Bonnaroo 2013 Recap

June 19, 2013


Manchester, Tennessee is the annual background for the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which concluded on Sunday June 16. Hundreds of shows were spread over four days and this year’s festival featured a vast majority of artists and musical genres. A vast majority that included true country music, electronica music that you’d expect in a nightclub, rap music straight from an urban setting, rhythms that sounded like they came from the African Sahara and just about every other genre of music.

Thursday marked Day One of Bonnaroo 2013 with the purpose of getting everyone excited about the entire festival. Since the festival started twelve years ago, the first day has always been about showcasing artists while audiences get accustomed to the fields of the festival grounds. Thursday at Bonnaroo isn’t about the main-stage artists; it’s all about helping smaller acts gain supporters while showing off their talent. HAIM, Alt-J, Killer Mike, Purity Ring, and twenty-one pilots all took the stage on Thursday to help kick-off the annual music festival.

Paul McCartney headlined on Friday night and after a three-hour set that included three encores and fireworks, the former Beatle proved that he’s still as relevant as ever! His set featured fan favorites, tributes and classics. The set list included tracks like “Eight Days a Week,” “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “Let It Be,” “Hey Jude,” and many more. Paul McCartney wasn’t the only act on Friday; Charli XCX from the UK covered the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” Friday was also the night for Bonnaroo’s first Hip-Hop Superjam, featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, Solange, Chad Hugo from the Neptunes and RZA. Of Monsters and Men hit the Which Stage, playing songs from their “My Head is an Animal” album. Solange Knowles got onstage again to perform backup vocals during Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks.”

Mumford & Sons was set to be the highly anticipated headliner for Saturday night but after medical advice surrounding bassist Ted Dwane’s recent surgery for a blood clot on his brain’s surface, the band had to cancel their Bonnaroo appearance. The slot wouldn’t be left empty though; Jack Johnson was at Bonnaroo and took the stage on Saturday night. Performing a song titled “Bonnaroo,” Johnson told the thousands of people in the audience, “I wrote this song this morning.” Johnson performed at the first Bonnaroo and headlined the festival in 2008. Jack Johnson owned the stage for two hours, performing hits like “Bubble Toes,” “Fortunate Fool,” “I Got You,” and “Breakdown.” R.Kelly also hit the stage on Saturday, performing hits ranging from “Ignition (Remix)” to “I Wish,” and “I’m a Flirt (Remix).” Nas was celebrating his 19-year old daughter’s birthday on Saturday so it was only appropriate for him to perform “Daughters.” Solange was back at it again on Saturday, this time performing “Losing You” from her “True” EP.

Sunday marked the last day of Bonnaroo 2013 and it ended on a mellow note; Kacey Musgraves, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers wowed audiences in Manchester, Tennessee. Sunday wasn’t completely mellow though, A$AP Rocky, Baroness and Action Bronson amped-up the feel of the entire day. Musgraves performed a variety of hits from her debut album and covers of other popular songs, including “Merry Go Round” and Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart.” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed the ridiculously popular “Thrift Shop” as well as chart topping “Can’t Hold Us” and pro-civil rights song, “Same Love.” A$AP Rocky heated things up by inviting a handful of topless women onstage for “F**kin’ Problems” and crowd-surfing and scaling scaffolding that was attached to the stage.

For the audience in Manchester, Tennessee, the weekend flew by while they enjoyed a variety of each music genre. Although the weekend ended so quickly, Bonnaroo 2014 will be here before you know it!


Meg C. (@lilmegwktdj)

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