LANEIA: After trying really hard to be health-conscious and preemptively hydrated during Friday’s morning routine, I decided that Saturday morning called for something different. Sarah and I were sleeping in our respective SUV’s, so I was unaware that she’d awaken to the same plan. And that plan, dear readers, was breakfast beer. Getting up at 7:30 is hard enough, but doing so in the back of a 4-Runner is even harder. I immediately knew that idling the engine, cranking the a/c and downing a couple of breakfast beers was for sure the way to go. I KNOW — IDLING A CAR ENGINE IS THE SAME AS DROPPING AN ATOM BOMB ON A WHALE, BUT OMG IT WAS SO HOT. I just wanted to feel happy! That’s all! Don’t you dare judge me.
Before we could make our way to see Brandi Carlile, Sarah locked her keys in her car (something we were both surprised that I hadn’t done first). While we were at the information booth, waiting for a locksmith, we inquired about those nifty Bonnaroo 2010 Guides we’d seen floating around the farm. Info Booth Stephen said he had some guides, but we’d have to sing for them. Sure, we’d love to! Sing what? Lady Gaga. Ok Autostraddle, guess who doesn’t know any lines from any Lady Gaga songs… THAT’S RIGHT, ME. He offered to let us sing a showtune instead. Again, I failed. We finally got the books by accurately choosing Meryl Streep over Celine Dion in a fast-paced game of Would You Rather.
SARAH: Let’s talk about Brandi Carlile for a hot minute. Brandi saved my Saturday not once, but TWICE. So the day started out wonderfully because I found a woman selling delicious breakfast biscuits. But then, as you now know, I locked my keys in my car. Newsflash world, I am a Brilliant Person. So I had to wait an hour and pay a man $50 to open my car, which btw is apparently something I could do myself with just a door stop and a clothes hanger. Luckily, before I knew it, it was time for Brandi Carlile concert #1, which made everything much better.
Honestly, this concert is slightly fuzzy for me. You can blame Laneia. She kept handing me Miller Lites all morning while exclaiming “breakfast beer!” It’s her new fave thing, but it makes remembering the entirety of Brandi’s set list a small challenge. I can tell you she rocked. That much I know.
Here’s Brandi singing “What Can I Say.” The audio sucks, but you can quite clearly see her cute face and her hot shoulder tattoo. Trade offs, you know.
Then Brandi played a second show at a tiny, tiny stage. There were maybe 50 people there, so I threw some elbows and got up to the railing. She covered “Folsom Prison Blues”, you guys! Let me tell you, it was awesome.
Both she and Ingrid Michaelson really impressed me with their voices this weekend. I think Brandi’s voice might sound better in person than it does on her records, which is saying something. Especially on songs like “The Story”. It’s so good as a recording (I got hoarse on the drive back from singing it), but so much better live. Brandi is touring with Sheryl Crow this summer, so you should probs go buy your ticket for that now.
LANEIA: While Sarah was drooling over Brandi Carlile, I was listening to The Avett Brothers (aka The Most Depressing Band to Hear Alone) from the press yard. It started raining and I had a sad little moment, wishing all of you were there with me. Then a guy offered me a joint and I passed because I’m incapable of having fun or something. Jk, I was afraid it was laced with arsenic.
From there, we scurried over to see Weezer. They brought Julia Nunes up to sing along to one song, which was cute, even though she couldn’t get her ukulele in the right key. After “Say It Ain’t So” (my very favorite Weezer song), it was time for Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z!
By the grace of sheer luck, we managed to secure two seats in the media bleachers – a space we were unaware even existed until two seconds before we were escorted up the stairs to them. The view of the crowd and the stage was EPIC, especially during Jay-Z’s “Forever Young,” when he had them dim the spotlights and the entire audience held up glow sticks and cell phones.
I’m pretty sure the entire population of Bonnaroo was at the What Stage on Saturday night. Stevie Wonder put on a great show that ended up being kinda preachy, but the man’s a legend so I’m gonna let it slide. Jay-Z was PERFECTAMAZINGSPECTACULAR, bringing a mile of people together for something we’ll never forget.
LANEIA: On the way back to camp after Jay-Z, which was technically Sunday morning, Sarah and I started reminiscing about the finer things in life: flushing toilets, standing up to get dressed, walls full of electricity. The romance of the festival had faded and we were exhausted. I’d originally planned on staying for John Fogerty, but I just couldn’t do it. I think my brain, along with my shoulders and forehead, was completely fried. Nothing made sense anymore! I just wanted a shower and a mattress. I mean, damn, we couldn’t even enjoy a breakfast beer. Frown!
SARAH: Because I had quite a drive ahead of me, I planned to see Ingrid Michaelson at noon and then get the hell out of Dodge. Ingrid was, not surprisingly, adorable and sounded great. Did you know she’s also kind of dirty? I’m a sucker for that combination.
Here’s Ingrid singing “Soldier” and mixing in a little “Poker Face” (go to 2:23 if you wanna skip to the Gaga):
She closed out the show with a cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” which happens to be my favorite Britney song. Like I said before, her voice is SUPER impressive live. I recommend seeing her 1) for the priceless banter with the audience and 2) to get an idea of just how damn powerful her voice is.
LANEIA: We’d already said goodbye to our fellow Camp Good Campers, so there wasn’t much left to do besides rip the garbage bags from the windows and drive off. As soon as I made it past the last barricade on Bushy Branch Road, I wanted to turn around and beg them to let me back in.
I get it now: why people promise to go back every year; why, on Thursday, when someone yelled “Bonnaroo!” into a crowd, it was met with enthusiastic echoes of “Bonnarooooo!”; why everyone wears their entrance bracelets from past festivals. Bonnaroo’s like summer camp for weirdos. It’s bragging rights. I didn’t just see this gaggle of amazing bands that will probably never be in the same place again – I put up a tent, stayed awake until dawn, walked over 20 miles, lost 3lbs, washed my hair using a five-gallon jug of water, shaved my legs in the front seat with a beer for breakfast, ruined a pair of shoes in the mud, ate stale tofu, witnessed humanity and saw some amazing bands.
To see performances by Neon Indian, The Dead Weather, Kings of Leon, Mayer Hawthorne and the County, Mumford & Sons, The Gaslight Anthem and more, head on over to Bonnaroo Music Fest’s YouTube channel.