atm-bonnaroo stage at night

This is the most overdue post ever. I’ve been meaning to get this whole thing published after one week the festival ended…over two weeks ago jaja. Sigh, so much I wanted to do in between but I kept on saying to myself, NO you need to give PART II. And so here it is. As y’all know, I recently moved and it’s been busy and by busy I mean lounging around in Montréal’s brutal humidity whilst looking for apartments whilsts chilling with awesome flatmates drinking beer whilst have dance parties. So as you can see, very very busy. But here it is! the second half of a most wonderful weekend trip twenty hours south of the MTL.

My recap, MP3s, and live video footage all after the jump!

atm-daily show stars

Since Friday was a 12pm to 4am affair for me, not that I don’t party hard all the time, tee hee, but I was pretty beat. Thank god the rest of the festival is a completely chill after Friday with rarely any conflicts or running to and fro stages on Saturday and Sunday.

So, I wanted to watch Triumph, the Daily Show Stars and Jimmy Fallon at the Comedy tent so I could sit down and have a laugh (‘avin’ a laaauuugh) but the only one I could fit into my schedule were the Daily Show Stars and Triumph sold out super quick. The show started off with a video tidbit from my love, Jon Stewart, apologizing for how he couldn’t be there but he assured as that the show will be full of laughs somewhere in the midst of his sarcastic Jon Stewart-y platitudes. “Apparently, these people work for me. Huh.”

One of the Daily Show producers, Rory Albanese takes the stage first, proving to be a great opener and a clear reason as to why the Daily Show is as hilarious as it is. He is the funniest, so far. Then a Daily Show newcomer comes on, Kristen Schaal. Fans will probably recognize her on the equally hilarious Flight of the Conchords. She did her set with Kurt Braunohler. The crowd really wasn’t feeling their jokes and neither was I. Maybe it was because of the sweltering heat inside the non air conditioned tent and the hundreds of smelly, sweaty, non-showered festivalers ‘causing some weird psychological flubbery impasse in our brains so that all we could think of was whether it was worth it to stay in the tent or to go under the tree and lie down in the shade, rather than laugh. Or, the crowd was more lefty from Tennessee and area and just didn’t get the more “liberal” New York jokes. OR, IT WAS JUST REALLY BAD. All of the above, I’d say. It was getting to the point where Kristen said, “WOW this is a REALLY HIGH CALIBRE crowd, eeeh?” And still, no one laughed or loosened up. And even the guys behind me laughed about how a bunch of New Yorkers come and do a show in TN and expected the same lot. Definitely not. Kristen’s set was painful. I love you in FoC, sometimes in Daily Show, but Kristen, that set was brutal and the heat inside the tent didn’t make it any better. FINALLY her set was over, and Wyatt Cenac comes on! I didn’t expect too much from his set either since his Daily Show tidbits aren’t the funniest of them. The set was pretty much exactly that. His set was mainly about relationships, how he had a relationship with a Jewish chick, then came the Jewish jokes, etc etc. It’s all been said and done before and it’s all be said and done before a lot better than Wyatt did. NEEEEXT! was Rob Riggle! Now this man is HILARIOUS. I was nearly passing out from the heat in the tent but I managed to stay alive ’cause I was actually laughing for the first time in like 20 minutes ever since Albanese left the stage. And then…da da naa daa naa daaa! John Oliver comes on! You’d think he’d be the funniest ’cause he is on the Daily Show but his set was alright. Then again, at this point I was nearly passing out because of the smell and because of the heat. I am sad I didn’t catch Triumph or Jimmy Fallon. Did anyone else? Was it any good?

Next up was Rodrigo Y Gabriela over at the main stage. I was so excited to see them. They are playing the MTL Jazz Fest but the tickets are a bit expensive so seeing them here was nice. One song after the other, they delivered hard hitting acoustic goodness. You couldn’t help but just get up and dance or chillout in the shade shaking your toes. They are incredible live and their LPs are nothing comparable. Interestingly, if you guys didn’t know this, they started out as a metal band! They translated so well over to acoustic!

Here, I was in a huge dilemma. On the one hand, see Zee Avi, an artist I’ve been blogging incessantly about ever since I saw her “Bitter Heart” video, who I will most likely be able to see in the future anyways as her career is just starting to blossom with huge youtube favoritism and a release of an album that is getting great reviews, OR, see Of Montreal, a band that I’ve been in love with for their music, their antics, and their outrageousness, a band that will most likely not tour as often and when they do land here, it will be much more expensive to see them. I decided to catch the first three songs of Zee Avi before rushing over for the start of Of Montreal’s set.

atm-broo zee avi

Zee Avi, lovely in song, lovely in pictures, and even MORE lovely in person. Stepping out into Cafe Where, the smallest venue, if you can call it that, at Bonnaroo, where people mainly come for refuge from the sun rather than refuge in music. There was barely anyone in the tent, at most I’d say under 30 people. Barely any chairs to fit this amount so people were sitting on tables and on sparse lands of grass where mud had not yet invaded.

