Friday, June 29, 2012

CL on the Road: Backstage at Bonnaroo, Part 2 (with photos, video)

Deborah rocks it like a VIP and offers her wrap up of the Tennessee music fest, days 3 and 4, with photos & video

Posted By and on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM

My VIP 'Roll Like a Rockstar' Bonnaroo adventure continues with days three and four. To read about days one and two (Part 1), and see pics and video, click here. Read about Andrew's very different experience here [Text and Instagram photos by Deborah, band shots by Mike].

Waking up to a late start, we realized we needed to venture back out to Walmart to pick up some crucial supplies for the group, a process that only took only about 45 minutes; from what I've heard, GA passholders can't leave the farm at all. Though momentary civilization was a nice break, especially the wifi, while we were out I missed the first of four Blind Pilot sets. Though I'd recently seen them play at Crowbar, I've been playing their album nonstop and really wanted to see the band perform in front of a crowd this large. I heard they played a cover of the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil," which would've been really cool to hear at a festival with jammy roots.

Since there was some time before the next show I headed over to guest hospitality, a private area press and VIP has access to. It's a good rest stop that's filled with groves of shade trees, Adirondack chairs, private Porto-potties, and a bar. While hanging out, our friend was speaking with the staff from Bonnaroo Studios, who graciously gave us laminated passes providing access to their exclusive open-bar. The bartender mixed us up some refreshing vodka/orange/cranberry with lime, which we enjoyed sitting on sofas in the secluded shady tent before heading across the way to artist hospitality. As rock stars and industry-types mingled, we watched a bit of Champ Kind from Anchorman (Dave Koechner) hosting a chat for Bonnaroo 365, while sitting under a giant shady canopy chatting with more new friends. As some of our group received chair massages from the staff on hand, we listened to The Temper Trap playing from the What Stage adjacent to the area.

After the relaxing morning we'd just experienced, emerging out into the masses was like encountering a scene from The Grapes of Wrath. Mid-day in the hottest sun of the weekend, the day pass holders had invaded the festival in what seemed to instantly double the amount of sizzling sunburned bodies sprawled in the dust. It was bizarre realizing just how different this festival is for general admission, as we shook our heads in sympathy for the swarms of people waiting in line to fill their water bottles. [More after the jump.]

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

CL Video Interview: Soul artist Mayer Hawthorne

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Here's CL's own Arielle Stevenson interviewing Mayer Hawthorne of Mayer Hawthorne and The County at

Bonnaroo 2010.  Amongst other topics they discuss the merits of vinyl, the pitfalls of analog recording, and a shared sentiment over the bass guitar.  Pretty interesting.  Check it out below the cut.


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Friday, June 18, 2010

CL on the Road photo review: Bonnaroo 2010, a look back in pictures

Posted By on Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 11:41 AM

It could've all ended in disaster, but I wasn't about to let my first trip to Bonnaroo go down in flames.

The three-hour wait in line for my media credentials could've slowed me down; it did not. What about spending Wednesday night in the Walmart parking lot, because the official ticket office wouldn't release my media credentials until Thursday morning? Not even close. How about the broken camera, which happened shortly after shooting a mere three bands Thursday afternoon? And the four-hour trip back to WalMart to buy a replacement camera? Didn't phase me. Maybe chasing around the festival reps and Stevie Wonder's agent for hours, to make sure that I was approved to photograph Stevie? Close, but no banana. Not even getting shut out of the Dave Mathews Band show because I missed my escort into the photo pit ... wait, what? Never happened. (I found a different way in, of course...)

Put it all together and it only looks like a disaster. Truth be told, it was just another adventure called Bonnaroo 2010. Here are my shots from Thursday through Saturday, with the full gallery from Sunday to be added soon. Click here to read about Andrew and Arielle's Bonnaroo 2010 experiences, and see Andrew's pics from the weekend.

Thursday, June 10


Frontier Ruckus


Bassist Paz Lenchantin of The Entrance Band


Diane Birch




Edward Sharpe [pictured] & the Magnetic Zeros


The Gossip


Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Nas


She & Him [Zooey Deschanel, right, and M. Ward]

[Tons more pics after the jump.]

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Friday, June 11, 2010

CL on the Road: Live ongoing coverage from Bonnaroo 2010 in Manchester, Tennessee (with pics)

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Creative Loafing writers Arielle Stevenson and Andrew Silverstein have journeyed north to Tennessee for the weekend to brave the wilds of the four-day fest otherwise known as Bonnaroo, jumping from stage to stage, snapping photos (the ones currently included are all by Andrew), talking to musicians on the fly (audio interviews to be added next week), and reporting back here throughout the weekend about their adventures. Photographer Tracy May is also in the field and will be submitting his own pics later as well; currently, all shots included here are by Andrew unless otherwise noted...

The following is their transmissions direct from the fest, including some photos, with more to be added later; make sure to keep checking back for updates...



Why isn’t mud a four letter word? It should be. Please understand, there is quality to the earthy feeling you get knowing you’re at the mercy of mother nature. The first day is probably the hardest of the weekend as the ‘Roo-gin half of this coverage team can attest. Everyone is utterly exhausted from the drive up, and like a child refusing to nap, they continue on stubbornly.

Well, that first day of Bonnaroo has come and gone and we're ... still alive. Manchester graced us and around 80,000 others with a comfortably warm atmosphere and a slew of great, and not-so-great, but more so great acts on this kick-off Thursday. Here's the rundown on all the bands we got to catch.

Joe Robinson, 1-2 p.m.

