Tag: Mac Miller

Bonnaroo Part III: Return of the Jedi

Bonnaroo Part III: Return of the Jedi

Chapter 1: Sunday Morning

On the morning of my final day at Bonnaroo, I was prepared for what would certainly be our most relaxing day. With only four acts to check out (and the first one not going on until 1:00), I was ready to chill and maybe have a beer with BeeZnutz.

 

It had rained the whole night and well into the morning, but by the time we left our tent at about 9 or so, the rain had died down to a light drizzle as the clouds above threatened similar weather in our near future. Which of course is a whole lot better than heat and sun. Reminds me of Washington. *sniff*

After a big breakfast that consisted of pop tarts, eggs, and bacon (seriously, THANK YOU Tony) we hung out a little more and talked about Phish with our neighbors, asking questions such as “If you see Phish two nights in a row at the same place, does that count as seeing them twice?” The answer, obviously, is yes.

Eventually, it was that time of morning where we would have to walk on the wet grass over to the What Stage to catch bluesy newcomer Gary Clark Jr.

 Chapter 2: The Savior of Blues

If you’ve paid attention to festival lineups lately, then you’ve probably noticed many common names. But one that you’re gonna want to remember is Gary Clark Jr. This 28-year old guitar virtuoso may come off as intimidating at first (I compare him to 1994 Samuel L. Jackson sans afro) he is actually an astoundingly skilled musician and seemingly vulnerable person. For example, when he breaks into falsetto for a song like Please Come Home, your heart immediately melts. Gary has what most guitar players lack (I also noticed this with Annie Clark): EMOTION. He actually feels the notes and chords of the guitar buzzing through his entire body, and lets his emotions affect how he plays and what he plays. It worked with Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King (who I’d compare Gary to without hesitation) and it will work for literally every guitar player with a heart.

Gary played an hour-long set full of songs both rockin’ and beautiful, sometimes both. He uses a fuzzy type of distortion that gives it an old school sound while also giving it a garage-revival sound. Something not exactly unique, but it is definitely put to good use.

And the dude, like I said, plays guitar extremely well. Whether it’s the crazy finger-picking riff on Don’t Owe You a Thang to, well pretty much any guitar solo he played. He played tastefully, not trying to draw the attention away from his fantastic band. That is another important part of being a blues musician. Your name may be the one on the CDs, posters, and t-shirts, but the band onstage is what’s making it happen. It’s easy to see now why they call Gary Clark Jr. the savior of blues.

Chapter 3: the Adult Swim Carnival

If you’re the kind of person that watches Adult Swim, then you’re also probably the kind of person who eats corn flakes at 2 in the morning and makes jokes about unicorns.

But seriously, Adult Swim is one of the strangest channels on television, and when they’re sponsoring a festival known specifically for its weirdness… well, you never know what could happen.

This year, they opened up an Adult Swim sponsored section of Bonnaroo right by the entrance that runs sort of like a carnival, but if the carnival was invented by Syd Barrett and Jim Morrison. There were classic carnival games like Balloonicorn, Smack Up My Uvula, and everyones favorite: Babies vs. Old People!

During Balloonicorn, you had to put on a comically oversized unicorn head with an extra-sharp horn tip and jump up repeatedly to try and pop the balloons that were above. Pop enough of them, you win a prize. Because of the long line and promise of a headache, I decided to skip that one.

During Smack Up My Uvula, you had to climb a horizontal ladder that is VERY unsteady and try to reach the uvula at the end. And then you smack it. And then you win a prize. I tried (and failed) but my dad won!

And during Babies vs. Old People (On Segwags) you stood on a mounted Segway with a sling shot between the two handles and fire small babies at the cardboard old people that are moving across. Again, I lost and so did my dad. Slingshots are hard.

After failed attempts to complete these games (thank goodness it was all free) we headed out towards the Which Stage to catch the second Ben Folds Five performance in over 10 years. Unfortunately to do this, we had to do the unthinkable: sit through Mac Miller.

Chapter 4: The Unthinkable and Ben Folds Five

While we waited in line to get into the pit for Ben Folds Five, we had nothing to do but listen to Mac Miller’s performance. And since I don’t have many kind words to say about Mac Miller, reviewing him wouldn’t exactly be fair. So I’ll just skip to the part where we were in the pit waiting for Ben Folds Five.

Ben Folds Five (who are actually a trio, HOW IRONIC!) parted ways in 2000, leaving Ben Folds with a successful solo career, but nothing that would ever match the greatness that is BF5. They were known for their pleasant nerdiness, jazz influences, and for being all-around happy people.

