Archive | June, 2011

Blogaroo: Saturday, June 11

28 Jun

While there were a few shows that we wanted to catch on Saturday morning, there were so many artists that we wanted to see later in the day that Addam and I decided to rest up and soak up some shade while we had the chance.

The first act that we ended up catching was Black Uhuru. They were playing at the same time Zach Braff was having a Q and A on Garden State, but I just couldn’t miss the performance. And I’m glad I didn’t. While it was 2 p.m. and the midday sun was pounding down on me, making it nearly impossible to dance and truly vibe out to the performance, these guys are reggae legends. I wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself if I missed out.

Addam didn’t get any photos and he has yet to edit a video, but check out the ones I found on the Web for a better idea of what they’re all about. If you like rootsy reggae, you should love Black Uhuru.

After the show Addam and I hung around Centeroo for about an hour before heading back to camp for lunch.

We ended up coming across what at first sight I thought was a food truck, but ended up being a hub for Jack White’s record label, Third Man Records. While I could have spent six months worth of paychecks in about 2.5 minutes, everything was really expensive. After making sure that Mr. White was nowhere in sight, Addam and I bought a sticker and headed home through the dusty crowds.


Addam and I met up with John and Tati back at the campsite for a quick lunch before heading out to Mumford & Sons, who were amazing but way too popular. They were playing on the second biggest stage, so we couldn’t get close at all. Definitely disappointing considering how much I wanted to see them.

Still, the sound systems at Bonnaroo are pretty banging. We could hear the band fine from wherever we happened to wander. It was our first time seeing them, so it was a good time.

While we could not get very close for Mumford & Sons, Addam and I had front row seats for Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, whom we didn’t even think we’d get the opportunity to see given all the big names playing over the weekend. Thank God we did! Out of all the artists I saw at Bonnaroo this year, she, by far, surprised me the most.

Addam and I had a hard time finding her stuff in the weeks leading up to Roo, but we’ll never have that problem again. We bought her CD and listen to it in our every waking moment.

We even got to meet the band after the show. Once they were finished performing, we got Ford’s autograph and stole a picture with her guitarist. (Addam’s parents just checked out the band in Athens, Ohio, per our request, and were equally as impressed. Do yourself a favor and check out the video Addam edited of the show.)




After Sallie Ford, Addam and I headed over to The Black Keys, who were more incredible live than I ever could have imagined. While I’ve always been impressed by the voice and musical stylings of guitarist and frontman Dan Auerbach, I had no idea that I’d spend so much time watching drummer and producer Patrick Carney. They both seem to put their entire hearts into performances, which makes them so captivating to watch. I included a video Addam shot and edited so the naysayers could see for themselves.

While it’s not included in the video — I’d have to say that the highlight of the performance was when a giant disco ball appeared overtop the band during Everlasting Light. It’s one of my favorite songs of theirs, and no one expected the added touch.  Not to mention that fact that there was a disco ball hanging from the arch that leads into Bonnaroo, which made me appreciate it even more.

After The Black Keys finished their set, Addam and I headed over to Buffalo Springfield. The heavens must have known that the band is legendary, because the only rain we got throughout the entire weekend happened during their set. Which sounds terrible but was actually a relief given how hot it got throughout the day. While the slow drizzle only lasted for about 10 minutes, the lightening the storm produced was incredible and matched any artificial light coming from the stage.

While the band performed such hits as Mr. Soul, Burned and Rockin’ in the Free World, there was something off with the stage’s sound system. Addam and I were close and could hear them fine, but I heard reports that most of the crowd couldn’t hear much of their set. I guess that just makes us that much luckier.

Addam and I left Buffalo Springfield a little early to secure a good spot for Eminem. Addam has been waiting half his life to see him, so it was pivotal that we got close for the performance.

