Day two of Bonnaroo heated things up with a diverse lineup of groups that span across genres and decades. The second day of the four-day fest will be remembered as a dust fest. The dry weather and extreme heat with the addition of 90,000 people, kicked up thick layers of dust on vehicles and tents. Many could be seen doing everything to protect their lungs by rocking a T-shirt or bandanna over their mouths. However, most of the 90,000 were not going to let the dust get the best of their Bonnaroo experience.
While concert-goers were crowding into whatever shade they could find, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bela Fleck[/lastfm] and the original [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Flecktones [/lastfm]played their chilled bluegrass as if they haven’t missed a beat.
New York duo [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Matt & Kim[/lastfm] brought a fierce bite to their cute take on indie-rock. Matt & Kim took the stage to Jay-Z’s “New York State of Mind” before opening with “Block After Block,”and continuing their set with songs like “Silver Tiles,” “Good Ol Fashion Nightmare” (with a “Jump On It” breakdown), and “Cameras.” The group even thanked the crowd for taking their Bonnaroo ‘virginity.’
The first lady of rockabilly, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Wanda Jackson[/lastfm], brought fans of all ages to her rock/country set. While she played some of here classics she also played some songs off her new record The Party Ain’t Over that was produced by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jack White[/lastfm]. The onetime White Stripes front man, who was present at the festival yesterday to watch his recently divorced wife [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Karen Elson [/lastfm]perform, helped lend an indie-rock twist to Jackson’s honky-tonk vibe.
During the same time-slot, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Florence + The Machine[/lastfm] played to an immensely overcrowded This Tent, while [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]NOFX [/lastfm]played at That Tent. English indie-pop singer Florence had crowds grooving to her soulful tunes (see photos from Florence’s performance), while on the other side of the festival people crowd-surfed to the L.A. punk band’s fast beats and anti-government lyrics.
[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]My Morning Jacket[/lastfm] brought triumphant horns and primal yells from a Mukluk-clad Jim James. MMJ performed both older songs and tunes from their latest release Circuital. The Louisville natives opened their set with “Victory Dance” before spiraling through “Circuital,” “Off the Record,” “Black Metal,” and “One Big Holiday.”
On the Which Stage, Les Claypool of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Primus[/lastfm] appeared with his signature inflatable astronauts and lightning-fast slap-bass.
After [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Primus [/lastfm]left the stage there we’re no other shows scheduled at the same time except [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]the Arcade Fire[/lastfm] at the main stage. As people began filing their way into the field, one could really begin to sense just how massive the festival was. The commitment of the fans could be seen just by seeing the excitement in their eyes. Once the band’s intro movie began the throngs of exhausted people found a second wind, standing up and moving to the beat.
The cinematic theme was echoed in Arcade Fire’s theatrical vocals and big booming harmonies, which, along with the gigantic backing band, created a blockbuster atmosphere. The band brought up enough instruments to form a small orchestra, including such instruments as French horn, xylophone, glockenspiel and hurdy-gurdy.
You could feel the excitement in lead singer Win Butler’s voice when he greeted the crowd after opener “Ready to Start.” It was as if the Bonnaroo first-timer had just finished a marathon and the finish line was the stage. The crowd, feeling this force, shouted back the words to songs like “Keep the Car Running,” “No Cars Go,” and “City With No Children.” This transfer of energy continued all the way to the very last note. Arcade Fire encored with their indie-rock anthem “Wake Up” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).”
Butler also shared with his opinion on the diversity of this year’s schedule by saying, “Any show with My Morning Jacket and Lil Wayne is good with me.”
Speaking of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Lil Wayne,[/lastfm] the Atlanta native was one of the night’s most anticipated performers. Attendees were unsure about how to perceive Weezy at Bonnaroo. That didn’t stop him from rolling through a fantastic set that included his newest track “John,” along with verses from Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” and Ace Hood’s “Hustle Hard.” The Young Money Millionaire also hit songs like “A Milli,” “Go DJ,” and “Mrs. Officer.”
It is amazing to think that are still two more days of performances here in the Volunteer State. Among the dozens of bands performing today (Saturday) include [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Alison Krauss & Union Station[/lastfm] feat. Jerry Douglas, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mumford & Sons[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]the Black Keys[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Buffalo Springfield[/lastfm].
Reviews by Phil Torres and Carl Harp of Cleveland’s Radio 92.3