Tennessee!

Alternatively titled: Bonnarooooo!

14 hours off the plane from Sweden, I was on the road with Alison down to Tennessee for the Bonnaroo music festival. We had a bit of a false start, since we both forgot our tickets, and had to turn around after half an hour on the road. After that it was smooth sailing, though, and we got there a little before 6 p.m. We were both tired from driving all day and I was still all jet-lagged, so we just went to sleep Thursday night. 10 hours later we were up and at ‘em at 8 in the morning, with nothing to do until the music started around 1 p.m. We saw about a dozen acts throughout the weekend, including but not limited to Andrew Bird, Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Folds, Tom Petty, Radiohead, Phil Lesh (bassist of the Grateful Dead), the Streets, Atmosphere, Beck, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and many others. Beck’s stage show was the best, it involved an elaborate set up where the entire stage was recreated in a puppet show, which was shown on the big video screens. At one point the band left to “get some dinner” and Beck started playing acoustic songs, but then the band came back with a table full of food and chairs and started eating on stage, then drumming along, then playing the music with the food (glasses, knives, etc). There was also a part involving two beat-boxing guys in bear suits. It was a pretty good show, and Beck was pretty amusing.

The only real downside to the weekend was the heat, which was killer – there was no escaping the 90-degree Tennessee sun. The absolute filthiness of the endeavor was also somewhat regrettable, but not too bad. In some ways not being able to shower or wash anything for four days is kind of fun. Kind of. We stunk pretty bad by the time we got home, though. 80,000 dirty hippies in confined quarters makes for one crazy, crazy environment. The whole thing is just one giant hippy love/drug fest, but there are also plenty of people (such as us) who aren’t hippies at all, but just sort of live the lifestyle for a weekend. It’s a strange mix, really, but definitely worth it.

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