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.
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:
Retro rock and roll that will groove into your soul.
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.
His sexified/drunken stooper act plays better live than I imagined, even if does come off as a bit of a prick.
A good example of why Bonnaroo needs to start putting some artists on stages for Thursday night shows.
Got us all prepped to “Thom Pettie” the rest of the weekend (and some hoes).
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.
Get past their new material and you’re in for one fun show.
She blessed the beats down from Africa.
Yeah, he still sounds awful live. Thanks Passion Pit for being the only disappointing act of Bonnaroo 2013.
An amazing honor to be able to witness these two perform.
Even if they don’t add a lot of energy, they sound pristine and gave us another excuse to have Solange guest act.
Eh, it’s just Wilco.
Showing why he has been the king of Bonnaroo since 2003.
Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothin’ to f*ck with. MVP’s of the crew: Ghostface Killah and Method Man.
One of the greatest, most endearing performers I have ever seen.
All around greatness with Solange stealing the show with her performance of “Killing Me Softly”.
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.
Holy. Shit show. Just drugs and dancing from the crowd until 6 AM. Great way to watch the sun come up.
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.
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.
Short, but sweet. Solange is becoming my favorite Knowles.
Nothing brightened my afternoon more than laying back, reflect, and relax to my favorite modern folk singer.
He certainly was a man.
Life is good! Especially while watching a hip hop master like Nas perform.
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.
Her newest album sheds a whole new light on her live show.
Even if she looked like a combination of Hellraiser and a dead dandelion, her sound was still insane.
Provided some good opportunity for jigging.
More danceable than you’d imagine and a pleasant escape from Jack Johnson.
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.
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.
With covers like “Act Naturally”, “Two Little Birds”, and “Island In the Sun”, country has a new name.
A wonderful soul pick me up for a Sunday afternoon.
I watched him lose 10 lbs sweating during just the first three songs.
Garage rock duo grinding away in the mid-day sun.
Saw “Thrift Shop” and “Same Love” and called it a day.
Ambient shoegazing under the tent to avoid the heat.
A year removed from a gritty tent Thursday night tent performance, the main stage was a little too big for Kendrick’s britches.
The Aussies really knew how to bring the noise and then bring some more.
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.
Covering Frank Ocean and Nick Cave and roaring through their debut, this set showed once more, Britt Daniel knows and is rock ‘n’ roll.
The odd pair are putting on one of the most thrilling live shows going in 2013.
Only lasted a few songs with the rain, but Petty once again taught us how to fly.