Bonnaroo 2012 did not follow the DJ craze like most fest this year are doing, having only one stage dedicated to dubstep, house, trance, etc… But they did book a few stellar acts to keep the Bonnaroovians (yes, the word exist) satisfied. Skrillex delivered his set on what looked like an outdated space ship from a ’70s Buck Rogers flick. Me personally, I would have gone Klingon Vessel.
The real highlight of this years Bonnaroo had to be the return of D’Angelo as part of ?uestlove’s super jam. Making his first U.S. appearance in over a decade, as Questo said, “I’ve been waiting 12 years to say this,’Ladies and gentlemen, D’Angelo.’”
Supported by The Roots’ Captain Kirk Douglas and keyboardist James Poyser, along with Kendra Forster (P-funk Fam), Pino Palladino (touring bassist for The Who) and The Time guitarist Jesse Johnson, ?uestloves jam session was a trip back — covering the soundtrack of his youth with a touch of soul greatness. Thing leaned heavy on classic rock, with Hendrix’s Have You Ever Been To (Electric Ladyland), Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Be,” and even the (relatively) obscure Beatles “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window.”
Hip-hop represented this year at Roo, mostly on Thursday night at the This Tent. Danny Brown, Yelawolf and Kendrick Lamar represented the future, while Childish Gambino and Ludacris pitched in like James Harden of The OKC Thunder (basketball talk peeps). But none representing hop-hop more than Blackstar & GZA. Mighty Mos Def & Talib Kweli bumped new singles and classics from We Are Blackstar as well as their own solo projects.G ZA played his Liquid Swords album, but with a twist. Grammy-award winning Austin-based Latino funk band Grupo Fantasma proved hip-hop has no boundaries with a dedication to Ol’ Dirty with “Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ll.”
The festival’s headliners did not disappoint. Recent Rock N Rolls Hall of Fame inductees Red Hot Chili Peppers played most of their hit’s post Mother Milk and managed to fit “Higher Ground” into the set list. Some old heads might miss the band’s punk-funk roots, but new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer brings a throwback style with his playing that recalls RHCP’s early with Hillel Slovak.
Radiohead’s set was an absolute spectacle. The two hour plus two encore-long night was, as my girlfriend would say, AMAZE-BALLS (sorry Kat). During the first encore, Thom Yorke gave a shout out to Jack White. “This song is for Jack White,” he told the crowd. “A big thank you to him, but we can’t tell you why. You’ll find out.”
Future collab in the making? With “True Love Waits” intro-ing the second encore Radiohead top closed with an astonishing “Paranoid Android.” Simply was a game clincher. Go OKC !!!