20 Hot Bonnaroo Moments Day 4: Elton John Brings Out Ben Folds, Arctic Monkeys & Wiz Khalifa Shine
Even if it seemed like Kaskade’s late night Saturday set was barely over, Bonnaroo cruised into its final day (June 15) with the approaching Elton John finale giving everyone a little extra incentive to power on. But before the piano legend made his first-ever American festival appearance, an assortment of worthy supporters amped the ‘Roo crowd for one last day of shows on the farm. There was the Arctic Monkeys’ near-flawless, hard rockin’ main stage statement, a bluegrass superjam, a big dose of inspiration from Wiz Khalifa and much, much more. Even if it took a little extra Red Bull this time around, the Bonnaroo community was ready to bring it all on home.
1:17 PM: The Avett Brothers stop by for an interview with Billboard in the press area and talk new music: “We’re in constant contact with (producer) Rick (Rubin) and we’re preparing the next recording now. There’s been a lot of new songs written and demoing the new songs… The stage that we’re at right now is Rick and us listening to the songs together and talking about what is here.”
1:26 PM: During a press conference in the media area alongside Shovels & Rope, Jeremy Messersmith and "Broad City" stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, A$AP Ferg weighs in on the anti-press messages of Bonnaroo headliners Kanye West and Jack White. "I think it's just too hot!" he shrugs.
3:14 PM: Capital Cities finally drops "Safe and Sound" during their Which Stage performance, making most of their audience even sweatier on the blazing hot day.
3:25 PM: Speaking of sweat, Will Sheff of Okkervil River is drenched in sweat, his orange shirt glistening with dampness as he goes all-out on the set-closing "Unless It's Kicks." The band ends the set 13 minutes early, but there's not a single complaint following the spectacular finale.
4:46 PM: The Arctic Monkeys cut to the chase and open with the sludgy “Do I Wanna Know” — their biggest U.S. hit to date. Perhaps they were in a hurry, as they weren’t even the first act to play it at Bonnaroo over the weekend. Sam Smith accomplished that feat on Friday afternoon with a stirring cover.
5:21 PM: The Arctic Monkeys get a little help during "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," as a young woman surfs an air mattress over the audience with admirable zeal. Seconds later, the mattress (and the woman) flips over, but luckily, she survived the fall unscathed. Check out a complete review of their set here.
5:32 PM: “Harlem in the house!” shouts A$AP Ferg on The Other Tent’s stage along with other members of the A$AP Mob before starting a mosh pit to “Dump Dump.”
5:43 PM: The Arctic Monkeys’ crowd is gets a little reminder to call their dads. A cutout of Bill Cosby’s head with “Happy Father's Day" written on the back is spotted in the sea of faces.
6:50 PM: Amidst deck chairs, cushions and hashtags of #MillerHighLife, Cayucas begin playing on the tiny Sonic Stage with the breezy “Cayucos.” The tropical-sounding indie poppers aren’t giving Vampire Weekend a run for their money, but it’s a suitable recharge moment for those relaxing prior to the night’s big name finale sets.
7:34 PM: Is there a best-dressed award at Bonnaroo? Little Dragon singer Yukimi Nagano may have locked it up when she appears onstage in a gorgeous multi-colored skirt that dips below her knees and flows with her dance moves.
8:16 PM: Wiz Khalifa's set effectively commences when his DJ drops Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode," and blasts Snoop Dogg's verse in full. Later, Khalifa will perform his Snoop collaboration "Young, Wild & Free," although his partner-in-crime doesn't make an appearance.
8:20 PM: Wiz Khalifa hits Bonnaroo’s Which Stage to “Bout Me” sans Problem and Iamsu!, rocking a big-brimmed hat that would put Pharrell’s to shame.
8:26 PM: Wiz Khalifa drops “23,” and Miley Cyrus’ voice officially graces the Bonnaroo festival grounds. 2015 headliner, anyone?
8:28 PM: Better late than never — after a delayed start due to stage issues, the Bluegrass Situation Superjam takes the That Tent stage, led by banjo-playing actor Ed Helms. Those who stick around long enough without running away to get good spots for Elton John are treated to a bluegrass rendition of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”
8:50 PM: Wiz Khalifa, during his positive, inspirational and expertly- delivered monologue: “Your generation inspires camaraderie and passion and the world is gonna be alright because we’re using our minds to move things forward.”
9:13 PM: Craig T. Robinson is spotted waiting for Elton John on the scaffolding on the main stage, and begins pumping up a small section of the crowd with fist-pumps and hand-waves.
9:30 PM: Elton John takes the stage and opens with the classic three-song sweep that opens his 1973 album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” — “Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” “Candle in the Wind” and “Bennie and the Jets.” And it’s no ordinary gig for Sir Elton. He proclaims this as his first-ever American festival. Check out a full review of John's performance here.
10:45 PM: Elton John welcomes a special guest to the stage. It’s Ben Folds, who joins John for some dual-piano madness on a duet of “Grey Seal.”
11:03 PM: John dedicates a performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to radio legend Casey Kasem, who died earlier in the day at the age of 82.
11:41 PM: As fireworks explode following Elton John's encore, Skrillex is seen chatting with friends in the pit, presumably gushing about the Sunday headlining set after the EDM star delivered back-to-back performances on Friday and Saturday night.