She comes on with a shy expression, obviously a bit nervous and I notice a bit of shaky hands. But that doesn’t stop her from charming the crowd! Making tiny jokes here and there and really chatting with us. She is wearing grey tights with a flannel shirt and remarks on how she was a total fail in wearing the flannel because of the weather. She started off the set with “Poppy” and goes into “Darlin’ It Ain’t Easy”. Live, her voice is absolutely fantastic and I think this, and her cute introverted demeanor on stage won over both the crowd inside the tent and passer by wavers who eventually got pulled in by her aura. I said I would leave after three songs but one after another I just couldn’t leave. She plays the Interpol cover of “Slow Hands”, moves into some of my favorites off her reccently released LP, “Honey Bee”, “Bitter Heart”, and the Morrissey cover “First of the Gang to Die”. After that I REALLY had to leave so I don’t know what happened next. I was so pleased with the set and I’m so happy to have seen her live. I just wish I could have stayed so I could personally meet her. Oh well, OFF TO KEVIN BARNES AND THE OF MONTREAL MADNESS!

atm-broo of montreal

NEVER! and I mean NEVER have I seen a tent so ridiculously packed in my entire festival going experience. Not only was the tent completely full, the surrounding area was completely packed. You couldn’t even spot grass if  you wanted to, not unless there was a dancing fan on top of it! People maneuvered themselves on top of garbage cans for better views and from what I could tell, the energy level could fuel a nuclear bomb. This was by FAR the loudest crowd that I’ve been to at B’roo. My ears were ringing like I had tinnitis from a bad fever. I was so stoked because I know from word of mouth that Of Montreal with Kevin Barnes as the frontman, are just ridiculous live. And all these people were right. I walked in at the most fantastic time. They went into “Gronlandic Edit”, “An Eluardian Instance”, and one of my favorites off of Skeletal Lamping, “For Our Elegant Caste”. They took a mini break and came back with more crazy bear costumes, acrobatics, and human lions. It was so effin’ crazy and I wish I was at the front so I could fully see what was going on. It’s nearing the end of their set and after “She is a Rejector”, there was no doubt what they were going to play next…“The Past Is A Grotesque Animal”. The whopping eleven minute bombshell that catches you surprised on Hissing Fauna but the crowd was ready, OH YES! What a closer, what a show, and what a crowd. Of Montreal are so fucking awesome live and though I don’t regret missing nearly 30 minutes of their set because of Zee Avi, I do wish I had seen more. Or had some time turner like Hermione jaja.

MP3: Of Montreal – For Our Elegant Caste

Alright, so next up was the Decemberists. Problem was, the Mars Volta were playing at the same time at an adjacent stage. And that’s like having the Prodigy next door. The Mars Volta, from what it sounded like, KILLED IT. It was so awesome to the point where I left Decemberists for a bit just to check it out, soon realizing that I wanted to chill out to Decemberists and not die in a mosh pit during the Mars Volta. And plus, I wanted to see the Decemberists orginally anyways. The first 40 minutes of their set were pretty dull. I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I think a lot of people felt this way too as many were lured by the Mars Volta and also because the Decemberists were much harder to here ’cause the carry over from the Mars Volta set. By the end, the true Decemberists fans remained and I remember being able to walk right into the tent with the last of the tent being nearly empty. Barely anyone was there compared to the people in the beginning but this didn’t slow the Decemberists, nor this did slow down the crowd. We were rewarded for our loyalty as the Decemberists went into one of their greatest hits and my personal favorite, “The Engine Driver”. By the end, they did an encore and the crowd was SCREAAAAMING for one more song, and it happened once! And we did it again! And then for sure it was the end. The Decemberists definitely won me over in the end. So happy. Does anyone have the setlist for this show?

Aaah and then came Brucey. AKA, the BOSS. For a whole THREE AND A HALF HOURS. This was gonna be hard on me. Not that I don’t like Bruce or anything, but I never have listened to his stuff very much so I’m neither a fan nor a hater, I was just a neutral being going to the show because THERE WAS NO CHOICE and also I wanted to see what this whole Springsteen thing was all about. OH MY GOD I was soooo bored. He kept going on about THE HOUSE OF LOOOOOOVE, SEXUAL HEAAAAALING! My friends and I were kinda making fun of him and went on to interpret it as a physical house of love. WE NEED NAIIIIILS! WE NEED WOOOOD! WE NEED ARCHITECTS! LET’S BUILD THIS HOUSE OF LOOOOOOVE AND STAY AT BONNAROO FOREEVERRR!!! Oh man, the best laughs of the weekend I think. That, and also because we were sitting behind these WASTED MILFS who kept shaking their asses in our faces. It was sad, but funny at the same time. It was also getting really cold and as my Texan buddies went back to the campsite for some bud, I was increasingly becoming bored by Bruce and was finding myself cold, tired, grumpy, and sleepy. So I decided to go back and nap for a bit before Nine Inch Nails.

