4. Thursday – (Any Tent 4:15pm to 1am):
I really wanted to spotlight a particular band from Thursday’s lineup to discuss but I simply couldn’t narrow it down to just one. I’m particularly looking forward to back to back performances by Neon Indian and Temper Trap, who get plenty of play on the Alt Nation and SiriusXMU channels I listen to over satellite radio during my 45-minute commutes each day. I’ve only heard a track or two from each these artists, but that’s exactly what I’m looking for — the element of surprise and finding that artist that gets me right in the gut.
That’s what has become so great about the Thursday shows, Bonnaroo has done an excellent job of booking bands that are either underground or too new to be known. For example, last year I happened upon People Under the Stairs who put on a phenomenal hip-hop performance that set Bonnaroo off just right. I also got to catch a performance by the then almost too new to be known Zac Brown Band. This year, they have a prime spot on the main stage, performing right before the Dave Matthews Band. Can we say high-profile time slot? Be sure to check HT two days from now as I detail my Thursday Bonnaroo discoveries right here.
3. LCD Soundsystem (Friday late night, This Tent, 2:30am to 4am):
So this will be my first, and according to James Murphy, last time to see the great LCD Soundsystem. I’ve been looking forward to this performance since I saw they were part of this year’s lineup. I got hooked on their first album a few years ago and absolutely dig their new album – This is Happening. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that their set of electro-punk-dance fusion will occur in the wee hours of the morning following Daryl Hall and Chromeo.
2. Mumford & Sons (Saturday, That Tent, 5pm to 6:15pm):
A few months ago one of my best friends sent me a YouTube link to a music video for a song called Little Lion Man. Until that moment I’d never heard of Mumford and Sons. That day, I put that video on repeat. I listened to it intently and immediately had to memorize all the lyrics. As soon as the chorus hit, I was hooked.
But it was not your fault but mine / and it was your heart on the line / I really fucked it up this time didn’t I, my dear?
I had to ask myself – how in the world could someone make the line “fucked it up this time” sound so beautiful? Who was this band and why had I not heard of them before? I needed more, more, more. I looked up as many videos as possible and streamed every track on their MySpace page. They just recently released their album in the US, and I’m happy to say I own the vinyl version which makes it sound that much more beautiful. The lyrics of love, loss, life and redemption speaks to my soul – it’s as simple as that.
1. Chromeo & Daryl Hall (Friday late night, The Other Tent, midnight to 1:30am):
I was first exposed to Chromeo during Thanksgiving weekend of 2006 and I’ve been hooked on this Canadian duo ever since. Their late night performance in 2007 is, hands down, was the most fun experience of my extensive Bonnaroo career. Daryl Hall (of the famous pop duo Hall & Oates) has been a part of my musical vocabulary since before I can remember. When videos of this collaboration from Live at Daryl’s House went viral I went absolutely berserk, it’s greatest mashup of musicians since Eminem and Elton John. The past couple of years Bonnaroo has forgone the Superjam’s of old, but mark my words – this is the superjam of the weekend.
So there you have it. On one hand I hope you give these artists a chance, on the other I hope you don’t so I have more room for my happy ass to get down. Either way, I’m more than ready for Bonnaroo. I hope it shapes up to be one chocked full of memories of good music and great friends.
Safe travels to everyone and don’t forget your last minute festival essentials. If you see a 4 foot 11 inch girl sporting a Darth Vader mask, watch out as I might run you over going from stage to stage attempting to get in as much music as I can in four days.
Now – I’ve shown you my picks, will you show me yours?