6.13.2009

Bonnaroo 2009 - Day 2

Bonnaroo 2009 - Day 2: The Next Day

We received the following missive on Saturday, June 13 at 3:52pm, originating from Camp McLeod at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee:

Friday was pretty rad. Yeah.

In the morning Arielle and I split up... She went to go interview Of Montreal and I attended the media orientation. Neither went according to plan.
The press orientation was a short meet-n-greet with the Roo staff and media going over the rules. Unfortunately, I found out that are media passes don't allow us to operate with impunity.

As far as any special access, it is very limited. It seems there are several levels of security, and we are on the bottom rung. Definitely not what we had imagined/hoped, but still very much cool...

Basically, we are allowed access to the media compound and all of it's facilities, which is unbelievably helpful. A private bar, catering, and bathrooms guarded from the rest of the masses. Nice and calm and spacious... A welcome break from what's going on the other side of the fence.

There are closed areas for us to stand and take pics besides the stage in all of the "tent" stages, but its ultimately up to the artist as to how many can get in, or if at all. Thursday night musta been a fluke, because I could no longer get into the same places friday night. But, I'll keep trying my luck throughout today. Bust some hippy hedz.

We have NO access to either of the main stages. Only a select few photographers with special badges and pro camera gear are allowed anywhere near. So much for getting a pic with The Boss. :[

I called Arielle after the orientation to enlighten her, and found out her interview with Of Montreal wasn't an interview with Of Montreal. It was the campsite of some Creative Loafing staffers that had already interviewed them. She was considerably and justifiably bummed. As we were very far away from each other, and our cell phone in their death throes, we decided to meet back at camp at the end of the day. She palled around with the Creative Loafing folks and saw some shows... Namely, Animal Collective, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and TV on the Radio... All back to back on the same stage. I was there too, but from a much greater distance...the mud proved to be quite a deterrent, and I wanted to save my energy for the day's goal... Beastie Boys, on the main stage.

Before that, however, I had a chance to check out Grizzly Bear. I'm not too familiar with their work, but they put on a killer show... And almost made me consider taking Alastair's musical recommendations more seriously. Almost.

After waiting in line to refill my water bottles and charge my cell phone, I headed towards the main venue to secure a good spot for Beasties. 50,000 people converging on one spot was a bit overwhelming, so I had to fight a lil dirty to get close... Kicked, shoved, yelled, and bit until it no longer worked... About 10 rows from the front. There, I waited 2 hours before they started.
I've never seen the B-Boys live...I was a bit worried about the quality of their performance, considering the infrequency of their tours and, well... their age. I was very happy to be proven wrong.

It was greatest hits night, for sure... Which wasn't a bad thing. After a bombastic introduction by Mixmaster Mike, they opened up with "Time for Livin'"... Even played the classic "Egg Raid on Mojo". It was a good mix of their singles, punk and instrumental works, but the highlight of the night being when they brought Nas(!) out to perform a song from their upcoming album. Magic. The show far exceeded my expectations.

I will say that Mike D is shockingly skinny...looks like a concentration camp survivor with a slight afro. MCA and Adrock were rockin their silver manes, but damn, they were surprisingly spry and animated. I tip my hat to you, sirs. You aint no slouches.

After escaping the sweaty masses in the aftermath of the BB's, I headed to the media compound to decompress and regroup...to find Triumph interviewing Flavor Flav. ! Snapped a few shitty cell phone pics (as my real camera was dead), and managed to get a few of Robert Smigel, too.
I hurried over to catch Public Enemy perform "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" in it's entirety. Flawless. I don't think it's necessary to embelish that anymore, other than saying "FUCK YES."

After that, I dragged my sweaty bones back to the tent to get a few hours of sleep. Far too tired to try and see Girl Talk, which was originally in my plans. The day was hot, but thankfully dry... No spiders or moles or rain to deal with. Hoo-ray.

Arielle may have an interview with Robyn Hitchcock, and I am going to try to get more photos. There are Q&A sessions with some select bands today, but we may not be able to get to all of them.

On today's plate: Bon Iver, the Mars Volta, and NIN. This is the big one, boys and girls...

Here's to staying alive! May the giant blisters growing on my pinky toes only hurt when I walk.

-J
We also received these pictures of Flavor Flav and Robert Smigel, respectively, which show off Jerrad's considerable skills as a photographer. Do you you find these images as transformative as I do?
Let's hope he can keep up this pace.

-alstr

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