Banaroo Day 1: Humble Beginnings

Only way to Heaven is through the tie died arches

This year’s Bonnaroo marked the fifth time, since the festival’s inception nine years ago, that a four-day format was used over the original model: a trio of dates.  In the past, top tier acts like The Allman Brothers, Dave Mathews Band, Bob Dylan, and Wilco brought zealous pastoral patrons out to the farm in flocks (the site of Roo-Fest rests on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn.) on day one.  Now, music fans have a new motive for gathering on opening day…the discovery of the next big thing.

With every impending summer festival season since the Roo’s inaugural shove off in 2002, its popularity has grown.  An event that once struggled to produce three full days of music had to expand by a day in 2006 to accommodate the throngs of artists that desired a slot on one of the many stages and tents on site.  The evolution of this gala’s headliners is staggering.  Producers have migrated away from procuring the likes of Jack Johnson and Trey Anastasio and have since booked legendary acts like Metallica, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, and Jay-Z to be the top dogs on the bill.

Since the aforementioned addition you won’t find those with the furnished plaques in Cleveland anywhere on the day one schedule.  This period of time has grown into a creature of its own, a special entity, reservations set aside for the up and coming.

Crowds pack together, back to back, uncomfortably scraping elbows with every minor muscle spasm.  They jockey for position to best view the future of music.  The past tells the story better than I can…MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, and Zac Brown Band are just a few of the names jettisoned toward stardom on the back of a first day Bonnaroo performance.

So spectators bump bodies, they grind extremities, fighting for the extra foot, and always looking for the coveted crevice, the part in the sea that will lead them to the railing.  Everyone in the tent knows the inevitable question pending from their ponderous friends:  “How close were you for ______?”  And nobody wants to be in the outskirts looking in at a career making performance.

Yup, there's a goddamn ferris wheel here


Remember that time when the Devil went to Georgia…He was in a bind, way behind, and looking to make a deal?  Well, the city was Savannah and the deal was a multi-album contract with this thrashing metallic quartet.

Supporting its most recent release, Blue Record, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart in October, Baroness brought the metal to a Bonnaroo lineup that was metallically deprived.

With the growling, bearded, and beast-like Baroness front-man John Baizley on rhythm and his cohort Peter Adams on lead, the duo combined sharp progressive metal guitar playing, with regional punk rock undertones, and a hint of twangy 1970’s hard rock distortion that was audible when the pair of axemen tag-teamed a tandem riff.  Apparently nobody near me could make it out, but, when I heard the sounds emitting from those amps visions of Scott Gorham, Brian May, and Tom Scholz shred in my mind.

About rote7123

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May 2011 with a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Professional Writing, as well as a degree in Communication Studies. He has held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet's Arts & Entertainment section, and has contributed to The Aquarian Weekly all while being the sole operator of Asbury Park's premier music news outlet Speak Into My Good Eye.
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One Response to Banaroo Day 1: Humble Beginnings

  1. Pingback: SIMGE’s Top Albums Of 2010 (15-6) | Speak Into My Good Eye

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