Schedule: Classixx – First Aid Kit – Cake – Damon Albarn – Cut Copy – James Blake – Jack White – Flaming Lips – Skrillex superjam
Post-35 Mr Twelve can’t take Bonnaroo late night quite as well as pre-35 Mr Twelve. Going to sleep around 5am and then waking up before 8am to lots of activity just outside our tent. The noise outside our tent was them setting up for The Second First Annual Roo Run; a 5k run/jog/whatever that raised money to put back into the community. As time moved closer to the 9am start time, more and more people showed up and it was apparent we weren’t going back to sleep. There was a mounted horse staged just outside our tent that was very unpleased with situation, and was voicing its disgust. The announcer was quite amusing as he talked people through the gathering, their stretches and the run itself. He made us smile and chuckle a bit as we lay awake in our tent with under 3 hours of sleep. Not only did the best male and female running times receive Bonnaroo 2015 tickets but so did the best costume, which was won by two guys running dressed as an elephant.
We made our way into Centeroo sometime before noon, grabbed some food and shade, and talked a little about our schedule for the day. We made our way over to The Other Tent to position ourselves in front of the sound board, and start our day with Classixx. Their synth pop-inspired electronic sound was exactly what we needed at the time. The visuals going on behind them seemed like awesome Classixx screensavers, which I’m intending to see if they offer. After our mini dance party it was on to the Swedish sisters-fronted folk group First Aid Kit at This Tent. We listened sitting on our towel, in the shade of tree that sat just outside the tent. I moved around the tent for a couple songs to get photos, but returned to the shade of the tree. If the folk scene is still running well in America, I imagine these girls are making a splash here. Their show was quite pleasant, and they even gave us a Bob Dylan cover “One More Cup of Coffee” and a Simon & Garfunkel cover “America.”
As their set ended we made our way down to Which Stage for Cake. Overheated and not remarkably familiar with Cake, Ms Twelve retreated to the mist tent on the What Stage hill, to rest, cool down and incidentally listen to Tedeschi Trucks Band. The Cake show was good, but suffered from the heat, Which Stage daytime sound, and some irritating crowd members. “Sheep go to Heaven” was still pretty fun, they dedicated “Mustache Man” to guys with non-ironic mustaches, and covered Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” I’ve now seen War Pigs covered by the Flaming Lips (a couple times), The Dresden Dolls, and Cake. I cut out during their encore break (skipping crowd favorites “Short skirt Long Jacket” and “The Distance”) to meet Ms Twelve and place ourselves for Damon Albarn.
As a turned the corner between the stages I noticed that there was hardly anyone waiting down for his set. As we made our way down the hill, there was still nearly no one there. We made to where there was just one row of people between us and the rail outside the security area and the pit. I guess with Cage The Elephant playing the stage next door, and his name not catching the popular eye as it would if he were playing with Blur or as Gorillaz, people just didn’t realize how excited they should be. This was the next of what became the obvious top three shows for both Ms Twelve and me. The whole set was absolutely amazing and had a well spread-out setlist; including 6 songs from his new solo record, 6 Gorillaz songs, 2 Good The Bad & The Queen songs, and two lesser known Blur songs. In one of the highlights of the entire festival, De La Soul came out and aided in the performance of “Feel Good Inc.” Also for the second time ever Del The Funky Homosapien joined Damon onstage to perform his rap piece in “Clint Eastwood.” His band was incredibly impressive and the ever changing guests, which also included a brass band from Chicago and a small choir from Texas, where just frosting on the top of the greatness. I could get into the greatness of “Mr. Tembo”, “Lonely Press Play”, “Kids With Guns” “The Photographs You Are Taking Now”, “All Your Life”, “Tomorrow Comes Today”…..
But moving on….
We needed a bit of a rest after the Albarn experience. We had intended on maybe catching some of John Butler Trio, and maybe some of Chromeo, or maybe some Lionel Richie (which by the sounds of it was a pretty cool show). Instead we found some delicious Spicy Pie pizza, then found a picnic table in the shade and talked to other people who came to sit there as we rested. After around an hour of resting we made our way to This Tent to catch the beginning of Cut Copy. They were super fun, and we danced for about a half an hour, but understood that our energy level (or lack thereof) was going to help decide how to break up the Cut Copy/James Blake conflict. James blake has a beautiful beautiful voice, and is a great thing to experience live. We sat and absorbed it, and got up to slow dance a little. Ms Twelve chose to skip Jack White and go back to camp to sleep for about an hour. Unfortunately she shut the alarm off when she was sleeping and missed much more than she wanted to.
Hanging on a rail outside the handicapped area of What Stage to prevent myself from passing out, I waited For Jack White to come on. He opened with a mind-blowing rendition of “Icky Thump.” During his set was the most tired I was for Saturday as a whole, so my mind drifted a little bit, especially as he was talking. Looking through the setlist, I think there are songs in the middle I don’t completely remember happening, but the more I search the head, pieces of them are showing, and they all seem fantastic. Singing along with “We’re Gonna be Friends” is when I started to get the energy back, and the performance of “Ball and Biscuit” brought me right back where I needed to be. I left at the encore break at the hour and a half mark, after his cover of “The Lemon Song,” to check the monster Skrillex superjam that was suppose to already be in progress. It appears that Mr. White came out and played an amazing 45 minute encore, but I only regret not being able to be at more than one place at one time.
Although it was suppose to be a half hour into it already, the insanely packed crowd outside This Tent were still waiting. Then behind me Which Stage begins to glow with the beginning of The Flaming Lips show. I head that direction a bit, and they begin with “The Abandoned Hospital Ship”: I’m Down the hill. I must mention here that this becomes the 11th time I’ve seen the Flaming Lips, and they so rarely play anything from “Clouds Taste Metallic.” Plus there are giant dancing mushrooms on the stage. I’m pretty excited at this point. In high school this particular song was exciting to me because it uses the word “perplexed.” Who uses the word perplexed in a song? The Flaming lips do! Anyways. There were moments when the music seemed to slip a little. I turned my ear back to the Skrillex jam that had started, but sounded a little messy, and I returned my focus to the Lips. The next time I pondered heading up, Wayne announced “This song is called ‘Feeling yourself Disintegrate’.” Nevermind; I’m going nowhere.
As the Lips left for their encore break I wandered back up to check on the Skrillex Jam. As I get there I catch the end of a woman singing “Lets Dance” by David Bowie. Then I hear Skrillex thank Warpaint, and think “Crap, I wanted to catch Warpaint’s part of this thing.” Who comes on the stage next? Janelle Monae! She comes on and sings “Wanna be Startin Somethin’” by Michael Jackson. Mind explodes. She follows with “I Feel Good” by James Brown and her own song “Tightrope.” Skrillex+Big Gigantic+Janelle Monae = amazing. As she left a rapper named A$AP Ferg came on for a Notorious B.I.G. cover and a few of his own songs, I guess. Losing interest, I headed toward That Tent where Darkside would be performing soon. Darkside was having monitor problems, and after watching sound guys moving around trying to fix things for a while, I decided that it was quarter to 3 and I was tired.