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Festival Review: CoS at Bonnaroo 2011

on June 15, 2011, 2:16am
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bonnaroo 2011 lineup Festival Review: CoS at Bonnaroo 2011Oh, Bonnaroo. You do it to us every time. Year by year, over 80,000 people make the pilgrimage to a field in the middle of nowhere, Tennessee to camp for four days in the blistering heat with little to no refuge and more dust than anyone should be able to handle. That sounds kinda miserable, right? How then, you might ask, did Bonnaroo make it to this, their 10th year? I think that can be summed up in their newfound theme song, by the Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, “Bonnaroo (Feel the Magic)”.

Each year, a mix of newcomers and festival veterans come to the farm to feel the magic – and it’s that same feeling that keeps people coming back. Yes, it was hot as hell. And yes, the dust was worse than it’s ever been. But none of that mattered once you entered Centeroo – you were in a musical utopia. The music of the theme song lends itself to the musical diversity you can find on the farm – its mix of bluegrass and jazz blends right in on the farm, where at any given time you might be able to catch a country show or a metal band, perhaps some hip-hop or a little jam band action. There’s something for everyone at Bonnaroo if you look for it.

This year certainly felt like a birthday celebration; from the fireworks show on Saturday night to the parachuters lighting up the night sky on Friday. The watchtower received a makeover – we now had our own bizarro cuckoo clock that played Dr. John’s “Desitively Bonnaroo” whenever it rang. And speaking of Desitively Bonnaroo -  the album where the festival got its name finally made its way to the farm in the form of Dr. John and the original Meters performing it on Saturday night. It was a pitch-perfect way to celebrate the festival’s past and look forward to the future.

bonnaroo thursday19 e1338989298660 Festival Review: CoS at Bonnaroo 2011

Photo by Max Blau

The birthday party was obvious by the inclusion of some of the festival’s unofficial ambassadors – My Morning Jacket were there, making their sixth appearance on the farm. Widespread Panic also played for their sixth time, while Béla Fleck and Les Claypool were both there with their original bands, after having played the festival many times in many different iterations. It felt like a reunion of old friends coming together to celebrate a birthday, and we can’t wait to be celebrating year 20 in 2021. Who knows what the festival will look like then? But for this year – yes, it was hot. It was dusty. But throughout the whole weekend, no matter where you were, you could easily reach out your hand and feel the magic.

-Carson O’Shoney
Senior Staff Writer

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June 24, 2011 at 1:40 am

*Allen Toussaint.

Andy Morgan
June 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

How was Ratatat?

June 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

No coverage of Bassnectar, Girl Talk, or Robyn, the three best sets of the festival? What is wrong with you guys?

Michael Roffman
June 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm

We’ve covered all three plenty of times throughout the year.

June 18, 2011 at 12:22 am

Yes the world needs another Girl Talk review! Ha ha. My brain can hardly fathom what could’ve taken place. The thing about The Girl Talks is their versatility, you don’t know what will happen from one show to the next. A Girl Talk is like a snowflake. Also, please be sure to review all future Monotonix shows, I really need to know if they went nuts or not?

June 18, 2011 at 5:54 am

Shame on anyone for reviewing anything! Loud noises are always the same! You kids with your glow sticks, get off my lawn!

June 18, 2011 at 8:08 am

Listen, just file The Girl Talks under the “you had to be there” category. End of review. Because if I talk about his neato iBook, it means I’m ACTUALLY talking about his iBook. Sure I can say “the balloons were life changing”, but really, that means I’ve said “the balloons were life changing” and who wants to be attached to that (you just simply HAD TO BE THERE in order to witness how your value system could be instantly rearranged by those darn balloons!)? Reviewing Girl Talk is like reviewing a Good Nights Sleep. TELL ME MORE! 

Also, is there such a thing as an iBook?

June 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm

So you don’t think it makes sense to ever review live musical performances? Live music is the same as being asleep, according to you?

June 19, 2011 at 2:50 am

You should review your sense of humor.

June 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm

you were trying to be funny?

Daniel Pritchett
June 17, 2011 at 4:23 am

The great thing about bonnaroo is there is too many shows to see, and this review covered it brilliantly. No matter what show you see, Bonnaroo is the best place on the planet to catch a live show.
Sleigh Bells, Gogol Bordello, Pretty Lights, Arcade Fire, MMJ, Beats Antique, and The Strokes were my favorite. During these sets I had the best time of my life. Bonnaroo is not for everybody, but for music lovers its heaven on earth.

