WPG-“Roo” : Bonnaroo 2010 Recap Day 2

Here’s a short recap of the action on Friday, Day 2 of 4. Pictures and videos galore!

Damian Marley & Nas [What Stage, 4-5:30]

This set literally set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Nas and Damian Marley are pure energy on stage together. From Nas dropping classic hip hop rhymes to their set closer of Junior Gong’s late father Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” these two weren’t lacking at all. The crowd was also not lacking in dreadlocks while they were encapsulated in a ridiculous swarm of dancing and clouds of smoke. Needless to say, an amazing spectacle. – Tom Pauly

“Count Your Blessings – Live at Bonnaroo 2010”

The National [Which Stage, 5:45-7:15 PM]

As amazing as I thought the last few albums from The National have been, there’s nothing that convinces me of a band’s talent as much as their live show does. After stepping back and looking at my time at Bonnaroo and the year’s I’ve gotten to go in the past, there are only a few shows that were as good as this one (this one gives The White Stripes performance in 2007 a run for it’s money). The set was flawless to say the least, mixing songs from their past three near-perfect albums into a lush hour and a half set. Highlights included “Abel”, which lead singer Matt Berninger used all of the slack in his microphone wire to walk out into the crowd as far as he could (I helped him over the railing on the side, pretty awesome I’d have to say), as well as High Violet stunners “England” and “Conversation 16”. To say I was impressed with the performance would be an absolute understatement. – Patrick Singer

Mind-blowing is probably the easiest way to describe their hour and a half set where they ran through three classic albums. Matt Berninger somehow managed to wear a plaid shirt and tie, dress pants, and a sweater vest in the 95 degree heat. Nevermind the heat, the show was amazing, highlighted by new tracks off of High Violet like “England” and classics off of Alligator like “All the Wine.” Speaking of wine, Berninger tossed a wine glass into the crowd midway through the set, only to retrieve it later and fill the glass for a lucky fan. It makes you want to bring them home to your Mom. – Tom Pauly

How could they possibly make songs from High Violet any better? Play them live of course! This was maybe the best show of the weekend. Every song was better than the next the band being fueled off the energy of the crowd. Frontman Matt Berninger packed the songs full of emotion, most noticeably during their closing number “Mr. November”. – Mike Rotsch

“Mr. November – Live at Bonnaroo 2010”

Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers [That Tent, 7:30-8:30 PM]

I had to have my bluegrass fix at some point, and what better way than to see the Jerk perform his Grammy Award winning album the Crow. Martin is an absolute treat to watch live, as he’s as sharp and witty in between songs as he is quick fingered on his banjo. A total surprise for me, as I had just assumed the name Steve Martin allowed him to put together whatever kind of band he wanted and play to people who like him. I was dead wrong, Steve Martin is a very talented musician and songwriter. – Tom Pauly

Kings of Leon [What Stage, 9:30-11:30 PM]

Sounds exactly like their latest records. I found myself wandering to the beverage tent more during this set than any other. As it was a kind of homecoming, old-school KoL fans were treated to some classic tunes not found on the glossed over arena anthems that have launched them to stardom. Of that variety was a phenomenal version of “Trani” and a kick ass “Taper Jean Girl.” The highlight of course was their cover of the Pixies’ “Where is My Mind?” Take from that statement what you will. – Tom Pauly

New songs? Check. Covers? Check. New things I haven’t seen before from Kings of Leon? Check. Even though it may seem that I’m an obsessive fan of this band (I’ve seen them 4 times prior to Bonnaroo 2010, so you could get that idea), I’ve seen pretty much all there is to the band. Straightforward with their songs and are usually pretty crisp with the delivery with minimal to no missteps. All of these things are good, but I was hoping for something different this time around. I’d have to say I was blown away by “Trani” as Pauly mentions as well, my personal favorite from their debut Youth and Young Manhood (yeah, remember that one?). The new songs sounded good, and “Where Is My Mind?” came so far out of left field, it was unbelievable. – Patrick Singer

“Where Is My Mind (Pixies cover) – Live at Bonnaroo 2010”

The Flaming Lips [Which Stage, 12-2 AM]

Wayne Coyne is one of the best front-men in music. He always seems to be enjoying himself, and with that usually comes great fun for fans. Joining the band on stage were the usual at a Flaming Lips concert, people in animal costumes, half naked people, Coyne entering a giant bubble to walk amongst the crowd, and a wild light show. The Lips split their set up by hours, the first one dedicated to their hits and sing-a-longs including a stripped-down “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” that had the crowd belting the chorus that gave me chills. The second half of the set saw the Flaming Lips joined on stage by White Dwarfs and Star Death where they covered Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. I was a bit skeptical going into the performance on how the bands were going to transfer their cover album to the live stage. I learned my lesson about doubting the Lips and was blown away. Even Coyne’s falsetto-wailing on “Great Gig in the Sky” was sublime. – Tom Pauly

“She Don’t Use Jelly – Live at Bonnaroo 2010”

LCD Soundsystem [This Tent, 2:30-4 AM]

James Murphy is 40, which usually means you’re starting to slow down if you’re a regular person. James Murphy is not normal, and his band his far above average. LCD Soundsystem’s stellar set included songs from all LCD albums, a few coming from the just newly released This Is Happening. Earlier in the day I’d passed by the stage where they’d be performing later that night, and thinking of how small it appeared. In the end, the stage and tent combination worked best for the band that gets away with songs like “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” and the ridiculous-yet-catchy “Drunk Girls” thrown into a setlist. Oh and there was a massive disco ball in the middle of the stage, that’s always a plus for me, especially when you deliver a product that is considered mindblowing by most. – Patrick Singer

“I Can Change – Live at Bonnaroo 2010”

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