Mr. Mathers did all his classics, and nearly ever song he performed was a hit. While I could list every song in his set list, StanLose Yourself and The Way I Am were among my personal faves. While I wish I could do him justice, there is really no way to describe what finally seeing Eminem meant to Addam and me. We never thought we’d actually have the opportunity to see him live, especially once he “retired” in 2005. We’ll definitely take his performance with us wherever we go.

After a very elaboarte and exciting fireworks show, we headed out to enjoy the rest of the night.

Addam and I were pretty pumped after Eminem, but it had been a long day and our adrenaline didn’t last as long as we’d hoped. The String Cheese Incident opened with Tennessee Jed, which was absolutely epic, but it wasn’t long before we were searching for a clear spot to lay down for a few minutes.

While we ended up napping for a lot longer than we intended to, we were awake long enough to catch the bundle of balloons that were being passed across the crowd. I’m a sucker for flare, so I definitely got a kick out of it. Now, if only I had been awake for the supposed jet-packer who was flying over the crowd a little later in the set…

Now. I’m not going to lie. I absolutely LOVE Girl Talk and had made it a goal to get on stage with him during this year’s performance. And I failed miserably.

Not only did I spend the show toward the back of the crowd,  Addam and I peaced out after the first 20 minutes of his set. Addam really wanted to see Gogol Bordello, and since I had never seen them before I thought that it would make more sense to check them out than watch someone I’ve seen about three or four times.

Still — I haaaated leaving. If Addam wasn’t there I would have stayed for the entire show. We didn’t see much, but I included his clip.

Regardless of my love for Girl Talk, I have to admit that Gogol Bordello was a REALLY good show. I don’t know how Eugene Hütz does it, but dude has some energy! He was bobbing higher at 3:30 in the morning than I’ve ever jumped in my entire life! Not to mention, I love some good gypsy punk rock!

Tatiana got to meet Hütz earlier in the day, as he was attending various shows throughout Bonnaroo. The lucky biotch also got to meet Ron Jeremy, who was vibing out to some Gogol himself. What can I say — the group unites all kinds. I’m a new fan, but I’ve definitely checked out a lot more of their tunes post-Roo.


Gogol played late, so by the time Addam and I headed back to camp we were completely exhausted. After I grabbed some pad thai we headed to bed and were asleep as soon as our heads hit our pillows — resting up for our final day at Bonnaroo 2011.

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  — Berthold Auerbach, German poet and author (1812-1882).

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Blogaroo: Friday, June 10

22 Jun

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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“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.

Blogaroo: Wednesday, June 8 and Thursday, June 9

15 Jun

Well, folks — I officially survived my fourth Bonnaroo, and between the company and the tunes, I have to say that it was the best yet.

Addam and I drove up and camped out with John and Tati, two friends we met shortly after moving to Miami. We packed a lot of stuff into the minivan John rented on Tuesday night, but we made sure to get an early start Wednesday morning. We were up and out by 4:45 a.m.

We didn’t stop much, but once we were an hour or two away we stopped at a Wal-Mart to stock up on munchables. We got a ton of food, I picked up some flip flops (I lost all of mine between Virginia and Chicago) and Addam (unsuccessfully) hunted for dry ice. After packing up the coolers we were back on our way.

Even though we got in line around 7:30 p.m., we didn’t see the gate until 3:30 a.m. This was the first year campers were allowed to set up on Wednesday night, so everyone was in a rush to get in and find a good stop. Luckily, Tati and I are extremely charming and managed to make friends during the wait.



By the time we made our way though security and set up camp, it was about 4:30 a.m. and already bright out. Addam ran to go tag up some walls while I took a quick nap before the day’s festivities.

After we were all (sort of) rested, John cooked up a quick breakfast on the grill our neighbors generously let us use throughout the weekend, and we headed out.

Centeroo opened at noon, but there weren’t any big bands scheduled until 4 p.m., leaving us plenty of time to explore. Addam and I got some food, sent out a few postcards at the Bonnaroo post office and headed to River City Extension — our first show of the day.