June 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm

^^ EXACTLY! Everyone always trys to compare it to Coachella or Lolla and there really is no comparison.  Roo is NOT for everybody its the best and worst weekend of your life…its a weekend of survival (mentally and physically). Roo is truly a music lovers dream, Coachella has great music but there are way to many people there that dont care about music and just care about the scene, Lolla also has great music but without the community vibe that comes with camp out festivals so its not even in the same league as Roo or Coachella.

June 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I don’t know man, My Morning Jacket was great, but I can name at least 15 other performances I enjoyed much more. If you don’t like the music and are going just off the performance, then capes lose out to enormous T-rex balloons and superior stage lights. Just saying.

June 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm

First of all, comments are so angry! damn. I thought Eminem killed it. His music is very produced, and so was his show. Which was great. You can not get more mainstream than Eminem, I don’t know what people expected. Lil Wayne is clearly one of the greatest MC’s of all time, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a moron who should just ignore him and not get their blood pressure all worked up. I didn’t expect much from him live, but he did alright. If you don’t like him, then why go see him? I’m not sure why there is no review of Wiz Khalifa, because he has stepped up his game considerably and completely murdered his set, I thought. Most rappers are horrible live, and he was great. I am somewhat disappointed that you guys didn’t review String Cheese or Girl Talk, String Cheese had one of the craziest stage shows I have ever seen, pure madness, and Girl Talk had what was best described as “the dance party of my dreams”. He had an even bigger crowd than Sleigh Bells. Also, Pretty Lights might have come on a half hour late, but he went until the sun came up. It was pure magic. I think that deserves some mention.

June 15, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Also, Robyn had my favorite set of the entire weekend. It was her birthday and she made it feel like it was my birthday.

Aaron Juedes
June 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm

lol @ lil wayne + gucci mane, better rhyme than either of them could come up with.

June 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm

“The watchtower received a makeover – we now had our own bizarro cuckoo clock that played Dr. John’s “Desitively Bonnaroo” whenever it rang. And speaking of Desitively Bonnaroo -  the album where the festival got its name finally made its way to the farm in the form of Dr. John and the original Meters performing it on Saturday night. It was a pitch-perfect way to celebrate the festival’s past and look forward to the future.”………I just copied this directly from the first page.

June 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Are you challenging the authenticity of my Night Tripper knowledge? Do you want me to get my snake eggs out? 

June 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Big fucking whoops on me. Still think a proper review of the set should have been there.

Michael Roffman
June 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm

It will be.

June 18, 2011 at 12:05 am

Thanks guys!

June 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Better than the Sasquatch review, but I’m still a little perplexed why there wasn’t any coverage on Dr. John and the Meters set (with Alain Toussaint) doing “Destitively Bonnaroo” in it’s entirety. I mean the festival was named after this album! The hat that the Night Tripper wears on the record cover was the same giant hat above the main gate. I figure as music lovers this would be a no brainer to include. 

June 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

disappointed you guys didn’t include Explosions in the Sky. as a band that doesn’t get many views on the festival circuit it would’ve been nice to know how they performed.

Aaron Juedes
June 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm

i agree with this jerk, explosions in the sky certainly deserve some coverage, great band, unfortunately they were overshadowed by My lame Morning Jacket showing up for 6 years in a row in this review.  Apparently if you stick with it for years you will get some coverage, now that i know My Morning Chaqueta plays bonnaroo I know to stay away.

However Pitchfork is on the horizon and perhaps a chance for redemption.  Now that will be a line-up.

June 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I’m amazed that CoS was amazed that Lil’ Wayne’s show sucked.  What did you expect from someone who makes shit music?  Did you expect it to magically sound great live?  The guys voice is fabricated on the majority of his tracks.  Did you think he was gonna make those sounds live?  Sometimes I wonder if CoS has 14 year old girls who know nothing about music writing for them.

June 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm

i’m with you, i tend to disagree with or be confused by a lot of COS reviews.  two stars for JEFF The Brotherhood?  GTFO. 

Aaron Juedes
June 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

the majority of “lil weezy’s” fan base is no doubt of the adolescent to frat boy to hood rat type.  He allows the super-white and super poser persuasion to somehow relate to the concept of “gangsta-ism” and aggressive tatoo-ing.

Cameron Weaver
June 15, 2011 at 6:39 am

Eminem lip synced, staged trickery. Your article about the set is a failure. Your reporter must have been on some serious drugs if he couldn’t tell that Eminem was lip syncing.When a MC pulls the mic from his mouth, the vocal is supposed to stop, not finish the verse with out the MC. The only thing Eminem said that wasn’t pre recorded was “Whats up Bonnaroo” 

Doug Murphy
June 15, 2011 at 11:58 am

Took the words straight from my mouth.

Aaron Juedes
June 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Eminem sucks.  Bad.


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