TOP 3 FROM THE 'ROO
Kerry Black: Superfly
1) The entire Mars Volta set.
Bonnaroo 2005 by Rie Kasahara
2) John Prine's comments during "Your Flag Decal Won't Get you Into Heaven Anymore," 'This song has been in retirement for 25 years... I took it out of retirement at the special request of the President of the United States. It wasn't a formal request, but believe me, he's asking for it.'
3) A packed house going nuts for Game 1 of the NBA Finals in the Cinema Tent.
Jim James: My Morning Jacket - Guitar/Vocals
1) De La Soul. They tore the roof off That Tent at 3 in tha mornin'. We were primed for dancin' and everybody went ape-shit. It was so positive too, the message and attitude that was pouring out of them: love yourself, respect yourself. It was pretty special.
Jim James at Bonnaroo by J. Jones
2) The silent disco. This was truly a marvel in scientific dancing madness. The only problem was the headphones didn't get loud enough and they needed more dance/hip-hop hits. Other than that it was awesome!!
3) John Prine. John Prine is one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Everyone I know, along with myself, had chills the entire time. It was so awesome to watch him triumph and feel the crowd love every minute. The new songs sounded great and right in place with all the classics.
Bo Koster: My Morning Jacket - Keyboards
Silent Disco by J. Jones
1) The Silent Disco
2) Joanna Newsome
3) The Black Crowes
Marco Benevento: Benevento/Russo Duo - Keyboards
1) Secret Machines rocked my world with there approach to some cover tunes and there lights were mesmerizing.
Marco Benevento at Bonnaroo by J. Jones
2) Iron and Wine's tunes mellow me out and that's always nice amongst 80,000 people to have something or somewhere to go and chill and listen to some slow pensive songs.
3) Modest Mouse...god I fuckin' love this band! First time seeing them live too, I look forward to seeing them again soon.
Marc Allan: Benevento/Russo Duo - Manager
There were so many moments, from the Masquerade Jam to the Secret Machines psychedelic wash out to Joanna Newsome's winsome voice to the Dozen blowing it out at Galactic's Crewe de Carnival to Marco Benevento's call-out to the acid freaks of the 'Roo from the Sonic Stage, but my top 3 have to be:
Joe Russo & Shirt
1) Tie. In particular, the opening notes of "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" (Prince song) being played by My Morning Jacket... it brought a smile on my face that still hasn't left. In general, the way that MMJ has the innate ability to create weather when they take the stage at outdoor festivals. I've seen it too often to doubt it.
1) Tie. Seeing The Word one more time and feeling the hair on my arms stand up and goosebumps run across my body while Luther [Dickinson] and Robert [Randolph] slid to the heavens during a signature version of "I'll Fly Away."
3) BONNARUSSO [T-shirt]. The fact that some kid was out there selling that shirt had me on the floor laughing on Sunday night, but if you were at any of the three Duo performances at 'Roo this year, it makes a little more sense why a shirt like this would be out there. His drumming on "My Pet Goat" is inhuman.
Annabel Lukins: Sonic Stage Manager – Bonnaroo / Marketing Director – Jam Cruise
1) Toots' rare and intimate solo acoustic performance at the Sonic Stage.
Annabel & G. McConnell Bonnaroo 2005
2) Dancing harder than I had in so long to Widespread Panic both nights realizing that George McConnell is a bad ass.
3) Being in the middle of Centeroo with some close friends at midnight seeing the lights from Trey in one corner, hearing faint funk rifts of Karl D in another, gravitating toward the mysteriously powerful Secret Machines, grateful to experience brand new music... all of us reminding each other that there isn't anything like Bonnaroo and we continue to be changed by the experience and grow spiritually year after year.
Jason Colton: Mike Gordon - Manager
Matisyahu by J. Jones
1) Citizen Cope
2) Iron & Wine
J. Bau: Gov't Mule - Manager
1) My Morning Jacket: Last year's rain soaked MMJ set has not left my iPod for the past 12 months. With the bar set so high and the band not having played much this year, I truthfully did not expect them to turn in the performance of the weekend (again). Musically, they were locked into each other and on fire. Their choice of covers were absolutely spectacular. They reworked Dylan's "Tonight, I'll Be Staying Here With You" to make it sound like it had come directly from the mind of Jim James. And, their version of Prince's "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man" was pure smile-inducing goodness. Visually, the addition of a dude in tails and a Mozart looking wig "conducting" the band made me chuckle. Like the band itself, something so simple made a significant difference, in this case, visually. Speaking of which, I have to mention the enormous puppets which came out one by one at the beginning of each song and, somehow, blended in and added a texture of surreality. Somehow, mixed in with the shredding guitars, flying manes of hair, and a conductor, a bunch of oversized puppets made perfect sense.
