Thursday, June 21, 2007


This will be the first of probably several posts on the Bonnaroo festival I went to last week with Sherin, J.P. and my brother-in-law Jason. You've seen some of the advance notice here - 4 days of music, art and camping in southern Tennessee, replete with acts that gave much cause for high hopes. Earlier today, I was asked why it's taken me so long to post about this at all, and while I could respond with the standard 'it takes time to recover, life is hard, blah blah blah,' you'd all see right through that because you know the truth: when you're a rock star of my magnitude, you end up spending a lot of time drizzling chocolate syrup on naked models and other such activities. Also, Sherin beat me to the obvious title and opening line in her 6/19 entry.

So for now, I'll just say that the Roo rocked our socks off. Seriously, you should have seen our feet; they were pretty gross by the end. It was more than worth treading around in sandals, though, and hiking the half-hour from the tent to the venue (including that huge bottleneck at the 'security' checkpoint - which was pretty comical, and seemed to be for show. They really looked for contraband the first day; by the end of which I'm guessing that the security team had confiscated enough chemical refreshment to keep the whole staff going the whole weekend, because by Friday they were pretty halfhearted about it, and by Saturday people were smuggling in whole coolers full of stuff.) There were plenty of moments that fell short of transcendent, and a couple that were really quite lame, but those moments were way outweighed by the awesome rockage of the best acts.

Diving right in, Sherin and J.P stood on line to catch Lewis Black and friends; I'd seen a full set of his before, and the line was long, so Jason and I went to "This Tent" to see The Black Angels instead. They're from Austin, which makes me happy, and took their name from the Velvet Underground's 'Black Angel Death Song.' True to this origin, they give good drone. Dark but not oppressive, their live show casts a long shadow on their (good) recordings. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this was a big theme for the weekend. Bands I already really liked got that much more of my respect when I heard and saw what they're capable of in person.

After the angels, J & I ducked over to "The Other Tent" to hear the end of the New Orleans Klezmer Allstars. They're just what their name sounds like: good fun dixieland meets Eastern European Jewish clarinet Jam. Moved on to "That Tent" (yes, I know, the venue names are like the "Who's on First?" routine. Just dreadfully clever, ain't it? :p ) to catch The National. Not much to say about them: they were fine, but I spent part of the set just chillin in the grass. Which was a-ok, because it allowed me to save my energy for Rodrigo y Gabriela who fucking rocked!!!!

[the usage of 'rock' and its variants as a modifier is already really old, I know, but sometimes it's the only word that will do...]

Mexican guitar duo, plenty flamenco, heavy metal 'tude; he has fieryfast picking skills and she whales on the git box with such percussive fervor that a couple times I caught myself scanning the stage looking for the nonexistent drummer. Maybe a teeny bit too cheerlead-y for my taste, and I don't think we needed both 'Wish You were Here' and 'Stairway.' But complaining about such details would just be perverse.

And on that note, it's back to the chocolate sauce. Another installment will follow shortly...

1 comment:

syb said...

i'm glad the chocolate sauce has provided you with enough energy to share your witty writing about the weekend's festivities.