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Published: 2007/07/24
by Taylor Hill

Visions of Bonnaroo 2007: Thursday (From The National Pastime To The National)

These Thursday photos are more about setting and atmosphere and less about the performers, although the photos of performers are there. Rodrigo y Gabriela and the 30-minute-late-but-still-awesome The National were the champions of Thursday night. Honorable mention goes to the Dr. Dog VIP Party show, which was off the charts as well.

Typical Bonnaroo festivalgoer, because there is no typical festivalgoer. In the background are just a few hundred of the few thousand in line for the comedy tent, and, in the black shirt, festival founder Ashley Capps.

Shirtless people, batting cages, ferris wheel, recycling exhibit, and floating yet tethered balloon. Bonnarooooooooooo!

Centeroo fountain before nightfall

Centeroo fountain after nightfall.

This area was unquestionably the most important of Bonnaroo, and if you didnt visit, you missed out, because it was the Relix subscription tent, and you need to click here and subscribe to Relix, so Cold Turkeys Mike Greenhaus, seen here, can continue to hold down the arepa fort and bring you comprehensive festival coverage.

Inside the sweet, sweet air conditioning of the expanded comedy tent, which still had a line that was thousands strong.

Lewis Black opened the festival by saying Ladies and Gentlemen, this is about as good as it will ever get. If you dont like it, and think there is something better out there, then youre out of your f—-ing mind. He spoke this seriously, and, while still funny, set the tone for my Bonnaroo.

Finesse Mitchell from SNL did a great job.

The inside of the Somethin Else Jazz Club, sponsored by Blue Note Records. Table service. We didnt pay for our beer in advance. Air conditioning. Space to sit. this Bonnaroo?

Lou Donaldson with Dr. Lonnie Smith. I had to Photoshop the hell out of this one because of the low, atmospheric lighting in the Jazz Club.

Ryan Shaw, a histrionic soul singer who I found really entertaining in small doses.

The legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker was hired to kick off the festival and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Monterey Pop fest. I only wish he did a DVD for this year.

Dr. Dog rocks the Thursday VIP Party with some Americana-infused rock and roll.

Paul Keany of Mute Math makes the keytar cool again while keeping the streaker from fazing him.

Apollo Sunshine were absolutely off-the-charts. They have the kind of energy people say the E-Street Band had in their beginning. I cannot recommend seeing them highly enough.

The National committed two unpardonable sins at Bonnaroo closing with a slow song and going onstage 30 minutes late, and they still blew the festival apart. Matt Berningers baritone, get ready for it, melted my face.

Rodrigo Sanchez of acoustic metal duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. Theirs was the most anticipated set of the night and full of magical moments. One audience member yelled play some Slayer and they actually obliged. Their instrumental Wish You Were Here was sung by the audience with no cues and they closed with, you guessed it, Stairway to Heaven.

Gabriela Quintero of Rodrigo y Gabriela. Even at 1600 ISO her hand blurs.

Setting up a tent for the first time will never not be funny.

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