Here’s a short recap of the action on Thursday, Day 1 of 4. Pictures and videos galore!
Local Natives [That Tent, 7-8 PM]
My first show of Bonnaroo 2010, left me desiring more. I really dig Local Natives’ newest release Gorilla Manor, but there was something about the set that just seemed lacking a little bit. Certainly the weather was gorgeous, and we were welcomed into Manchester, TN with open arms and cold beverages, but something seemed to be missing. There were definitely highlights though, like their cover of the Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign” and of course the predictable, yet still awesome set closer, “Airplanes”. Of course, having already stepped in a giant puddle of mud on the walk in, my dancing was somewhere between Carlton Banks and bros at campus bars. – Tom Pauly
Local Natives was the show to kick off the 2010 Bonnaroo Festival for me, even though it came after surviving the 10+ hour roadtrip down to Manchester, Tennessee. The band sounded great and brought everything we thought it would from their solid debut release earlier this year. Personal favorites from the set were “Sun Hands” which takes off during the latter half of the song, as well as the other album standout “Shape Shifter”. As Pauly mentions above, the set closer “Airplanes” was pretty predictable, and even though the songs sounded great the band needs a bit more material to cover their entire one hour set. – Patrick Singer
JB Smoove & Friends [Comedy Tent, 8:30-9:45 PM]
This seemed like an awesome idea. Air-conditioning, Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm, and bleacher seats in a tent, how could one go wrong? The openers, Baron Vaughn (from College Humor) and Rob Cantrell (filmmaker, also famous for being on Mitch Hedberg’s last tour), were hysterical. Vaughn warmed the crowd up nicely for Cantrell who cleverly described working for High Times, L couches, and a host of other topics. And then Leon… JB Smoove came to the stage. Smoove’s entire bit was basically a live action Leon from Curb. It got old after awhile when Larry David and Suzie Green aren’t around to step in and drive the ship. All in all, not a terrible experience, but I expected better. I will say this about Smoove though, he was gracious enough to hang out around Bonnaroo for the next couple of days in the crowd and was very receptive to fans coming to talk to him. Major plus on that Leon. – Tom Pauly
Neon Indian [That Tent, 8:30-9:30 PM]
Chillwave has been “in” so to speak in the indie alternative music scene over the last year or so, and I have to say I’m one of the participants in that trend. Alan Palomo’s brainchild Neon Indian was all dressed up in a full band setting, a transition from the sound on the band’s debut Psychic Chasms, which sounds like it was made on cassette tape recordings (this is a good thing). The show was lively and a great setting for this type of music and a great slot for a band still getting their name out there. The set was mixed with some unreleased tracks as well as those from the band’s debut, with standout “Ephemeral Artery”. Great way to end Night 1 at the ‘Roo. – Patrick Singer