RER Recommends: Bonnaroo at a Glance

Even though a week has passed since the festival ended, I’m still basking in the afterglow of Bonnaroo 2012. It’s absolutely impossible to explain the amazingness of the four day, five night, mind-blowing event that is ‘Roo. Instead of trying to explain every experience and event regarding music as well as camping, I’ll just slap together a few of my favorite bands and performances that took me by surprise at the festival. Some of them are live, but unfortunately, many of the sets have not been posted online in a quality suitable for sharing.

I’m going to start out with a band that everyone and their mother says they enjoy, but I couldn’t seem to get into until last week. Radiohead is undoubtedly talented- but their mastery is truly showcased in their live performance. After all, how many bands can capture a crowd of 50,000+ people with such a mellow song? Enjoy “Give up the Ghost”:


Thursday night is usually filled with a roster of not-so-famous bands. This isn’t to say they aren’t popular- they just haven’t gotten as much media attention. So, typically my group spends Thursday evening wandering around and looking for new bands. This year, we stumbled (thanks to a few drinks back at camp) onto SOJA’s performance. Funny enough, they are DC based. Even though I’d heard of them, I’d never taken the time to listen to them. We had a ton of fun at their set, spending most of their hour and a half slot kicking up sand at the edge of the crowd and dancing our hearts out.  Here’s “Sorry”:

Now, my boyfriend’s brother generally has very good taste in music- and he has seen Robert Randolph and the Family Band countless times.  I’m talking twenty or thirty times. At Bonnaroo this year, Robert Randolph played a set called The Word, along with John Medeski and the North Mississippi Allstars. I have to say, I now understand why Robert Randolph is so great. I’m even making plans to see him again in August at Silopanna, a festival in Annapolis. Unfortunately, there isn’t a youtube video with The Word performance, so here is Randolph playing “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That”

On Sunday afternoon, as I was readying myself for a trip back to camp, I heard a commotion in the middle of the shopping area at Bonnaroo. I turned around and found a brass band parading through the crowds, with a growing following of about ten people, heading towards the giant mushroom fountain. I quickly turned myself around and began dancing my heart out watching the awesome and improvisational music. After speaking to some of the band members, I found out they were the Stooges Brass Band. Here is a studio session, one of the only decent recordings I could find of their songs. It doesn’t do their talent justice in my opinion. “Wind It Up”:

I could keep going for a while about awesome bands, but I’ll leave it at four. Every year I’m reminded of how many more bands I could be listening to, and this year was no different.

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