Following in our week of Bonnaroo coverage which started yesterday with a full artist-by-artist recap, today we give you our five favorite moments of Bonnaroo this year. Every year Bonnaroo comes around, the Tennessee Festival brings a smattering a great moments, especially lots of moments with artist collaboration. I would say Bonnaroo has more of a collaborative culture than any other festival I have been to, so every year I go in not just excited about seeing my favorite artists, but excited to see what surprises might come about. And this year was a new record in terms of surprises. So here are our five favorite moments of Bonnaroo 2013.
5. Father John Misty crushes “Hollywood Cemetery Sings” to close his Thursday set
Father John Misty, formerly the drummer of Fleet Foxes, puts on quite the biting, showy, and dramatic performance the first night of the festival, all leading up to the doomful ode to the empty Hollywood life, “Hollywood Cemetery Sings”. Father John is backed by one of the best bands we saw all weekend and Father John’s all-out freakout at the end of “Hollywood” was one of the finest song performances of the weekend.
4. Animal Collective close their late night party with the rave-up “Brothersport”
Experimental indie rockers Animal Collective played the perfect set time for their psychedelic dance rave of a show, 2-4AM on Friday night. The band amazed me not with just their energy which I expected, but with how perfect they sounded despite having such a difficult sound to replicate. “Brothersport” brought one of the biggest crowd responses of the weekend with its crazy Afro-pop finish.
3. R. Kelly descends from the heavens for “Ignition (Remix)”
I already knew R. Kelly had a wonderfully God-given voice before Bonnaroo, but little did I know he actually descended from the heavens. To open his midnight Saturday set, the R&B singer started his set hundreds of feet above the stage singing “Ignition (Remix)” with an entire gospel choir singing in the crowd below. Now that’s how you open a set.
2. Billy Idol, Brittany Howard, John Oates, and Jim James “Get It On” in the Rock ‘n’ Soul Super Jam
Jim James and John Oates curated the greatest Super Jam in Bonnaroo history with the likes of Larry Graham (Sly Stone), R. Kelly, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes), Zigaboo Modeliste (the Meters), Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket), the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bilal, and most strangely, Billy Idol. Billy Idol turned it out be the absolute perfect fit to sing T. Rex’s “Get It On (Bang a Gong)” which just killed the crowd.
1. Paul McCartney leads the world’s biggest sing-a-long with “Hey Jude”
There were so many memorable moments in Paul McCartney’s Friday headlining set which lasted nearly 3 hours, but the most memorable had to be “Hey Jude”, which was easily the greatest live sing-a-long I have ever seen. Not a single soul wasn’t belting their “Na-na’s” and its hard to describe how amazing it is to hear 85,000 people all singing together in unison with the most enduring singer/songwriter of all-time.
Wes – Bjork “Declares Independence”
Bjork put in the most unusual but also one of the strongest sets at Bonnaroo, with one of the strangest outfits I have ever seen and a creepy space choir following her all around the stage. They closed with the dance-freakout “Declare Independence” which had everyone on stage and in the crowd going absolutely bonkers.
Todd – Todd “Gets Got” in the mosh pit at Death Grips
Hardcore punk rapper Death Grips put on the most violent show of the weekend, and Todd coming away with a broken nose in the last mosh pit he entered, carefully waded into the pit. He came out alive this time, but not after getting beat around during “Get Got”.
Austin – The Entire Festival
Austin doesn’t really get a just missed because well, he missed the entire festival.