Monday, Monday, Monday! Time to make this a great week and to help get your week started off in a positive way, here’s a playlist to crank up as you work away the day, drive around with the windows down or just to just relax and enjoy the sunshine. Hope you like it and stay positive!
Awwww yeah! Bonnaroo has announced artist additions today and there are some big time acts now heading to the farm in June. We’re talking Empire of the Sun, Solange, ALO, The Polyphonic Spree, The Rubens, Delta Rae, Black Prairie, Bustle in your Hedgerow, Capital Cities, Houndmouth, James McCartney, Cat Martino, Mac Demarco, Maps & Atlases, On and On, White Lung, William Tyler.
Bonnaroo is a lot like camp, you hang out with friends, create memories and have the greatest summer alive and when it’s time to say goodbye you don’t want to accept it and it can be sad. But those frowns get turned upside down when you realize it’s less than a year away from returning to the friendly confines and get the chance to rekindle friendships and make new memories.
Now that the sappy stuff is out of the way, let’s get to the meat and potatoes that was Bonnaroo 2012. First off flying in Wednesday night was the best move of the festival which besides getting to roll in to the grounds during daylight, I got the opportunity to enjoy a full Thursday and what a first day it was.
Over the course of the four days I exhausted myself trying to squeeze in as much music as possible. And at the end of the day, that was a tough task and personally I feel I fell short and should have squeezed in more but ultimately my body didn’t agree. I did however stay true to my top three to see: Dispatch, Alabama Shakes and Black Star and those were three shows I got so much joy out of. Dispatch was over a decade in the making for me and the fellas were enthusiastic, having fun and straight up rocking the way I imagined. Alabama Shakes reconfirmed to me what I have been preaching; amazingly talented, rock and roll has a new voice and Brittany Howard may be one of the most charismatic musicians in the business. And Black Star, a true honor to see some of hip-hop’s finest share the stage and just own the night.
As for the rest of my thoughts on Bonnaroo 2012, here we go:
A Breakdown of who I saw each day
Feist (did an impromptu set on Which Stage to prepare for her regular gig), Fort Atlantic, The Dirty Guv’nahs, Rubblebucket, Mariachi El Bronx, Danny Brown, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Kendrick Lamar, Marina Orchestra, SOJA and Phantogram (just tidbits walking by), Alabama Shakes, Big Gigantic, CHERUB
Shahidah Omar, Electric Guest, Michael Kiwanuka (he ended 15 minutes early so only heard one song), Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Two Door Cinema Club, Caitlin Rose, Afrocubism, The Avett Brothers, Foster The People, Radiohead, Black Star, Major Lazer, Umphrey’s McGee
Charles Bradley, DAWES, The Temper Trap, Flogging Molly (one song), Oberhofer, Santigold, Childish Gambino, The Roots, Dispatch, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Superjam, (gulp) Skrillex
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, ALO, The Black Lips, Honey Island Swamp Band, GROUPLOVE, Mac Miller (Beach Boys was too crazy had to watch from a TV!), Kenny Rogers, Bon Iver, Machines Are People Too, Phish
My First Show: Feist (impromptu set)
My Final Show: Phish
My Moment of Joy: Seeing a throng of people overflow This Tent for the Alabama Shakes and watching them in amazement as they owned opening night at Bonnaroo. Want to try and capture the energy? Click HERE to download their set from Bonnaroo!
Best What Stage Show: Phish – are you kidding me, besides having Kenny Rogers come out to sing “The Gambler,” the jam band legends did their legacy well.
I did also love The Avett Brothers show, those fellas are so damn good live.
Best Which Stage Show(s): Dispatch and Childish Gambino. Dispatch were on fire and had an aura of happiness that was contagious with the crowd. Gambino didn’t allow technology malfunctions to derail his time in the spotlight and a major upgrade from the tent last year.
Best Tent Show: GROUPLOVE (see below)
Best Side Stage Show: DAWES at Sonic Stage – after thinking it was going just be a “30 minute set and play some songs,” Taylor Goldsmith wasn’t shy about letting the packed legion of fans know “ you made this like a second performance at Bonnaroo” which in turn granted fans an encore after the show was well over! Wild stuff.
