Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bye Bye Roo

This post started out as a lengthy, bitchy explanation of how much I enjoyed my second Bonnaroo experience this past week and why I'm very probably never going back.

That draft, however, hardly reflected how much fun I had and that the Roo experience was overall a positive one. Plus it just seemed, well . . . old and grumpy. So instead, I decided to just hit both the highs and lows of the week to give you a little window into what it's like to be a Bonnaroovian.

Hi, Hi, Hi. Yes, Paul McCartney and his band played Hi, Hi, Hi during his fantastic Friday night show.  But the showstopper was Live and Let Die, which probably isn't among my top 50 favorite Beatles or Wings songs. Blackbird showed that Sir Paul's voice still has some range and Helter Skelter and Back in the U.S.S.R. completely rocked. "Epic" was how my brother described it. Just so.

Low. People with crap on sticks. Big sticks that they wave around and block your view with during a show. Part of the "look at me" shtick that so many seem compelled to engage in. Several times I wished I had a blow dart or bottle rocket ...

High? Even if you indulged in a pharmaceutical, Django Django and Japandroids back-to-back would Wear. You. Out.

Low. Bros and Sorority Chicks. More interested in talking about themselves, school, drugs, than about music. While music is playing. Take your cellphone picture, tweet that you're at Of Monsters and Men, then shut up and leave.

High. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. My brother has convinced me that I undervalued the performance immediately afterward, and I admit my admiration has grown over the week. Absolutely killed Love is a Long Road, one of my favorite Petty songs.

Low. Hula Hoops. Another part of the "look at me" crowd, people take hula hoops to shows, take up six times as much room as anyone else, and twirl them in their hands and on their torsos. I remain unimpressed.

High. Macklemore. A rollicking hour of fun both a 21-year-old and a 55-year-old could love. Highlight was Mack borrowing a fur coat from someone in the crowd to belt out Thrift Shop. And, yes, Ray Dalton was there. And sounds better live, believe it or not.

Low. Stoners who believe it's their right to shove their way to the front of the crowd, no matter how late they are to the show or how many people are in front of them.

High. Our fellow camper Jason, who came all the way from California for the show. Fascinating guy.

Low. The fat obnoxious Canucks who camped behind us.

High. JD McPherson. Straight up rockabilly fun.

Photo courtesy of me.

Low. Something called Delta Rae. No. No, no, no.

High. The National. Amazing live. And Kacey Musgraves, Dwight Yoakam, Jason Isbell, and, yes, Weird Al Yankovic.

High. The Mowgli's. At least three Nelsons will be surprised if they're not the next big thing.

Highest. The weekend spent with my brother and son, enjoying great music in the Tennessee sun. So long Bonnaroo. And thanks.

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