Bonnaroo 2010: Words & Photos

Bonnaroo Day One: Thursday, June 10th

Walking into Centeroo on Thursday is always a re-orientation of sorts and it was nice to see the kindly Which Stage bobbleheads decked out in World Cup jerseys and regalia for the big weekend. Multiple inches of Wednesday and early Thursday rain created a muddy environment, making veterans of the festival feel strangely at home. As much as things change in Centeroo, notably, with the addition of the bumpin’ new Lunar Stage, the vibe and layout of the festival’s power center remains largely the same.

Bonnaroo 2010 got off to a roaring start as per usual on Thursday afternoon with threatening skies clearing up just in time for Baroness who brought their gritty refined brand of jam metal, inflicting some bruise-inducing mosh madness at The Other Tent. These guys look to be in it for the long haul and delivered a powerfully gnashing set that was arguably the day’s best.

Miike Snow was unfortunately placed before dusk, but regardless an early club scene thrived amongst the youthful crowd. With numerous dance artists performing in the wee hours (where they belong), this time placement may have been Bonnaroo’s biggest head scratcher of them all.

Blitzen Trapper by Dave Vann
Local Natives’ harmonic indie pop was lost in the mix and failed to meet expectations, especially after producing one of the year’s finest albums (Gorilla Manor) earlier this year. An unplanned (but expected) break in the action caused your faithful writer to miss out on The Temper Trap, but we made it back in time to see Blitzen Trapper crank things up, opening with “Black River Killer” and “Wild Mountain Nation” to a crowd mostly unfamiliar with the young band’s work. Blitzen gave people a delectable array of tunes (including the set’s highlight “Furr”), spanning the band’s varied catalogue and treating the Bonnaroo crowd to a few new tunes off the band’s three-day old album Destroyer of the Void. A quick trot over to the packed Lunar Stage was a trip to take in, as thousands blew it out with the future sounds beaming from the decent-sized stage newly situated between The Other Tent and That Tent.

Lotus by Dave Vann
Lotus stirred up a familiar air in the Bonnaroo night, giving us Bonnaroo vets a taste of good ole jam flavor with a surprisingly juiced up rock set. Night One as always introduced the masses to a host of new bands and gave jam the band a long overdue chance to perform for a large Roo late night crowd.

This morning, festivarians were awakened to Primus’ “My Name Is Mud” from the What Stage’s absurdly powerful P.A. system. How appropriate, Day Two is underway…

p.s. As I’m typing this Dr. Dog is giving us media folks a special acoustic set. Very, very appropriate lyrics flowing:

What a strange day, maybe I was dreaming, nothing seemed entirely awake. What a strange night, it’s dancing with a candle, the atmosphere is scandalous. We’re all in this together, as we all fall apart

Truer words never spoken? Happy Bonnaroo 2010!

JamBase | Manchester, TN

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