On The Ground At Bonnaroo: Friday

NPR at Bonnaroo; credit: Lars Gotrich i

NPR Music's Amy Schriefer behind the wheel of the crew's preferred mode of transportation: the golf cart. Lars Gotrich hide caption

itoggle caption Lars Gotrich
NPR at Bonnaroo; credit: Lars Gotrich

NPR Music's Amy Schriefer behind the wheel of the crew's preferred mode of transportation: the golf cart.

Lars Gotrich

With almost 24 hours of concerts under their hemp belts, Bob Boilen and the All Songs Considered Bonnaroo crew took a breather late Friday night and Saturday morning between The Flaming Lips' highly anticipated rundown of Dark Side of the Moon and LCD Soundsystem setting controls for the heart of the sun in the dead of night. Delirium was beginning to set in.

"I'm at that point where I'm getting a little wacky," Jill Riley of The Current said.

"Good," Bob said. "That makes things better."

Bob, Jill and Andy Uhler from KUT in Austin had just witnessed Wayne Coyne's R-rated Pink Floyd interpretation. As always when it comes to Flaming Lips performances, there were lasers, animal costumes, smoke and lots of confetti — but it wasn't quite as perfect as the album it paid tribute to.

"I wish the piece had been continuous," Bob said. "I wish Wayne hadn't stopped and said 'Come on!' and dropped a couple F-bombs. The audience didn't need to 'come on' at all — they were there."

Earlier in the day, the crew caught plenty of great acts that relied less on spectacle and more on great voices. Jill caught The Gossip, powered by the pipes of Beth Ditto, who quite possibly is the only vocalist in rock that can legitimately "aretha" (Jill's new verb). Andy took in Matt Berninger and The National, who put on a great show despite the sunlight.

"There was something a little weird about not seeing these guys in a dark, smoky, dingy bar," Andy said.

Bob made a point to see Punch Brothers, which is Chris Thile's non-Nickel Creek band. And while he loves Thile's mandolin playing, he was more impressed by another musician on stage: Sarah Jarosz, a teenage bluegrass prodigy out of Austin.

That's the thing about these festivals: You show up for the headliners, but you never know which act will end up stealing the show.



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