Trying to follow ‘Rooers as they planned their daily itinerary was a bit like listening to Abbott and Costello’s timeless “Who’s on First” comedy routine. “We should go to What Stage,” declared one fan. “Which Stage?” queried his tentmate. You get the picture.
By Day 3, the melodious Manchester melee was firing on all nine cylinders – stages, that is – offering concertgoers a heap o’ nonstop, wall-to-wall musical majesty. The collective heads of the 90,000 happy campers had to be spinning from trying to keep track of all of the harmonious happenings.
Bonnaroo was definitely not a place for “non-jugglers.” But based on Saturday’s exceptional lineup on the Which Stage – and the shoulder-to-shoulder sea of humanity in front of it all day long – the multitask-nots must have figured out that the junior stage was the place to be and opted to make it an “unofficial” campsite.
Here’s a taste of the action on Day 3:
How ‘bout a little Tennessee blues-grass?
‘Rooers got a double shot of glorious mountain melodies as first, Old Crow Medicine Show and then Alison Krauss and Union Station with Jerry Douglas fiddled around on the Which Stage.
The Nashville-based OCMS played a toe-tappin’ set of rock ‘n’ roots tunes on a Tennessee Saturday afternoon that was easy to love, including “Mississippi Saturday Night,” “Hard To Love,” and fan favorite “Wagon Wheel.”
After a few days of very little sleep, there were more than a few savage beasts in the Manchester meadow – but Krauss’ incredibly believable cover of “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” tamed them all.
Fans were no doubt dreaming about a surprise duet with Krauss’ Grammy winning Raising Sand collaborator, Robert Plant, given Plant’s merry presence at Bonnaroo with The Band of Joy. But the former Zeppelin captain proved once again that he’s not much for joyous reunions.
British invasion part 2
The forecast was hot and sonny as Marcus Mumford and his London lads bounded on stage for their keenly anticipated set. And while it was impossible to determine the exact number of fans at their “more than sold out” set, let’s just put it this way – the Which Stage Township became the 5thlargest city in the Volunteer State during their show.
The estimated 50,000 Mumford and Sons enthusiasts that jammed themselves into enough space for only 30,000, screamed wildly as the Brits cheerily played cuts from their chart topping Sigh No More, including the smash “Little Lion Man,” “After The Storm,” and “Roll Away Your Stone.”
The crowd favorites saved the best for last with a heartfelt “Amazing Grace” encore, accompanied by OCMS and Jerry Douglas.
Bonnaroo concertgoers get buffaloed…
Opening up a recent show, Neil Young told the packed crowd, “We’re Buffalo Springfield and we’re from the past.” You know that a band’s been around for awhile when the headlines begin, “three surviving members.” Those three members of Springfield, namely Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, played Bonnaroo as part of the band’s first tour since 1968.
Listening to the rock legends storm through Springfield staples like “Mr. Soul,” “Rock and Roll Woman,” and “For What It’s Worth” – was well, worth the price of admission.
…and keyed up
There’s really only one thing to say about The Black Keys – how can a single guitarist and a drummer play such house numbing blues?
Be sure and check out the slide show of Day 3 pictures.
And take a look at Day 1 and Day 2 here.