Best Overall Show: GROUPLOVE – there is something about this band that I feel and it gets me to the bone every time I see them live. I love their story, their music, the way they approach shows, how sincere they are and yeah, they are damn good musicians. The crowd was lively; the band was energized and together formed a beautiful hour of music euphoria.
Biggest Surprise: Marina Orchestra – no idea going in and left loving this band craving more.
Best Legend Show: Kenny Rogers (even if I did miss Lionel Richie coming out to sing with him).
Random Moment(s) Of Awesomeness: Seeing Kenny Rogers come out on stage to sing “The Gambler” with Phish; Flea taking a moment during RHCP set to reel off all the bands he had the chance to see and how awesome Bonnaroo is.
Overall Stage With The Best Performances: Got to go with the main one, What Stage, this year was packed with supreme talent that did not disappoint.
Most Entertaining Show: Rubblebucket – this show had it all, sick horn section, rocking lead singer, robots (yes really) dancing in the crowd courtesy of the band and all this happening on the Solar Stage!
2nd place – Mariachi El Bronx which was not only amazing but I love this hardcore punk turned mariachi band. Best part was lead singer Matt Caughthran finding a way to dedicate every song to someone and to see the sheer joy about performing at Bonnaroo.
Most Disappointing Moment: Missing a plethora of bands I wanted to see just based on schedule conflicts – Alice Cooper, Hey Rosetta!, The Civil Wars, St. Vincent, Kurt Vile, Trampled By Turtles, to name some
Next Big Thing: Electric Guest and GROUPLOVE (Alabama Shakes have already arrived)
Giving it a shot: I did two things I said I wouldn’t, caught some of Skrillex’s set and took in Bon Iver (actually found a song I like, “Skinny Love”)
Top Party: Superjam, c’mon were talking about ?uestlove bringing D’Angelo out! First show in the US in 12 years and man did he sound good.
Oddest Show That Was A Blast: Danny Brown
Funky Good Time Show: Charles Bradley
Band I Was Sad To Miss: The Civil Wars
Best Intro: Do my intros to friends going to see a band they never heard of count?
What Would Have Been Great: a fifth day to see some more of the acts
Top Roo Rookie: Dispatch, yeah the seasoned veterans played their first Roo and boy was it special
Top Moment: The entire crowd at What Stage singing “Under The Bridge” during the Red Hot Chili Peppers show.
Best Festival Eats: Amish Bakery Doughnuts
Best Broo’ers Beer: Starr Hill Brewery Amber
Best Place To Cool Off: the RV
Biggest Waste of Time: anything that involved a line (again)
Shocker Of The Festival: Not too many surprise guests as expected
Worst Part: Scheduling conflicts
Clutch Move: Native Rain Boots, comfy and convenient to deal with the mud on Day 4
Tip For Next Year: Walmart is so close to the campground, don’t buy more than you really need, you can always go back for more, we did this year and it saved us close to $1,000.00.
More Tips: drink water, more water, sunscreen is your second best friend after water, if you see someone struggling give them a hand or find someone, Ben & Jerry’s is still my favorite thing to eat at Bonnaroo.
Photos coming soon, stay tuned!
This Warm December, the latest holiday album installation courtesy of Brushfire Records will be released in just over a week but click HERE to get a listen to Jack Johnson’s new track “In The Morning.” As for the rest of the album, should be quite the holiday soundtrack featuring original scores from Zach Gill, G. Love, Neil Halstead, Money Mark, Matt Costa, Paula Fuga, ALO and of course, Jack Johnson.
