Sunday at Bonnaroo
Manchester, TN-Widespread Panic closed out the fourth annual Bonnaroo Music Festival with an extended, guest-laden set which included the anthemic City of Dreams. Performing from 8:30 PM until just after midnight, Panic played straight through both its set break and its encore, dubbing a sea of muddy fans the cast of thousands.
Returning to Manchester, TN for the fourth year in a row, Bonnaroo overcame past traffic problems while narrowly avoiding a passing tropical storm. Despite occasional showers, Bonnaroos schedule ran smoothly, while fans wandered between tents and soaked up a variety of interactive art exhibits. Among the weekends most popular activities, fans danced with headphones in the Silent Disco Tent and explored the Sonic Forest. Helping draw fans into the non-profit Planet Roo, Signal Path, ALO and Ozomatli signed autographs in the Rock the Earth booth.
As is tradition, Bonnaroo also served as a springboard for countless collaborations throughout the festivals ten stages and tents. Late Friday night, Mr. Lif joined Sound Tribe Sector 9 onstage in That Other Tent, while M. Ward welcomed My Morning Jackets Jim James and Rilo Kileys Jenny Lewis onstage for the final four songs of his set. Keller Williams also fleshed out the later part of his set with an appearance by the Keene Brothers. Returning a favor Thursday night, Dan joined Tea Leaf Green on the Sonic Stage, just before his ALO band mate Zach Gill jammed with Xavier Rudd as part of Jack Johnsons backing band.
Trey Anastasio performed the weekends only open air late night set on the Which Stage with his band 70 Volt Parade Saturday evening. Offering a mix of covers (In the Light), new originals (Goodbye Head) and songs which fall somewhere in between (46 Days) Anastasio also ran through the second half of the Beatles famed Abbey Road. Anastasio also invited festival breakout Matisyahu onstage for versions of Close My Eyes and No Women No Cry. After appearing with Galactic a night earlier, American Idols Bo Bice also sparred with admitted Idol fan Anastasio on Panama.
Nodding to Bonnaroos size, several performers augmented their sets with larger than life theatrics. My Morning Jacked performed alongside a parade of 12-foot tall puppets. Particle also performed while backed by a full gospel choir. Late Saturday night, De La Soul invited over fifty fans onstage for the finale of its late-night set in That Tent.
Sunday saw the return of The Word, a supergroup featuring Robert Randolph, John Medeski and the North Mississippi Allstars. A rare performance by the gospel-influenced jamband, The Words mainstage blended into a packed afternoon of music, including sets by Modest Mouse and Earle Scruggs and Friends. Hancock also anchored Bonnaroos annual SuperJam which featured Roots drummer ?uestlove along with members of Hancocks new Headhunters project.
Widespread Panic fashioned both its sets as extended jam sessions, inviting a handful of the weekends performers onstage throughout its three-sets. Saturday evening, Warren Haynes emerged for versions of I Walk on Guilded Splinters and Doreatha, later returning during Panics encore for Maggot Brain with Mule keyboardist Danny Louis. Not to be outdone, Matt Abts also joined Panic during an extended drum jam, along with Hunter Williams on djembe
Sunday, Panic also nodded to roots by jamming with both Bob Weir and Herbie Hancock. Weir emerged first, trading vocal duties with John Bell on Wang Dang Doodle and Little Red Rooster. Herbie Hancock, Bonnaroos Artist-in-Residence, also emerged for ‘You Should Be Glad,’ ‘Arleen’ and ‘Life During Wartime.’. Later in the evening, Col. Bruce Hampton, Robert Randolph and Luther Dickinson joined Panic for a version of Fixin’ in to Die, with the later two artists remaining onstage for ‘Junior,’ ‘Fishwater’ and ‘Red Hot Mama.’ Cody Dickinson also augmented an elongated drum jam, featuring a variety of percussion toys. At press time, Bonnaroos last visitors are preparing to exit.