Our group got a pretty late start Friday morning, which is good, because we needed some rest to make it through the day. Addam set out some fresh fruit and grilled up a breakfast of steak and potatoes, of which I obviously only had the latter. I can’t complain though. It was the best meal I’ve had in awhile.
Once we were fueled up we all headed to Centeroo to check out Bela Fleck & the Flecktones at 2 p.m. It was deathly hot and extremely dusty, and somehow Addam and I got separated from John and Tati as soon as we got to the show.
Bela Fleck has been to Bonnaroo a few times now, but this was the first time in awhile that the orginal lineup has performed. Addam saw them for a few minutes in 2008, but this was our first time checking them out together. Trust me when I say that they did not disappoint! I’ve been into them since Addam’s mom, Judy, introduced me to them when I was in high school, so it was great to finally see them live.
From there Addam and I headed over to This Tent to see Matt and Kim. Even though the boy downloaded a ton of their stuff as soon as Bonnaroo’s line up was released, I didn’t really know much about them. (I mean, besides that they’ve performed on Sesame Street.) Little did I know just how intense their shows really are.
We didn’t get close enough to the stage to get a photo and video of our own, but one look at the ones I’ve posted and you’ll understand why we couldn’t make it to the first row. They’re extremely energetic and expect the same passion from their audiences. Definitely impressive for a group that didn’t even know how to play their instruments when they met in college.
The Pimps of Joytime played on the Sonic Stage around 4:30 p.m., which was great, because we could get really close. Addam and I only saw them on a lark, but while we had no intention of actually making it to their show, they ended up being pretty good. I’m sure no one who’s reading this has ever heard of them — so check out the video I found on YouTube for taste of what they had to offer.
Atmosphere was next. Addam and I had never been to one of his shows, but we’ve seen clips from past performances, including Bonnaroo. He was no Eminem, but he was also playing in the midday heat. While I probably would have enjoyed him a lot more if he played at night, his show was definitely a good time. But then again — I love me some old school hip hop, so I may be partial.
The evening was all about Florence + the Machine. She went on at 6:45 p.m. and played a little less than an hour, but that hour was definitely not enough! While she played hits like Dog Days, You’ve Got the Love and Cosmic Love, Addam and I both were waiting for her to pull out our favorite covers. The boy wanted to hear Halo, while I was praying for some Addicted to Love.
Florence was one of Bonnaroo’s favorites, but Addam and I still managed to get a pretty good spot under the tent. Addam knew how much the performance meant to me, so he made sure to lift me onto his shoulders during key songs. It was definitely an experience I’ll carry with me, especially when I’m walking down the aisle to Ms. Flo herself. Check out the video Addam and I shot for a closer look.
After Florence Addam and I headed back to camp to eat and meet up with John and Tati.
John and Addam had planned a fajita night, so we immediately got the grill going. Our neighbors from the tent next to us were in at that point, so we all sat around shooting the shit until John and Tati showed up. We only had about an hour until Primus took the stage, but we’re young and know how to hustle. After some fast fajitas and even faster Jager-bombs, we headed back to Centeroo for the late night sets.
Words cannot begin to describe the Primus set. We got to the stage right as the performance was starting, but we snuck through the crowd until we had secured a good spot. Les was completely on point, and the group played every song I have been waiting years to hear – Tommy the Cat, Over the Falls and Jerry Was a Race Car Driver, among others.
The entire set was strong, but imagine my surprise when I looked up to see a set of skydrivers throwing glittering confetti over the crowd. For a second I almost thought the sky was falling. Addam has the only video of the spectacle on YouTube — and while it’s on point, nothing will ever compare to being there. I’ve been to many, MANY shows in my life — a handful of which were absolutely fabulous and life changing. Nothing will ever compare to Primus. Everyone I spoke with agreed that it was the best show of this year’s Bonnaroo.
While they could never compare, Arcade Fire took the main stage immediately following Primus’s set. They were pretty good, but I’m not gonna lie — the band really doesn’t keep my attention for that long. They’re not The Flaming Lips, no matter how hard they try to be. Good, but I just saw Primus. Nothing compares.
Addam and I are Bassheads, so even though we’ve seen him many, many times, we had to head over to Bassnectar’s set. As the picture and video Addam took can contest, the crowd was pretty insane. People were literally hanging from the tent’s rafters in an attempt to get a better view. The boy and I hung back to dance and easily escape to the Lil Wayne show on the main stage.
I’ve been a fan of Lil Wayne since Krysti introduced me to him during my sophomore or junior year of college, but I never thought that I’d actually get to see him perform live. I knew he’d be great, but I had no idea just how high energy his performance would be. Lil Wayne puts all of himself into every single song he does, making him that much more fun to watch.
I spent the entire show propped on top of a lemonade stand, which allowed me to see above the crowd. (When a headliner performs it’s usually so crowded that it’s hard to see anything but the huge monitors that broadcast the show.)
Weezy did most of his classics, including Hip Hop Doctor, Bed Rock and Drop the World. There had been reports that Eminem was seen practicing on the main stage earlier in the day, so I kept waiting for him to make an appearance. He never showed, but it didn’t really matter because we saw him the next night.
Addam and I were pretty exhausted after Lil Wayne let out at 3 a.m., but we’d never seen Ratatat, and I wanted to check out a bit of their set. Addam went back to the campsite while I headed to The Other Tent for the show. They were supposed to play until 4 a.m. but later night shows always go long. After about an hour of their intense drumming and insane guitar riffs, I headed “home” around four for a short nap before stating again on Saturday.
“We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.” – Unknown.