BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2009

This year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival offered a fine mix of music from bluegrass to reggae to indie rock and jam bands to afro-pop and electronica music. The reggae musicians included Midnite, the Itals, and the Wailing Souls. I unfortunately missed Midnite on Thursday but I got to see amazing sets from the Itals and Wailing Souls. The Itals played roots reggae including songs like “In a Dis Ya Time.” And they played new cuts from the upcoming album Let Them Talk. The Wailing Souls played Saturday and dropped roots reggae classics like “Shark Attack ” alongside reggae covers of the Doors song “Love Her Madly” and the Grateful Dead classic “Casey Jones.” The Wailing Souls also played “War Down at the Pawn Shop” a track written by Sublime headman Bradley Nowell.

Phish played two shows. The first show on Friday night rocked with originals like “You Enjoy Myself” “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Wading In The Velvet Sea,” and “Chalk Dust Torture” and a cover of AC/DC‘s “Highway to Hell.” For an encore Phish covered the Beatles‘ “A Day in the Life.” The second show on Sunday night included a guest appearance by the Boss–Bruce Springsteen. The Boss and Phish played a brilliant extended version of “Mustang Sally.” Trey Anastasio and the Boss traded and then dueled guitar solos. It was an amazing show with a jammed out version of “Glory Days.”

Bruce Springsteen played his three hour show on Saturday Night with the amazing E-Street Band, which included Max Weinberg on drums. “Outlaw Pete,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Devils & Dust” among other favorites kept the crowd on its feet. The Boss is quite a performer and storyteller.

The Beastie Boys played an amazing and energetic set with favorites like “So What’Cha Want [Explicit],” “Sabotage,” “Shake Your Rump,” “Paul Revere,” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” on the set list alongside punk rock favorites “Gratitude [Explicit],” “Tough Guy,” “Egg Raid On Mojo [Explicit],” and “Heart Attack Man.” Instrumental Jams like “Sabrosa” laced the Hip Hop and Punk Rock tracks. The Beastie’s DJ Mixmaster Mike is more than a DJ. The man is an exquisite turntablist and musician. MCA, Mike D, and AD Rock still have it going on after all these years. Also rapper NAS performed with the Beastie Boys on a track coming soon on the new Beastie album.

Rodrigo y Gabriela, Santagold, Girl Talk, Brett Dennen, Amadou & Mariom, Booker T with the Drive-By Truckers, Gov’t Mule, Merle Haggard, the Decemberists, and Snoop Dogg all played notable sets. I caught Booker T and the DBTs (Drive By Truckers) playing “Green Onions” and Merle Haggard covering Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Jackson.” The Hag played his own hits too, singing “Mama Tried,” “Working Man Blues,” “That’s The Way Love Goes,” and “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.”

Immediately after seeing Merle Haggard’s set I trucked to the main “What Stage” to see Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound. Snoop strolled through hits “Gin And Juice,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?,” “Ain’t No Fun.” The LBC rappers paid tribute to 2pac with “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” Snoop can still move the crowd. He even transitioned into Jamaican patois at one point sounding pretty good as a potential dancehall artist. Snoop needs to do a reggae album.  Merle Haggard and Snoop opening for Phish Sunday night seemed a perfect way to end this diverse mix of music.



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BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2009

5 thoughts on “BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2009

  1. It looks like you’ve left out my favorite Bonnaroo show–
    Rodrigo y Gabriela. With so many awesome acts, why choose the Mexican, Dublin-based acoustic guitar duo? I’d never heard of Rodrigo and Gabriela before Bonnarro so discovering them Saturday afternoon on the main stage was like finding that giant golden easter egg in tall grass. Just this absolute moment of pure joy.

    If you’re not familiar with the duo, check out their website and music at: http://www.rodgab.com/

  2. Marcos Monaghan says:

    Jahue! Nice write up brother. I can’t believe I missed you… I drove down with my cousin from Baltimore and we met up with friends from NoVA and GA after Phish in Camden, Beasties in Baltimore (sick show for 2k people), Phish in Ktowne and then on to the Roo’

    I stumbled onto one act definitely worth mentioning- Allen Toussaint, who is apparently the man down in New Orleans. And PLEASE don’t forget to mention moe. keeping it on till the break of dawn(with Grace and the Nocturnals taking the stage for their set break)– 6:30am.

    Let me know if you’re heading out to any shows here on the West Coast. You’ve always got a place to crash in Baltimore.

    Hasta Leugo~

    Marcos
    (espana 2000)

    1. jahue says:

      Hola Mark. Good to hear from you. Thanks for the comment. Hope all is well. It was a great festival. Sounds like you did a little phishin. Bet that was fun. Saw that Phish announced some Halloween shows. Guess they’re back for awhile. Hit me up if you ever come to Dallas/Fort Worth.

    2. jahue says:

      Also, I listened to the new Allen Toussaint album the other day. What a great jazz musician and what a great act to have stumbled upon. I’ll have to check out his live set.

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