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Bonnaroo So Far: Day 3 - I actually saw some music

Does anyone give a bad show at Bonnaroo? I’m seriously getting tired of writing compliments. Even Flava Flav brought it last night at the Public Enemy show. Don’t let his nine reality shows fool you, he is not a train wreck all the time. At P.E.’s late-night tent performance, the band played the entirety of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back to wild crowd enthusiasm. And, since it was about 2 a.m. when they went on, the temperature had finally dropped into the manageable 90s. Managed to catch Alejandro Escovedo, Allen Toussaint, Booker T. & The Drive-By Truckers, and Bon Iver so far today. Escovedo played an aggressive, straight-ahead rock show at the unrock hour of 12 pm. The amazing thing about these Bonnaroo audiences is that even after staying up until 6 a.m. throbbing to Paul Oakenfold, they just need a quick hit of LSD and they’re ready to go a few hours later. Meanwhile, if I don’t have a shower, a banana and a glass of orange juice, I have to crawl to the gigs. Toussaint was a gem in a set that balanced his own songs with medley covers of Professor Longhair and other funk luminaries. Like Booker T., between the songs he’s written and the songs he’s played on or arranged, he could probably have played a set two or three times as long as the brief hour he got. Booker T., promoting Potato Hole, his first solo album in ages, played just a few hundred yards from Bon Iver. When I had to reluctantly leave his show after the hardest rocking “Green Onions” ever, I was happy to discover that I could stand exactly between the two stages, Booker T. on the smaller of the main stages and Bon Iver in one of the tents, and enjoy their sounds at the same time. It was like a Stax soul band doing deafening covers of Yo La Tengo songs. To think that Girl Talk is worshipped for doing what I did just by standing still. For the record, I tried to get closer to Bon Iver, but the entire tent and surrounding area were packed. It may have been a rare lapse on the organizers’ part. Booker T. would have worked better in a tent, and Bon Iver certainly could’ve drawn enough people to a big stage. It was so packed that the VIPs flapped their laminates angrily, upset that they couldn't immediately get in. (But Drew Barrymore did. Damn you, Drew Barrymore! Oh, who am I kidding, you're adorable. Cut ahead of me in line any time you'd like.) I don’t have a laminate, and it's killing me. Don’t get me wrong, I resent the shit out of the people with the hookup to get side stage, backstage, or onstage. Sometimes, instead of enjoying the band, I just brainstorm what I would like to cause the collapse of the stage that would horribly injure all of them. That being said, holy shit, oh my god, I would totally sell my integrity or let somebody watch me use a Porta Potty if it meant I wouldn’t be crushed during Springsteen. I’ll let you know how that goes. Okay, I’m going to crawl inside a bag of ice. Not for a laminate, just for fun.
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