Music  |  Features

Swell Season at Bonnaroo

June 14, 2008  |  12:23pm

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When Swell Season played "Falling slowly," and Glen Hansard asked the crowd to sing along “because we’re really quiet,” and thousands of people took him up on the offer, I remembered why I love music festivals. When Hansard and Markéta Irglová, a pair of actors who became one of recent cinema’s most intriguing fictional couples, then became one of music’s most intriguing actual couples sang Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” into the same mic, looking at each other lovingly, I remembered why I love music festivals. When Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood told a six-minute maybe-true, maybe-not six-minute story about his mother with the band playing behind him; when Jack White fell into his microphone stand and knocked over one of the monitors, but kept on tearing into his guitar; when M.I.A. had an overflowing crowd pumping their fists to "Galang,” I remembered why I love music festivals.

And when José Gonzalez climbed into the ferris wheel, with his conga player, Paste editor-at-large Jay Sweet and Paste videographer Ashley Melzer, I remembered why I love being with Paste at Bonnaroo. Keep an eye out for the video to pop up on the PasteMagazine.com homepage soon.

Bonnaroo has been great fun so far. Chris Rock was hilarious last night, and today I’m going to get to see Two Gallants, Mason Jennings, Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet, Gogol Bordello, Cat Power (or The Avett Brothers—haven’t decided yet), B.B. King, Iron & Wine, a little bit of Levon Helm, Pearl Jam, Sigur Rós and Kanye West. That almost seems gluttonous.

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