The Remix: Bonnaroo Day 2

Friday, June 11, 2010

Manchester, Tenn. —Day 2 of Bonnaroo proved that all these performing artists really do have impeccable vocal skills even when they play live. Sometimes at other concerts, artists shout into the microphone, or they aren’t always on key since they’re moving around a lot. But at Bonnaroo everyone has delivered top quality vocals, and there hasn’t been a single exception.

Nearly halfway through the festival, hula-hooping hippies are still dancing everywhere; people are still partying till they pass out in their camping chairs; and farmers’ tans are being sighted more frequently.

Trombone Shorty kicked the day off with an amazing brass performance that included fun covers of “American Woman,” “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Smoke on the Water,” “Let’s Get It Started,” and “Seven Nation Army,” among others. They’re unbelievably upbeat, and they’re definitely a band that more people should check out.

The Gaslight Anthem played a laidback rock show that emanated flavors of New Jersey.

Mighty Clouds of Joy delivered an enjoyable soulful performance.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros played the fan favorite “Home” with a fantastic horn section.

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Nas brought the purest reggae spirit to the festival by performing songs off their newly released album “Distant Relatives.” They idealized their show by doing a solid performance of “Could You Be Loved.” What a way to close a show.

Legendary psychedelic vocalist Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips and his co-pilot, Dennis Coyne, powerful frontman of Stardeath and White Dwarfs, sat down for an interview with SPIN that was open to the audience.

Ok Go premiered a new music video, but up until that point in their show, they didn’t do anything particularly special in their set, which was disappointing.

Meanwhile, Tenacious D thrilled the crowd on their one-day tour with brilliant songs about heavy metal music and roadies, and intermingled brief skits between songs. The dynamic comedic rock duo joked about Kung Fu Panda, The Pick of Destiny 2, and each other. And anyone who says they didn’t enjoy Tenacious D’s cover of “Tommy” by The Who is lying.

Kings of Leon had all eyes on them during their stellar show. The vibrato in the vocals of frontman Caleb Followill made even grown men cry. The group managed to pull off a performance that had even better quality than their studio albums. While many people who haven’t seen the band live may not consider them to be a live band (like O.A.R. and Dave Matthews Band), their performance spoke volumes. Not only did they bang out the hits, but they also played some new songs, which were quite a treat for the audience. The light show was gorgeous, and everything else about the show was just right too. Kings of Leon played one of the most perfect sounding shows I’ve ever seen.

The latest performances were the standout performances of the day. The Flaming Lips and Stardeath & White Dwarfs took the night with an original different, marvelous spin on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album. When they played “Money,” the band had dollar bills flying out everywhere, some of which had “The Flaming Lips Love You” written in marker on the back.

The Black Keys played a sick show. It’s amazing how such an awesome blues rock sound can be made by just two guys who didn’t play their whole set with a backup band. Kudos to The Black Keys for efficiency and late night greatness.

Kid Cudi did his thing, and he sure did it well. Unfortunately he thought his set was over 15 minutes before it really was, so he walked off the stage and came back five minutes later, apologized to the crowd for the misunderstanding and performed a few more songs.

B.o.B. kept his set fresh by switching up between rap and rock.

If there was ever a day for great live music, it was Friday, but somehow the festival’s going to keep getting even better.

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