01. Zach Gill – “Party Hard” *
02. Rogue Wave - “Jingle Bell Rock”
03. G. Love – “Christmas Blues” *
04. Jack Johnson – “In The Morning” *
05. Bahamas – “Christmas Must Be Tonight”
06. Neil Halstead – “Home For The Season” *
07. Zee Avi – “Frosty The Snowman”
08. ALO – “Let It Ride” *
09. Money Mark – “Make Time” *
10. Paula Fuga – “Winter Swell Blues” *
11. G. Love – “Christmas Cookies” *
12. Matt Costa – “I Bet On Flying High” *
13. Jack Johnson – “Angel (Holiday)” *
- While getting settled for Donavon Frankenreiter as the first act of the day, had the chance to hear Bobby Long’s set and this might have been my surprise of MHMF. He’s a British singer-songwriter and has a great voice and rocked the stage as if he was the headliner at MHMF. I’ll be checking out his music this week and I suggest you do the same as he just signed with ATO Records (Dave Matthews) so expect big things from this fella
- Donavon Frankenreiter was the perfect act to get the afternoon set in motion. A great crowd convened to the main stage and we were treated to a few surprises; John Oates of Hall & Oates sat in on the entire set, Donavon did a very chill cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and he also performed his new single “Glow” which we wrote about on August 4
- ALO crushed MHMF with their upbeat and lively performance. Opening with one of my favorites, “Maria,” the crowd kept growing and growing as the boys jammed nonstop to songs old and new including “Man of the World” the title track off their latest release
- Nas & Damian “Jr Gong” Marley was one of the most entertaining acts of the day. In what began as a high energy emcee/DJ hip-hop get down, turned into a Nas greatest hits concert with the rapper performing everything from “Street Dreams” to “If I Ruled the World” and then melding into reggae-rap with the duo performing “As We Enter” and a heap of other tracks before giving way to Marley performing “Welcome To Jamrock” and singing a bunch of his father’s legendary music
- Rusted Root jammed on well past their scheduled time with “Ecstasy” reverberating throughout the festival grounds
- Cypress Hill was getting wild and definitely running the gamut on their hits
- Keane came on late and was disappointing enough that I only stayed for two songs. The only good thing about Keane coming on late was the opportunity to sing-along to the Steve Miller Band
- Slightly Stoopid the act I was most looking forward to seeing at MHMF put on a fun set that included “Wicked Rebel” and “Collie Man” and the boys were joined by B-Real of Cypress Hill for their encore
- Sadly missed Phoenix (same time as Slightly Stoopid) but heard they killed it
- Caught the end of Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi on the way to Jack Johnson – it’s a shame they didn’t have a great crowd and I really can’t talk since I didn’t make the extra effort to hear them either
- Jack Johnson definitely brought the masses and put on a really fun show but it seemed too chill and not enough energy coming from him. Some highlights of his set did include Jack brining up Doanvon Franenreiter to perform “Breakdown” and “Mud Football” – which had the two embrace with a big hug at first (not sure the last time they shared the stage together since having a musical “falling-out”) and performing ALO’s “Girl I Wanna Lay You Down” with Zach Gill
More notes from Day 1: Beta Beach was bumping great house music all day and provided a good place to cool off in the water playground; in Coors Country and Budweiser was the beer sponsor?; Whole Foods was easily the best vendor at MHMF with cheap (yes, really) food and drinks and an amazing deal on SIGG water bottles and Honest Tea refills for $1; Justin’s Almond Butter and Hazelnut Spread are amazing; TicketHorse is the future of purchasing concert tickets.
The toughest part over the two days will be agonizing over which performances are a must see and which I’ll sadly have to take a pass on. I do know that Saturday will get started with Donavon Frankenreiter’s performance and I’m definitely in to see ALO, Nas & Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Slightly Stoopid and Jack Johnson. The rest of Saturday is a toss-up. As for Sunday, Drive-By Truckers and Ozomatli are shoe-ins for the early side with Jimmy Cliff, Z-Trip, Weezer, My Morning Jacket following and Dave Matthews Band wrapping up the festival.
So much good music in one place over two days and add in what a city Denver is and you can’t ask for much more. DoyouHearTheMusic.com will mostly be devoted to my preview of Mile High Music Festival artists the rest of the week aka a way for me to talk about some of my favorites. If you’re reading this my hope is that you find some new music to listen to along the way and if you want to throw in your two cents, please do!
Peace + Love + Music