13 best things we saw at Bonnaroo
Bonnaroo came to a close on Sunday night with a hit-heavy set from Billy Joel, and after Kendrick Lamar’s blazing set and Mumford and Sons’ rock n’ roll throw down, fest-goers were bummed to leave the Farm. To recap the weekend, here are the 13 best things we saw at Bonnaroo 2015.
Best Super Sweaty Dance Party: Throwback Superjam
The Superjams at Bonnaroo are always full of surprises, and Saturday night’s ’80s-themed throwback dance party curated by Pretty Lights, Darryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C., and Rob Trujillo of Metallica, was no exception. Zach Galifinakis and Jon Hamm kicked off the festivities, leading the crowd in a singalong of “We Are The World.” After, the entire tent got down to Chance The Rapper’s covers of Biggie and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Bleachers also hit the stage and collaborated with SZA to cover Queen, and later Cherub’s Jason Huber performed a duet with Corey Feldman—and this was just the first handful of songs. James Liddell, Brian Coogan, and so many more stopped by during the set, all welcomed with fest-goers’ best moves.
Second Best Super Sweaty Dance Party: D’Angelo and the Vanguard
You know what people like to get down to? Some good, old fashioned funk music. D’Angelo was 40 minutes late to his own party, but brought his brand of funk to the middle-of-the-night set. As Saturday very quickly became early-Sunday, the crowd grooved and jived and boogied straight through “Sugah Daddy,” “Ain’t That Easy,” “Back To The Future, Part II,” and every other song that led into his near-3 a.m. encore.
Best Afternoon Delight: The Very Best
The collaboration between DJ/ production duo Radioclit and Malawi singer Esau Mwamwaya was a bright spot on a sweltering afternoon. They worked through their loose-limbed combination of dance, hip-hop, pop, and traditional Malawi tunes to the delight of their moderate crowd. Hands were held, choruses were sung (especially to their 2009 breakout, “Warm Heart of Africa”) and, by God, did they get raucous applause at the end.
Best Party for Parents Who Want To Turn Up At Midnight: Earth Wind and Fire
Earth Wind and Fire took the Which Stage at midnight and just about every adult still milling about headed over to jam out to the old school vibes. Bonus: Bringing out Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar, who had just finished owning the mainstage, for a surprise performance (apparently a surprise even to the two MCs who were just off to the right watching) meant there was something for everybody in attendance.
Best Fans: My Morning Jacket
Jim James and his ace backing band took the stage for two hours to deliver an enormous, propulsive rock set on Saturday night ahead of Mumford and Sons. James dressed for the occasion—big sunglasses, sequined jacket and an over-sized poncho accessorized his spacey dance moves. And the kids on the ground in the first half of the crowd didn’t just appreciate it, they matched it. They came to the main stage in top-hats, velvet shawls, enormous eyewhere, and other affects that let them get in the spirit for the adored Bonnaroo regulars.
Most Underrated Snack: Amish Donuts
Of course pizza is going to taste good after a long day of drinking and dancing, and obviously tacos covered in fresh queso will hit the spot. Sorry, did you say cold sesame noodles were good for a hangover? Duh, you did! They are! But no one recommends that you search out the Amish Donut stand way over there in the corner opposite the main stage. There’s a big, bearded man slinging The Amish Baking Co.’s signature, gooey treats and you didn’t even realize you were missing them until you’ve taken your first bite.
Best Stank Face: Gary Clark Jr.
The guitarist and singer took the stage for a sunset set on Saturday, and brought along a stank face to go with his playing that, like B.B. King’s did before him, radiates how deep his passion for the blues runs—every time it gets super twisted, hands went up and shouts rung out.
Best Cover Song: MØ performs The Spice Girl’s “Say You’ll Be There”
The Danish popstress has been working this song into her tour sets for a while now, but there was something so rebellious about blasting it out across The Farm, home of jam bands, jam sessions, and super jams, that felt oh-so-good on Sunday afternoon.
Most Distracting (But Also Hilarious) Accessory: Billy Joel’s giant fly swatter
Turns out there’s one thing that pulls headliner Joel out of his zone: bugs. He brought a hilariously oversized fly-swatter on stage and could be found during most songs loosing his cool to focus on destroying a few insects.
Most Likely to be Spotted All Over Campus: G-Eazy
G-Eazy showed up hours before his set and you could find him just about anywhere on The Farm on Sunday, strolling through Centeroo, eating tacos with fans, and hanging for the post-festival crawfish boil. Way to make the most of your Sunday, Gerald.
Best Closing Line: Billy Joel
“Get home safe everyone!” The piano legend began his goodbye to the 80,000 fans present for his closing slot. “Don’t drink and drive! Do what I do! Drink and get a big limousine!” He laughed and shouted before running offstage. Alright, cool Billy. Can we hop in with you?
Best Guest Star: Chance The Rapper
Really, it would be more of an accomplishment to say you didn’t see this Chicago-born rapper at the fest given his guest appearances. He was on stage with Earth Wind and Fire with Kendrick Lamar, jumped up for his verse on his SZA-collab “Child’s Play” and opened Saturday night’s (okay technically super early Sunday morning) Superjam. So chances are you—ah, no let’s not go that far with this…
Best How Did We Not Know Each Other Better? Set: Dawes
Hey Dawes, Tennessee sure looks good on you. Or maybe you sound good in Tennessee? Or Tennessee sounds good—well, whatever. Dawes took the mainstage late Friday afternoon and gave Bonnaroo what Bonnaroovians loves best, gently rolling rock tunes to jam to in a field, especially “When My Time Comes.”