I only ended up seeing an hour of NIN because I was SO exhausted. But from what I heard, it was amazing. It was simply incredible. I am sad I couldn’t see the set through but I was literally falling asleep to NIN. I knew I had to go back to camp. According to Quiet Color:

Muggs: I’ve never seen a rock show like this. Biggest sound ever. Definitely sounded like a chainsaw factory. I wish I could think of a word dirty enough to describe how bad ass this was.

Alex: Let me help Muggs with the vulgarity, Trent Reznor fucked Bonnaroo in the mouth. This show was absolutely incredible and probably the overall most impressive of the festival. NIN should be the gold standard for all rock shows. Midset Reznor proclaimed: “This is actually the last show we’ll be doing in America… ever.” This brought some added importance to the rest of the concert which culminated with a moving rendition of “Hurt” which lifted every lighter in the field.

Ugh. How awesome indeed. All in all a great day. The fifth day of no showering and only pseudo showering at the fountain in Centeroo. Tired and happy that within 24 hours, I’d be heading home.

Day Four (Sunday): Three Different Kids With Three Different Dudes

atm-broo sixth ward brass all stars

This was the easiest day of the festival for sure. Barely any conflicts, everyone was tired as hell, and yeah I was happy the festival was ending. Just like Coachella, your body takes on so much shit, with what you do to it, the drugs slash booze, the dancing, the lack of proper nutrition, the lack of HYGIENE jaja, yeah you can’t help but want the festival to end.

First up, the best discovery of the entire festival. The 6th Ward Treme Allstars Brass Band kicked so much brass (jajaj get it?!?! tee hee). For the few people that were there, we were dancing up a storm! One of the most memorable songs had lyrics like, fuck it like a horse fuck it like a horse…something like that. Hilaaaaarious.

Here’s some helpful info about these types of bands:

6th Ward is a section of New Orleans – like precincts, etc.

Treme is the neighborhood where a lot of the musicians came up (which is also known as the 6th ward, fyi)…

The All-Star band is a common-used name by many of the musicians when they “throw” together a group…

There is a CD with a band operating under that name called “Straight from the 6th Ward” – that has several brass bands on it – but the best source “Louisiana Music Factory” doesn’t show it available – so my guess is that there’s limited supply out there…

Here’s a couple links to help:

http://www.amazon.com/Straight-From-The-6th-Ward/dp/B000QZTLTU

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=11888

Thanks Mike!

atm-broo erykah badu

Since I was at the mainstage all day, I had such a good spot for the main stage, literally just five rows out with the exception of the VIP area. Erykah Badu, the Goddess of Soul, of Hip Hop was on next. Truer than all others, she commanded the stage once she took it…45 minutes late.

This is my beef with late performers, and those who were present during Kanye’s fumble at Bonnaroo last year know, and fans just in general. I just cannot stand when artists are outlandishly late. Like 45 minutes?!?! I understand that there’s going to be waiting for a show, that’s just how it is. But once the equipment is all set up, and the sound is all checked, GET ON THE STAGE. Especially at a festival, when the time slotted isn’t that long of a set anyways, by the time you get on stage, 60% of the set is already done. Kinda lame.

But you know what, it’s ERYKAH BADU. At once Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli” came on and I was so pumped, and the lyric were he raps “Where is Erykah Badu at?!” the song stopped rewound, and at once she entered onto the stage. Our anger dissipated as our cheers and screams of love overpowered our frustrations. She starts off with “The Healer”. This performance of this song was so immensely visceral in comparison to the LP version. Constantly, she was singing the lyrics and then she says to the band, “stop” or “hold on” and the band stops on her command–though I think this was defs something rehearsed. The beats were stripped down so all you could hear was the basic drum, her backup singers, and her voice.

Hip hop
it’s bigger than religion
Hip hop
it’s bigger than my niggas
Hip hop
it’s bigger than the government

And on that latter note, the crowd reacted stronger than before, reacted to her lyrics, reacted to her Public Enemy outfit, reacted to her shout out to Dilla and reacted to how beautifully graceful she sang every lyric, how unique she made the song with constant pauses and stops that fit so well with what she was trying to do creatively and subliminally. As she went into “Didn’t Cha Know”, whether it was a mere coincidence or her prowess commanded the skies to part, the clouds parted and the sun shone through as she cried, “love is life and life is free. Take a ride on life with me. Free your mind and find your way. There will be a brighter day”. It was glorious.

