Throwback Thursday: The Buzz takes on Bonnaroo in 2014

This week, we are throwing it back to coverage of 2014’s edition of Bonnaroo. Programming Director Joseph Phelan and Music Director Kirk Windus  take you on a trip through all of the happenings that went on throughout the three-day-festival.
Bonnaroo Day 3
:: June 15, 2014 :: by Kirk Windus

Kanye West and Bonnaroo will probably never be friends. In 2008 Kanye showed up hours late for his set, making “Fuck Kanye” the two must popular words in the temporary Tennessee city.

Fast forward to 2014. Kanye comes back. This time for revenge.

Kanye’s set kicked off with the anthemic  Yeezus hit, “Black Skinhead.” Full of energy and aggression, Kanye covered the entire stage, shouting his lyrics of cultural criticism and self-praise, his face covered in some odd sort of mask.

In classic Kanye fashion, he neglected the huge screens attached to the stage, which make viewing a little easier for those way in the back of the massive main stage, in exchange for a minimalistic, radiating red backdrop.

Musically, Kanye’s set bordered on flawless. He played everything from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’s “Runaway” to “Mercy” to the 2004 College Dropout’s “All Falls Down” and “Jesus Walks.”

In a very not-Kanye fashion, he ignored the initial boos and cries of “Fuck Kanye” and “Get Off the Stage.” It seemed as if maybe ‘Ye might just ignore it all and be the good guy Kanye we once knew.

But then things turned bizzare, and the George-Bush-hates-black-people Kanye and the steal-the-mic-from-T-Swift Kanye that everyone expected made an appearance. After cutting out of “Stronger” he decided to address the 2008 Elephant in the venue and reminded the crowd that in 2008 they barraged him and wrote “Fuck Kanye” in the porta potties before he even got there. He then attacked the press for reporting it. He then asked the press if they were going to report about that exact moment with the crowd responding so positively, before again turning ridiculous and proclaiming himself “The number one rock star in the motherfucking world,” prompting a haze of boos from the crowd.

Later, he decided to mix it up and set his next rant to a freestyle auto-tune session, during which he announced that he was coming after Shakespeare, Walt  Disney and Howard Hughes. The move was especially ironic after he had just discussed being humbled by a chance meeting with a ten-year-old boy on a plane who was coming just to see him at Bonnaroo.

Still, Kanye wasn’t done, and he later killed the beat on “Heartless” and broke out into a rant that included screaming “Where the press at?” asking all members of the press to raise their hand (awkward). He then exclaimed, “This is real rock & roll!” referring to his set.

But that’s not to say that Kanye didn’t have his great moments. At times he was uplifting and spoke of empowerment. He told his fans, “I talk that shit so that you can talk that shit. If you’re a fan of me you’re a fan of your motherfucking self,” reminding the crowd to be themselves and chase their dreams.

During “Touch the Sky” he begged the crowd to join him in a great moment, calling out, “I heard that if 10,000 people jump at the same time you can feel the earth move.”

Regardless of what happened, one thing became clear during Kanye’s set. Maybe he’s not the “number one rock star in the world,” but he’s damn close. In his  exhausting two-hour set, the crowd’s energy never subsided and most people in the crowd knew at least half the words to every single song he performed. Hell, the same can’t even be said for Elton John’s performance.

No matter how you spin it, there’s no denying that Kanye has been one of the most impactful musicians of the last decade. Hate him or love him, this really is Yeezus season, and I for one am glad I’m witnessing it.

Bonnaroo Day 3
:: June 15, 2014 :: by Joseph Phelan Jr

Bonnaroo takes a toll on your body. Walking around, standing during shows and sleeping on the ground in a tent can really make your whole body ache. Right now, it’s 10:13 central time on the final day of Bonnaroo. The first three days having been absolutely life changing.

