Bonaroo 2009 by Olivia Burd
“I wish this was how the real world operated,” she said. My friend was referencing the freedoms and nuances of Bonaroo. Every so often the crowd of dirty hippies, wannabes, college students, and wierdos alike trying to enter into Centeroo began to scream “BONAROOOO” so loudly that security guards “gave up” and let us all in without checking bags. The concerts start at midday and end at 4 in the morning. Drug dealers trek to the ‘Roo for their annual mecca of loyal clientele. One of my favorite parts of ‘Roo was the disregard for bathing and hygiene; there’s really no need when camping on a farm for 4 days. 2009’s festival proved to hold up with a line up of Bruce (the Boss), Beastie Boys (feat. Nas), Snoop (feat. Erykah Badu), and Phish, but my favorite acts tended to be the names not in bold. Jenny Lewis is a favorite of mine and her show was soulful and twangy like I like it. The Next Messiah is 3 songs in one = kickin, and Elvis Costello came out to play Carpetbagger. Andrew Bird was more phantasmal with his ghostly whistling and weeping violin. A gigantic fake gramophone spun around whenever the loops picked up and the orchestral feeling crescendo-ed. Another experience I’ll never forget was GIRL TALK. So much toilet paper, so many crazies onstage, and too much base for a 3rd-rower like myself. My friends all pushed onto the stage, but sadly I was lame, and stayed on the ground. I heard MGMT was epic, but that was Saturday night when I accidentally fell asleep at 12 instead of going to the 2 am show. Animal Collective and Bon Iver were pleasant surprises. TV on the Radio, Wilco, and David Byrne rocked as usual, and Al Green, well he is my special Reverend “Soul Man” from Memphis–I love that man with all my heart, even when his eyes bug out on the high notes. If you ever find yourself in the Southeast in June, Bonaroo is The Place to be.
Jenny Lewis, Black Sand video