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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bonnaroo, Day 3: Catching a Third Wind

Saturday at Bonnaroo finds everyone fighting the urge to melt into mush. The combo of minimum sleep and maximum excitement turns people delirious, but by nightfall that delirium transforms into a third-wind fueled by determination. We’ve made it this far, right? Might as well dance until the sun comes up.

Those reaching their limit could nod off in the comedy tent, where we saw Donald Glover of NBC’s Community. After an air-conditioned respite, Glover’s hyperactive storytelling convinced me that laughter really is the best medicine.

Man Man, the experimental band from Philly, performed in late afternoon, which prevented their somewhat creepy vocals from tripping out too many attendees.

Upon getting to the main stage for the Black Keys, the sheer scale of this event dawned on me: 85,000 people milling around, a Pigpen-style cloud in our wake. Bonnaroo’s attempts to go green are massive and impressive but still can’t control the waste produced by thousands of thirsts and appetites.

I found myself up fairly close for Eminem, an artist that I’ve always respected and admired from a dispassionate distance. This show may have changed that: the intro touched on Em’s past reluctance to tour, and the set quickly reminded everyone why that can’t happen. He’s so much more than a punk kid pissing off everyone’s parents.

The night ended on a whirlwind of only-at-Bonnaroo experiences—the long-running set from the String Cheese Incident, a brief stop by Girl Talk’s mega-popular stage, and late night dance at STS9. As light broke in the distance, I felt so proud of myself, but I couldn’t feel my feet.

I’m not a camper. I’ve learned that now. But this place shows that if you’re a serious music fan, you can put aside your creature comforts and live a little.

Check out the Bonnaroo 2011 photo gallery

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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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