Crowd at De La Soul
Bonnaroo '05 by Josh Miller
2) De La Soul. Late night party music at its best. I first saw De La 16 years ago in NYC when they played one of their very first (if not the first) shows opening for Living Colour. What struck me about this show was how tight they were. Pos and Dave each lyrically bobbed and weaved in and out of the others' lines and hit their marks HARD. I had so much fun hearing those songs again, many of which I hadn't heard in a decade. Their 90 minute set flew by like it was only 10 minutes long.
3) Tea Leaf Green. Clearly the breakout performance of the fest. These guys had a hell of a crowd for 1 p.m. on a Saturday. I love the combination of the soulful piano and lyrics with the nasty guitar. It was nice to see people GROOVING to a rock band again. I look forward to their set next year.
Dennis McNally: RatDog - Manager
Bob Weir - RatDog
Bonnaroo '05 by Dave Vann
1) Bob Weir & RatDog, Sunday
2) The Word, Sunday
3) Keller Williams at Sonic Stage, Saturday
Joel Cummins: Umphrey's McGee - Keyboards
Herbie on keytar by Jones
1) The Secret Machines' haunting melodies and searing backbeats
2) Herbie Hancock dueling John Mayer with the keytar
3) Warren Haynes bringing down the house with some amazing, heavenly guitar work playing with Widespread Panic on Saturday night
Steve Molitz: Particle - Keyboards
1) Watching North Mississippi drummer Cody Dickinson take a mind-blowing electric washboard solo during The Word's set. Just when you thought it had all been done, mankind revolutionizes the washboard.
Particle at Bonnaroo '05 by Josh Miller
2) Watching people lose themselves in a "waterdance" in the Centeroo fountain... drenched and completely blissed out.
3) Seeing the smiling faces of Nashville's Fresh Oil Gospel Choir as they joined Particle onstage for a Sly and the Family Stone tribute. I think the crowd's mass and energy caught them by surprise, and it was a joy to see them singing their hearts out while caught in the whirlwind of Bonnaroo's intensity.
Zach Velmer: Sound Tribe Sector 9 - Drums
1) Free ACAI drinks (a Brazilian berry that is one of the healthiest berries on the planet) in the air-conditioned tent... I had 6 of 'em.
Zach Velmer at Bonnaroo '05
By Rie Kasahara
2) Collaborations with Richard Devine, The Perceptionists and Collective Efforts. Always a pleasure at festivals for collabs and it is just plain fun.
3) Watching the sun rise playing music. Pretty epic.
Rie Kasahara: Photographer, Japanese Music Fan
1) I could see my favorite band STS9. It was a beautiful moment.
2) I could see lots of smiles of the people. Not only Americans, but also Japanese, European, children, staff, volunteers and of course musicians!
3) I had lots of grateful moments... and to be able to share the time with everyone.
Tom Speed: An Honest Tune - Editor-in-Chief
1) Widespread Panic: Setbreak? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Setbreak! With back to back headlining performances on the main stage, Widespread Panic asserted themselves as the cornerstone on which the success of this festival was forged. On Sunday night, their 3 1/2 hour performance--in which they played the hospitable host to a cavalcade of jam icons--was one of the most impressive of Bonnaroo's 4 year history.
Frederick Von Guggenheim
MMJ by Josh Miller
2) My Morning Jacket, Frederick Von Guggenheim (conductor). Nothing shakes things up like a bevy of 12 foot tall puppets. Jim James & company had fun with costumed stage antics, but that goofiness didn't obscure the fact that My Morning Jacket put on one of the most high energy, and well-received, sets of the weekend.
3) The Mars Volta: The Slow Burn of an Intricate Mind Etching. Sometimes it feels good to be disturbed. The mind-bending and demented late-night performance by The Mars Volta was inspiring in a refreshingly disturbing kind of way. It's not all good, you know.
Dennis Cook: JamBase Primary Contributor and Freelance Journalistic Monkey
1) The Black Crowes (Saturday afternoon) - A thrilling, totally switched-on set that parted the clouds during the climax of "My Morning Song." A-freaking-men!
Black Crowes by Jones
2) Assembly of Dust (Saturday afternoon) - Reid Genauer and his band of merry men poured liquid sunshine into us on the wettest day of the fest, saturating every pore with music that just makes a body feel good. This is what pop music, at its best, should sound like.