River City is a folk band from Toms River, NJ. Folk bands may sound lame, but this one really isn’t like the rest. It’s extremely upbeat and got me moving despite the heat. Addam hasn’t edited a video of the performance yet, but I found a pretty good one on YouTube.


After heading back to camp to meet up with John and Tati and grill up a quick lunch, we all headed to Centeroo.

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band played at 8:30 p.m. Even though they’re amazing and a lot of people came out for the show, they were on a small stage, so it was easy to secure a good spot. The group hung out after the performance for a quick meet and greet, during which I got to tell each of them how much I appreciated their music. (Ok, I was a bit of a goober, but I was really excited.) Addam’s video is below.


Addam and I had an hour to kill between Rev. Peyton and Sleigh Bells, so we stood in line for tickets to the 420 Comedy Blaze featuring Cheech MarinThe WorkaholicsJay Pharoah and Ralphie May. Once securing our tickets, which oddly enough didn’t take very long, we headed over to the show.

The Sleigh Bells show was completely packed, and we couldn’t find a very good spot to photograph from. I don’t know if Addam’s going to make a video, but I wanted everyone to have an idea of just how high energy the performance, and the crowd, was.  I included a video shot from a fellow Rooer.


Sleigh Bells let out at 11:15 p.m., leaving us plenty of time to get to the comedy tent by 12:00.

Cheech was alright, but not nearly as funny as I expected. In fact, the entire show was looking like a let down, until Ralphie May took the stage. I remembered him from Last Comic Standing but had forgotten how funny he was. Addam’s not editing the footage we captured because YouTube has taken down a few of his other comedy videos and he doesn’t want to chance getting another strike against him. Fortunately, I found a clip from the show. Watch it quick, because I’m not sure how long it will be live.


It was pretty late by the time the show let out, and Addam and I had an early start and a long day. We headed back to camp for a little R and R before Friday’s performances.

All-in-all, it was a wonderful start to an even better weekend. Stay tuned.

“But an innovation, to grow organically from within, has to be based on an intact tradition, so our idea is to bring together musicians who represent all these traditions, in workshops, festivals and concerts, to see how we can connect with each other in music.” — Yo-Yo Ma, Chinese composer (b-1955).

Blogaroo: Day 0: Welcome to Bonnaroo!

9 Jun



Leave your world at the door and jump into my life. Be my friend and be my lover, you can even be my wife. Get lost, get found and get lost again. Get lost, get found, because you are among 100,000 of your closest friends.” — The Ed Cogan Band, Welcome to Bonnaroo (2010).

Blogaroo: Day 4: Primus

5 Jun

Primus, a rock band that got their start in 1984, is composed of frontman and bassist Les Claypool,  guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde and drummer Jay Lane. While the band has had an international presence for what will soon be 3o years, the group may be best known for creating the original theme for South Park in 1997. Claypool, who I’ve seen about four times at various festivals, also wrote Seinfeld’s theme in 1990.

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Blogaroo: Day 6: Cheech

3 Jun

While most of my Blogaroo posts have focused on Bonnaroo’s musical artists, I would not be doing it justice if I didn’t at least mention the hilarious comedic talent that will also make an appearance over the weekend. Unlike many other festivals, Roo features a series of comedy acts — this year’s most notable being Cheech Marin, of the infamous Cheech and Chong.

Cheech will be hosting Roo’s 420 Comedy Blaze, featuring Ralphie May (of Last Comic Standing), Jay Pharoah (of Saturday Night Live) and the stars of Workaholics.


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Blogaroo: Day 7: Bassnectar

2 Jun

Bassnectar aka Lorin Ashton is a DJ, producer and wobble bass master from Santa Cruz, California. His electronic mixes combine mainstream tunes with a dubstep style, giving his music that perfect womp, womp, womp that keeps me coming back for more.

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