“I keep getting older, and [it] stays the same age.”
[For those indie rockers who made fun of the hippies coming here in 2002]
Borrowing a classic line from Dazed & Confused seemed appropriate for the final Bonnaroo journal entry of the year. I’ve got to admit, it’s been a mind-blowing experience to see how Bonnaroo, as a festival, has grown but still manages to stay the ‘same age’, so to speak. I’ve been attending the festival since its inception and at the time I was still an undergrad. Now, two degrees and a full time job later, it’s allowed me to look at the festival in a different perspective. Not to mention the simple fact that I’ve grown older as well — I’ve seen my fellow Bonnaroo friends grow up, get married, buy houses, have kids and everything else that classifies us as “adults” now. Heck, I even saw my OWN students at Bonnaroo this year. Talk about a weird experience.
I love how there are things you can count on year after year at Bonnaroo besides the music – the tents, the bobble heads, the fountain, the Ferris wheel, the Silent Disco – to name a few. They also have tweaked and added things as the years have passed – the Barn, Planet Roo, additional stages, the installations throughout the campgrounds and the Comedy Tent. This year we saw the addition of a slip and slide, beach volleyball, Rock Band contests and a midway carnival. The promoters make the experience such that you always have something new to check out and can still rely on some of the same ol’ things. A little like Disney World – only for half-way grown up music fans. Anyways, enough about the reminiscing – let’s get to Sunday’s music!
READ ON for Jennifer’s thoughts on the final day of Bonnaroo…
Bonnaroo can be such an exhausting adventure and Saturday was no exception. With a heat index nearly to 100, one had to do whatever could be done to avoid the heat. Sitting at the main stage waiting for the legendary Jimmy Cliff to perform I could feel the sweat just dripping of my face and for that matter, everywhere else on my body.
Nevertheless, it was an opportunity of a lifetime to get to see the reggae legend from Kingston, Jamaica perform only a few yards away. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame member got things kicked off with a great version of You Can Get It If You Really Want. His set also included a fantastic cover of Yusuf Islam’s (aka Cat Stevens) Wild World. The set was very politically infused, with Jimmy discussing the oil spill in the gulf and that led into a song about global warming. Cliff later changed the lyrics of his own song titled Vietnam to make it relevant about the war in Afghanistan.
Up next was one of my favorite and most anticipated performances of the weekend – Mumford and Sons. I was extremely surprised and impressed by how many people were in attendance at this show, particularly because the Avett Brothers had an almost identical time slot. You could feel that the crowd was hungry for the performance, as they sang along to every single song. The band opened with Sigh No More and immediately went into The Cave. The vocals on Awake My Soul were particularly poignant. The surprise of the show was the appearances of Dave Rawlings, Gillian Welch and members of Old Crow Medicine Show to perform the band’s own Roll Away Your Stone and then a rip-roaring version of OCMS’s Wagon Wheel.
READ ON for more from Jennifer on Saturday at Bonnaroo…
Late Night on Friday was its own entity at Bonnaroo as the combination of Daryl Hall & Chromeo’s live debut, the Flaming Lips’ performance of Dark Side of the Moon coupled with the dance party machine that is LCD Soundsystem made this perhaps my favorite Bonnaroo late night of all-time.
[I Can Go For That]
The much anticipated performance of Daryl Hall & Chromeo began around midnight and it was non-stop entertainment from the get go. The crowd was chanting “CHROMEO-OH-OH” ever so loudly to get pumped for what was in store. At first, I was unsure if Daryl Hall would be bringing his band, but as soon as I noticed the setup I was pleasantly surprised.
The show began with an Out of Touch that quickly turned into a singalong, before giving way to Tenderoni which sent everyone into a dance frenzy. Throughout the performance the group switched between Hall & Oates classics and the funky hits of Chromeo. Bonafide Lovin’ featured an awesome flute solo and turned into a great disco tune, Private Eyes got the crowd involved with a clap along during the chorus while Fancy Footwork got the crowd moving. You Make My Dreams Come True made for the perfect closer thanks to impressive work from each member of the ensemble.
