WPG-“Roo” : Bonnaroo 2010 Recap Day 3

Here’s a short recap of the action on Saturday, Day 3 of 4. Pictures and videos galore!

Conan O’Brien [Comedy Tent, 1-2:30 PM]

Waiting around for a number of hours just to get a ticket to get in line is not something that I’m usually down with. However, Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour in air-conditioning seemed too good to pass up. After a four hour or so wait, we were herded into the tent like cattle only to find out that the a/c had gone out. But the show went on and midway through Conan’s first few jokes about NBC the cool air hugged the room. Conan’s jokes centered around his life after television where he described his 7 stages of grief, Jay Leno (well, he gave a disclaimer saying that he was making fun of someone different who is exactly like that one guy), and how NBC may force him to use his real birth name, “Jet Blaze.” Mixed in were musical numbers featuring the lanky-red head on guitar- notably an Elvis Presley “Poke Salad Annie” that O’Brien tried to alter to fit his life. The set closed with an encore by Coco and Co. that saw the band absolutely rock the Band’s 1968 classic “The Weight.” During a little jam session by his band, O’Brien graciously ran around the crowd for hugs, pictures and high fives before heading back to the stage to finish the last verse. Absolutely worth the lengthy wait. – Tom Pauly

The Dead Weather [What Stage, 6-7:30 PM]

After catching a few minutes of Jimmy Cliff, a few of us decided to get in the queue line for the pit area of the What? Stage. Absolutely the best decision of the weekend. After chilling out all day I was ready to get rocked by Jack White’s other other band. Certainly White is a driving force within the Dead Weather, but the groovy bass of Jack Lawrence meshes so well with the guitar of Dean Fertita that you forget sometimes that White is behind the kit. It’s a powerful fusion of some rock heavyweights, propelled even further by the viciously talented Allison Mosshart on vocals. Mosshart attacks the stage and the microphone with the ferocity and sexual energy of Iggy Pop but with a fantastic voice. Highlighting this set was a cover of THEM’s (Van Morrison’s first band) “You Just Can’t Win, new album Sea of Cowards’ “I Can’t Hear You,” and a 10 minute boozy duet between White and Mosshart on the timely “Will There Be Enough Water,” which also featured White on guitar. Lost in all of this is the fact that the only time it rained during the weekend was when the Dead Weather began their set. Apparently aside from being good at everything, Jack White can also control the weather. – Tom Pauly

Is there anything Jack White III CAN’T do? At this point it seems like a rhetorical question: No. Drums, guitar, vocals, bass, keyboard, you name it. This time around with the Dead Weather, he sits in the background behind lead singer Allison Mosshart, but there’s no doubt in White’s presence on stage. The band chugged through it’s hour and a half set with songs from both of their albums (two albums out in as many years which is pretty unheard of nowadays) with highlights from the newest effort Sea of Cowards “Blue Blood Blues” as well as “No Horse”. It was interesting for me personally because I’ve seen all the character’s Jack White has played in his stellar career: mastermind of the White Stripes, ringleader of the Raconteurs, and now the background fixture of the Dead Weather. I’d have to say they’re all fantastic, and this is a great addition to the mix. – Patrick Singer

“I Can’t Hear You – Live at Bonnaroo 2010”

Weezer [Which Stage, 7-8:30 PM]

The performance from the band was nothing more than mediocre. The drawn out set ended with a crappy cover of MGMT’s “Kids” and some other Lady Gaga track. Too bad they couldn’t stick with stuff pre-Make Believe. Props to Rivers for sporting a USA Soccer Kit though. – Tom Pauly

We were only able to hear Weezer from afar, but decided not to get any closer when they broke into an MGMT cover of “Kids”, later poorly transitioned into Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”. I wanted to poke Rivers Cuomo in the face. – Nick Jones

“Kids” (MGMT cover)/ “Poker Face” (Lady Gaga cover) – Live at Bonnaroo 2010

Stevie Wonder [What Stage, 8:30-10:30 PM]