Don’t be fooled by this Aussie’s baby face; the 19-year-old is one hell of a guitar player. My first musical act of the festival was an unexpected treat. Wandering without a direction from our campsite towards what sounded like potentially self-indulgent 50-somethings from a far was actually the fresh face of blues and jazz guitar. In 2008, Robinson won Australia’s Got Talent at the tender age of 16. And he is good, really good. His back-up band, Elmwood, equaled Robinson’s age and skill level, and all

the postelles
together, they made some beautiful musical love. Robinson is well-trained and has the chops to back up the emotion in his playing. Imagine if Jimi Hendrix, Peter Frampton and Stevie Ray Vaughn had a baby that John Coltrane delivered... Keep an eye on Robinson, who just moved to the states over a month ago. For the hordes of invigorated 'roo-goers like myself, Robinson was a pleasant surprise to kick off this festival. --Arielle

The Postelles [pictured right], 4:15-5 p.m.

With the kick of a bass drum and a swell of howling feedback, the Postelles made it known they were the right dudes to get the party started. Sunny and exuberant with just enough overdrive to let us know they aren't raging sissies, The Postelles played a great, energetic show that, from the looks of it, perked the ears of a lot of new listeners (including myself). "This might be the best show we've ever played," remarked lead man Daniel Balk. I think he might be right. --Andrew

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Bonnaroo weekend 2010: A survival guide to popping your 'Roo cherry

Posted By on Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 1:18 PM


In less than 72 hours, a sweaty valley nestled between Nashville and Chattanooga will swarm with 80,000-plus stoners, hippies, jocks and crusty jam band babies. Some of you, including my 'roo coverage partner, Andrew Silverstein, are what I call “roogins.” Virgins to Bonnaroo that are eager to experience every sound and probably a few mind-altering substances in the process. Last year, I arrived in Manchester, Tenn. to the 700-acre farm excited but completely unaware of what to expect in the four days ahead. I learned most of my Bonnaroo lessons the hard way last year when I was but a mere roogin. For those of you who are roogins, this list will be a gentle hand to hold in the dark before your cherry pops and makes a bloody mess. It would be wise to take heed, young grasshoppers. [All photos by Jerrad McLeod.]


  • Don’t bother bringing anything in glass into the festival. They will chuck that $150 bottle of whatever without a moments thought. I spoke with a girl on the campgrounds whose RV crew tried to smuggle in hundreds of glass “tobacco” pieces and alcohol. They had to wait through the four hours of traffic all over again after the roo-police
    confiscated everything.
  • If you go grocery shopping, don’t buy too much food -- you won’t eat it. My Bonnaroo compatriot and I spent more than $100 on groceries. I still have some of those items in my cupboard now. Spend your money on bottled water, granola and snacks, but in all honesty, you'll probably end up buing most of your meals. The selection inside the festival is pretty good and fairly priced. In the campgrounds, there are tons of little homegrown setups. Bloody Mary stands, pancakes, sausages, grilled cheese, etc. The tent city selections are cheap eats, too. I got two Bloody Marys and three pancakes for $6.
  • Alcohol purchases are, of course, up to you, but beyond Bloody Marys at 7 a.m., after three hours of sleep, when the sun hits the valley and it goes from 60 degrees to 100 in a seeming matter of moments, you'll find that it's just too damn hot to drink. I bought a 12-pack of Steel Reserve and some boxed wine, none of which were consumed while I was there. Besides kids, there are plenty of other substances available if you are looking to impair your judgment.
  • Drink water -- it is hot as Hades out there and people will be dropping like flies. Buy one of those giant packages of bottled water and take three or four with you when you head out each day.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Bonnaroo 2010 preview: It's on like Donkey Kong

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 8:04 AM


Among the most widely-recognized music festivals of today is Bonnaroo, an annual throwdown held in the quaint town of Manchester, Tenn., on a 700-acre farm about 60 miles south of Nashville. Since its inception in 2001 as a niche, jam-band and folk-oriented event, Bonnaroo has evolved into a mid-country Mecca for music lovers with its multi-stage lineup of chart-topping and buzzworthy acts that now draw upwards of 75,000 people each year.

The 2010 headliners — Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Jay-Z, and STEVIE EFFIN’ WONDER (excuse me) — are sure to bring an epic swarm of sweat-soaked human bodies, including my own, as I’ll be covering the fest as Creative Loafing’s honorary Bonnaroo virgin. What has always been a mere pipe dream due to my money-depleted pockets has become reality and I’ll finally get to experience the ‘Roo in all its gloriously gritty, patchouli-scented glory next weekend. Along with a few other CL brethren, I’ll be knee-deep in the action, looking for face time with some of the fest’s most notable artists and checking out as many sets as I can possibly absorb over four days. The following are those ones I’m most excited about seeing.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Make your voice heard for clean energy legislation and get a free Bonnaroo compilation

Posted By on Sat, May 1, 2010 at 10:39 AM


Yes, you read correctly. Write to the powers-that-be and earn a free download of the “Best of Bonnaroo” compilation. HeadCount and the NRDC Action Fund teamed up with Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Phish, Jack Johnson and many other top artists to bring you the free download. The issue: Clean Energy NOW! Send your concerns to the press, Senators, and the President.

We need to join our collective voices and send a resounding “Enough is enough!” message to our elected officials. With the current oil spill crisis, planning and creating a clean energy future requires action now. Clean energy means more jobs, better health, and a world we can all enjoy – and more offshore drilling is not the answer. We are closer than ever to catching up with the rest of the world on climate change emissions. But the responsibility for action begins with you. You pay the salaries of every elected official by paying taxes – so, in essence, they are your employees! As the employer of your government, you must take charge and lead effectively. The best part is that it only takes one small step. Your voice, united with so many others, can make a difference.

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