Nashville transplant Jack White is frequently a highlight of Bonnaroo, and his headline performance on Saturday, June 14, did not disappoint. He transfixed the massive crowd with a high energy set that spanned his catalog: from The White Stripes to The Raconteurs to his most-recent solo effort, Lazaretto. It was a cleansing of sorts, after Kanye West performed to mixed reviews the previous night.
The heat, humidity and inebriation were a setback for some, but most continued to enjoy every moment of life in Centeroo–the heart of Bonnaroo. If Jack White didn’t make an impact then a late-night Superjam featuring Skrillex, the psychedelic ride of The Flaming Lips or Lionel Richie’s timeless hits were certain alternatives.
It was impossible to be everywhere at once, but given the diversity of the lineup and quality of the artists, just about anywhere within the central walls was sufficient. Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorrilaz), Cage the Elephant, Cake, Ms. Lauryn Hill, James Blake, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Frank Ocean all contributed to Saturday’s madness. A schedule change between Ms. Lauryn Hill and James Blake had fans crisscrossed who didn’t check the online schedule. An unfortunate dilemma for those camped out on the rail all day waiting for their artist..
Bonnaroo comes to a close on Sunday, with a headline performance by Sir Elton John. Other high profile artists include Wiz Khalifa, The Avett Brothers, City and Colour, Broken Bells, Arctic Monkeys and The Bluegrass Situation hosted by Ed Helms.
Music genres may come and go but some artists are timeless. Lionel Richie took the What Stage just before Jack White’s headline performance and quickly demonstrated why he’s one of the top-selling artists in the history of music. Whether it was music from Motown icons Commodores to his multi-platinum selling “Can’t Slow Down” to his latest “Tuskegee,” Richie delivered on all facets of his performance.
Perhaps the most successful of the Odd Future collective, Frank Ocean has been quiet in 2014. Ocean blew up in 2012 and matched that success in 2013. He’s been hard at work on his followup to “Channel Orange.”
Easily one of the highlights of Saturday, Damon Albarn made an impact with Blur and the Gorillaz. His performance opposite the always impressive Cage the Elephant was a no-contest decision. Albarn ripped through Blur, Gorillaz and various other side projects ensuring we made the proper call.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Derek Trucks is a master of the slide guitar. He and wife Susan Tedeschi have been handed the torch of blues rock and their vast entourage that comprise the Tedeschi Trucks Band offered a blistering set of classic blues on Saturday afternoon.
It’s Skrillex. It’s a Superjam. Honestly, either of these alone would be sufficient to be present in This Tent on Saturday. Skrillex and Big Gigantic hosted a Superjam, implying one had to be there. Heavy bass pumped far and wide as fans crowded in tighter for the ultimate Bonnaroo dance experience.
Jack White is a guitar icon and his musical impression knows no bounds. He’s personally taken the entirety of Americana rock and roll added his vast knowledge of music history and has reignited the concept of garage rock. Currently touring on the recently-dropped “Lazeretto,” White hit the Bonnaroo faithful with bits and pieces of his diverse musical catalog.
Ms. Lauryn Hill
The strong R&B presence of Bonnaroo 2014 continued on Saturday with an evening performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill. She hit the crowd early with fan-favorite “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” before rolling through a mix of both solo and Fugees material.
Slightly Stoopid performed opposite Phosphorescent in a battle of stoner rock versus modern country folk. The playful and upbeat Slightly Stoopid was a mood-based decision and a good time was had by all.