Jeff Sweatman

Top 10 Bonnaroo 2013 moments + more

on the long & winding road back home Monday, some random thoughts/memories, not necessarily in chronological order…

only a few star sightings this year…Hayden Panettiere was in the same area as us for Jack Johnson (& Tom Petty too – she may have inadvertently touched my hand while ordering at the bar!), in a fenced-off section right near the soundboard in the middle of the crowd of 80,000…at least one member of Kings of Leon was supposedly spotted in that area too…what a great idea to have a huge music festival so close to Nashville, right?

got up close for the Rock’n’Soul Superjam and ended up right next to McLovin from Superbad & his small group of friends!

Paste did a great job covering the festival…here’s their Day Four recap to get you started…

Billboard’s assessment is entertaining, esp. since I only agree with about half of it!  It’s almost like we were at different festivals (like, where’s the Rock’n’Soul Superjam??)

Yahoo took some great pics

Makes me feel better that even Rolling Stone took a while to post this recap!

My friend Dave got great video of Macklemore & Lewis & Delta Rae (catch Delta Rae Saturday at The Jefferson!)

Saturday started off well enough, with some on-air updates from the radio compound, but then I embarked on what seemed like an hour-long search for my camera battery, which turns out had fallen through a small hole in my top bunk, down into the middle bunk below me!  I’m nothing (or at least my ‘Roo coverage wouldn’t be nearly as exciting) without that camera!

Due to the camera battery fiasco, I missed actually seeing Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the main stage & Cults on the Which Stage, but what I was able to hear (albiet slightly muffled in the backstage area) provided a good soundtrack for my search!  Once found, I took the now-fully-juiced camera (that I bought for my wife but love to use myself for concert shots, heh heh) out to see the end of James McCartney’s set in the New Music On Tap lounge…James was well-received, although a fan from Georgia that I got to talking to after the set said he needs to work on the stage presence a bit (like when you’ve got the entire tent clapping along of their own accord, feel free to stretch out the jammy part of the song or something…that’s the spirit of Bonnaroo!).  Another thing I love about Bonnaroo: I ask this same (probably 30-something) guy what he’s looking forward to today & he says Nas, Dwight Yoakam & The Tallest Man on Earth!  That just about sums up The ‘Roo’s eclecticism right there…a music festival for fans of good live music, regardless of genre or era.

Macklemore had a fan’s fur coat crowd-surfed (up & back) to him for “Thrift Shop” on the main stage, in 89-degree heat!  He & Lewis were as advertised, with an amazingly sustained level of energy, clearly basking in the moment of being on the main stage at Bonnaroo! I didn’t get pics or video since we were a mile away & it seemed like half the crowd had their phones in the air, so I assume there’s plenty of footage on YouTube, haha!

R. Kelly apparently released inflatable doves during “I Believe I Can Fly”…

St. Vincent/David Byrne – so good!  Esp. the co-ordinated dance moves (not just Annie & David, but the whole horn-tastic band!)…unfortunately couldn’t stay for the whole set since Sunday was jam-packed with a ton of my favorite things all at once!

As in, the guys I was with were headed backstage for access to the Petty VIP area, but it was still an hour before he went on, so I made the quick decision to see the Bluegrass Situation SuperJam with Ed Helms & friends & the criminally under-attended Divine Fits set (just in time to catch their ballsy You Got Lucky Petty cover) & I still made it back in time for the Petty VIP group! 

Coulda maybe used “You Got Lucky” or “Breakdown” instead of “Tweeter & the Monkey Man,” Mr. Petty…??  But I applaud him for at least a couple of deeper tracks & cool covers (Byrds, Yardbirds, & “Friend of the Devil”)…he’s gotta be sick of playing the same 20 greatest hits by now, eh?  Sure doesn’t act like it if he is!

Bjork surprisingly didn’t use the screens much, but “Declare Independence” was intensely great on the main stage…seeing a close-up pic of her later, that was a typically amazing outfit, but we were so far away & she wasn’t using the live camera feed on the big screens, so we couldn’t see the details!

The National were joined by St. Vincent for 1 song on the main stage (we were hustling to get over there in time but missed it), but we did see her get whisked away on a golf cart right by us as she zipped over to the 2nd biggest stage for her set w/ Mr. Byrne that started shortly after!

Alright, I’ve been almost ready to post this for like 3 days, so I’m gonna hit “publish” now & try to add more embellishment later!

Top 10 favorite things at Bonnaroo 2013

#1 – Rock’n’Soul Dance Party Superjam

#2 – McCartney

#3 – meeting Jack Johnson backstage

#4 – interviewing Weird Al backstage

#5 – the fan who yelled “put the (expletive) phones away!!!” when Edward Sharpe put the mic in her face during the “storytime” part of the set while they played “Home”

#6 – David Byrne/St. Vincent

#7 – Haim joined by young fan Asa on stage

#8 – Wilco joined by Calexico for “California Stars”

#9 – stumbling upon an unannounced Polyphonic Spree set in Centeroo at 2am wherein they played some Rocky Horror Picture Show songs

#10 – Cat Power throwing water bottles & candy to the crowd to make up for technical difficulties during their still-excellent Which Stage set



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