Bonnaroo 2011 [Day Two]

By Will Oliver, June 17th 2011 — with 1 comment Concert Reviews Music Festival

The elements aren’t your friends at Bonnaroo. You’re rudely woken up at 8/9 a.m. by the intense heat after your tent becomes an unbearable oven, and you become covered in what seems like gallons of sweat. You gotta hydrate well and keep under the shade, or else it’s going to be a long day. I learned this lesson fast, but it still didn’t stop me from making the most out of day two at Bonnaroo.

We started the day with Atmosphere, another artist who I’ve been meaning to check out. I was really tired and dehydrated, but Atmosphere pulled through with an entertaining set that did it’s job. I’m definitely interested in checking out some of his material now.

Florence + The Machine was next, and she lived way past my expectations. We all know that she has the voice of an angel, but even I wasn’t prepared for the fantastic live show that she brings. Florance gives it her all, and doesn’t take anything for granted. After playing “Dog Days Are Over” the crowd went absolutely berserk. The genuine smile and shock of awe that Florance showed made me realize that Florence deserves every ounce of success that she achieves. She deserves it.

My Morning Jacket were one of my most anticipated sets of Bonnaroo. They’ve always had the reputation of being on of the best live bands out there, so I’ve always been striving to see them. I finally got my chance and I’m still amazed at how great they were. I missed the beginning of their set, but what I saw was enough for me to agree with all the hype. These guys really bring it live. The oldies sounded great, dripping with sweat and devotion creating an energy that not many can replicate. What really impressed me was “Highly Suspicious” and “Holdin On To Black Metal” – songs that I wasn’t too crazy about before the show, but they turned out to be a real delight live. Now I can’t stop playing them. Next time My Morning Jacket run through town, you can bet I’ll be in attendance.

Arcade Fire were next, and we all know that they’re a band that you can count on to bring it live. The band put on arguably the greatest live show I’ve ever seen last August, so naturally, my expectations were sky high for this set. The songs from The Suburbs have somehow found a way to grow on me even more, proving to be even more monumental at Bonnaroo . But as usual, the real highlights were the old familiars: “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)”, “Wake Up”, “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”, “Keep The Car Running” “Intervention” etc… The band was in top form, still showcasing tons of energy (especially) for a band that has been touring nonstop for a good year. From the riveting opening of “Ready To Start” to the galloping finish of “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” (a track that has become one of Arcade Fire’s finest), the band never lost stream at any point of their set. The best part of seeing Arcade Fire are the little moments that one can treasure as their own. Surely hearing Win add “Driving to a field in Tennessee with your friends” to “The Suburbs” and throwing your arms triumphantly in the air during “Wake Up” is something that I will remember forever.

From that point on I was here and there. I heard Lil Wayne from a far while eating fried fried plantains, saw a bit of Big Boi’s set, which featured tons of my favorites Outkast cuts (B.O.B., Ms. Jackson, The Way You Move). By 2:30 a.m. I was pretty beat, but we hung around and watched Ratatat’s set which was a perfect way to send off day two.



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