampton

L4LM Editor Dave Melamed had the opportunity to sit down with the legendary Col. Bruc ...


All The Wonderfully Unique Characters You'll Encounter At Disc Jam

Another Disc Jam in the books. Headliners Pink Talking Fish, Dopapod, Twiddle and ...


Beautiful Pictures From The Huck Finn Jubilee Capture This Unique Bluegrass Paradise

For three nights, Ontario, CA was transformed into a bluegrass paradise as the annual ...


Louis Armstrong's Lasting Legacy: An Interview with Rebirth Brass Band, Antibalas, and Shannon Powell

With the upcoming Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World Festival set to take place this ...


Perceptions of a Door: Interview with Robby Krieger

Jim Morrison announced to his fans that he was going to "get my kicks before the whol ...


A Look At What Made Bonnaroo 2015 So Special

In its fourteen years, the Bonnaroo Music Festival has grown from a jam band based we ...


Five Amazing Things You Probably Missed At Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo's 2015 year is in the books. By now, you may have heard about all the major ...


David Crosby On New Music, Old Music, And The Grateful Dead

Writer Steve Houk had the unique opportunity to sit down with legendary rock icon Da ...



Instafeed



    L4LM Twitter