Day three featuring some incredible shows, including the best show I’ve ever seen. Kirk and I began our day at Kevin Devine. Devine’s a Brooklyn musician who Kirk has had the pleasure of interviewing. Devine played a 40-minute set, and he was simply fantastic. He had a really strong surrounding, and even invited fans to meet him following the show. After his show we walked towards the front of the stage and see Grouplove’s Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi. Apparently they are fans of Kevin Devine. Kirk talked to Kevin Devine briefly. There had to be about 40 people waiting to meet Kevin. He was selling t-shirts and vinyl. After Kevin Devine, we grubbed before Grouplove’s show. I ate BBQ pork sandwiches, while Kirk went with Mac & Cheese. Grouplove started at 4 p.m., so we arrived about 30 minutes prior to try and get a good spot. Kirk has seen Grouplove before, but yesterday was my first time, and it was freaking electric. Grouplove goes all out during shows, and I’ve become even more of a fan during their performance. Grouplove opened with “I’m With You” and then continued with songs from their 2013 album titled Spreading Rumors, including “Schoolboy”, “Shark Attack”, “What I Know”, “Didn’t Have to Go”, “Bitin’ the Bullet”, and more. They even tossed out their “Drunk In Love” cover towards the end of their set. Kirk wanted to see Cage the Elephant at 4:45, so he left Grouplove early. He’s disappointed he missed out on the “Drunk in Love” cover.

My phone barely had any service this weekend, so it died on Friday. I didn’t have any way of contacting Kirk since I didn’t have his number saved, but we planned to meet at Cage the Elephant at the “Which Stage.” I couldn’t find Kirk as Cage the Elephant’s set was finishing. We had this meeting spot near a beer stand, but I couldn’t find him. I ended up walking to Jamestown Revival, who was playing at 7 near the main stage, but still I couldn’t find Kirk. Believe it or not, it’s damn near impossible to spot one person in a crowd of 80,000 in a 700-acre farm. I walked back to the spot we planned to meet at for Cage the Elephant, but he wasn’t there. I made up my mind that I would just go see Jamestown Revival, and then see whomever else and meet him back at the campsite later that evening. Amazingly, I saw him walking with his backwards St. Bonaventure hat on, and his neon orange spring weekend shirt, so we walked to catch Jamestown Revival, who really put on an excellent show. They had a number of passionate fans that knew each word to each song. I knew only a handful of Jamestown Revival songs, but I was impressed with what I had heard from the indie folk band.

After Jamestown Revival we ate some food while listening to the beginning of Lionel Richie’s set. We then walked over to see James Blake. We ended up just sitting down a bench away from the stage. After about 30 minutes of James Blake we walked over to Jack White and the main stage. We ended up catching Lionel Richie’s finale, which was Michael Jackson’s “We are the World.” We had to wait 45 minutes until Jack White’s set began, but we ended up with a great spot. My lower back had been killing me for a number of reasons, but mainly because of standing all day. I didn’t think I could make it. I tried to just continue to move around and try to think about anything but my back, but once Jack White began his set, I stopped thinking about my back and I just thought about the music.

White played the best show I’ve ever seen. It was two hours and 20 minutes of pure awesomeness. He gave some inspiring words of advice, along with telling us to thank those workers who have difficult and thankless jobs like those who work in the auto industry. He told the crowd how much he loved his mom, and that if you have a mom, you should tell her that and spend as much time as possible with her. One of the more inspiring moments of the show took place pretty early when Jack White mentioned, “Who makes music happen? Does a tabloid like Rolling Stone make music happen?” then he continued with, “You and I make it exist.” That really spoke to me, and it gave me a personal connection to Jack White and his music that every music fan longs for. Jack White has never been a musician I listen to regularly, but only because I never really got into his music. That show last night changed me. I don’t know if I’ll be some die-heart Jack White fan or anything, but I definitely gained a new perspective on things after hearing his show. My favorite part of the night was his version of “We’re Going to Be Friends,” which has always been one of my favorites. The fans adored Jack White. He could say no wrong during that 140-minute set.

