Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bonnaroo, Day 2: Decisions, decisions

Posted By on Sat, Jun 11, 2011 at 12:18 PM

As Friday dawned as hot and sticky as the day before, I brought out my carefully highlighted schedule and sighed: the first full day of shows had been packed tight with big-name acts and up-and-comers alike. Everyone played at the same time. For every great band to see, there’s a great band to miss out on.

Check out the photo gallery, which will be updated daily, here.

At 5:20 we showed up at one of the smaller tents to see Givers, a beachy, punchy indie rock band from Lafayette, Louisiana. Perhaps due to the early evening promise of a setting sun, I found this show the best thus far. When one band member played an impromptu flute solo, the crowd was surprised and delighted. We left to see the Decemberists on the main stage, and I was reminded why I’m not too interested in the Decemberists’ brand of whiny folk mixed with dad rock.

I now had to decide between seeing Lil Wayne or Big Boi. I’m a huge fan of Lil Wayne, and even though I know that his set might not jive with the Bonnaroo aesthetic I was excited to see him perform on this grand scale—I figured the swaggering, preening Wayne would feed off the crowd’s energy. Unfortunately, he sounded lazy, as if he figured his prevalence in pop culture would carry his set.

So did I honor my hometown roots and see Big Boi instead? I thought about heading over there, but my dusty combat boots weighed me down. I made some new friends, who talked music with such fervor that my highlighted schedule seemed cold and lame.

So I ended up seeing Bassnectar and Pretty Lights—two bands that I had halfheartedly circledon my schedule. And they were great fun, in a mind-numbing, blood-pumping way. In the wee hours of the morning, you can find a genuine Bonnaroo experience through getting funky.

Yesterday, I said that your itinerary means squat, but that doesn’t mean to ignore the schedule. There are very few bad choices here, but you have to make decisions nonetheless. I’m lucky enough to be at a festival where there’s a place for everyone, and I can always find a hidden gem of a band tucked away when I suck it up and commit.

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Bonnaroo 2011

Bonnaroo 2011

June 10, 2011, Manchester, TN-Bonnaroo 2011 kicked off today, we'll be live-blogging it all weekend over on the Crib Notes Blog. Be sure to check back for updated photos of the festival.

By Dustin Chambers

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