Bonnaroo Sunday: 10 Things Seen & Heard
The overcast weather on the final day of the 2012 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival felt like a giant natural hangover. Music fans, weary from three days of full-throttle listening experiences and a night of jamming to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, D'Angelo andpicked up the upstart artist with 90 minutes of lovely, absurdly ubiquitous pop tunes. Later, another simmering Bon Iver performance gave way to the slow burn of Phish's epic headlining set. By the time that Trey and friends were done kicking it up on the What Stage, the energy had seeped back into the audience -- just in time to bid Bonnaroo a fond farewell for another year.
LIVE AT BONNAROO -- HIGHLIGHTS
What were some of the highlights on the final day of Bonnaroo 2012? Check out these 10 things seen and heard on Sunday:
1. The star of Sunday was none other than Kenny Rogers, who rocked his Sunday afternoon audience with a slew of hits before inviting Lionel Richie -- who tapped Rogers as a collaborator for his "Tuskegee" album -- to the stage for a pair of songs. The two embraced and rocked back and forth together while singing "Lady," and then Richie took center stage to sing "All Night Long (All Night)" to the stunned crowd. Hours later, Rogers popped onstage with Phish to perform "The Gambler" alongside the Sunday night headliners.
2. Along with "The Gambler," Phish played a handful of inspired covers during its sprawling set: following an intermission, the band settled into its take on TV on the Radio's "Golden Age," then dove into "Also Sprach Zarathrustra" and, later, "Rock & Roll" by the Velvet Underground. Each cover, especially "Rock & Roll," was ravenously consumed by the thousands of onlookers.
3. A less successful cover came from fun., whose only big misstep during its 75-minute performance was a take on Paul Simon's "Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard." Nate Ruess forgot the words to the second verse, which he freely admitted to the crowd before just singing nonsense in its place. The song came to a screeching halt with a flugelhorn solo that noodled around a bit before simply dying off with a whimper. The crowd didn't seem to mind, though, and continued waiting patiently for fun. to unveil its No. 1 hit "We Are Young."
4. Mac Miller was scheduled to perform from 3:00-4:00 on Sunday; the Beach Boys were slated for a 3:00-4:30 slot. With zero time to see the pop legends' performance, Miller lamented the conflict to his faithful crowd during his Which Stage show. "I fuck with the Beach Boys," Miller said sadly, before crying out, "Beach Boys, if you can hear me, man, I love you man!"
5. Performing on the Which Stage less than 12 hours after Skrillex had removed his spaceship from the platform, the Black Lips called rock and roll "the original electronic music" in between two of its fast-paced pop blasts. Soon after, the group asked for musical assistance from another famous rock musician, Jerry Garcia, whom they called "the ghost with the most."
6. Comedy great Steven Wright stopped back in the press area for a press conference alongside Kenny Rogers and Ben Folds, in which he revealed that, when he made his "Tonight Show" debut back in 1982, Rogers was the musical guest. Meanwhile, "Anchorman" star Dave Koechner hung out in the artist area, doing a comedy bit in which he searched for a new best friend (Did I make the cut? If so, give me a ring, Dave!).
7. In terms of sheer "epic-ness," the Joy Formidable's "Whirring" might have been the champion of the entire festival. The rock group's most well-known song shook the ground around This Tent for a solid seven minutes -- quite a shock for those blissfully stepping away from the down-home goodness of Kenny Rogers' set capper "Sail Away" in The Other Tent.
8. As expected, D'Angelo's surprise Bonnaroo performance was still on everyone's lips on the morning after the Superjam ended. One man at the Starbucks in Manchester called it "the coolest thing I've ever seen at Bonnaroo," while another guy bemoaned his decision to forgo the late night set to hit the hay a little early. Questlove, who curated the Superjam, tweeted after the performance, "12 Year Reunion," a reference to the amount of time D'Angelo has avoided playing live in the U.S. before Saturday night.
9. Bon Iver didn't have the elaborate, rustic-home stage setup of their Coachella performance, but the folk-rock group's 90-minute set time allowed for more fan favorites at Bonnaroo. Instead of ending with "The Wolves," for instance, Justin Vernon and co. closed the set with a syrupy rendition of "For Emma."
10. Another highlight from the press conference with Kenny Rogers, Steven Wright and Ben Folds: Rogers revealed that he and Alice Cooper play golf together twice a day. When asked what the two music icons talk about on the green, Rogers casually replied, "Snakes, mostly."