Bonnaroo Day 2 – First Impressions

Day 2 impressions, in order they were seen. More in-depth overview coming by mid-week.

Fiery Furnaces

Extremely tight set, fantastic as always. More rock-oriented than usual, with some great extended guitar jams that sounded like high-quality prog jams, bordering at times on metal. It’s always a treat when Eleanor straps on her Stratocaster. They are truly talented instrumentalists, able to stretch out into any stylistic direction.

Tegan and Sara

I only caught a few songs from Tegan and Sara’s set, but that was enough to keep me disinterested. I adore their sweet recordings, but their live performance is a bit boring. I imagine their music translates much better in a more intimate setting.

Bluegrass All-stars feat. Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Luke Bulla, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton

A personal highlight, spectacular display from virtuoso-level instrumentalists without the baggage of pretense. Extremely enjoyable bluegrass pyrotechnics, with enough notes to make Mozart proud. Bela Fleck is a force of nature and bassist Edgar Meyer did some amazing things with a stand-up.


Ridiculously tight performance and showmanship,. Jack White knows how to work a crowd into a frenzy.

Willie Nelson

Biggest disappointment of the day. I had high hopes but Willie’s levels seemed much lower than every other act and there wasn’t anything really engaging about his performance or banter.

Chris Rock

Hilarious as expected, never skirting around potentially touchy issues, tackling presidential candidates and dead celebrities with just as much fervor. It should also be noted, the crowd must have been one of the largest comedy gatherings ever. The main stage was absolutely packed.


Not quite as good as on the Summer Sanitarium tour, but part of that had to do with a bit of a crowd detachment early in the set during some relatively more obscure songs. But once the hits kicked in, the crowd responded in kind and dispelled the hippie/jam stereotype.

My Morning Jacket

One of my most memorable musical experiences. The 3-hour set romped all over MMJ’s catalog, playing through most, if not all, of Evil Urges, Kirk Hammett guest-starring in an fiery-hot version of “One Big Holiday,” and Jim James covering a number of old soul, funk and Motown classics including Kool and the Gang’s “Get Down On It,” Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th Street,” and James Brown’s “Cold Sweat.”

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One Response to “Bonnaroo Day 2 – First Impressions”

  1. Scrivener says:

    It was great meeting you at Bonnaroo, Greg. Funny that we seemed to run into each other everywhere, but the only act we were both at on this day was The Raconteurs (though I did catch a few songs by Willie, then left because it was pretty much impossible to hear him–agreed that he was the biggest disappointment).

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