I’ve seen some remarkable shows over the past three days, and today, the final day, hopes to bring even more remarkable shows. I’m excited to see Elton John, Lucero, Artic Monkeys, City and Colour and The Avett Brothers. I don’t know when I’ll post my next Bonnaroo post. It probably will be Monday or Tuesday, depending on what happens with the NBA Finals, but I just want to say how wonderful this opportunity has been to write about Bonnaroo. The word Bonnaroo means “a really good time.” It’s a completely fitting and appropriate word for such a festival. Never before have I witnessed so many people mesmerized in the music. I saw people actually get lost in it. I can’t thank Kirk enough for driving us down and making this weekend one of the best ones of my life. We hope to be back next year, and bring some of our friends, because every single music fan should experience Bonnaroo.

Here are the top 7 shows I’ve seen so far:

7. Kevin Devine

6. Jamestown Revival

5. The Head and the Heart

4. Grouplove


2. Kanye West

1. Jack White

Bonnaroo Day 2
:: June 14, 2014 :: by Kirk Windus

            We had a feeling that yesterday would be incredible, and it’s safe to say that we weren’t disappointed. Day two was packed full of some of our favorite artists, and every performance we saw was special.

After publishing yesterday’s post and eating some food we headed over to see Sam Smith. Smith is a soulful, pop/R&B singer from the UK who’s probably most known for featuring on Disclosure’s hit song “Latch.”

Smith bet his mother that no one would show up to his first American festival appearance, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. Smith packed the tent as full as you could imagine as he played through some of his popular sings, mixing in a couple from his new album, releasing this Tuesday, as well as an Arctic Monkeys cover.

Smith is a throwback to an older generation with a modern spin. He has the vocal style and chops of the great soul singers— much like another Sam, yes, Sam Cook. He showed his incredible command of his powerful falsetto, singing in registers most of us wouldn’t even dream of for fear of injuring ourselves.

An amazing moment came when he showed the crowd his take on Disclosure’s “Latch,” a delicate, piano driven ballad full of beautiful vocal runs and tear-jerking falsetto flares.

Next, we watched an artist I knew very little about named Danny Brown. He’s made a name for himself through his dark brand of hip-hop and his onstage antics— he once received a blowjob on stage.

One thing about Danny is clear: his fans have a real passion for his music. The moment there was an opening ahead, fans pushed to see how close to the stage they could get. Brown was a little late to the show, but the crowd jumped and filed on top of each other even as his DJ played songs during the wait.

So as you can imagine, the crowd went bat-shit insane when he finally took the stage. Moshing like it was a metal show, the crowd’s energy never subsided, not really even between songs.

Next, we went to see England’s Ben Howard. Joe and I are both pretty big fans of Howard, and being in the photographer’s pit for his show was something really special. The little subtleties of Howard’s sound can get lost in the huge, festival setting, but in the pit, every little ambient organ or synth sound is noticeable.

If you know anything about Howard you know that the man straight up knows how to play guitar. Much like a UK style John Mayer, Howard never uses a pick and plays incredibly intricate finger picking while singing his difficult melodic vocal lines and somehow makes it look effortless.

His band played a little of everything behind him instrumentation-wise. At one point his drummer was even playing cymbals with a guitar. His bass player also played organ pedals, drums and more.

More than anything, Howard amazes with his versatility. From spindly finger picking to up-tempo, electric guitar rock, he played through his set with an amazing sort of relaxed intensity. Songs like “Only Love,” which are incredibly difficult to play, looked almost too easy in the hands of the very talented Ben Howard.

There were so many amazing artists playing on day two that Joe and I had to split up to be able to cover all the artists we wanted to cover. So at this point I headed over to see The Naked and Famous. The band brought their huge sounding electric indie-pop to ‘Roo right after Howard closed. The band have created a lot of buzz in the last year, so the crowd was huge and media were flocking to get some shots of the band.

