Bonnaroo Coverage Begins: Key Conflicts

Saturday
Old Crow Medicine Show vs. Railroad Earth
TJ says: OCMS brings bluegrass without the sunny disposition offered by most of the acts on the newgrass/jamgrass circuit. In a fight, Old Crow beats YMSB senseless. They have cred, they get mean and they take down nice-guys RRE in a third round TKO.

Ween vs. Franz Ferdinand vs. WMDs vs. Ben Harper vs. Spoon
TJ says: In this “something for everybody” time slot, Ween rises above as the most interesting act – arguably at the entire festival. And they have the most revealing bio on the Bonnaroo site, which counts for something.

Ween

Flaming Lips vs. Gov’t Mule vs. Galactic
TJ says: The Flaming Lips is one of those bands that I’ve always resisted because everybody seems to really want me to like them. Mule would have a tough time following up the Frampton sit-in I got when I saw them last year in Cincy. I haven’t seen Galactic in almost seven years, and Stanton Moore is a badass. Galactic wins.

[ed. note: By that logic, you can see the Stanton Moore Trio on Thursday night and catch the Flaming Lips in this slot, like a normal person]

Sunday
John Butler Trio vs. Mavis Staples
TJ says: I saw JBT open for Trey a couple of years ago, and they were pretty cool. But the only thing that could possibly get me more excited to see Mavis would be if I found out that Roebuck Staples was coming back from the dead for a one-night only appearance. And I think we all know that that’s about as likely as my missing Mavis on Sunday.

Staples

RatDog vs. Wolfmother vs. T-Bone Burnett
TJ says: This may be my toughest call of the weekend, but I feel oddly compelled to support Bob Weir (like Bobby needs my support). This is the first time that Bonnaroo hasn’t featured Trey Anastasio or a Phil Lesh band (or both) as a headlining act, which is significant on a number of levels. I feel like going to see RatDog is a vote for keeping the jam element alive at the festival. Let’s not forget the fanbase from which this whole thing sprang. I want less eyeliner and more patchouli stink on my Bonnaroo bands.

The Decemberists vs. Wilco
TJ says: I don’t know a lot about The Decemberists, but as an avid poster collector I know that this poster that Emek did for them is super cool. At the end of the day, though, Tweedy punches these guys in the mouth like they’re a stage jumper. With a new album on the shelves, Wilco brings their A-game in what I predict will be one of the most talked-about performances of the weekend.

What do you think? See any big conflicts for you that TJ didn’t identify? Disagree with one, some or all of his calls? Sound off below…

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10 thoughts on “Bonnaroo Coverage Begins: Key Conflicts

  1. Bubba Reply

    In my opinion – the Flaming Lips are old news seeing them live- same song and dance for the past 5 years. I’ll take mule or galactic over them any day

    As for Wilco vs the decemberists- tough call, but Tweedy’s voice over Meloy’s whiney ancient mariner yelp wins.

    Ween hands down over Franz Ferdinand.

  2. rob ronanea Reply

    lily allen vs manu chao, dr dog vs slip vs railroad earth, xavier rudd vs damien rice, ween vs spoon, wilco vs feist…

    tough calls :(

  3. Ace Cowboy Reply

    Yeah, Bubba, the Lips are the same old song and dance. But for someone who’s never seen ‘em live, like our friend TJ, my editor’s note still rings true…

    There’s also the comedy tent to negotiate during this shindig. Gotta look out for David Cross and Lewis Black set times (and Dave Attell and Flight of the Conchords, as well). Cross plays his first show Thursday night at 10, then he goes against TLG and Rod y Gab at 11:45. But he’s basically got no competition at his Friday 7 pm slot, so I’d see music Thursday night and try to catch him in the Friday session.

    Lewis Black, on the other hand, has some daytime slots on Friday, and he’s throwing a wrench into the Tortoise/Richard Thompson and Kings of Leon/Gillian Welch slots.

    Seeing one of Cross’ four shows is mandatory, but Bonnaroo is first and foremost a music festival, and I think the bands come first and the comedians follow.

  4. Some Dude Reply

    I’ve managed to avoid any major conflicts somehow. Though Sunday is pretty jammed packed and will unfortunately be missing Feist and 1/2 of The Decemberists set for Wilco – but I think that’s not too much of a sacrifice.

    You did overlook the Damien Rice vs. Fountains of Wayne vs. The Hold Steady match-up. I’ve seen all three of these bands, but I’ll be at The Hold Steady rocking out. But if the Hold Steady is not your thing is really highly recommend both Damien and FOW (don’t write them off based on Stacy’s Mom) they put on great shows.

  5. Some Dude Reply

    Oh and Ace I’m with you on David Cross as well as The Lips.

    Hopefully I’ll be at the Friday night David Cross show since I have no interest in seeing Tool. And as for the Flaming Lips if you haven’t seen them before you should go check them out they are extremely interactive, lots of videos and craziness happening on stage – though Wayne does get a bit chatty at times.

  6. Zooomabooma Reply

    Ratdog. The festival must never lose the short shorts element!

  7. dave Reply

    Sorry, but have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of Kings of Leon as a “trendy hipster band”. If you’ve been to one of their shows you would understand that as the crowd is just as diverse as the Bonnaroo crowd (old, young, hippie, hipster, punks, rockers, etc.). I saw them four times on this recent tour and they didn’t miss a beat. I’ll be there at the Main Stage.

    Definitely Manu Chao on that Friday timeslot. Gov’t Mule for me late night Sat. Definitely the Superjam, and you’re right, thank God for it. And maybe it’s just the hippie in me, but I’ll probably be checking out the WMDs.

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  9. Rachel Reply

    Kings of Leon are far from a “trendy hipster band” I take offense to that! If you only knew who I was and then heard that my favorite band was Kings of Leon you’d be completely shocked! I’ve known many people to be! They are amazing! I don’t know of any one as good as them! I’ll be there for sure!

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