Whole Lotta Collaborations at Bonnaroo
Manchester, TN-Glowsticks and covers colored the Dave Matthews Bands headlining set Friday night at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. After opening with One Sweet World, the Virginia-bred quintet offered over two hours of continuous music, including a cover of the Zombies Time of the Season. Before inviting Warren Haynes onstage for a version of Jimi Thing, which gradually slipped into Buffalo Springfields For What Its Worth, a glowstick war erupted during Bartender. Later in the evening, the guitarist invited Robert Randolph onstage for versions of Louisiana Bayou and All Along the Watchtower with Matthews sporting Randolphs trademark brim hat.
The Dave Matthews Bands first appearance at Bonnaroo arrived near the end of a busy first day. During the Allman Brothers Bands set on the Which Stage, Jerry Douglas emerged for a version of Good Morning Little School Girl. The Allmans also offered its share of covers, including The Bands Night they Drove Old Dixie Down and the Grateful Deads Franklins Tower. Later in the evening, Gabby La La added her distinctive sitar style to The Beltless Buckler during the Benevento/Russo Duos set with Mike Gordon. Before its 1:30 AM show in The Other Tent, Sound Tribe Sector 9 also offered a set of music under its electronic Live PA alias on the Sonic Stage.
As expected, Galactics Krewe De Carnivale served as a springboard for countless collaborations. Nodding to its New Orleans heritage, Galactic invited Big Easy icons Leo Nocentelli (the Meters), Kermit Ruffins (Rebirth Brass Band), Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Gold Eagles Mardi Gras Indians and the Dirty Dozen Brass Bands Roger Lewis, Efrem Townes and Kevin Harris onstage at various points throughout its after midnight set. American Idol runner-up Bo Bice also made a surprise appearance with Galactic after serving as Grand Marshall during Bonnaroos annual Centeroo parade. Bice added vocals to a series of covers beginning with Led Zeppelins Whole Lotta Love, with Teedy Boutte and Dave Matthews Bands Boyd Tinsley also joining in the fray. Meanwhile, in the comedy tent, four costume-clad Bonnaroo artists performed a surprise Masquerade Ball. Filling its set with classic-rock and metal covers like Eric Claptons Cocaine the quartet was later revealed to be Marco Benevento and Particles Darren Pujalet, as well as Umphreys McGees Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss. Adding to the confusion, Cinninger traded in his guitar for a bass for the surprise performance.
Throughout the day, scattered showers seeded Bonnaroos mud pits, though on the whole the festivals grounds are still in good condition. Perhaps the weekends most anticipated performance Herbie Hancock offered versions of his Watermelon Man and Edgar Winters Frankenstein with a new version of his Headhunters. In a press conference before his set, Hancock discussed the jamband scene with Headhunters guitarist John Mayer, Saul Williams and Matisyahu. When asked about his increased presence in the jamband community, Mayer mentioned his admiration for Charlie Hunter and joked about his pop single, Your Body is a Wonderland. When people compliment you say thank you, Mayer says. But then you think wait to you see what Im about to do next.