Photographers packed the pit in front of the stage, which sometimes annoys artists, who request that photographers are only present for three songs, but the band seemed to revel in it, smiling at photographers as they tried to dodge the beach ball flying about the crowd. (Later the lead singer would kick the ball off stage, which consequently hit me in the face. It must be love.)

The crowd, more so than a lot of crowds we saw on day 2, really seemed to pour themselves into the bands set. I watched as all throughout the crowd people screamed the words, eyes closed, hands up like they were experiencing something truly transcendent. If you don’t know the band yet, you’re going to want to get to know them soon, because things are coming for them.

Next came my personal favorite set of the day, The Head and the Heart. One of my good friends in high school introduced me to The Head and the Heart, and I fell in love instantly. When their new album came out this year I immediately wrote a review. The 6-piece folk group played a mix of songs from their two albums to a massive crowd, as they played one of the festival’s two main stages.

“Cruel” is one of my favorite songs ever written, so that song may just be my very favorite moment of day two. Shamelessly, I closed my eyes, threw my hands in the air and sang slightly off-key versions of harmony. I probably attracted a few stares because I was alone, but it’s Bonnaroo. So fuck it.

“Shake” may have been one of the day’s best performances, but like I said, I’m a little prejudiced. The band interacted more with the crowd than most performers, and I think that shows just how comfortable they are on stage, speaking to a crowd that may not all be fans like normal shows.

In a literally picture perfect moment, the sun began to set behind the band as they closed out their set. Anyone on stage with photography rights probably got the best shot of the entire day during that show.

Next, I headed over to the main stage, which becomes a small city during the day, to see Vampire Weekend. They played through their chill indie-rock to probably one of the biggest crowds they’ve ever played to, the cameras always focused on the amazing Ezra Koenig.

The thing first timers like myself don’t know about Bonnaroo is that it’s truly a marathon. 12 hours of standing on your feet can get to you pretty quick, and by the time Vampire Weekend came around I was a little dehydrated, very hungry, very tired and very ready to see Kanye.

Joe and I headed over the main stage area early to eat and get a good spot for the set we’d both been anticipating all day.

In 2008, Bonnaroo got the best of Kanye, who showed up three hours late for his set, but it’s safe to say that Kanye put Bonnaroo its place last night. He played songs from every album and every major appearance he’s done. Everything from the “All Falls Down” to “New Slaves” to “Heartless” were performed.

At times bizzare, at times transcendent, Kanye covered all of the bases that you’d expect him to cover. Whether it be screaming “Where the press at?” in anger, (awkward) or proclaiming himself the number one rockstar in the world, the arrogant  but amazing Kanye you showed up in full force. But, so did the Kanye who’s made millions being the best and most consistent face in rap music over the last decade. 10,000 people jumped together, screamed together and smiled together as Kanye played the songs that inevitably make up the soundtrack, in one way or another, to their life. All theatrics aside, it’s safe to say that Kanye stole the show on day 2 and all headliners to follow have a lot to live up to.

After Kanye I planned on seeing Chance the Rapper, so I headed over the tent he was performing at later and caught the end of a superjam that included guests like Ben Folds and Chaka Khan. Sadly, I literally couldn’t stand or stay awake long enough to see Chance, who I’d been looking forward to all week.

Regardless, Friday was without a doubt the best day of my musical life and I can’t wait to see what day three brings, including Kevin Devine, Cake, Grouplove, Cage the Elephant, Lionel Richie, Jack White and Frank Ocean. Look out for more from Joe and I today and tomorrow and check the WSBU twitter for updates throughout the day!

Bonnaroo Day 2
:: June 14, 2014 :: by Joseph Phelan Jr

I knew day two would be insane. Some of my favorite bands were scheduled that day, and they did not disappoint. Kirk and I split up more than once on Friday to check out different acts. He, also, had a photo pass which gave him sweet access to the pit level for Sam Smith and The Naked and Famous. We had steak and rice for lunch, and it was delicious. They definitely give you enough food for the price that you pay.