“This is our first concert as Ben Folds Five in over… seven days,” said lead singer/pianist Ben Folds, referring to the Mountain Jam Festival. “But before that it was over 10 years.” I guess he means as an actual working band, because they performed a one-off concert in 2008. But that doesn’t matter, it worked on a humor level.

The band kicked off the set with the first song off their debut album, Jackson Cannery. And afterwards they just let the hits flow through, not playing any of their new material (if there was any) but did invite us to check it out online. But hey that’s fine with me. Soundgarden did the same thing last year and I had a great time with them.

At one point Ben Folds stopped the show and said “Uh, this is a tradition at a Ben Folds Five show where I take a picture from atop my piano. So, if you could all very kindly flip me off…” and got on his piano. Everyone in the crowd very kindly put their middle fingers up to Ben Folds as he took a picture.

One of the coolest parts of the show was when they broke into Song for the Dumped, one of the most musically insane Ben Folds Five songs. It includes a solo where Ben Folds holds his mic up to the strings of the piano and just rubs on them, while bassist Robert Sledge holds his amp chord up to his hand producing rhythmic feedback with the buzz of the amp. It really is hard to explain, but it’s something to see.

Ben Folds Five are quite impressive to watch, even if you don’t know many of their songs. Their musicianship alone is enough to make you a lifetime fan. And Ben Folds’ smile is as contagious as wook flu at Bonnaroo.

Setlist: Jackson Cannery, Theme From Dr. Pyser, Fair, Selfless Cold and Compose, Uncle Walter, Where’s Summer B?, Battle of Who Could Care Less, Brick, Emaline, Philosophy, Army, Kate, Alice Childress, Song For the Dumped, Narcolepsy, Underground ENCORE: One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces

Chapter 5: The Civil Wars

Of the many power duos to come about in the last few years, the one that has captivated me more than I ever would have imagined is The Civil Wars. With just two voices and a guitar, The Civil Wars churn out very interesting folk songs with haunting melodies.

At 6:25 PM in an over-capacity The Other Tent, singers John Paul White and (a very pregnant) Joy Williams appeared with smiles pervading their faces. Everything about the Civil Wars is just happy! Even the sad songs. And these two very talented vocalists almost make country music interesting, it seems.

I only got to catch the first half of their set due to a scheduling conflict with Phish, but was still mesmerized, and found it difficult to look away. John and Joy have sort of a lovers’ chemistry going through the performance, but they are both married to different people. It could be just what sells their songs. For some reason I think of the scene from Step Brothers where Will Ferrell is singing to his therapist in the woods whenever I see John and Joy interact on stage.

And when they cover songs (I only got to see one) it is a sight to see. Because they don’t cover easy guitar/vocals songs. Before I left I got to see them cover Sour by Portishead, but according to www.setlist.fm, they also threw in covers of I Want You Back by Jackson 5, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, and Dance Me To The End of Love by Leonard Cohen.

The Civil Wars are a great band to see live. They’re so fun to watch that you almost forget that you’re standing there doing nothing for 90 minutes (or sitting there, depending on the venue.)

But at 7:00, we left and headed to catch the band that I really wanted to see. More than any other band at Bonnaroo. I was ready for one of the greatest live experiences in the history of ever.

Setlist: Tip of My Tongue, Forget Me Not, From This Valley, 20 Years, I’ve Got This Friend, Sour (Portishead cover), Barton Hollow, Falling, Birds of a Feather, I Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover), Oh Henry, My Father’s Father, Poison and Wine ENCORE: Kingdom Come, To Whom It May Concern, Billie Jean (Michael Jackson cover), Dance Me To the End of Love (Leonard Cohen cover)

Chapter 6: A Tasty Phish Philet

One thing Bonnaroo was known for pre-2006 was its impressive lineup of jam bands. They’ve hosted Umphrey’s McGee 7 times, as well as bands like Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, The String Cheese Incident, and members of the Grateful Dead. But no jam band (that currently tours) is as highly regarded as the legendary and almighty Phish!

If you’ve visited this website at all, then you probably know that the majority of its contributors are huge Phish fans. I mean, just look at how big the word “Phish” is on the tag cloud at the right of this post!

Anyway, I was anxious to finally see Phish. To finally see what Reverend Justito and thenaturalstoner have been talking about all these years. To see what guest they bring out and what covers they do and just… everything! I was prepared. Come at me, Phish!

At around 8:05 or so the lights went down and out from Stage Right appear the mighty phoursome: Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, and Jon Fishman. As Mike started to hit his bass (which was set to phaser) I thought it would be too good to be true: They would kick things off with Down With Disease? Nah! Can’t be! And then Mike slaps the bass riff and I knew from that moment that this would be the greatest thing I see at Bonnaroo. And I was not disappointed.

