Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thursday @ Bonnaroo

After making the 180 mile trek into Manchester, our convoy arrived, complete with two RVs, five or six cars, and more beer than we could drink, courtesy of Budweiser's sponsorship of our trip (Thanks). Once we set up the compound up in the Guest lot (Thanks to AC Entertainment, too), we all set out to explore. I think only two or three of our group of 23 had ever been before to the 'Roo, so we were all anxious to see what was in store for us.

The first band I remember seeing, at least for a second, was Knoxville's darlings Superdrag. I didn't stay for more than a few minutes since they are not new to me, but I did happen upon them right at their calling card song: Sucked Out. The next few hours are hazy and the next thing that I remember is The Sword. Whoa. Mix equal parts Zeppelin, Maiden, early Metallica and a ship of Vikings together, and we get the Sword. Their assault on Manchester was inexplicable, as were the hippy girls "noodling" (dancing) to metal. Although they only played for an hour, that was all the time they needed to dismantle the That Tent, then pillage and destroy all those in their path.

After The Sword, we hustled over to This Tent to catch the blogger and media hype machine that is Vampire Weekend. Now, don't get me wrong, it's catchy. It's poppy. Hell, it's fun. I enjoy their record and think they have a unique sound...compared to other contemporaries (Paul Simon called, by the way). However, I just don't really get it. Maybe I'm not buying into it. So be it. Everyone else can.

We ended up not staying too long, as we wanted to get back to That Tent for Lez Zeppelin, the all female Zep tribute band. Word is they are all lesbians, so I guess it's not just a clever name. I have heard and read about this band for some time now, and wanted to make sure that I checked them out...

Eh. They were ok, I guess. The singer's vocals were strong, but she has a lower voice than Robert Plant does. Zeppelin just doesn't work in a lower register and octave- it's not Zeppelin like that. However, points to the band for pretty much nailing Zep musically. Bonus points to the drummer, as she actually looks like John Bonham.

After about half the show, we were Lez'ed out, so we took it back to the compound and passed on the Dark Star Orchestra show, despite being parked right next to their management group that drove down from the north in a rented RV. We didn't want to over do it the first night, and I sure didn't want to take a chance on not being up to par for the Drive-By Truckers on Friday morning/early afternoon.

Upon returning back to our banging spot in Guest parking, the booze started flowing again, much to out chagrin, but what are you gonna do? Next thing we know, another group of up and coming darlings of Knoxville happened upon our camp: The American Plague. Check them out here and here if you don't know about them. Extra points to you if you can name the truck driver in the video. They were there to play on Friday night in the Blue Room Cafe. After some elbow-bendin' with The Plague (drankin'), they informed us that Metallica had played a secret show that night in Nashville at The Basement for 125 people apparently. Oh well. I'm still trying hard to not like Metallica or, at this point, get excited for their show on Friday night.

Completely drained after a few hours of imbibing camaraderie, and completely out of cold beer (temporarily), we called it a night and they headed back to their camp, and I headed for the Master Suite in Ste. Genevieve, one of the RVs in our fleet.

Day one of the 'Roo down. Points to me, as I won the first round in the epic Battle of Bonnaroo: the struggle of man vs. the elements...and music...and booze...and chemicals...and oh yeah- 100,000 people.

Thanks to C$ for his Sword and Vampire Weekend pictures!

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