A mix of young bands and old favorites greeted our intrepid field reporter on Day Three of Bonnaroo. The oppressive heat and the aggressive rock must be difficult to endure for another two days, but sure enough, everyone we’ve been talking to down there is still at full tilt, all systems go. I’m exhausted just typing this post. Better men.
TJ has weighed in on the Day Three festivities, and his text follows below. Remember to check back tomorrow for TJ’s Day Four Overview and eventual wrap-up…
I opened my day Saturday with The American Babies. I don’t know Brothers Past, but I like the work of Scott Metzger on guitar and Joe Russo on drums a lot, so I wanted to check this out. The Babies played a really upbeat early set with a number of songs that really stood out as being assembled with care. It’s apparent that these guys put a lot into the music they’ve created together, which is surprising considering they’re a fairly new invention. They have a new album out that I think I might check out.
I started thinking after the show how it seemed back in the old days, pop artists would use a side project to explore new, often improvisational or out-of-character material. Today, it seems, some of the luminaries of the “jam” scene are finding outlets where they can create real songs without the expectations of extended solos and multiple tempo changes. And I think that’s cool.
We’ve been conditioned for 15 years to reject radio-friendly music out of hand for being too commercial or popular. Bands like the American Babies (and I can’t tell you if they’re a side project or not; I guess time will decide that) might really help us all re-evaluate how we classify and consider both the music we listen to and the music we don’t.
Read on after the jump for much more from Day Three at Bonnaroo, including the pictured Hot Tuna, The Police, Ben Harper & John Paul Jones, Galactic and others — oh, and we’ve got some videos from the festival as well…
We’re usually all smiles and yucks around here, but we regrettably begin today’s coverage with a reported death at Bonnaroo: A 25-year-old gentlemen from Kentucky was declared dead yesterday morning, a sad but inevitable tragedy in a city of 80,000 – 90,000 people. Stay safe out there, folks.
But onto less forlorn matters. TJ hath awakened and officially weighed in with his Day Two thoughts. Let’s all gather ’round and listen to the man:
They’re calling Thursday the new Friday around here, which I guess would technically make this…Sunday? The Good Lord may have only made seven days, but Bonnaroo is putting a week’s worth of living into this extended weekend.
The music and fun from opening day gathered even more momentum as the festival headed into the weekend with a diverse schedule of artists. You have to give it to the Bonnaroo people: Their Friday entertainment closes any other festival in the country. As a fan of interesting music, I felt really fortunate to bear witness to an eclectic mix of acts, none of which disappointed.
My day started with the surprising Richard Thompson. I know what you’re thinking –- Richard Thompson isn’t a surprise, guy’s a legend. Having never seen Thompson live, and being more familiar with his acoustic material, I guess I just didn’t know what to expect. This was an electrified Thompson, however, and the result was nothing short of stunning.
Read on for more of TJ’s thoughts and photos from the second day of Bonnaroo, including the SuperJam, Tool, Paolo Nutini and more…