After Down With Disease they played Funky Bitch, a Son Seals cover, during which Mike Gordon took over singing duties. Afterwards they went right on into The Moma Dance during which Jon handled most of the singing. After a very funky performance of Moma I heard the chord progression to Sample In a Jar and once again had that feeling of “Nah! It can’t be!” But lo and behold, another shining moment from the Hoist album played within the first half of Set 1. And at this moment the rain that was looming over us started pouring a little bit harder and the glowsticks started going up and down at a faster rate. Seriously, I saw more glowsticks being thrown around during Phish than I did during Skrillex.

It really did seem like Phish brought their A-Game, and with two of my favorite songs already making an appearance, what could happen next I could not even begin to imagine. They followed Sample with Axilla I which I don’t think is on any of their studio albums. I know Axilla Part 2 is on Hoist, but I know nothing of a part 1.

Anyway, after Axilla, Trey invited up the special guest that everyone was so anxious to see. “It seems like every time we come here we get to play with people who we really admire, and, um, and we’re going to bring up someone we’re absolutely thrilled to play with right now. Please give a warm welcome to Kenny Rogers.” This was totally unexpected in my opinion. Kenny, who played a set earlier that day, seemed happy to play to a crowd bigger than his usual turnout of 300, while Trey could barely contain his excitement to be performing with the country-music legend. And with that, they broke into The Gambler, the one Kenny Rogers song that I didn’t even know I knew.

As much as I would love to go into each individual song and tell you how much I loved it, I just don’t want to write a review THAT long. But I will leave you with a setlist, and on a note that explains how much fun I had.

Bonnaroo was just nonstop fun. Sure, I only got like 3 hours of sleep each night. Sure I felt disgusting most of the time. And sure it was crowded and hot and expensive and there were long lines for things. Either way, I can’t for the life of me think of a time where I had so much fun at a place ever. If you get the chance, hit your local festival. Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Fire Fly, Wakarusa, Dave Matthews Band Caravan; whatever it is, it’ll be worth going to. Trust me.

Setlist: SET 1 Down with Disease, Funky Bitch (Son Seals c0ver), The Moma Dance, Sample In A Jar, Axilla I, The Gambler (with Kenny Rogers), Possum>Wilson>Tweezer, Free, Backwards Down the Number Line, Cavern SET 2 Golden Age (TV On the Radio cover), 2001 (Richard Strauss cover), Chalkdust Torture, Carini>Shafty>Rock and Roll (Velvet Underground cover), Alaska, Harry Hood>Light, Character Zero, Rocky Top (Lynn Anderson cover) ENCORE Show of Life>Julius>Tweezer Reprise

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGWwqfeYErA&feature=player_embedded

Epilogue

Of all the shows I caught, I’d say the best was Phish. Without a doubt. Childish Gambino and Radiohead get 2nd and 3rd. After that, it’s pretty much up for grabs. I wasn’t disappointed at all by anyone I saw. Bad Brains were a little sloppy and Red Hot Chili Peppers had issues connecting with the audience, but overall everything I saw was nigh perfect. And with that, in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

2012 Rock The Bells Festival Announce Dates and Lineup

2012 Rock The Bells Festival Announce Dates and Lineup

Information for the 2012 Rock The Bells Festival has been announced. The shows will be spread out over two days and will hit three major US markets (Bay Area, Southern California and Camden, NJ). Highlights of the festival include Method Man and Redman performing Blackout in its entirety, Immortal Technique, Deltron 3030, Salt N Pepa, Yelawolf and many more. Also worth the price of admission will be the only North American festival appearances of Missy Elliot and Timbaland as well as a 20th anniversary reunion of Bone Thugs N Harmony who will perform E. 1999 Eternal from front to back with a special tribute to Easy-E. Can we be the first to start the hologram rumors?

Take note that some artists on the above poster will only appear in select markets. For up to the minute details on Rock The Bells 2012, check out the official site by clicking here.

 

-As of June 4th, additions to the roster include DMX, Eve, Jadakiss, Pusha T and Future.  This helpful information comes from Hip Hop DX

The following artists were added to the San Bernardino lineup on July 18th.

KRS-One
Xzibit
Hieroglyphics
EL-P
Killer Mike
Casey Veggies
Machine Gun Kelly
KiD iNk
I Self Devine
Chief Keef
Slim da Mobsta

2012 Bumbershoot Music Festival Lineup Announced

2012 Bumbershoot Music Festival Lineup Announced

Long before the wheel was invented and fire was discovered, Seattle has hosted a massive labor day weekend music festival known as Bumbershoot. The lineup for the 2012 edition has just been announced and it is nothing short of fantastic.

