My Friday at Bonnaroo Featured Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and Beastie Boys, but Al Green Wins

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My Friday at Bonnaroo Featured Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and Beastie Boys, but Al Green Wins

In a day full of musical highlights from The Low Anthem, Animal Collective, Santigold, Grizzly Bear, Lucinda Williams, Beastie Boys and David Byrne, the most memorable came during Al Green's set on the big What Stage, when we broke into "Let's Stay Together." Hitting impossible high notes and sliding onto his knees, Rev. Al showed that his time in the pulpit has been just fine for the soul. He looked mighty dapper in his dark suit and tossed roses to pretty girls in the front the front rows.

for The Low Anthem at the Sonic Stage right next to our Paste tent. As much as I love this band, their quiet tunes meant that I could hear as much of Gomez across the festival grounds as of Ben Knox Miller's whispered vocals. The departure of their drummer didn't help, but Oh My God, Charlie Darwin is still one of my favorite albums this year.


Animal Collective didn't suffer from being too quiet, though they were at their best when playing songs like "My Girls" instead of noodling between them. Their electronic jams suited the venue, though, with Phish headlining later in the night. Their latest, Merriweather Post Pavillion is another of my Top 5 records from the first half of 2009.

Santigold put on a great show in That Tent, with a pair of dancers in glittering gold. No kid started a huge dance party on the lawn this time during "Unstoppable," but the crowd was already into it. The crowd was also into Grizzly Bear, whose meticulously crafted songs translated surprisingly well live.

to head to Beastie Boys, I heard Lucinda Williams singing one of my favorite songs, "Joy," and got pulled into This Tent to see the rest of the show—which sadly was done after one song, AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top."


that his speaking voice reminds me of Dustin Hoffman. It was a great—if early—finish to a great night. Kevin and our interns made it all the way through Girl Talk, but I enjoyed my night's sleep.