Bonnaroo’s virtual celebration runs today through Saturday. And despite the festival’s hippie origins and eclectic nature, there’s plenty of interest to rock fans.
One of America’s longest-running destination music festival, Bonnaroo has built quite an archive of amazing performances over the years. In place of an in-person festival this year, Bonnaroo will combine fresh livestream material with classic moments from The Farm over the years. Below are some highlights that rock fans can catch for free on Bonnaroo’s YouTube.
UPDATE: By popular demand, Bonnaroo uploaded the Beastie Boys set to YouTube for on-demand viewing, but it’s only available through the weekend. Scroll down for the embed.
6:40 PM / Alabama Shakes
Brittany Howard is a brilliant songwriter with a unique voice. Alabama Shakes may not rock out in the heaviest way, but they’ve got a solid bluesy, soulful sound; and Howard’s skills as a guitarist are criminally underappreciated by mainstream rock fans. Their 2015 set came in support of their strongest album to date, that year’s Boys & Girls.
8:10 PM / Jack White
For all his eccentricities, he’s our generation’s guitar god. Period. He hit The Farm’s main stage with an entourage of fantastic backing musicians in support of his best solo album, 2014’s Lazaretto. You’ll hear plenty of White Stripes tracks plus other songs from his various projects and a few covers… I know this not just because setlist.fm is a thing but also because I WAS THERE IN PERSON! 😀
10:30 PM / Beastie Boys
This is the big one for me, personally. I never got to see Beastie Boys live in person. I’ve seen some live stuff here and there over the years. But Bonnaroo 2009 was Beastie Boys final. concert. performance. ever. A month and a half after Bonnaroo, Adam Yauch (MCA) received a cancer diagnosis. He died in 2012.
8:20 PM / Metallica
What more is there to say? It’s f***ing Metallica! They headlined Bonnaroo in 2008 as the festival began to court more eclectic crowds. They played a balanced, Greatest Hits-y set composed almost entirely of songs from their first five albums. What more can we ask for?
10:10 PM / Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
To paraphrase Chris Berman: “I know because I was there!” Rateliff & co. bring a rollicking brand of soul-inspired rock. But pay special attention to show-stealing trumpeter Wesley Watkins. If I remember correctly, I was pretty close to the guard rail near the front of stage left. Keep an eye out for me LOL.
10:30 PM / Dave Matthews and Friends
Yeah this is probably going to be a polarizing inclusion, but his fans are so fanatical for a reason. Pour your favorite drink or whatever else you do to unwind, and experience some virtuoso musicians.
9:15 PM / The White Stripes
Saturday is a bit lighter on the rock. But you get Jack & Meg White on their final tour (2007), shortly before Meg decided she didn’t want to play live anymore. White Stripes sets were famous for their unique chemistry and their ability to change direction on a dime like Patrick Mahomes turning a broken play into a highlight reel.