Day two at Bonnaroo featured an especially stacked lineup, which meant lots of hopping between shows during the day before a long night of LCD Soundsystem and Tame Impala’s 1 am set.
Sadly, the evening culminated with tragedy, as a 22-year-old Bonnaroo attendee was struck and killed by two vehicles on I-24 off of festival grounds after running into traffic.
Paste will be at Bonnaroo all weekend, so be sure to check back each day for our continued coverage. In the meantime, check out photos from day 2 in the gallery and read about the day’s highlights below.
Andra Day’s got vocal chops for days. But her Friday afternoon Bonnaroo set felt slightly lacking in terms of material. She filled a good chunk of it with banter and covers—two Bob Marley songs, Kendrick Lamar’s “No Make-up”—and while it all sounded great, it only made me wish for more Andra Day material.
With LCD Soundsystem headlining later on, a Bonnaroo dance party was inevitable on Friday, but Shamir started it early with his insanely fun 5 p.m. set at the That Tent. Tracks like “On the Regular,” “Make a Scene” and “Hot Mess” got the crowd moving and warming up for what would turn out to be a marathon day of busting moves. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Shamir, at just 21 years old, is already such a dynamic performer. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him back at Bonnaroo on a much bigger stage in a few years.
Kamasi Washington has a busy weekend on tap for Bonnaroo—in addition to his 5:30 set at the This Tent on Friday, he’s slated to head up the Superjam on Saturday night. The jazz saxophonist also made an appearance during Andra Day’s set earlier in the day, but for his own set, he took it upon himself to bring out his own special guest—his father, Rickey Washington, who came out to perform with his son on the Miles Mosley collaboration “Abraham.”
Lucius are always excellent live, so the fact that their set on Friday evening was great should come as no surprise, but they did have to work through a few sound issues, which only served to make their performance all the more impressive, as their vocals weren’t noticeably affected by any of the technical difficulties. Whether it was old favorites like “Go Home” and “Turn It Around” or highlights from this year’s Good Grief like “Born Again Teen,” “Dusty Trails” and “Almost Makes Me Wish for Rain,” the duo sounded as in-sync as ever, delivering their trademark harmonies and blowing the minds of everyone in attendance.
Leon Bridge’s 8:15 set at The Other Tent on Friday was full of favorites from Coming Home, including “Lisa Sawyer,” “Better Man,” “Smooth Sailin’” and the title track. But what elevated the soul singer’s set from good to great was the more unexpected stuff—new material and an excellent, slowed-down cover of Ginuwine’s “Pony.”
Dev Hynes quietly took the stage by himself, accompanied only by his filthy Fender Stratocaster, gently greeted the intimate 2 am audience and embarked onto 2011’s “Feelin’ It.” For longtime fans of the English modern musical renaissance man, it was a fairly spiritual exercise and Hynes—soon joined by his Blood Orange ensemble—built onto it with cuts from 2013’s Cupid Deluxe and his upcoming LP Freetown Sound. The material from the latter felt like Hynes had been spending time with records from D’Angelo, Sade and Prince, and showed that Hynes is committed to building on the under-the-sheets ballads and sultry vibes of Deluxe. While LCD Soundsystem was the far- and-away nostalgic favorite of Bonnaroo’s impressive Friday slate, it was Hynes’ knee-buckling onstage choreography to complement immaculate renditions of “Time Will Tell” and “I’m Sorry We Lied” that damn near stole the show. Freetown Sound can’t come soon enough.—Adrian Spinelli
This is less about J. Cole’s set—most of which I missed—and more a note to myself: going to the bathroom during this time and missing all but the last 10 seconds of Chance the Rapper’s guest appearance (“No Problem,” which I could hear from said bathroom and sprinted to the What Stage to try to catch the end of) was a dumb, dumb mistake. Fingers crossed he turns up at Saturday’s Superjam.
LCD Soundsystem fans who shelled out outrageous sums of money to see their Long Goodbye show at Madison Square Garden just five years ago are most likely pretty pissed (and rightly so) about how soon their reunion is happening, but as a fan who missed James Murphy and company’s “final” show, I’m selfishly thrilled I got an opportunity to see them again with Friday’s headlining set on the What Stage. They started things off with “Us V Them” and “Daft Punk is Playing at My House,” instantly winning over any doubters, and the rest of the set kept the pace, with favorites like “Losing My Edge,” “Dance Yrself Clean,” “I Can Change,” “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” “Yeah” and a closing “All My Friends” that caused two bros near me to hug each other so hard that I got emotional. With that, Murphy bid adieu, saying “see you guys at the Tame Impala show.”
Tame Impala’s 1 a.m. set was great in the way that all Tame Impala sets are great, but as a late-night mainstage set at Bonnaroo, it came up a little short. 45 minutes short, to be exact. Things kicked off in spectacular fashion, with confetti and “Let It Happen,” but it was all over by around 2:15—despite the band being billed to play from 1 to 3 a.m. It seemed like they played their standard festival set, rather than rolling out deep cuts or anything extra to fill the late-night timeslot.