3) Secret Machines (Saturday late night) - A near-epileptic torrent of white light and a craggy emotional bottom fueled my biggest surprise of the 'Roo. The Machines are hard and gentle in equal measures, a descendent of the likes of Jane's Addiction, Bauhaus and Pink Floyd but only in passing ways. They are their own men and this gig revealed that.
Andy Gadiel: JamBase - CEO
1) Tea Leaf Green. Finally great to see my home town heroes get the shot they deserve. And they nailed it!
Danny Clinch and TLG
Bonnaroo '05 by Josh Miller
2) The Black Crowes. They came out on fire and never let up. I'm a converted fan.
3) The Mars Volta. The spectacle of the crowd, the hype and the ensuing sonic assault.
Sam Elkin: JamBase - Director of Sales
MMJ by J. Jones
1) My Morning Jacket
2) Mouse on Mars
3) The Black Crowes
Jonathan Zwickel: Music Editor, New Times Broward-Palm Beach
1) First timers. There were a ton familiar bands at Bonnaroo, and even more I'd heard but never seen. I got flattened by the Drive-By Truckers, welcomed to the Secret Machines, healed by Dr. Dog, and screwed over by the Heartless Bastards. Surprises like those are what make mega-festies so awesome.
Heartless Bastards :: Bonnaroo by J. Jones
2) Old friends. When the Black Crowes crooned "Brokedown Palace" during an afternoon rainstorm, I couldn't tell if those were raindrops in my eyes or tears of reminiscence. Ozomatli might be the best music to wake up to, and of course STS9 is the perfect soundtrack for sunrise.
3) Solidarity. When you've been standing in the mud watching music for three days straight, you gotta work hard to have fun. Of course, everyone was up for the effort. Doubt it if you want, but Bonnaroo really does inspire a spirit of music-mad camaraderie that infuses every interaction of the weekend. In the end, the love enhances -- even supersedes -- the music. And that's a wonderful thing.
Jon Bahr: ASCAP & Photographer
1) The force of the singer/songwriters. Some of my favorite sets weren't the rockers (M. Ward, Iron & Wine, Ray LaMontagne, Heartless Bastards and Amos Lee are too good). I can't get Iron & Wine's "Woman King" out of my head! Damn you Sam Beam!
The Word :: Bonnaroo '05 by Dave Vann
2) My Morning Jacket. Last year the rain brought the spectacle, this time the band brought the spectacle with the puppets and conductor.
3) The Word. Such joyful sounds, I wish I had been at their set for longer.
Ahh... 'Roo conflicts.
Jeremy Jones: JamBase - Photographer
1) The women of 'Roo: Whether it was Joss Stone ripping up the Which Stage with her huge vocals, Alison Krauss making putty out of me with her angelic voice, Shonna Tucker manhandling that bass, Gabby La La adding surreal textures to The Duo with Mike Gordon's set, Sabina Scuibba setting my soul on fire late night Friday, Sista Teedy joining forces with Galactic putting memories of Jam Cruise One back in my head, Jenny Lewis making me a new fan of Rilo Kiley, Chris Robinson making me think about Kate Hudson for the Black Crowes entire set (did I say that out loud?). The backing vocal ladies for the Crowes and Toots adding amazing layers into their sets, Erika Wennerstrom showing me how to be a Heartless Bastard, or the beautiful Jessi Alexander that came out during the Earl Scruggs set to sing the most beautiful song accompanied by the sweets sounds of all those strings cleansing my soul right before Panic destroyed it again, women represented this year and it was grand.
Shonna Tucker - DBT :: Bonnaroo by J. Jones
2) Getting to see new bands that were on and off the radar. Matisyahu, MATISYAHU, MATISYAHU! Rilo Kiley, The Mars Volta, The Word, Herbie Hancock, Jurassic 5, Ray LaMontagne, Brazilian Girls, Xavier Rudd, John Butler-and knowing that I get to see them again in some intimate club around town the next time.
3) Seeing my favorite band, Widespread Panic, put on one of the most memorable two shows of all time. It was my 147th and 148th time stepping foot in front of that stage and I walked away completely smiling, knowing that I just witnessed true Southern hospitality by some of the finest musicians out there.
Bradly Bifulco: JamBase - Designer
1) The Mars Volta (Friday late night) - the whole show really, but specifically, the "Roulette Dares" set closer - people everywhere were scared.
WSP by J. Jones
2) Widespread Panic (Sunday's final performance) - specifically, "Bowlegged Woman" first song out of the mid-set "Drums" - Down and Dirty!
