Zack Galifinakis was the biggest surprise of the day yesterday—even more so than the brown recluse spider we found in our tent at the end of the night. He was brought to the stage to introduce the super jam. As he’s bantering on about God knows what, John Hamm waltzes on the stage and just stands there. The energy in the crowd was palpable. Take note that John Hamm didn’t say a single word. “Fuck it, just watch the jam,” Galifinakis screams to a roaring audience. The two walk off the stage. I’m just wondering if they were paid for that appearance, but it doesn’t matter because shortly after the jam starts, Chance the Rapper comes out. Chance didn’t have a set this year, but earlier in the day, he came out during SZA’s set.
The way the super jam works is artists will come out one by one and do about two or three songs. Most of the time they would play covers, except the bassist for Metallica—he played Enter Sandman. Chance came out and played “Single Mothers” by Biggie Smalls. Everyone in close proximity to the tent was rapping along. Mind you, it’s 1:30 in the morning. There is some sort of show going on at all hours of the day, and you’d think that there wouldn’t be much of a turnout, but it’s still relatively difficult to get a good view.
Jack Antonoff came out next and did “Psycho Killer.” Earlier in the day during his set with Bleachers, he pulled out a rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” Shortly after that, Bleachers set was ended in a whirlwind of whirring guitar tones and visions of Jack tossing his guitar into the air. It took him five tries to break it, but it was still pretty punk rock.
After a while though, the super jam became a little less super as they delved into the more electronic sounds. Superstars stopped coming out and for about half an hour, the DJ just played some EDM. I’m going to be honest, it was about 3:30 and I was over it. But prior to all of that nonsense, it was an experience.
The set I enjoyed most during the day was from Sturgill Simpson—A drug induced bluegrass romp-around. He explained in an interview with KEXP that his band is built to play live shows. I agree. Even if you don’t enjoy the twang of a country song, you can enjoy the mastery of Sturgill and his band. He’s opened for Zac Brown Band on his recent tour, and has been gaining popularity as the year goes on. He explained that he’s not into making the same sound twice, so if you’re into country, don’t expect another album from him.
Childish Gambino was a disappointment. He played on the second largest stage, but had very little command of the crowd. I guess he’s at a disadvantage because the only other rap show I’ve been to was Kendrick Lamar and that was iconic. There were times throughout when he would go back and forth from free styling and rapping his written verses. It wasn’t terrible; it just wasn’t life changing.
Sets to see today on this final day at Bonnaroo: It’s really all about Billy Joel. And it’ll be a miracle if I make it until 9:00 tonight, because like I said before, this is a marathon weekend. And I’m tired.