Bonnaroo 2013: A Full Recap

Bonnaroo 2013

Bonnaroo 2013 was quite the success. This is my fifth year attending what I believe to be America’s greatest music festival, and out of those five years, 2013 goes down as my favorite thus far. This is even aside from the fact I had to miss the entirety of Sunday, a day I know I would have enjoyed immensely, due to a work conflict. A lot of things fell into place very well this year. A great crew of friends, incredibly high caliber acts, a conducive schedule for my taste, more alcohol than I should have consumed, and some of the best collaborations I have ever seen. Paul McCartney shined as an untouchable legend, R Kelly reigned down from the heavens, and artists collaborated with each other in ways that I could never have imagined.

R Kelly Bonnaroo, 2012, fly, crane
I wasn’t lying, he literally came down from the heavens.

As our first recap, I decided to give a full, but quick breakdown of everything I saw last weekend. This is modeled after a successful post written by a fallen member of past Roo crews that could not be in attendance this year. Wes helped cover the acts I missed due to either physical or even mental absence. I don’t know what set me back more this year, work or whiskey. Anyways, onto the breakdown:


JD McPherson, live bonnaroo, 2013JD McPherson

Retro rock and roll that will groove into your soul.




haim, live bonnaroo, 2013HAIM

They sounded like the Heart of our generation (which is awesome because every generation needs a Heart) and had more sexual inuedos in this set than spans R Kelly’s career … they even managed to creep on a five year old.



Django Django, live, bonnaroo, 2013Django Django

Dance-o dance-o.




Father John Misty, live, bonnaroo, 2013Father John Misty

His sexified/drunken stooper act plays better live than I imagined, even if does come off as a bit of a prick.




alt-j, live, bonnaroo, 2013Alt-J

A good example of why Bonnaroo needs to start putting some artists on stages for Thursday night shows.




Killer Mike, live, bonnaroo, 2013Killer Mike

Got us all prepped to “Thom Pettie” the rest of the weekend (and some hoes).







Charli XCX, live, bonnaroo, 2013Charli XCX

I felt like an old creeper watching her, but was still damn impressed. For a teenage pop musician she has some serious talent and appeal.




Local Natives, live, bonnaroo, 2013Local Natives

Get past their new material and you’re in for one fun show.




Fatama, live, bonnaroo, 2013Fatoumata Diawara

She blessed the beats down from Africa.




passion pit, live, bonnaroo, 2013Passion Pit

Yeah, he still sounds awful live. Thanks Passion Pit for being the only disappointing act of Bonnaroo 2013.



Amadou and Mariam, live, bonnaroo, 2013Amadou & Mariam

An amazing honor to be able to witness these two perform.




2009 Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival - Day 2Grizzly Bear

Even if they don’t add a lot of energy, they sound pristine and gave us another excuse to have Solange guest act.




Wilco, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Wilco

Eh, it’s just Wilco.




Jim James,  live, Bonnaroo, 2013Jim James

Showing why he has been the king of Bonnaroo since 2003.




wu tang clan,  live, Bonnaroo, 2013Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothin’ to f*ck with. MVP’s of the crew:  Ghostface Killah and Method Man.




paul mccartney, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Paul

One of the greatest, most endearing performers I have ever seen.




Hip Hop Superjam, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Hip Hop Superjam

All around greatness with Solange stealing the show with her performance of “Killing Me Softly”.




animal collective, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Animal Collective

Their energy and pristine sounds somehow pulled me out of a drunken stooper enough to go crazy for the second half of the show, and for that I thank you.




pretty lights, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Pretty Lights

Holy. Shit show. Just drugs and dancing from the crowd until 6 AM. Great way to watch the sun come up.






Cults, live, bonnaroo, 2013Cults

Great way to get outside and start your day. The two piece from New York garnered a full band along side them and sounded surprisingly better than I imagined.




death grips, live, bonnaroo, 2013Death Grips

I don’t know what he was on, but it made for one of the most outrageous and intense performances of the weekend. The most moshing I experienced within the past year without managing to break my nose.



Solange, live, bonnaroo, 2013Solange

Short, but sweet. Solange is becoming my favorite Knowles.




Tallest Man On Earth, live, bonnaroo, 2013Tallest Man On Earth

Nothing brightened my afternoon more than laying back, reflect, and relax to my favorite modern folk singer.




Portugal. The man, live, bonnaroo, 2013Portugal. The Man

He certainly was a man.




nas, live, bonnaroo, 2013Nas

Life is good! Especially while watching a hip hop master like Nas perform.




dirty projectors, live, bonnaroo, 2013Dirty Projectors

I believe them to be one of the best sounding bands of our time. Wes and I discussed the likelihood of solo albums from Amber. I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful.




cat power, live, bonnaroo, 2013Cat Power

Her newest album sheds a whole new light on her live show.




Bjork, live, bonnaroo, 2013Bjork

Even if she looked like a combination of Hellraiser and a dead dandelion, her sound was still insane.



the lumineers, live, bonnaroo, 2013The Lumineers

Provided some good opportunity for jigging.




Jack Johnson, bonnaroo, live, 2013Jack Johnson





preservation jazz hall bonnarooPreservation Jazz Hall Band

More danceable than you’d imagine and a pleasant escape from Jack Johnson.




R Kelly, bonnaroo, live, 2013R. Kelly

Tom Petty maybe helped us learn to fly, but R Kelly is the one that believed we could do it. And then he literally did it. Watching his initial decent from the sky was a highlight of the weekend.




rock 'n soul superjam, bonnaroo, live, 2013Rock n’ Soul Superjam

Best. Bonnaroo Superjam. Ever. Bill Withers, Prince, John Lennon, Sam Cooke, T. Rex, Rolling Stones and a slew of Sly and the Family Stone covers all being performed by Jim James and a mess of unbelievably talented musicians. Not to mention guest appearances from Brittany Howard, R. Kelly, and Billy Idol.





Kacey Musgraves, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Kacey Musgraves

With covers like “Act Naturally”, “Two Little Birds”, and “Island In the Sun”, country has a new name.




Lee FieldsLee Fields & the Expressions

A wonderful soul pick me up for a Sunday afternoon.




action bronson, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Action Bronson

I watched him lose 10 lbs sweating during just the first three songs.




jeff the brotherhood, live, Bonnaroo, 2013JEFF the Brotherhood

Garage rock duo grinding away in the mid-day sun.




macklemore, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Saw “Thrift Shop” and “Same Love” and called it a day.




wild nothing, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Wild Nothing

Ambient shoegazing under the tent to avoid the heat.




kendrick lamar, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Kendrick Lamar

A year removed from a gritty tent Thursday night tent performance, the main stage was a little too big for Kendrick’s britches.




Tame Impala, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Tame Impala

The Aussies really knew how to bring the noise and then bring some more.




The National, live, Bonnaroo, 2013The National

Markedly improved over from the last time I had seen them, thanks to a new set of songs and St. Vincent guesting on their set.




Divine Fits, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Divine Fits

Covering Frank Ocean and Nick Cave and roaring through their debut, this set showed once more, Britt Daniel knows and is rock ‘n’ roll.




Ed Helms, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Ed Helms Bluegrass Situation with Special Guests

Banjoes galore.




David Byrne & St Vincent, live, Bonnaroo, 2013David Byrne & St. Vincent

The odd pair are putting on one of the most thrilling live shows going in 2013.




Tom Petty, live, Bonnaroo, 2013Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Only lasted a few songs with the rain, but Petty once again taught us how to fly.

Author: Todd

I dig musics ...

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