Greetings from the media lounge at Bonnaroo 2007. I don't have a lot of time here because a lot of people here need to check their MySpace pages, but to say this festival is off to a good start is an understatement.
Rest assured, as you read this in whatever air conditioned sanctuary you peruse CB Music in, you have it pretty good. It's the middle of June in Tennessee, so this shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but it is HOT right now. I mean really, insanely, ridiculously, life-alteringly hot. Partake of some of the campsites finest wares and you just might think you were melting. Holy cow. The music's plenty hot as well, but it's got a lot of work to do keeping up with the actual temperature.
A Few Highlights So Far:
- Once the National's show actually started, the guys played an inspired set for the people who got to Manchester a little early. They came on stage 27 minutes late, but rocked the set out, converting more than a few unfamiliar festivalgoers in the process (a move I witnessed with three of my friends who couldn't stop talking about them afterward).
- Rodrigo y Gabriela are conjurers. Their late night set shook up those in the modestly packed tent. If only I could've made it past the sixth song, I would've seen several big-time metal epics (from Metallica to Black Sabbath) spun with RyG's wholly unique touch. A word of advice: Do not pull an all-nighter the night before Bonnaroo. It will help you in absolutely no way, shape or form. Also, water is MUCH more important than beer at Bonnaroo. The difference can't really be described, but it's not even close.
- The concert organizers, or I should say the sound men and women, are ironing the kinks out these first couple days. Three of the four shows I've been to have had some sort of technical difficulty; in fact, the sound cut out completely for a bit at the just-finished Kings of Leon set. It is still early, though, so hopefully these are just momentary lapses in an otherwise amazing weekend of music. Hopefully.
- Speaking of Kings of Leon, they opened up the massive What Stage right. They didn't play much early stuff, but their 75-minute set rocked out the faithful and got the big-time festivities off to a good start. The sound issue (which lasted almost an entire song) kinda blew, and it hurt Caleb Followill's feelings a little bit (he did some pouting), but that hiccup beside the point they were pretty freaking awesome. Plus, if you get close enough to the What Stage, its shadow blocks out the sun. Everybody wins!
So that's it for now. The staff has been great so far, reminding everyone to drink plenty of water, respect their neighbor, and above all else make sure to enjoy themselves and their favorite bands. I'm off now to see what Manu Chao's all about before maybe having my brain stem melted by Tool's headlining show this evening. Just need to make it to the late night SuperJam and I'll be fine.
Soak up some of that A/C for your buddy J.P. I'll be back soon enough. If I still have a brain-stem tomorrow morning.