We ate at a table about 250 yards from the main stage called “What Stage,” it is where Elton John, Jack White, Vampire Weekend Lionel Richie and all of the other big names played or will play this weekend. After that we walked around a little bit before Sam Smith. Sam Smith played a great set. I didn’t know a whole lot about Sam Smith before this weekend since I only knew one or two of his songs, but he gave a fantastic performance. We stuck around after Sam Smith, and waited in “The Other Tent” for Danny Brown to go on at 4. We planned to only see Danny Brown for a few songs because Ben Howard was scheduled for 4:30. The crowd for Danny Brown was absolutely nuts. You couldn’t more an inch as they played Eminem and Dr. Dre before Danny Brown got on. It’s always interesting to hear other people’s conversations. We met a guy from Cleveland who was experiencing his second Roo. The place erupted when Danny Brown began his set. Girls and guys tried crowd surfing, but I saw at least two girls get thrown to the ground. People were reckless, and on all kinds of drugs. Kirk and I didn’t get to Ben Howard until 4:35. Ben Howard’s very soft spoken, and he just an amazing guitarist. I’m sure Kirk will discuss how great his guitar performance was in his recap. Howard played one of my favorite songs “The Fear,” which turned out to be my favorite of his set. After Ben Howard finished, I stuck around. The Head and the Heart played about an hour after Howard, so I grabbed some food while Kirk saw The Naked and Famous. I actually got in line to enter the pit for The Head and the Heart. It was the closest I got to a stage all day–about 15 feet. The Head and the Heart played a very memorable set, including “Let’s Be Still”, “Down in the Valley”, “Lost in My Mind”, “Cruel”, “Another Story”, “Shake” and others. Kirk missed the first few songs or so, but he said they had sounded the best out of everyone he heard. “Another Story” sounded phenomenal live. It’s a song about school shootings, and The Head and the Heart did a masterful performance during that one particular. It’s one thing hearing a live song in the comfort of your home, but hearing it in front of the band with a number of passionate, drunken fans is a whole new, fantastic experience.

I had to bolt The Head and the Heart 10 minutes early to check out CHVRCHES, while Kirk saw Vampire Weekend. I would have loved to see Vampire Weekend since I’ve never seen them in concert, but CHVRCHES is a newer band, and their debut album The Bones of What You Believe is one of the most played albums on my iTunes. Lauren Mayberry, their lead vocalist, is wonderful. She talked a little bit between songs, just saying how it was their first Roo experience, and how they are not American. Some people bring flags during performances. One guy had an Uncle Jessie from Full House one, while others had characters from South Park. This one person at the CHVRCHES show had a blue sword on a flag, or at least it was thought to be a blue sword. Lauren Mayberry asked if it was a giant blue penis on stage. CHVRCHES played mostly every song off of their album; they might have played their whole album but I missed at least the first two songs. They even played a song I never heard before, which I think is called “Strength”. Their best performance had to be either “Night Sky” or “Recover”, which are two simply phenomenal songs. I was at CHVRCHES alone, and I sat towards a fence to the right of the stage. I just wanted to sit down, and enjoy the music.

I noticed lots of basketball and football jerseys while walking around at Roo. Of course you saw the obvious ones like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant, but then you saw some random ones like Penny Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal Orlando jersey, some members of the Bad Boy Pistons, and my favorite random jersey a Jimmer Chicago Bulls jersey. Jimmer played about five games for the Bulls last season after the Kings released him in February. The runner up for most random jersey was a Jay Williams No. 22 Chicago Bulls jersey. After CHVRCHES, I met Kirk by the stage where Phoenix was playing. We only heard a few Phoenix songs, but they were loud and sounded great.

