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R K Pope

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The Bonnaroo Chronicles, THE MUSIC, Part Three - Sunday
By R K Pope
Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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The Bonnaroo Chronicles, THE MUSIC, Part Three - Sunday

SUNDAY, was a little bit of a lot
Matt and I hung out together all day Sunday. Though I had a great time exploring Bonnaroo by myself on Friday and Saturday, it was really nice to end the weekend sharing the experience with someone. We took as much as we could in, but we were moving slow, and sat down A LOT ----- BOTH of us, which made me feel better since he's only 18!!!
We started at 12:30, at 'What Stage,' with the Toots & Maytals - the 'original creator of reggae.' Just ask him. Toots spent a majority of the time 'teaching' the audience and having us repeat his name to him. I'm still not sure if he thought we were going to forget it or if he was looking for affirmation. Either way, I obeyed, and repeated 'Toot's' when he told me to. It was amusing, rather than irrirating, and did not take away from the music. The music is fun, and I danced some, but sat quit a bit. Again, I was mesmerized by a dancer, this time a girl, also a hippie. Around and around in a giant circle she would move, her eyes closed, her movements in complete sync with the beat of the music. She never ran into anyone, but I'm sure she had to be cheating, opening her eyes just a little. It was fascinating to watch, I do not know or understand why this interested me so, but it did. It was very relaxing to watch actually, kind of like those images that appear on your computer screen when you play a song using 'Media Player,' but in human form.
I wish that we had gone to see Matisyahu instead, who was performing at the same time as Toots. Matt happened upon the Sonic Stage while Matisyahu was there. I read a very interesting article in PASTE magazine after the fact. He's such an interesting character -- a practicing Jew that performs reggae. Matt said that while he was taking in the show (at the time he knew nothing of him), he couldn't figure out who was on vocals and when he did he kept saying to himself 'what is he?' There were so many opportunities to catch this guy (his show, an extra show on the Sonic Stage, with Trey) and I missed them all.
At 2:00, Matt took in 'Citizen Cope' and I went to check out 'Umphrey's McGee.' According to Matt, Citizen Cope 'was good.' Matt is a man of few words. Umphrey's McGee, described by the Bonnaroo program as 'the little jam band that could.' They could and they did -- I was impressed. I enjoyed the music -- though the vocals were less than noteworthy. I stayed for part of the show and then headed over to 'That Tent' to see Heartless Bastards, and missed them too (da*n).
Matt and I meet back up at the Mushroom fountain -- yes, it is a mushroom.
At 3:00, we trod back through the mud to 'What Stage' for Bob Weir & RatDog. Phenomenal show!! I am now a Bob Weir fan (yes Chan, you read correctly) -- he was incredible! In my post-Bonnaroo reading, I ran across an article online from glide magazine that quoted quite a bit of what he had to say about the decrease in politics in music. I was even more impressed with him.
Afterwards, Matt and I take a VERY LONG break, killing time until Modest Mouse came on, at the Brooers Tent and listened to The Word -- a combination of John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood), the North Mississippi Allstars and Robert Randolph. We were highly impressed. I'm not sure who played in more shows as a 'guest' that weekend - Warren Haynes or Robert Randolph.
It's 6:15, and Modest Mouse is on. This was one of the top 5 that I was there to see. Like Jack Johnson, they draw a young crowd -- a lot of younguns. Some more climbing in that darn tree!! Of all the shows that I was really excited to see, I think I was the least impressed with this one. They did play all of my favorites, but something was lacking. I am still not able to put my finger on it, I can only say that it was less than. We actually had a little bit of a scary moment during this particular show. A young kid had an attack during the show, and passed out momentarily. According to his girlfriend, he'd only had 'chocolates' (mushrooms). From what I was told -- there's no way this should/could have been from the chocolates, and that more than likely it was a result of him freaking himself out and hyperventilating. I've no idea, but I hope that's true . He was revived rather quickly and they left -- so I guess he was okay. Ironically, at the same time, the band was singing, "the good times are killing me." I am NOT making this up. For the most part, we enjoyed the show, and he summed up his opinion with 'that was good.' Big talker, my cousin.
On the way back over to rest at the Brooers Village (told ya I loved that place), Matt finds a beverage on the ground -- full and unopened. Only Matt!!! I loan him, upon his request, one of my anti-bacterial wipes. See? They were multi-functional.
We sit for a LONG TIME, relaxing until Widespread's show, to begin at 8:30. I decided I should probably buy something from the Brooers Village. I felt obligated since I had utilized their tables so often. I DO NOT like beer -- but found one that was a wheat beer - kind of light and a little bit like a Cider. It was tolerable. I sat and sipped, and met two very nice guys while I waited -- Justin and Mike from New York. Justin was a HUGE DMB fan, and made his friend Mike go to all the shows with him. They were a lot of fun to talk to. Justin and I geeked over various DMB shows. Mike was a tad inebriated.
Matt leaves for a few minutes and when he returns, I have new table mates -- Tony & Paige -- two girls from Indianapolis. Both redheads -- we all laughed about how brutal the sun was to the four of us. Tony was the long haired, talkative one who was obviously trying to impress Matt. Paige had short hair, pulled into two low pig tails and was the quieter of the two. They were both pretty nice and we had a pretty long conversation while we waited for Widespread. Though, there was a tense moment, when Tony starting blasting Dave fans saying that 'she had a lot of respect for Dave but his fans were something else' -- labeling them as 'ALL Frat guys with girlfriends in pleated skirts.' My claws came out immediately, but I could tell that she was trying to impress Matt, so I withdrew them. On the way home, Matt told me that he preferred Paige over Tony because she seemed sweet. It did my heart good to hear that, I was rather impressed by Matt's judge of character. Pleated skirts, please!!!
I also read an article by a man by the name of Jack Shepler where he stated, "I expect that a majority of the jock types that were at Bonnaroo were there for Dave, although there were few. I suppose at least Dave brought them in to experience some of the finer music -- and people -- in life." Excuse me, Jack, and forgive me, but while I can certainly allow for the fact that you might not be particularly fond of 'jock types' (I'm not either), but now you're BETTER?!?!?!?
Next to the getting lost episode, this was probably the only truly disappointing part of Bonnaroo, and I must take this moment to vent about it. It would seem, from their comments, and from several articles that I read, that we DMB fans were not welcome. I thought Bonnaroo was supposed to be about all walks of people enjoying all types of music. It would appear that this wasn't completely true .
Widespread Panic, what we saw was a great show, but we were beyond exhaustion. Between my ankles and his sunburn, we were both so miserable, we left right before the intermission. Matt was the one who actually suggested leaving. We did; however, get to see Bob Weir join them. I later read that they were also joined by Warren Haynes, and I think Herbie Hancock, and Robert Randolph. I told you Warren & Robert were busy.
So much music -- jazz, reggae, country, southern rock, bluegrass, gospel, hip hop.................SO MANY BANDS, SO LITTLE TIME.

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