Daryl Hall & Chromeo 6/12/10 Late Night
Out of Touch, Tenderoni, Unknown, Waiting 4 U, Family Man, Mama’s Boy, Kiss On My List, Bonafide Lovin’, Private Eyes, 100%, I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)
Encore: Fancy Footwork, You Make My Dreams Come True
Next up was the Flaming Lips’ performance of Dark Side of the Moon. I was curious as to both the band’s interpretation of the music but also the actual production of the show – because if there’s one thing the Lips do well it’s putting on a spectacle of a performance.
READ ON for more on Friday night at Bonnaroo…
Wow. Just wow. I can’t think of a way to describe the multitudes of music I saw yesterday, it was a phenomenal day and there are still two days of the festival left. Yesterday’s lineup was a force to be reckoned with and as at every Bonnaroo, one has to make a plan of attack as to who they want to see and when. There is just way too much to choose from. But alas sacrifices and rationalizations must be had in the decision making process.
[Tenneessee Shines with the Carolina Chocolate Drops]
The weather’s been a hot one, that’s for damn sure. It’s not as bad as years past and as long as one stays hydrated it’s easy to get 12 hours of music in and I did exactly that. My day started out with the traditional bluegrass foot stomping stylings of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops set included a song titled Sandy Boys and one called Jack of Diamonds which was the first song the band did together. I really enjoyed CCD’s set and their talk of African influence on string band music and a discussion of the history of the songs they performed. Other highlights include Geniune Negro Jig, Your Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, and two covers Jackson and Blu Cantrell’s Hit ‘Em Up Style, which got the joint jumping. READ ON for more from Jennifer on Day Two of Bonnaroo…
Bonnaroo time has arrived once again, and after a few logistical malfunctions – so have I. I got on site yesterday afternoon and was welcomed by the always hot and muggy weather of middle Tennessee in June. Because of this, I didn’t hit Centeroo or the day’s activities until later in the evening.
My first stop was the Adult Swim Ragbag of Jollification. It’s midway carnival games at Bonnaroo, with the awkward twist that only [adult swim] could put on carnival games. I’ve wanted a midway carnival at Bonnaroo for years. I mean, how awesome is it to play putt-putt or ring toss at Bonnaroo? Let me tell you, it’s super awesome. The best part is that all of the games are free and if you win you get stuffed animals of the likes of Stewie and Bryan from Family Guy amongst other prizes.
[Dethklok’s Wheel of Deth]
My musical journey of the weekend started with NeedToBreathe. They kicked off for a great night of music with their hit song Something Beautiful as well as a couple of covers including Tom Petty’s You Wreck Me and Zeppelin’s When the Levee Breaks. After checking out most of NeedToBreathe’s set, I made my way over to That Tent to check out Temper Trap. They managed to pull off an epic version of Sweet Disposition to open the set. Temper Trap impressed me but I wanted to give a band that I had no preconceived notions about a chance so I opted to check out Mayer Hawthorne & the County at This Tent. I arrived just in time for a cover of ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky. The song was fun but honestly I don’t think I’m a fan of their original material. At least I gave them a chance, which has become a tradition of mine for Thursdays at Bonnaroo. You never know what you can find the first night.
READ ON for more from Jennifer on Thursday at Bonnaroo…
How I’ve missed thee, Hidden Track – it’s been too long! But alas, I’m back in full force this coming weekend to bring you the best coverage from the one and only Bonnaroo! Before I hit the road, I wanted to chime in on what I believe will be the top five not-to-be-missed performances of the weekend.
So, let’s pack up our AC/DC Bags, get down to the nitty gritty and get this show on the road…
5. She & Him (Friday, This Tent 5pm to 6:15pm):
What can I say about this band? I’ve been a fan of Zooey Deschanel since her role as Anita in Almost Famous. Her voice has a timeless quality and Matt Ward’s musical prowess compliments her in a way not many could. Volume Two has been getting heavy rotation from me out on my deck while I’m grilling out or working in the yard. A great ‘go to’ music for hanging out and enjoying the spring and summertime weather. The music is absolutely perfect for a late afternoon performance on Friday and will help to set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
READ ON for the four sets Jennifer’s most excited to see…
Nashville. My home. My heart. I love the city, love the location; its proximity to the beach, to the mountains, and to other metro areas (a great selling point for those who travel to see bands). I love the rolling hills, the lakes, the rivers, the sunrises, the sunsets and most importantly – the people. The music scene is nothing to frown upon either. It’s not all just country music anymore. Kings of Leon, Jack White, Ben Folds, Bela Fleck, and even Ke$ha all call Nashville home.