Saturday 09/01/12:

Jane’s Addiciton, AWOLNATION, M. Ward, The Jayhawks, The Hello Sequence, City and Colour, The Heavy, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, King Khan & The Shrines, Heartless Bastards, Oberhofer, Thee Satisfaction, Damien Jurado, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Alela Diane, The Barr Brothers, Tacocat, Unnatural Helpers, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Polecat, Nude

Sunday 09/02/12:

Tony Bennett, Mac Miller, Big Sean, Keane, Blitzen Trapper, The Promise Ring, Yelawolf, Mudhoney, Wanda Jackson’s Dusty 45’s, The Greenhornes w/ Eric Burden, Ian Hunter and the Rant Band, Civil Twilights, Fruit Bats, The Jezabels, Why?, Barcelona, Lee Field and the Expressions, Harmonica House Party, Katie Herzig, Niki & The Dove, Am & Shawn Lee, THENEWN02, Gold Leaves, Karen Lovely, Deep Seadiver, Theoretics, Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme, Ty Curtis Band, The Young Evils, Knowmads, Katie Kate, Eighteen Individual Eyes

Monday 09/03/12:

Skrillex, M83, Passion Pit, Low, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Vaselines, Fujiya & Miyagi, Fishbone, Lights, Rebirth Brass Band, LP, Ty Segall, Hey Marseilles, The Wombats, Ana Tijoux, Foxy Shazam, Bombino, Omar Souleyman, Tyrone Wells, El Vez, Debo Band, Star Anna, Seapony, Bryan John Appleby, Reignwolf, Noah Gundersen, Super Geek League, The Pharmacy, Ghosts I’ve Met, Posse, Cascadia ‘10

To check out our coverage of Bumbershoot 2011, click here. For up to the minute details on the 2012 edition, check out the official website by clicking here.

 

Bonnaroo 2012 Lineup Announced

Bonnaroo 2012 Lineup Announced

As always the lineup for the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester Tennessee is nothing short of impressive. Headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Phish, the festival is set to take place June 7th-10th, 2012. Other highlights on the bill include Alice Cooper, St. Vincent and a reunited Ben Folds Five.

With the first two price levels already sold out, you best get your tickets soon as this annual event almost always sells out. If you have a little bit of extra cash after buying your ticket, perhaps you can send some to our youngest Concert Confessions family member Jakob who is trying to make it to his first Bonaroo. Click here to help him out.

For more information on everything Bonnaroo, please check out the official site by clicking here.  Check out some past footage of Bonnaroo from our pal BeeZnutZ below.

As of 03/12/2012 Bands added to the Festival’s lineup include: Danzig Legacy, Puscifer, Santigold, The Temper Trap, fun., and The Cave Singers

2012 Bonnaroo Comedy Line Up (a/o 03/29/12)

Aziz Ansari

Steven Wright

Marc Maron

Brian Posehn

Judah Freidlander

Reggie Watts

Rhys Darby

Colin Hay

Garfunkle & Oat

Amy Schumer

Pete Holmes

Rory Scovel

Mike O’Connell

Ali Wong

Kyle Kinane

Hangout Festival Returns to Gulf Shores for 2012 with Stellar Lineup!

What: Hangout Music Festival 2012

Where: Gulf Shores, Alabama

When: May 18 – 20

Why:  Hangout 2011 featured a diverse lineup including Paul Simon, The Foo Fighters, Primus, The Black Keys, Girl Talk, Avett Brothers, Widespread Panic, and The Flaming Lips.

Well the folks planning the only festival featuring white sandy beaches and palm trees out there have done it again with a fantastic early 2012 lineup coming out in waves via Facebook this evening.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Dave Matthews Band •Jack White
String Cheese Incident (performing two sets)
Wilco •Skrillex •The Flaming Lips perform Dark Side of the Moon
Dispatch •Steve Winwood •CHRIS CORNELL •STS9
Gogol Bordello •Michael Franti & Spearhead •Mac Miller •Flogging Molly
Coheed & Cambria •Paul Oakenfold •G. Love and Special Sauce
Randy Newman •Dr. Dog •Young The Giant •Cage the Elephant •Dawes •Alabama Shakes
M. Ward •YelaWolf •Switchfoot •Julian Marley •Zeds Dead •Mavis Staples •Shpongle •Gary Clark JR •Rebelution Allen Stone •Big Freedia •The Devil Makes Three •Paper Diamond •Futurebirds •Hey Rosetta! •Sleeper Agent THE LUMINEERS •ARCHNEMESIS •Tribal Seeds •Rich Aucoin •Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin’ Cajuns

Added 03/12/12 – Kaskade, Umphrey’s McGee, Delta Spirit, Heartless Bastards, Greyboy Allstars & Givers

 

Tickets go on sale Friday, February 10th and start around $200 for 3 days. For complete details, visit http://www.hangoutmusicfest.com/

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