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gorilla sleeps on mums back

In the words of Bob Marley, one good thing about music is when it hits you, you feel no pain. Bonnaroo, one of the largest eastern festivals in North America hosted more than 70 000+ people this year with headliners such as Bruce Springsteen, Beastie Boys and Phish. But really, these were just headliners and in my opinion, not the real headliners of the festival. With performers ranging from Of Montreal, the Decemberists, Animal Collective, and Grizzly Bear to Femi Kuti, PUBLIC ENEMY, Erykah Badu,and Murs, you could easily be a neutral fan of the Boss and Phish–or in my case, not a fan at all–and still have a fuckin’ awesome time. It was overwhelming as to how many people there were in comparison to festival sizes I’m used to like Coachella or Bumbershoot. The tent grounds were absolutely ridiculous, with over 10 massive camping sites–mine took over 20 minutes to walk to Centeroo.

Throughout the four days, I kept making comparisons with Coachella, I couldn’t help it. Coachella is a big festival with a small festival feel. The campgrounds are tinier, less people and less crowded. Free showers (Bonnaroo showers cost $7) and sinks and sanitizer outside of porta-potties. But Coachella is anal as hell. At Bonnaroo, you can bring in anything you want, as long as it’s not glass. And that includes drinks! Food! You could bring a skillet or a BBQ and cook your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and late-night snacks if you wish. In terms of music, I still think that all other North American festivals just simply cannot beat Coachella’s great headliners and great diversity. Best of all, Coachella has an amazing electronic representation with the Sahara tent and I think now, the other festivals are starting to catch on and are beginning to add their versions of the Sahara tent. Bonnaroo mainly has bluegrassy, rock, folk, indie, and some hip hop but barely any reputable electronic or experimental acts. The same goes for Lolla and ACL as well.

But you know what? It’s not ALL about the music. It’s about the experience. And I think I know that’s where Bonnaroo beats all the other festivals and why 70 000 people come back every year. The people at Bonnaroo from the staff to the fans are so effin’ nice. Everywhere I went people were starting conversations with me not out of some unforseen or awkward obligation but out of genuine graciousness and curiosity. Random strangers offered me a drag and everyone had an awesome time together. Sure, lots of people go to festivals alone and festival connoisseurs push these people to go reasoning that they’d be with XX, 999 other friends. It’s generally not true with most fests but with Bonnaroo it really is. I met so many people that totally made my festival weekend, shout outs to Nathan, Nick, and Sean from Texas for good laughs about taking prunes, shits in the BBQ, fweee fweee fweee beeep booop and of course, sharing the weed. It was sweet. It’s the people at Bonnaroo that make the experience and the music comes somewhere along the way. That’s why I’ll come back. That’s why I’ll drive another 20 hours down from Montréal to Manchester—in one shot—for four days of mayhem, memories, and of course, music.

I recap my four days along with pics, MP3s, live footage, and awards for Bests after the jump!

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atm-rootspicnic

The 2nd Annual Roots Picnic.
Jesus. Small set list but the magnitude of the performers is staaaaadium status!!!! I have yet to see the Roots live. I have been waiting for so. long. Them being on Jimmy Fallon doesn’t count. Sometimes I wish it was just the Roots on Late Night with…the Roots! or ?uestlove! But nope, Jimmy shows up errrday. Good for him. He’s doing a good job taking over the shoes of giants that’s for sure.

Anyways, back to this. Y’all don’t NEED to know how much I love Public Enemy. DO BELIEVE THE HYPE. They are effin’ amazing. And my Coachella prospects aren’t lookin’ too good this year…my main group to see was PE. Best part of this picnic? They are performing their legendary album It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back backed by the Roots and Antibalas. YOU HEARD ME. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! The other enlistees are pretty rad too. Santigold! Black Keys AND TVOTR! Asher Roth too!. What an awesome picnic. I needs to get me a ticket. You know what else? Tix are only fifty bucks! What a deal!!! *pretends to be target lady on SNL* Buy your tickets here.

I leave you with this INCREDIBLE performance of “Bring the Noise” by PE on Jimmy Fallon. The Roots funked with the original and it’s more instrumental and awesome than ever. BRING THE NOISE!!! YEEEEEEEEBOOOOOOEEEEE!

P.S. It was Flav’s birthday!

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atm-publicenemy

I really don’t think I need to do any introduction to one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time.

One issue I do have is how LOW PE is put on the Coachella poster!!! Third tier?!?!?!?! If anything they should be next to headlining or HEADLINING!!! But I guess the genres of scheduled bands around that time wouldn’t be too fluid.

But let’s not forget Pemberton! When Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard was like, “uh I think this is the only time in my life when I’ll get to say this…JAY-Z everybody!”…or something along those lines. I could totally see Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) or Kevin Shields (MBV) or EVEN CRAAAAZIER Robert Smith (the Cure) introducing PE! FLAVAAA FLAAAAAAV!

I had a really tough time choosing which songs to post…I really wish I could just post the entire greatest hits compilation which is pretty dece. But, I made tough decisions. Songs after the jump!

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