[Image courtesy of Mercy Lounge ]
When the disastrous storms and flooding hit Nashville, I found myself in another Music City that had witnessed a natural disaster of epic proportions only 5 short years ago – New Orleans. My friends and I thought it best to leave Jazz Fest early. We needed to get back to our friends, our families, our homes.
I knew that I’d probably have damage to property I own because of where I have it stored. Fortunately, after all was said and done, the damage was minimal to my possessions. Not everyone here is that lucky. Some people are still stuck at their house. Some have no home. Some lost all their worldly possessions. Some lost their lives. READ ON for more…
With the festival season kicking off in earnest this weekend at Coachella and Wanee, we thought this was the perfect time to re-run Jennifer Kirk’s Festival Survival Guide to help you prepare for your festival experiences…
[Originally Published: May 21, 2009]
When the Bonnaroo 2009 lineup was announced a few months ago, my roommate asked me to email him a list of festival ‘essentials.’ As a festival veteran of sorts – I’ve been to every Bonnaroo but one and attended Langerado, Summercamp, Rothbury, Coventry, Oswego, Big Cypress, and the NOLA Jazz Fest – he picked the right person to ask for such a list.
In addition to my festival resume, I’m also a stickler for being organized and more importantly, prepared. As it has turned out in the past, I usually end up ‘running’ the camp site for my friends and well, I kind of like it. Going to a festival and being prepared is a trial and error experience, so I wanted to share some of my ideas with the HT audience and in turn was hoping that you would also chime in with any advice so we can all, collectively, have a better festival going experience.
So, here is a list of some of the essentials you’ll need in order to succeed and of course, survive your long weekend of fun and music!
1. Get an RV. It will make life easier. Now, I’ve actually never attended a festival in an RV, and have done just fine. But, boy would I love to travel to one in style. Perhaps one day. But, if you can’t rent or borrow one then pay extra close attention to the 19 items left on this list.
2. Water. You can’t bring enough of it. Some festivals are starting to provide water refill stations (Rothbury did this last year and you were allowed to bring empty or sealed containers onto the concert grounds). Make sure to check the ‘official’ festival rules first. I would recommend purchasing several gallons worth. After all, you will need it to refill water containers, brush your teeth, wash your dishes, etc. Potable water is generally available on site at washing stations but I tend to shy away from the sweet, sweet stench of sulfur. READ ON for more of Jennifer’s Festival Survival tips and tricks…
Last weekend, I witnessed one of the coolest concert experiences ever. Hidden in the hills of McMinnville, Tennessee lies the Cumberland Caverns a national natural landmark. Inside the cavern lies
During my stay at the Southern Girls Rock’n’Roll Camp I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the ladies of Tennessee’s own Those Darlins. The band’s roots run deep with the camp – Kelly Darlin founded it in 2003, Jessi was an original SGRRC participant that year and Nikki came along soon after and the rest as they say is herstory.
[Photo by Jennifer Kirk]
The band who’s self-titled album debut came earlier this summer is filled with raucous, rambunctious, rowdy and raw songs about love, life and drinking to consuming a whole damn chicken. To define them as one sound is troublesome, much like when the CMT announcer introduced Wilco at Farm Aid ’98 as “ya’llternative.” Nothing exactly fits like a glove, but they’re proud of that fact.
Jennifer Kirk: What was your favorite gig of the last tour?
Those Darlins: Minneapolis and Chicago. It was our third time playing in Chicago and that’s a great city to play. We also just played the SGGRC on Monday and it was really fun to see all the girls dancing on stage. The New York City gigs we’re good too. We played with John Spencer’s new project Heavy Trash one night and that was a great experience.
READ ON for more of Jen’s chat with Those Darlins…