Festival Review: Bonnaroo X (Thursday and Friday)

15 Jun

If you have been wondering where have all the posts been this past week, WEST LA CNCT has a semi-legitimate excuse for the lack of new music.  The truth of the matter is that we have all been losing our minds at the musical utopia known as Bonnaroo X.

It was hotter than hell.  It was dustier than ever.  We got maybe three hours of sleep every night. But it was the most magical experience of our lives!

Bonnaroo’s 10th birthday party kicked off on a little (700 acre) farm in Manchester, TN.  The party began Thursday night after most of the 80,000+ attendees made it to the festival grounds.  It was a good way to ease into the madness that ensued in the next few days.  We got to enjoy the giant mushroom fountain, ferris wheel, bobble head sculptures, and run around from This Tent to That Tent to The Other Tent without an overwhelming crowd to hold us back.  And of course we got to see some stellar music.   At the top of our music highlights of Thursday night would have to be Sleigh Bells, a noise pop duo hailing from Booklyn, NY, who pretty much blew everyones hipster glasses off with their dance friendly tunes.  Thursday night also included performances by other indie acts Best Coast, Band of Skulls, Deer Hunter,–and to end off the night–Beats Antique.

Friday was the more official kick off to the festival.  As a little day time warm up we saw all types of bands from legends like Bela Fleck & The Original Flecktones, Warren Haynes Band, and Wanda Jackson to rap superstars Atmosphere to Bonnaroo vets Primus and Grace Potter!

Jim James of My Morning Jacket

But the real magic didn’t come until six-time Bonnaroo vets My Morning Jacket played a killer 2 hour set on the main stage followed by another unreal set from Bonnaroo rookies Arcade Fire. My Morning Jacket played some great songs from their new album “Circuital” mixed in with classics like “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2”, “Evil Urges”, “One Big Holiday”, and “Wordless Chorus”–just to name a few–even bringing out special guests from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to accompany them on some tracks. Canadian six-piece band  Arcade Fire blew me away with their amazing talent both instrumentally and vocally and played a great mix of songs from all four of their studio albums. Both sets will forever stick in my memory as some of the greatest performances I’ve ever witnessed.

Up next was the late night acts, and who better to kick off the night than Bassnectar performing inside This Tent from 12:30-2:00.  Obviously word of Bassnectar‘s crazy live sets has gotten out because his crowd reached WAY outside the tent almost all the way past the mushroom fountain.  But that didn’t stop us from getting right in the middle of the action almost front row to get our shit rocked by some unbelievably dirty bass.  If you haven’t seen Bassnectar yet, get on it because he is on FIRE right now. Next came one the harder compromises of the weekend, so we shot over to check out 4-5 songs including crowd favorites like “Loud Pipes” from, my personal heros, Ratatat who were absolutely killing it. Then we went over to the madness that is Shpongle performing on a crazy rig he likes to call the Shpongletron Experience.  And it really was an experience–from on stage dancers, to morphing and melting Shpongle masks, to the unreal ‘third eye’ that had a crazy lazer show coming out of it!  Shpongle thoroughly impressed us all by dropping awesomely mind-melting tracks ranging from deep trance to worldly Indian/Middle-Eastern tracks.  It was quite the experience.  Then to top the night off, when we all thought we couldn’t handle anything else,  we walked over to catch Pretty Lights throw it down with a very impressive light and sound rig until the sun literally rose. What a night!

Shpongletron Experience

Check back soon for a review of Saturday and Sunday, when more magic really kicked in!

Spread the love.Share the wealth. WEST LA CNCT™

-Mike.D

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