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DJ interview

  BONNAROO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL




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during Sasha & Digweed

 

 

 

 


Lottie

 

 

 


Which stage

DO YOU ‘ROO?”
A REVIEW OF THE SIXTH ANNUAL BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL
by Carl Noone, Jr.
www.hi-noone.com

For the sixth straight year, over 80,000 attendees converged on Manchester, Tennessee for four straight days of music and camping, temporarily creating the third largest city in the state for what Rolling Stone magazine has dubbed “the greatest music festival in the United States.” From Thursday June 14th until late Sunday June 17th, concert promoters Superfly Productions and AC Entertainment managed to pacify those numerous palettes with over 130 of the most eclectic and diverse performers ever assembled at one event. From headliners The Police and Tool, to Country’s current darling Dierks Bentley and Gospel legend Mavis Staples of The Staple Singers, Bonnaroo had a little bit of something for everybody, including dance music’s legendary duo Sasha and John Digweed, up-and-coming Mashup king Girl Talk, and the talk of the entire festival…DJ Shadow. Other standout acts included The Roots, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, The Flaming Lips, The White Stripes, Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, Clutch, Wolfmother, The String Cheese Incident, and Ween.

Beginning Thursday evening, this year’s Bonnaroo music lineup was like none other, with stoner-rock innovators Clutch winning the prize for Best Set as their name slowly grew from a whisper to a rumble in the voices of attendees. The 18 year old daughter of “Piano Man” Billy Joel, Alexa Ray Joel, performed an amazing Billy Holiday-inspired afternoon set on Friday as DJ Shadow stole the entire event later that evening with his tour-ending visually-bombastic blend of Electronica and Hip-Hop.

But it was the special appearance of Led Zeppelin’s bass player John Paul Jones that caused the greatest rumble throughout Bonnaroo ’07. First joining The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars onstage on Thursday night, Mr. Jones proceeded to make the rounds, performing on mandolin with Bluegrass chanteuse Gillian Welch Friday, then on bass guitar with SuperJam late Friday night where he joined drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and guitarist Ben Harper for two hours of improvised fireworks that included a blistering version of “Dazed and Confused”. On Saturday, opening for The Police, he again joined Harper and his Innocent Criminals on the main stage for yet another blistering version of “Dazed and Confused” before guest starring with Gov’t Mule for a late-night set that included “No Quarter” and “Black Dog”. As Luther Dickinson later recalled during his North Mississippi All-Stars set on Sunday, “hearing them jam brought a tear to my eye, and joining them onstage was a dream come true”. That is the real mystery and beauty of Bonnaroo.

The real attraction of an event like Bonnaroo is the people and the multitude of activities, interactive kiosks, and plethora of vendors that criss-cross the main area known as Centeroo. With a Cinema Tent that featured in-person question and answer sessions with legendary filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker (“Monterey Pop”), Bill Plympton, and Jim Jarmusch (“Coffee and Cigarettes”), glass-blowing demonstrations, yoga and meditation classes, celebrity environmental panel discussions, batting cages, and more food than anyone could ever eat, Bonnaroo has evolved into a “people festival” with emphasis placed this year on creating a family-friendly environment for all. Making a return this year were fan favorites The KOSS Silent Disco, The X-BOX Discoteque Arcade, and the omni-present Ferris Wheel, as well as several art installations similar to those at Coachella. But the one attraction that garnered the most attention was the Yet (Another) Comedy Tent that featured Lewis Black and Friends, Dave Attell, and HBO’s Flight of the Conchords troupe throughout the entire weekend.

And yet, despite all of this, the music is still what makes us drive hundreds of miles (for some of us, thousands of miles), sleep on the ground in tents next to complete strangers from another state, forget our own hygiene and eat questionable food. Ahhh... I can’t wait until next year.

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