Two of our WIDR Directors recently came back from going to one of the largest music festivals in America to date, Bonnaroo. This music festival carries a vast range of eclectic, unique and hip musical performances that reach for anyone’s desires. They had the wonderful opportunity to see some great acts along the way.
Band Highlights & Reviews
Mothers had an inspiring, impressive and well delivered performance. After missing them come through Kalamazoo last year and given the popularity of the group, I was rather surprised to see them on the bill for Bonnaroo. Nevertheless, I was excited to be able to hear one of my favorite EP’s in person, It Hurts Until It Doesn’t . They had effortlessly opened their set with tracks from their newest record When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired and even brought some of their best tracks from their first EP. It Hurts Until It Doesn’t and No Crying In Baseball were personally the two best songs performed during the set. The band had an apparent energy between them that was both catchy and heartwarming. Overall, Mothers had beautifully delivered a sense of smooth dynamic changes, aching drapes of vocals over tight guitar communication and emotional percussive elements brought to pull their songs together in an intriguing composition.
Band of Horses last came to Michigan in Ann Arbor several years ago and I had snagged the chance to see them as soon as I could. As wonderful as my first experience with them was, nothing brought forth more emotion than seeing them perform at this festival accompanied by hundreds of people. With an exquisitely raw performance, BoH delivered a dense set full of tracks varying from all of their best records. Heart-wrenching compositions from their highly revered albums such as The Funeral from Everything All The Time and No One’s Gonna Love You from Cease to Begin. They also brought some of their catchiest tracks such as Is There a Ghost? to lighten and even out the flow of the set. Overall, Band of Horses had brought a refreshing, strong sound of indie rock with prominent southern folk influences that replenished the dry heat in Tennessee.
Oh Wonder at Bonnaroo only a year after Josephine and Anthony wrote their first song together while sitting in “her parents garden.” How inspiring, or maybe how dissuading? Regardless, they have gone from a backyard garden to playing fields filled with huge stages and thousands of campers, in one year. Rightfully so, though, I would say. Their vocal harmonies were far beyond describing them as two people singing together, maybe more like one superhuman with two sets of golden vocal chords… and the synth work and electronics were exceptionally complimented with live drums, bass, and guitar; something that is all too often done ineffectively. I prefer to feel, believe, and know that the music is coming directly from the performers souls, without being constricted by a click or prerecorded track; well done Oh Wonder.
(Photo Credit: baeblemusic.com)
even in 100 degrees and direct sunlight, delivered
an extremely high energy performance of his revitalized take on Soul, Funk, and R & B. The fact that he is the son of a preacher and got his start in church really shows through his soaring vocal melodies, stage presence, and communication with the crowd. The shimmering guitars and brass harmonies, vertigo inducing organ sounds, and gut wrenching downbeats were, oddly, all you needed to forget about the fact the your skin was being vaporized by the hot hot hot Tennessee sun. Thank you Mr. Stone.
(Photo Credit: Filmmagic)