Bonnaroo 2013: Photos + Recap - Day Four

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Bonnaroo 2013: Photos + Recap - Day Four

Bonnaroo 2013 has come to a close, and although by now most of us have (finally) showered and gotten at least a few hours of sleep, we still have a few memories left to relive from our time on the farm. Here are some of the highlights from Bonnaroo’s fourth and final day, and you can check out Mark C. Austin’s photos from Sunday in the gallery below.

Lucius
I’d caught a bit of the first set from Brooklyn band Lucius on Saturday, but their set on the Sonic Stage on Sunday was truly something special. Wandering festies passing the stage were lured in with the powerful harmonies on tracks like “Go Home,” and the looming storm seemed to accentuate the attitude in the lyrics. The clouds opened up as the band played the opening measures for “Don’t Just Sit There,” and the mellow song seemed to match the pace of the slow, thick raindrops. They even tossed in a cover of My Morning Jacket’s “Wonderful,” dedicating the song to festival MVP Jim James and reworking the track in a way that will change the way I hear the original. Wrapping up the set with their single “Turn It Around,” Lucius likely won over a few new fans this weekend. —Dacey Orr

Baroness
Although Baroness was maybe five minutes late to take the stage in the muggy This Tent, you’d have thought they’d left the audience waiting for much longer. The crowd, all amped up to see the band return to the big stage after last August’s life-changing bus accident, gave back every ounce of energy the sludge rockers offered. The band tore through mostly Yellow & Green cuts, showing off the album to the U.S. for the first tour since the accident. And although the band’s core material banks on wailing guitars and bellowing screams, the guys were smiling from ear-to-ear for the duration of the set.—Tyler Kane

Noam Pikelny & Friends
The Punch Brothers’ banjo player pooled together a grade-A team of bluegrass musicians—including Bryan Sutton, Luke Bulla, Barry Bales and Jesse Cobb—for his late-afternoon set at the That Tent, and they didn’t disappoint, mixing in traditional tunes with some new ones off of Pikelny’s most recent solo record, Beat the Devil and Carry A Rail, like the cheekily titled “My Mom Thinks I’m a Lawyer.” —Bonnie Stiernberg

Swans
Even if you’re not a fan of Swans’ sprawling, deafening art-rock, their set at Bonnaroo proved that they’re a band you should catch at least once if you’re given the chance. The Michael Gira-fronted act blew the roof off at the not-so-well-attended This Tent with The Seer’s winding, long-form tracks that droned and built tension before attacking the listener’s ears without mercy. I felt my teeth rattle. The couple next to me cupped at their ears as Gira and co. slammed into a maxed-out climax. There was a guy standing behind me whose mouth was open for—and I’m not kidding here, I checked many times because it was so entertaining—the course of an entire 10-minute epic. It might have not been the most comfortable experience for these ear drums, but then again, that isn’t always true for great art.—Tyler Kane

Sam Bush & Del McCoury
He’s 74 years old, but the legendary Del McCoury seemed more excited to be at Bonnaroo than many of those a third of his age, grinning throughout the whole set and bantering with the crowd like the seasoned vet he is. “What better place to do a little pickin’ for y’all than Bonnaroo?” he asked—and it was clear the answer was “nowhere” as he and Bush delivered some truly stunning harmonies on bluegrass classics. —Bonnie Stiernberg

The National
If you’re a fan of The National’s latest album, Trouble Will Find Me, make sure to catch them on this tour—I actually preferred all the horn-decorated tracks much more in a live setting. The New York-by-the-way-of-Ohio indie darlings spent much of the time showcasing tracks from the album, and staying true to their live reputation, they sounded great through the clusters of huge PA stacks. And although they leaned heavy on Trouble tracks, the audience just seemed happy to be hearing National material in general, generating equal reactions for new cuts “I Should Live in Salt” and “Don’t Swallow the Cap” as thundering crowd favorites “Abel” and “Squalor Victoria.”

As an added bonus, those who decided to skip out on David Byrne and St. Vincent to catch the whole National set were treated to a guest appearance from Annie Clark herself, who joined the band for “This is the Last Time.” They prove it again and again, but The National’s Bonnaroo set was just another example of why these guys are one of the most reliable live acts out there.—Tyler Kane

Ed Helms’ Bluegrass Situation Superjam with Special Guests
It was unclear how many people in the crowd at the That Tent were interested in the music and how many were just there to see Ed Helms—although before the group took the stage a little over five minutes late, the eager crowd began chanting “Andy! Andy!” and as Helms stepped onstage, one guy yelled out “Nard-dawg!”—but it drew easily the largest bluegrass crowd of the day. Helms’ acting career will likely always overshadow his musical one, but he’s got some chops, even performing an original number. —Bonnie Stiernberg

David Byrne and St. Vincent
The Annie Clark-described “white wizard of the night” took to the stage with all the quirkiness and charm you’d expect from the guy who penned “Psycho Killer” and “Burning Down the House,” and Clark had no trouble proving to Byrne fans that she’s a formidable stage partner for the former Talking Heads frontman. The set was a comfortable blend of Byrne and Clark’s 2012 album, Love This Giant, along with their respective solo careers and Talking Heads material. But instead of a traditional band setup, the stage is flooded with horns, a few keyboard and electronic players, and Byrne and Clark posted in front of it all. There’s no drum kit here, nor bass. It means shifting brass melodies during “This Might Be the Place” or a little more pep and bop in Clark’s St. Vincent tracks like “Cruel” and “Cheerleader.”

But here’s also what an abundance of stage space means with a small gang of horns: Dancing. Byrne and Vincent led the brass with cool grooves and mechanical arm hinging, and it didn’t even come close to getting old for the full headlining set. And, like anything these two artists have ever done, it actually works (and ties the catalogs together) rather nicely. I loved the whole thing, but highlights had to be closer “Road to Nowhere” and an absolutely beautiful, lulling rendition of Clark’s “The Party” from Actor.—Tyler Kane