Bonnaroo 2009 (Part 1)

As many of you may have noticed, updates to bugiin became less frequent over the last week.  This is because it is finally as stable and featured as I would like, but also because I’ve been at Bonnaroo!

It has been said that there is no sleep at roo, but I have to disagree slightly: there is simply less sleep at roo.  Among the many performers that I was fortunate enough to see are Alberta Cross, NIN, The Beastie Boys, Band of Horses, Andrew Bird, Phish, Girl Talk, MGMT, Pretty Lights, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, Paul Okenfold, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Grizzly Bear, and Animal Collective.

Obviously, most of these bands are pretty amazing, so I’m only going to talk about the best and the worst.  Unfortunately, I had already seen Andrew Bird earlier in the year and he played nearly the exact same set list.  I can understand this of many bands, as many of them have fewer albums and are lesser known than others.  I did not expect this of Andrew Bird, though, as he has a rather wide collection of albums.  My hope was that he would pull out a few unexpected songs, but this was not the case.  The crowd was fortunate enough to receive a solo performance of Why? which rocked pretty hard.  Despite a similar set list, the performance was still captivating and fun, albeit predictable.

It was worth the attendance to be close for Band of Horses, though, which in my opinion was a great show.  I hadn’t seen this band before, and luckily for me Bonnaroo was a great place to see them.  They played just about any song that I could have asked for, include classics off of their first album such as The Great Salt Lake and The Funeral.  BOH also visited their newer release Cease to Begin playing Is There a Ghost and Ode to LRC. After completing their set, they even played two songs off of their new unreleased album.

The most disappointing show in my opinion had to be MGMT.  I am not a huge fan of this band by any means, and this might go to show why I didn’t enjoy them, but they just didn’t seem to cut it.  They were playing against NIN, so I decided to leave Trent for a while to check out what MGMT would have in store.  As soon as the opening notes struck, I was severely disappointed.  The show was packed, but the effort by the band just seemed lackluster, especially with NIN being audible from across Centeroo.  I found myself leaving the show to go back to NIN.  As much as I like electronic music, sometimes I think a few of these bands get away with catchy pop songs and makeovers.  Thankfully, NIN turned out to be one of the best shows of the festival.  I can only question why MGMT would get a late night spot over Animal Collective, who I think could have filled the spot much more effectively.

I’ll be writing a little bit more about some of the bands at roo in the coming days.


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