Saturday, July 4, 2015

Bonnaroo Festival, Sunday, June 14, 2015

The final day of Bonnaroo had arrived... and I was quite relieved.  Believe me, there were many moments that I enjoyed, but in general, I felt like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon.  At any rate, here's Sunday at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN.

We took a different route than normal to enter Centeroo, because we wanted to go through the iconic Bonnaroo arch.  That involved a sizable walk.

One of the more surprising aspects of our walk was that there was a row of vendors outside of Centeroo.  We had nothing like that on our normal route to Centeroo.  Grilled cheese sandwiches for $1!

Sadly, the iconic arch wasn't available to walk underneath... lame.

Feel free to add your graffiti, I guess.

Arepas for sale... I had had these in South America, but they were new to Rob and he absolutely lusted for them.  We had them at least twice, in a day.

This had to be the hottest day of the festival.  It was brutal at times.  These people were filling up their water bottles, but the catch was that the water tasted STRONGLY of sulfur.  On Saturday I tried it, and it was definitely sulfuric, but also palatable.  That was not the case on Sunday - I spat mine out immediately, it was so disgusting.  Most others did the same.  The Bonnaroo literature stressed that, despite a slight sulfuric taste, the water was safe to drink, but try telling your gag reflex that.

We had delayed it for too long... it was time to ride the ferris wheel.

The line wasn't too long when we got into it (maybe a 25 minute wait).

The What Stage in the distance with the brownish-red roof.

The This Tent


The What Stage (notice ow far back the crowd stretched)

This Tent

If you could camp here, you had it made.

There was a sixth stage beyond the 5 main ones... the Who Stage, featuring up-and-comers.

Cigar box guitars for sale - this guy played it pretty well.

Bela Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn, at That Tent

I think this pretty much sums up Bonnaroo in a photo.

Spoon, at the What Stage

It was so hot that I watched one song with my eyes, and spent the rest of the set sitting with Rob in the shade just listening to it.  (I've seen Spoon before)


Rob bought a cigar box guitar for his friend, who happened to play at my wedding.

Hey, it's Ed Helms from The Hangover!  He's a bluegrass aficionado, and apparently was curating the bluegrass performances for the day. 

Ed Helms introduced The Punch Brothers, featuring Chris Thile on mandolin.  It had been quite awhile since I had seen either Chris Thile or The Punch Brothers, and they were great as usual.

Getting ready for Florence + The Machine at the What Stage.

Spicy Pie Pizza... they're everywhere.

Florence, and her machine...

I swear I wanted to smack the 20-something woman next to me who could NOT stop babbling, "I love her, I just love her, she's the greatest, I adore her, she's the best performer in the world."  Gag me.

Maybe I wasn't paying much attention the previous days, but it seemed to me that more people than usual were sitting down today.

Shade was definitely something to hang onto when you could find it.

Twilight was fast approaching, fortunately.

And after all, we were required by Bonnaroo law to "Radiate Positivity."

One of my favorite totems - the Mrs. Doubtfire totem.

Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters, on the Which Stage... Rob wanted to stay to see the entire set, but after four unusual versions of Led Zeppelin songs, Rob decided he had heard enough.  My take was that Plant's voice was still great, but his stage presence between songs was a little unusual.  His band was good, but it was like listening to (extra) stoned versions of Led Zeppelin songs.

This guy REALLY wanted a good view of Robert Plant.

Not all totems were 2-dimensional.

Buzz Lightyear and the question mark above the Which Stage went well together.

The major advantage to leaving Robert Plant early was that we were able to catch the rest of Caribou's set, at The Other Tent.

Thank goodness the sun was down.

A flamboyant Caribou / Bonnaroo fan.

Caribou (on the TV screen)


Caribou was probably my single favorite act out of everyone that played Bonnaroo.  I had been hoping to see them before 2015, but circumstances (sold out shows, wedding, baby, etc.) forbade that until now.  Great way to (almost) end Bonnaroo.

The headliner of the festival was none other than Billy Joel.

Billy Joel, at the What Stage

Billy Joel

Jesus likes Billy Joel, too.

We adjusted our original plan, noticing how thick the crowds were... instead of staying for all of Billy Joel, we left at his 5th song.  Yeah, I know... but the heat of the day and the lack of sleep, and Joel's choice to dig a little too deep into his repertoire early on made Rob (and I) decide to head back to Chattanooga before everyone else hit the road.

On the way out, we saw the end of the Bluegrass Superjam, featuring Ed Helms and a bevy of bluegrass performers from the weekend (Trampled by Turtles, Punch Brothers, Bela Fleck, Shakey Graves, et al.).  It was awesome. 

Ed Helms plays the banjo!

Time to say goodbye to Bonnaroo... I was beyond ready to be done, but there were more than a few awesome moments.  If someone put a gun to my head and said that I had to return, I'd probably say pull the trigger... just kidding, I meant to say that I know now how to make the weekend even more survivable... but that gun would still look tempting.  Danny Glover, that's me...

Coming up = Birmingham, Alabama.

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