For many reasons, Sunday at Bonnaroo will always hold a special place in my heart. As soon as you walk in the gates on Thursday, you are welcomed with unconditional love, high-fives, smiles, hugs and a gentle reminder to “#radiatepositivity.” That positive nature never waned throughout the ridiculous heat, lack of proper hygiene and mini-dust storms. While the 60,000 odd people would have a definite lack of energy come Sunday, the love reigned supreme knowing we would end the weekend with some massive acts such as Dead And Company, Death Cab For Cutie and many more.
Starting off the day was Cymande and their international flair. Soon after, I finally caught Mr. Charles Bradley who brought us to church and it was glorious. The midday summer sun would only slow the legend down a bit and offered his soul stylings complete with robot dances and trips to the rail to receive hugs from his vast amount of fans.
A nice treat in Saint Motel followed and had the whole tent dancing to their indie-pop vibes. With non-stop action and a stuffed Bengal Tiger, it was one of the more entertaining sets of the weekend and will be keeping tabs on this fun band.
Father John Misty is one hell of a performer and had the Which Stage packed full of younger devotees. His snake-charmer-like set was entrancing and had the mostly younger crowd eating out of his hands with his lo-fi indie-rock.
Seeing Death Cab For Cutie for the first time in many years was so much fun as they brought it really hard with selects off the newest record as well as their hits. Lead singer, Ben Gibbard was a blaze of energy from the opening bell and interacted with his whole band while bouncing around in obvious joy.
Then the massive amount of Dead fans started to infiltrate the farm. While they mostly kept a low profile throughout the weekend, as soon as the sun started dipping towards the horizon, they came out in masses dressed in the classic Dead uniforms of colorful tie-dyes and unshakeable smiles.
By the time Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, John Mayer and company hit the stage, the main lawn was packed full of generations of deadheads ready to dance. And boy did they dance as the legends played all the hits including Truckin’, Shakedown Street, Fire On The Mountain, Casey Jones, Playing In The Band, Bertha, Scarlet Begonias and the crowd pleasing Tennessee Jed. A mind-altering and progressive Drums/Space blew us all away, but witnessing Donna Jean Godchaux sing with Bobby and friends was simply divine and will hold a special place in my heart for one of the greatest sets of music I’ve heard in quite some time, and cementing Bonnaroo as one hell of a ride.
Article: Shayne Hanley