The first band I saw was Sea Wolf. The California band was making their Bonnaroo debut, and they were quite good. They have a very California-cool vibe going with mostly acoustic guitar, tinkling electric guitar fills, and some nice whirly keys. The keyboardist, of course, was the token hipster girl of the group. I've been a fan of Sea Wolf for a few years. None of their music is particularly fast. They lean more toward rhythmic mid-tempo at the most. That said, I felt like falling asleep at This Tent during the first half of the show while they were playing tunes from their newest album Old World Romance. But they picked it up later with some old songs of theirs.
A couple things I saw yesterday morning: yoga! There was a massive yoga class near the fountain. People who didn't even have yoga mats joined. Bonnaroo expanded its yoga class offerings this year, and it looks like that was a good idea. But! Throughout the day, clusters of one to four people would spontaneously move into warrior, downward facing dog, or inverted triangle poses! Spontaneously! Something must be in the water.
Another thing: I'd heard there are a handful of people who just have to run while camping. Haha. There are a ton of people who run while camping. I hope they shower. Anyway, there are actually so many that Bonnaroo is having its first 5K this morning. I do run, but I am not going to provide a first-hand take on that one. Sorry (not sorry).
The next show I saw was Local Natives on the big What Stage. I'm a relatively new fan of them, but probably a bigger fan after having seen them live. They have some seriously lovely harmonies going on! They mentioned between songs that they had played here a couple years ago in a tent, and couldn't even believe what they saw looking out at the crowd (there were a metric ton of people there). Anyway, they were great. Meanwhile, a couple of dudes next to me bonded over the late George Jones.
Here are some more things I saw that one doesn't normally see in real life: First of all, people are not shy about taking their clothes off! I didn't see any completely naked folks (Thank goodness. I can't handle naked strangers running around), but apparently no one cares if you run around in your underwear. Who knew!
Glen Hansard, the man who starred in that movie Once (now a broadway musical), performed at This Tent, too. He did more covers than anyone else, I think. He also probably said the most swear words of anyone. He covered Aretha Franklin's "Respect," and the Band's cover of Marvin Gaye's "Baby Don't You Do It." He dedicated the latter to whoever was smoking the weed. "It smells so nice," he said. There is a lot of weed at Bonnaroo. No one is surprised, not even this newbie. Hansard also played a few tracks that were in Once, but he'd been playing them even before the movie came out. Good show, over all!
Ok, some more Things I Saw: Headdresses. Can we retire them? They're the worst music festival cliché. Some good things I saw included an older couple with matching yellow ankle cords. I'm guessing they wore them so they can always find each other. There were also a ton of braid hairstyles going on, and a lot of natural hair, meaning wavy/curly. Both DO's, definitely! Another DO: sunflowers! I saw a cute printed sunflower tank top, and one woman glued small silk sunflowers around the top of her bandeau top.
Although I heard a little bit of Passion Pit (bass was thumping, and they sounded good!), I wanted to get a good spot for Grizzly Bear. They were fantastic! Very chill, of course, but when they sounded fantastic and mystical, it was easy to forget. The Which Stage crowd was definitely into it. Plus! Beyoncé's sister Solange came on stage toward the end of the set to sing some harmonies with them on "Knife." They wrapped with "Two Weeks," which everyone loved. Great show.
Mini trend I saw: jingley things on skirts, tops, bikini bottoms so that you sound like many tiny tambourines when you walk. Here's a DO: I saw someone carrying a faded mustard-yellow drawstring backpack that said "I'm lovin' it."
Ok, confession time. I love Wu-Tang Clan. They performed on the Which Stage, and opened with "Bring Da Ruckus," which I enjoyed. I should mention that everyone there (and, again, there were a TON of people) was going crazy. They loved Wu-Tang. One guy wearing one of those full-body spandex suits was holding a stick with an angry pumpkin man who had his hands up in a W. there were lights on him, too. I wish I'd gotten a picture, but I literally could not move. And that is why I had to leave Wu-Tang a little early...
BECAUSE PAUL MCCARTNEY WAS GOING TO PLAY ON THE WHAT STAGE. Second confession: the Beatles are my favorite band of all time. His band was fantastic. They really nailed those Beatles harmonies. Paul opened with "Eight Days A Week," and would alternate between Beatles tunes, Wings songs, and some solo songs. He also performed his new song "Valentine," which he wrote for his current wife Nancy. But soon after that, he sang "Amazed." He introduced it by saying, "And I wrote this song for Linda." There was a collective "aww" at the mention of his beloved first wife Linda Eastman. Paul also played some tunes that the Beatles had never performed live, including "Lovely Rita," and "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite." Crazy! I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention that Paul played is beautiful bass guitar, a lovely acoustic, a fancy electric, and a 12-string guitar, in addition to the piano. He also played the opening riff of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady," and told the story of attending his concert two days after the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Hendrix had learned that song in two days! Eric Clapton was also apparently at that show! "Live and Let Die" was the first song of the night to get some fireworks. It was so cool! Paul played about three encores. It was awesome. After ending with an epic singing of "Hey Jude," he came back out and played "Day Tripper," left again, then came back out and played "Yesterday," and finally ended the night with a very badass rendition of "Helter Skelter." The woman in front of me was head-banging. There were fireworks.
I don't know if you could tell, but I really loved Paul McCartney. Email me if you need further details. I'm happy to provide.
One last DO: a very tall gentleman was holding his group's sign, and was wearing a tall top hat and a ruffled white skirt over his jorts. How fun!