Badu then makes some beats on her beatmaster, rapping along, beat boxing with song and not sound, and winning over the crowd with just how talented she is. It was a HIP HOP show. Down to every lyrics, beat, and song. Always, she is chatting with us, telling us how she had three children with three different dudes, how she’s turning 36 (she looks fantastic!), how her ass got bigger (then she turns around for us to see those tight ass jeans upon her 6 inch heels), and all this wonderful randomness that I was so happy to be apart. Unsurprisingly, she goes into “Love of My Life”, a song about Common, who was her partner for two years. During the show she mentioned his antics, after seeing some dude that wore a Common shirt and pointed to him, saying that it wasn’t that he was uneducated, he just doesn’t know any better. Her personal anecdotes were something we became used to in the span of 30 minutes.

She goes into a mini rendition of “Rappers Delight” and another song (which I recognize but don’t know the name of, does anyone else know?!) before going back to “Love of my Life” which ended up taking up at least 10 minutes. I think her most powerful performance was “Back in the Day (Puff)”. Like most of the songs that night, everything was so stripped down, sounding almost less than acoustic, just her voice and the occassional beats. Afterwards she tells us there is non time traveling, no past, no future, just now. Badu says just be happy right here right now, “I’m so happy to be here right here right now!!!” And she went back into a rendition of “The Healer”.

Hip hop
it’s bigger than religion
Hip hop
it’s bigger than my niggas
Hip hop
it’s bigger than the government

Hip hop.

And then that was it. Hands down one of the best shows of the entire festival. She did something to me, and to my friend Ben (SHOUT OUT!!! MR. CANADIAN IDOL) that performance. She changed our chemicals inside us and just purged us. It was such a spectacular performance that wasn’t based on crazy lights, dancing, or outlandishness. It was pure hip hop. Unfiltered goodness. It was Erykah Badu.

MP3: Erykah Badu – The Healer

Mp3: Erykah Badu – Back in the Day

Next up, errrrbody was stoked for Snoop Dogg. Also, errrrbody was smoking up and I don’t think I’ve second hand smoked so much in my entire life. Even worse than waiting for Badu, Snoop made us wait about 45 minutes to an hour. They made an announcement saying that he was 5 miles out. People around me began making fun of him, saying he was too busy on his private plane that he lost track of time!!! He finally comes on and starts off with “Still Dre” which was pretty sweet. He pumps up the crowd, asking us what his favorite alcohol is, and goes into “Gin and Juice”. He played all his hits like “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang”, “Sensual Seduction”, and “Drop It Like It’s Hot”. But this was the extent of his own songs as Snoop played a lot of songs that aren’t even his! One or two is fine but he did at least 20-30 minutes of songs like “Blame it on the Alcohol” and “Fuck the Police”. Not to mention he spent like TWENTY MINUTES playing stupid games with the crowd. Like maybe 1-2 minutes, of HEY, HEY, WEST SIDE! EAST SIDE! and making the east, centre, and west side of the crowd compete with each other. Like dude, play some songs. It’s interesting that Snoop didn’t notice that the crowd was just getting really sick of it and our cheers were dying down from the repetition and the dullness of just waving our hands around for 20 minutes. At one point he did some reggae and he tried to do a Jamaican accent and it was an epic fail. Epic fail.

He plays more songs that belong to others. Barely plays any of his songs. And spends most of the stage time saying WHAT’S UP BONNAROO?!!?!? WEST SIIIIDE EAST SIIIIDE! For eff sakes he could have had a really good show if he just started rapping to his songs you know? So yeah, totally disappointed in Snoop’s set. Best part of it was when Erykah Badu showed up and collabed with Snoop on stage and performed Slick Rick’s “Lodi Dodi”.

So I decided to lose my spot for Phish because I don’t really listen to Phish and don’t know their stuff. Stayed for a bit and then got super bored. Went back to Camp Skywalker to sleep and nap before heading back to Montréal after the Phish show.

That’s the weekend! Finally the recap is finished! Gaaaah and here are my Best awards!

Best Hip Hop Show: Public Enemy
Best Indie Show: Phoenix
Best Rock Show: Nine Inch Nails
Best Electronic Show: ? Not a huge electronic representation at Bonnaroo and from what I’ve seen, nothing worth giving a Best.
Best Song: “The Healer” by Erykah Badu
Best Crowd: Of Montreal
Best Discovery: the 6th Ward Treme Allstars Brass Band
Best Food Deal Out of Centeroo: $5 breakfast, toast, eggs, sausage/bacon, AND a drink, either apple/orange juice/coffee. AMAZING. I got this every morning but eventually got really sick of it. Wah.
Best Food Deal In Centeroo: $6 Polish Sausage. Yes I know pizza was $5 but it wasn’t very filling.

Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse”

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