Stevie Wonder is completely timeless. The songs throughout his set were everything I could’ve imagined from a performer who has been doing it for long before I’ve been alive. Although I wouldn’t consider myself an avid fan of the man, it was great hearing songs that quite frankly, I didn’t know where a part of his catalog before I heard them. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I’m Yours” stuck out for me as a stellar track in the set, as well as the always phenomenal “Higher Ground”. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from Wonder. – Patrick Singer

Is still one of the greatest performers ever. He opened the set on a keytar and jammed a bit before throwing down with “Did I Hear You Say You Love Me?” Wonder rolled through old soul and R&B covers like “Funk #9,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” and “Turn This Mother Out.” I was slightly disappointed in the crowd when Wonder asked us all to sing along to “My Cherie Amor” and it seemed like I was the only one singing around me. C’mon Bonnaroo! It’s one of the greatest love songs ever. Anyway, outside of that little snag, Wonder blew us away with a jammed out concert favorite “Superstition” and pointed us in the direction of love by covering John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.” Stevie Wonder, at 60 years old, can still ignite a party. – Tom Pauly

After being introduced by a likely un-sober Conan O’Brien 25 minutes early, Stevie finally took to the stage. He opened by rocking a keytar and his signature shades. He played a strong two-hour set spanning his complete catalog. With an enthusiastic crowd bobbing their heads all show, Bonnaroo-ers really got down when “Superstition” came on in hour two. Flanked by a full band, the show was simply a multi-generational party. – Nick Jones

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Live at Bonnaroo 2010”

Jay-Z [What Stage, 11:30 PM – 1:30 AM]

After Stevie Wonder, it brings us to the biggest heavyweight at the festival. Even Jay-Z was wowed by Wonder, claiming before he even started how excited he was to tell his mom that “Stevie Wonder stuck around for my set!” HOVA jammed through a set packed with classics from The Blueprint and of course promoting his new album The Blueprint 3. Notable tracks were “Aint No Love (Heart of the City)” in which his backing band played U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Young Forever” off the new album that featured an background video of the NYC skyline. Between songs Shawn Carter bantered with the crowd, and even brought a young woman on stage for the entire crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to her. Jay seemingly had as much fun as everyone on the farm and let us know it. Deceiving me, however, Jay-Z kept name-dropping Jack White and I had hoped a collaboration was possible. After contemplating, I decided that had that happened, I would have probably had a heart attack and it was probably a good thing that didn’t occur. – Tom Pauly

Jay-Z, the self-dubbed “Best Rapper Alive”. Who’s arguing with this man? The guy is simply a performer and knows how to get it done on stage. The sets was filled with songs from all over the map throughout the career of the great rapper and hip hop legend. The great thing about the live setting for Jay-Z is that he really involves the crowd to the utmost, which creates this energy at a show unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. “U Don’t Know”, “Hard Knock Life” and “Jigga What, Jigga Who” were all hit completely out of the park, for a lack of a better term, as well as the new songs and New York anthem “Empire State of Mind” and “D.O.A.”. With the ability to pull all the material and pick out the ones that fill a set as well as Jay does, it’s pretty remarkable how there aren’t any missteps in his live show, especially since the song can stop or start at any moment throughout. Amazing performance by a one-of-a-kind artist. – Patrick Singer

I’m not one for Hyperboles or really even live hip hop, but his set displayed why he is the biggest and the best. Transforming the Bonnaroo main stage to reflect the backdrop that is New York City, Jay-Z stayed true to his Brooklyn roots while acknowledging a different crowd than usual. In hour two, he shouted out to 20 people in the crowd wearing eye catching attire or ones that were simply having the time of their life, at one point leading the crowd in Happy Birthday for a lucky fan who was brought on stage. And I’m not sure what “Hova” is really all about but “H to the Izzo” sure is a sweet song. When “Young Forever” started, every Bonnaroo-er acknowledged the appropriate lyrics. Borderline emotional for me, the track was the highlight of the set. “Forever young, I want to be forever young” is what Bonnaroo said to me. – Nick Jones

“Hard Knock Life – Live at Bonnaroo 2010”

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