We headed over to Kanye West about 50 minutes early. We ended up scoring some decent grass. You can check out Kirk’s Facebook for a video of “New Slaves.” Kanye and Bonnaroo have an interesting history. He preformed their back in 2008, but stirred up controversy with his remarks about Bonnaroo’s producers. Many music critics blasted Kanye West for his lack of commitment and care. I had a feeling Kanye would address his critics during the 90-minute show. I’ve seen some great shows in my life, but I’m not sure anything tops Kanye West’s 2014 Bonnaroo Show. He was simply fantastic. He played all of his hits, including “All Falls Down”, “Touch the Sky”, “Heartless”, “Run This Town”, “Bound 2”, “New Slaves”, “Blood on the Leaves”, “Jesus Walks”, “Diamonds”, “Good Life”, “Runaway”, “POWER”, “All of the Lights” and “Black Skinhead.” I’m sure I’m missing a song or two, but seriously Kanye West played all of his jams. He also had some interesting things to say. He talked about the press a few times. He talked about how lots of people traveled just to see him. He talked about how 100,000 people were going crazy as shit during his set. Man, it was absolutely wild. You see hundreds and hundreds people in front you with their hands waving up and down, and then you turn around and you see thousands of people doing the same. Ye would start a song, rap the first few lines, and then say, “Stop that shit.” He then would say some more remarks about the press, give the crowd some inspiration and then would re start the song. Some of the crowd grew tired of his antics, some even leaved, but I loved it. He gave it his all in during his set, and he really delivered, and gave the people what the songs they wanted. He spoke about how so many people traveled to Tennessee to see him humbles him. I never saw Kanye West before in person, so I’m not sure how he is in front of crowds, but I think he opened up more than normal last night. He told the audience that, “if you are a fan of me, you are a fan of your m**her******* self.”  In between his banter, Kanye West just played great music. “Runaway” and “New Slaves” had a great vibe, and before New Slaves he claimed that this next song is the realest shit he has ever written. I felt the most energy during “Touch the Sky”, “Bound 2” and “Jesus Walks.” The production of the show was something I’ve never seen before. The lights were bright, and the screen behind Kanye West had to be 100 or so feet with a silhouette of Kanye West’s movements during the show. The screen also gave some fascinating graphics of the sun. Ye didn’t disappoint, and I’m sure Kirk will go in greater detail.

I was totally dead after Kanye West even though it was midnight. I got a Gatorade and then headed back to the tent to fall asleep. Saturday brings Jamestown Revival, Jack White, Lionel Richie, Kevin Devin, Cherub, Cake, Cage the Elephant, James Blake, Frank Ocean and artists who I will soon discover.

Bonnaroo Night 1
:: June 13, 2014 :: by Kirk Windus and Joe Phelan



So, funny thing. Manchester, Tennessee is a long way from Western New York. My 20-year old mentality had me convinced that 12 hours was a little bit of nothing, but let me tell you, it’s no joke.

Luckily, 12 hours is a lot more tolerable when Elton John, Kanye West, Vampire Weekend and more are waiting for you at the finish line. When you think you’ve arrived at Bonnaroo, you haven’t. You turn off the highway, turn again and then turn again until you’re in the middle of a field that looks like it should have hosted a civil war battle.

From there you’re guided into a parking spot, which is soon engulfed by other cars surrounding it. Tents are pitched in about a ten foot space near each vehicle, packed on top of each other, creating a camping-style city block.

We arrived a little later than some, and had a little bit of a wrestling match with our tent, and so had about a 15-minute walk into the festival area. That said, the walk doesn’t seem very long when you’re too busy thinking about what’s to come to even begin to think about your paces.

A cloud of smoke has been hanging over Center Roo ever since we arrived, and it’s hard to tell if it’s coming from stages or, well, you know what else it could come from.

Our first show at Bonnaroo was G.O.O.D. Music’s Pusha T. The amazing thing about Bonnaroo is that even the people at the very back of the show sing along like it’s the last thing they’ll ever do. As Pusha T flew through some of his verses, the crowd nodded along, eyes closed, mouthing the lyrics or pumped their hand violently in the air, shouting along.

