My First ‘Roo: Umphrey’s McGee, Dawes, Dispatch, Delta Spirit, ALO, Wyllys
Bonnaroo Classes: ‘05, ‘08
ALO bassist Steve Adams had such a good time when his band played Bonnaroo in 2005 that he came back three years later just to hang. Like many of you, he braved the rain to see My Morning Jacket’s epic late night set and watched Galactic kick out the jams with some of the scene’s biggest rappers in support of their album From the Corner to the Block. Of course it helped that ALO keyboardist/singer Zach Gill was on the bill performing with event co-headliner and longtime ALO pal Jack Johnson. Now, seven years since the veteran California jamband made their Bonnaroo debut one hot Thursday night, ALO returns to Bonnaroo with their new, hook-laden but still loose album Sounds Like This for a high-profile slot in This Tent on Sunday Morning. They’ll also play a more intimate set on the Solar Stage at 3 PM today and will appear on the Sonic Stage at 3 PM. Adams recently spoke about his experiences at Bonnaroo as both a performer and fan—and even shed some light on his ideal comedic collaboration.
What do you remember most about your own performance?
I remember the big tent we played in, Which or That, I forget. And that Rose Hill Drive wrapped up their set just before ours with a crushing cover of “Immigrant Song,” one we’d also worked up for our set. You win some you lose some.
Describe your craziest Bonnaroo experience?
Getting rained on during My Morning Jacket’s outdoor night set in 2008. The band played on and we all got drenched. Rock trumped the elements, it was majestic!
How does Bonnaroo compare to other festivals you have played?
Bonnaroo is uniquely interactive. Every element of it is engaging, you’re constantly brought into the experience, if you’re not already in it without even knowing.
What was your quintessential Bonnaroo moment from years past?
The folks at Bonnaroo do a great job facilitating rad musical collaborations. One of my favorites was Galactic with Chali 2Na late night in 2008. Galactic sounded so good. Perfect organ and guitar hooks, great grooves and drum breaks. It was really cool to hear hip hop with so much life.
What band would you most like to collaborate with at Bonnaroo this year?
Let’s get Kenny Rogers over to the ALO set, we’d love to play a tune with him! Or, do you think Aziz Ansari would want to do “Baby Baby” with us? That’d be amazing.