Thursday provided a hot, dusty and exciting start to Bonnaroo‘s tenth anniversary festival in Manchester, Tennessee. And as in past years, Day 1 down on the farm is all about the smaller stages and tents–the time to shine for Bonnaroo’s smaller acts, buzz-bands, and up-and-comers. This includes festival venues like the On Tap Lounge, the Solar Stage, and the tents (the infamous This, That and Other tents — just TRY not to get that confused).
Artists like [lastfm]Pimps of Joytime[/lastfm], [lastfm]The Drums[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Beats Antique[/lastfm] made the most of their Thursday time slots and played to eager, overflowing crowds of festivalgoers who stayed up deep into Bonnaroo’s first night.
True to their mission that began over ten years ago, Bonnaroo’s organizers set up Day 1 to be a day of musical discovery. Two of the smaller venues attracted the largest crowds, with fans camped out in front of the Solar Stage and the On Tap Lounge all afternoon and into the night.
[lastfm]Civil Twilight[/lastfm] anchored the On Tap Lounge lineup, which also saw rousing performances from [lastfm]Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band[/lastfm], the [lastfm]Kopecky Family Band[/lastfm] and a group of guys known as [lastfm]Miniboone[/lastfm] who led the packed tent in a spot-on cover of [lastfm]James Brown[/lastfm]‘s “Living In America.”
Over at the Solar Stage, Brooklyn’s own [lastfm]Pimps of Joytime[/lastfm] did their Latin-infused electro-funk thing in front of an overflow crowd, drawing all their power from the array of solar panels lined up behind the stage. After 12 hours in the hot Tennessee sun it is easy to understand how “star power” can provide the energy needed to run this small-but-funky stage late into the night.
Fans who stuck it out post-Pimps were treated to a succession of acts ranging from African drum & dance, to breakdancing, to one of the more bizarre burlesque acts this side of New Orleans (courtesy of local gadfly Miss Lolly Pop and her Burlesque Coterie). Missed that one? Fear not, Miss Lolly Pop is back at the Solar Stage each night at Midnight throughout the rest of the weekend.
The bigger tents brought out the bigger names on Thursday, led by [lastfm]The Drums[/lastfm], [lastfm]Best Coast[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Sleigh Bells[/lastfm] in The Other Tent.
This Tent played host to [lastfm]The Knux[/lastfm], [lastfm]Wavves[/lastfm], [lastfm]Twin Shadow[/lastfm] as well as comedian Donald Glover‘s musical performance as [lastfm]Childish Gambino[/lastfm]. Glover was everywhere on Thursday, hosting TV segments for Fuse.tv‘s backstage coverage and interviewing any musician who happened to walk by.
[lastfm]Deerhunter[/lastfm] drew a massive crowd to their Midnight set at That Tent, a location that also saw big crowds for [lastfm]Freelance Whales[/lastfm], [lastfm]Band of Skulls[/lastfm] and [lastfm]The Walkmen[/lastfm].
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