Saturday, June 17, 2006


Mid-day report from Bonnaroo - 6/17

First of all, you should know that I'm writing this in virtual darkness. I'm in the air-conditioned press tent, listening to Cypress Hill on the What stage, pecking away in the fading light. There's wireless and electricity in the press tent, but no light to speak of. When the sun sets, you lose all available light. Guess the sun's setting.

It's been a magnificent but trying and sweltering day in Manchester, TN. Early sets by Grace Potter, Magic Numbers and New Orleans' Neville Brothers, the shredding blues guitar of Buddy Guy, the dulcet modern reggae of Damian Marley, the clever hip-hop of Beck are almost lost in Bonanaroo's great mash-up of bands. It's really more about one big collective musical experience rather than the individual contribution of a particular band at Bonnaroo. Perhaps Radiohead can shatter that tonight.

Like most stony musical events, you go with the flow at Bonnaroo. I started out in the campground at noon, headed over to Planet Roo to meet up with my Brazilian friends and the Sundance Solar crew. I left and came back, helped out at the Sundance booth, walked Sundance Ed over to vendor camping, then settled in for the first 45 minutes of Beck's set, which started with "Devil's Haircut" and where I met Shooter Jennings in the guest area with TV star/girlfriend Drea D'Matteo. (Waylon Jennings' son performs tommorow.)

High Times favorites Cypress Hill were next door on the Which stage. It took B-Real to utter the infamous 6 words, "Do you want to get high," to get me out on the concert field and watch hip-hop's premiere pro-pot act once again extoll the virtues of ganja, with a a medley that included "Hits from the Bong" and "Dr. Greenthumb," and B-Real puffing a big fattie on stage and singing, "If you want to legalize the herb/ Everybody say bom-bom-bom."

Back in the chilly press tent (a.k.a, the Igloo), by myself, Cypress Hill went way back to their first hit, "Pigs." "Everybody say 'fuck the pigs,'" B-Real asked and the crowd responded.

Tonight is Radiohead and then the late-night shows: Dr. John/Rebirth Brass Band/Ivan Neville's Dumpstafunk; and, even more anticipated, "Super Jam." Most Bonnaroo attendees have not a clue that Phish alummi Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon will be playing with the Benevento Russo Duo tonight. Gypsy punks the Dresdon Dolls are also on the late-night bill. And starting at 3:30, DJ Sasha will spin 'til dawn.


Mr. Bloom,
I'm a frequent reader and MySpace friend who has never commented on your page before. I really, REALLY wanted to go to Bonaroo this year, and I have a few friends who managed to make it. I just want to say thanks for posting your experiences. You made me feel like I was there, at least for a moment.
Keep up the great blogging,
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