Thursday is a more quiet kind of day at Bonnaroo, so we checked out a band we’d never really heard of before called Ty Segall. The four-piece tore through a set of punky garage rock that sounded part Cage the Elephant, part Japandroids. Their lead singer stole the show, doubling on throat-shedding vocals and raw, nimble-fingered guitar solos.

We then proceeded to attend an R. Kelly “Trapped In the Closet” sing along. I’ll just let that sit for a while with you.

All the while, Joe and I raved about how incredible tomorrow’s lineup is. Look out for tomorrow’s posts because it’s going to be maybe the best day of our musical lives, and we can’t wait.


It took awhile to get here. I actually left my house on Wednesday morning at 6:15. My dad dropped me off at 10th and Filbert in Philadelphia. My bus left at 7 for New York City.

Once I arrived in New York City, I waited 40 minutes for my bus that traveled to Buffalo. This bus left New York at 10:30, and didn’t get to Buffalo until 6:15.

I spent the bus ride listening to music, mostly. Once I got to Buffalo a Bonaventure friend pick me up. We grabbed Mighty Taco and played basketball. I know that’s not really relevant, but it’s part of the journey. Anyway, Thursday morning I woke up early, and got a ride to Kirk’s house. Kirk and I began our adventure to Manchester, Tennessee at 10. It was a long trip for a passenger, but I can only imagine how it was for the driver. We spent at least an hour in traffic, and Mother Nature couldn’t make up her damn mind as it rained on and off during the beginning of the trip.

We listened to a number of newer albums, including Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, Haim, Jimmy Eat World, Childish Gambino, Drake, among others.

A road trip is great if three things happen. 1.) Good music 2.) Good company 3.) Good food. We had all of the above during this epic 12-hour plus commute. We stopped at Wendy’s, Starbucks and Ralley’s for food and drinks. Once we got to Manchester, we picked up our wristbands. Kirk got a sweet media pass allowing him access to take photos close to the stage. He didn’t use his camera last night since we didn’t get here until closer to midnight.

Once Kirk parked his car, we had to pitch the tent. I’ve never pitched a tent before, and neither had Kirk. We mistakenly pitched the tent in front of the car instead of pitching it behind the car. Although it took us a little longer than we anticipated, we pitched the damn thing. We drank some beers and headed down to the stages.

The first thing you notice about Bonnaroo is how massive the fields are. So many cars, RVs, vans and busses occupy the abundance of land that Bonnaroo offers. Pusha T was playing his set at The Other Stage, so we hit his show first. His set was jam packed with people raising their hands in the air, while rapping word for word. It was a pretty awesome sight to see. Pusha T played the chorus to Kanye West’s “Runaway”, which Pusha T is featured in, and also happens to be one of my favorite songs. It was a really great start to what looks like could be an unforgettable weekend.

Kirk and I then saw Ty Segall, who we’ve never heard before. Ty Segall had so much energy and passion, which really lifted the crowd’s energy. A mosh pit formed, and a number of fans crowed surfed during that set.

We grabbed some beers and headed over to the R. Kelly “Trapped in the Closet” sing-a-long over at the Bonnaroo Cinema tent. We had to wait in line for at least 30 minutes, but it was well worth our wait as fans sang and danced during R. Kelly’s dramatic episodes.

We headed back to our camp spot around 4 a.m., but since there are so many damn cars here we couldn’t find where we parked. Eventually, we found it closer to 5 a.m. Today promises to be filled with some incredible acts. I’ve waited for Friday the 13th’s lineup since the schedule had been released. I’ll be able to see CHVRCHES, Kanye West, Danny Brown, Sam Smith, Ben Howard, Phoenix, Chance the Rapper, The Head and the Heart and Ice Cube throughout today. It will be an absolutely unreal day, and I look forward to sharing that with you.


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