Bonnaroo Late Night: Spaceships, Cheerleaders and Guests Aplenty
Saturday night at Bonnaroo offered one of the most-diverse and highly-anticipated late nights in the history of the festival. The Flaming Lips had arrived the prior evening and band members and crew worked together through the dawn to install a metallic spaceship prop which descended from the top of the stage at the outset of their set as the group emerged (with vocalist Wayne Coyne encased in his signature ball). The Lips then performed for well over two hours on the Which Stage, joined by numerous festivalgoers dressed either as cheerleaders or Santas.
Meanwhile, Govt Mule performed two sets over at This Tent which featured multiple guest slots from the festivals artists. Their performance opened with Michael Franti joining in on a cover of ‘Play With Fire.’ Next up, Bob Weir (who appaered with RatDog the following day) contributed vocals to ‘Sugaree’ and ‘Loser.’ Comic Lewis Black joined next, stepping out during a Johnny Bratton Jam. The set then charged to a close with am appearance from Led Zeppelins John Paul Jones on bass and later keyboards for bit of Moby Dick, and then rousing versions of Livin’ Lovin’ Maid, and No Quarter. The Second set opened with Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassady up with the Mule for Come Back Baby Death Don’t Have No Mercy and it closed out with Luther Dickenson on guitar for That’s What Love Will Make You Do and 32-20 Blues. Also of note was the War Pigs encore which marked the songs second appearance of the evening as the Flaming Lips had soundchecked the tune with a full-on light show an hour before their to the frenzied cheers of a few thousand fans (many of whom thought Lips had opted to begin their since earlier The Police had closed out things a bit earlier than anticipated on the What Stage).
Over at That Tent, Galactic put on an extravaganza in its own right, with a range of MCs participating. Chali 2na, Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab, Mr. Lif and Boots Riley joined in for a performance that previewed the groups From The Corner To The Block release (which is set to hit on August 21). The group encored with a version of Kashmir that drew together all of the rappers who appeared over the course of the evening.
Meanwhile, over At Somethin Else the jazz venue (it would be an injustice to call this a tent as it was effectively a small club), Scott Amendola Band started the late night action with his band that featured Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. The Philadelphia Experiment followed and at one point Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson, Christian McBride and Uri Caine were joined by actress Gina Gershon on jews harp.
Finally the Other Tent saw Girl Talk (Gregg Gills) perform to an enthusiastic auidence, that saw him strip to his boxers and crowd surf at the close of his set. Finally, Sasha & John Digweed were on hand to spin well past their scheduled 3:30 conclusion, as music pulsated from the Tent well after sunrise.