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Ten Highlights from Bonnaroo 2012
The Avett Brothers – “Will You Return?”
High-tempo folk rock group the Avett Brothers played a set of fan favorites at the What Stage on Friday afternoon with an energy and sincerity that has become nearly synonymous with their name. Audience tip: Keep your eye on Joe Kwon. It’s rare to see a cellist rock as hard as he does, and when he really starts to tear into it, it’s downright infectious.
Dawes – “When My Time Comes”
For a band that’s generally on the mellow end of the spectrum, Dawes did impressively well in keeping energy levels high during their set. The band members were clearly enjoying themselves onstage and the audience happily followed suit.
The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”
If The Beach Boys’ ages showed at all during their show, audience members didn’t notice. The crowd enjoyed every minute of the reunited band’s set, which incorporated what seemed like every crowd favorite in their catalog, including an impressive rendition of “Good Vibrations.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “By The Way”
For the Peppers’ headlining set on Saturday night, the band pulled out many of their most recognized singles from all phases of their long career and mixed them with lesser known numbers and virtuosic jams. The show was truly a rock ‘n roll affair that had everyone in the immense crowd air-guitaring along.
R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet Sing-Along!
Scheduled in the Cinema Tent at 2:15 a.m. on Friday morning, this was always going to be a spectacle. The film was into a sort of modern day Rocky Horror Picture Show, with staff encouraging aisle boogie downs and handing out props like spatulas, condoms and water guns to be brandished at specific times throughout the film’s promiscuous and thoroughly convoluted storyline. The MC sprinkled the viewing with R. Kelly anecdotes and music videos and did his admirable best to make good on what he called his thesis for the night: to prove that R. Kelly is the greatest artist of our generation. It was probably delirium, but after twelve or so chapters, I almost believed him for a few shining moments.