Still no Shower: Bonaroo 2011 part 2

The amazing thing about festivals is that there are so many bands playing all the time, you want to rush around and see as many as possible. The terrible thing about festivals is that there are so many bands playing all the time, you have to rush around to see the ones important to you.

Because of the scheduling, I left the Decemberists after a few songs to move on to Ray LaMontagne. As I was wandering around Centeroo, making my way from What Stage to Which Stage, I heard the opening notes of “Hold You In My Arms.”

This song was what I like to call my Ray LaMontagne gateway drug. After hearing it on the muzak at my terrible retail job a few years ago, I was hooked. Ray did not disappoint at Bonnaroo. His Pariah Dogs came out as well, as the set included a smattering of all albums, from Trouble to God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise.  But, as it goes with festivals, I had to move on after a few songs.

I left Ray to find Florence + The Machine. And oh, she was grossly underestimated. Playing the smallish This Tent, Flo’s crowd was like an iceberg: the audience visible inside the tent was dwarfed by the masses outside crowding close to catch a glimpse of the show. Okay, it’s not a perfect metaphor. Whatever, you get the picture.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since last summer, there’s a slim chance you haven’t heard “Dog Days Are Over” but the songs you really need to know are “Drumming Song” and “You’ve Got the Love.”

Promise. Both of them spent days on repeat last year.

Florence was amazing. A few songs in, I left the masses and found a lovely chunk of used-to-be-grass-but-now-just-dust to plop down on and listen. Next, I found my way to Bobby Long, a British singer-songwriter (I’m on a British kick. Run with it). Just him and his guitar, he played some of my favorites from his debut A Winter Tale.

I recommend Long’s “Dead and Done,” “Two Years Old,” and his best-known song “Who Have You Been Loving.”

Ah, My Morning Jacket: the band who was made famous by their 2004 Bonnaroo appearance. A giant southern thunderstorm erupted mid-set, but they powered on and seriously rocked. This year, they had the second to last slot on Friday night’s main stage, and they did not disappoint. I showed up late because of the Bobby Long set, so I sat on the grass-that-was-actually-still-grass and just absorbed. Their show made me realize that I actually need to own some MMJ. Working on that…

Then I was cold. And tired. So I was lame and went back to my tent. Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that our tent was in the perfect location to hear everything from the What Stage.

This meant I could lay on my slanting (we were on a slight hill) and deflating air mattress and still hear the entirety of Arcade Fire‘s set. And oh, was it great. I’ve been loving their albums Neon Bible and The Suburbs the last few months, and enjoyed hearing “Keep the Car Running,” “Wake Up,” and “City With No Children.”

There’s nothing quite like drifting off to sleep to the sounds of Win Butler and 70,000 fans.

About Music Pusher

student. waitress. unabashed lover and pusher of music. red wine and coffee enthusiast. Nashvillain.