3) My Morning Jacket - the whole thing, tip to tail.
Ted Kartzman: JamBase Rhapsody Blog Maintainer
1) My Morning Jacket on Sunday at What Stage. I had never seen MMJ before, but have worn out my copy of It Still Moves waiting for this day to come. After last year's epic weather-soaked set, all eyez on them... but how could they possibly repeat? They had a white-haired conductor, but didn't need him. They had multiple ten foot puppets on stage, but could hardly notice, the music was so entrancing. Yes, the band is great, but there is one difference between everyone else. MMJ has what no one else has: Jim James' voice. It literally stopped the rain and brought the crowd to a crescendo, and took it down so delicately for an acoustic "Golden." The voice, the band, the songs... every song was great, and I only knew half of them. Saw many Dylan covers over the weekend, but MMJ cover of "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" was off the charts. This band brings it, I joined the street team.
Jim James - MMJ by J. Jones
2) The Black Crowes - my sentimental favorite. I was looking forward to this set more than almost anything. I will stand by my statement that The Black Crowes are the defining rock and roll band of my coming-of-age. They broke up, tried what they tried, and realized they were better as a team. Brothers Chris and Rich back together, Marc Ford's moustache shimmering in the breeze, his scissorhand fingers showing megashred ability. The thing about this band in 2005 is that they are so versatile, they are able to play Phish-style jam rock and kick ass, they are able to showcase their southern roots by playing the dueling guitars of southern rock, and they are also second to none at playing gospel rock, showcasing those buttah-sounding backup singers. To play three styles of rock well, and to do it within the framework of some of the greatest songs of my youth, like "Wiser Time," "Thorn in My Pride," "Seeing Things," "Soul Singing" and "My Morning Song" - well, I was a kid in a candy store again. Not to mention their cover choices, opening with The Band's "Don't Do It" and closing the set with the cover song that gave me the most chills all weekend: "Brokedown Palace" - The Black Crowes toasted Jerry's memory with great taste and total class. Long live this incarnation, take back the title of best Georgia band from WSP. Can't wait for the Crowes at Fillmore run!
3) Benevento/Russo Duo with Mike Gordon. It is one of the great pleasures to see how far these two kings of music from the gritty streets of Brooklyn have come since they hooked up (literally) in the tap room a few years back. To see them on that big Bonnaroo stage and to watch and hear the crowd sing the entire "Mike's Song" was the biggest moment of chills for me over the weekend. Trey can cover whatever Phish he wants and none of it will make me feel like these three did. Plus the joy on Marco's face was worth the price of admission alone. And it wasn't just the Phish influence, the Duo stuff before Mike joined them was slammin and got a huge roar, especially "9x9." Them boys are sick... and no longer just in the head! Plus, the Bonnarusso homemade shirt that some hippie gave Joe was shirt of the weekend!
Allen Scott: Another Planet Entertainment - Concert Promoter
1) Dave Matthews Band (Friday) - A lot of people in the jam community have written these guys off. But, I would think there have to be many converts (or re-converts) after their Bonnaroo performance. They were smokin'. Particularly noted, was their version of "Time of the Season" (by the Zombies), as well as a new tune, "Louisiana Bayou," performed with Robert Randolph.
Ray LaMontagne by J. Jones
2) Rilo Kiley (Saturday) - I was curious to see how they would do in front of the Bonnaroo crowd. And, they killed it. During their afternoon slot, they had the packed tent singing along and eating out of their hands.
3) Ray LaMontagne (Friday). A talented songwriter with an other-worldly voice. He surprised me. I did not expect him to be as strong live as he was. Can not wait to check him out in a theatre setting.
Aaron Kayce (Kayceman): JamBase Editor/Sr. Writer
1) The Mars Volta
Bonnaroo '05 by Josh Miller
2) Widespread Panic
3) My Morning Jacket
It is also important to note that in fact my favorite thing about Bonnaroo is Bonnaroo. The word Bonnaroo, like the festival, has come to mean far more than a weekend of music. One can count on an amazing, wildly eclectic line-up, professional production and an absolutely mind-expanding event. Bonnaroo is for the adventurous and refuses to allow anyone to simply rest in their comfort zone. Bonnaroo has built a kingdom and it is now part of social lexicon. For the fourth year in a row Bonnaroo will almost undoubtedly be the best fest of the year. Bonnaroo: it's a state of mind!
Don't forget to check out Dave Vann's View From Bonnaroo for more images.
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