6.16.2009

Jerrad's Odyssey Continues

The legend continues...

Bonnaroo 2009 - 3rd Strike
Phew. A real computer. Air conditioning.

Saturday. THE day. By now it was all finally getting to us...sweaty, tired, and blistered, we semi-reluctantly headed back out to the grounds for the day, with no particular plan of attack. Arielle was determined to get some kind of interview down and I wanted nothing more than to avoid the sun.

I settled down to check out Bon Iver, and almost immediately shut down for a nap. Was awoken by my cell phone ringing... Arielle got an interview with Robyn Hitchcock and wanted to re-group. Bon Iver was perfect for the mood we were in. Like, totally soundtracking our lives at that moment. Like, yeah.

Arielle was excited about her interview... according to her, Mr. Hitchcock blew off the people from Fuse TV to interview with her. Apparently, he was convinced after asking her "Does your radio station play commercials?", which was hilarious to hear in Arielle's hilariously sub-par "British" accent. It doesn't, by the way, play commercials. Which was why he was convinced. Which is why she got the interview. Argh, my brain is drying out.

After Bon Iver we decided to get some dinner in the media hub before the Mars Volta. Fascinating watching Arielle unhinge her jaw to eat her cheeseburger-on-a-hoagie roll...see pic below. We sat and listened to the Gov't Mule, and kind of faded in-and-out of consciousness until about the time that Mars Volta was about to start...then headed out to claim our spot on the grounds. Arielle wanted to meet her Bonnaroo boyfriend.

Oh, BTW... Arielle had a Bonnaroo boyfriend. She met him Friday after her botched Of Montreal interview. His name escapes me at the moment...but she said that he was from LA and worked on CSI, and that his uncle played the coroner on the show...and she thought he was the bee's knees. They were absolutely PRECIOUS. Plus, when he was around, she kinda just stayed put. A welcome break from the whole pinball-around-the-festival thing I was used to up to that point. =) Sorry, Arielle... i'm talkin' a little shit.

They blanketed down for the show, but I had to get in there. I had never seen the Volta (yeah, that's right...we're on a last name basis), and was very much anticipating it. I had imagined a MV show to be a very kintec ordeal... they were a very energetic and flamboyant band, so, in turn, I figured that would affect the crowd in similar ways. I was ready to get unFUCKINGhinged.

Their performance was unbelievable. Be-afroed demon-possessed cricket-men rocking out the fuck OUT. I was a bit worried about Cedric's ( first name basis - ;] ), voice...because I've youtubed a lot of their performances and it's really hit or miss with the high-pitched stuff. Not for Bonnaroo 2009. His voice was on-point and Omar (again, see?) and crew were ferocious.

But, alas... the audience. They just kind of stood there. No one danced. No one moved. But me. It was rather easy to get near the front because everyone seemed to be so disinterested in the whole thing. Kinda surprising. Maybe everyone's drugs kicked in at the same time and they were having their MINDS BLOWN, or everyone was exhausted and trying to soldier through...who knows. But, for once in my life, I was the only one dancing in an audience. Thank you, Mars Volta.

After that, Bruce Springsteen was going on, and no other acts were schedule to play during his set. So, we had a little over 4 hours until NIN started... and none of us were particularly in seeing The Boss. As I told Arielle, "He's not MY boss. He doesn't sign MY check." So we all posted near the NIN stage and napped it out.

Once again, I was determined to get as close as possible, while Arielle and CSI blanketed it. This was supposedly (confirmed?) that this was the last NIN US live show ever. Again, ever. It was my first/last NIN show.

Trent Reznor and I have a difficult relationship. For the longest time, I was never really impressed with the majority of his work, and often associated him with the kind of people that I had little to nothing in common with. Not that I didn't like "industrial" music or whatever you call it... I really like older Ministry and have a special place in my heart for Skinny Puppy, but NIN never appealed to me. Maybe because I thought Trent Reznor was a smarmy fuck. Not maybe. Definitely.

I am man enough now to admit that I was very wrong about my assumptions. That man can put on a show. Hundreds of lights...like looking into the center of the sun. The music shook the earth. This wasn't the crowd at the Mars Volta show...these folks was serious.

I'm not familiar with the bulk of his work, but I did recognize "March of the Pigs", "The Fragile", "Head Like a Hole", and "Wish" (with assistance from Dillinger Escape Plan!!!!). A few covers, too... "Metal" by Gary Numan, "I'm Afraid of Americans" by David Bowie, and at one point I heard someone say something about a Joy Division cover...but I wouldn't know... Joy Division is still in that category that NIN used to be in. Closed it out with "Hurt". It was beautiful. The energy of the crowd was very overwhelming. Mr. Reznor, my hat goes off to you. At the last possible moment, you changed my mind about you.

After that, I my phone was dead, and could not get in touch with Arielle. We had already said to meet at camp afterwards, so I started the long trek back. I got there first, and flopped down fully clothed and sweat drenched to get some much needed sleep.

Unbeknownst to me, it would prove the last bit of sleep I'd get for almost 40 hours...
Arielle ---------------1
Cheeseburger ----- 0

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