The Little Ones: I missed their big performance the day before, but caught them at a smaller stage on Friday. One of the true pleasures of Bonnaroo was catching snippets of bands I’d never heard of before and falling in love. The Little Ones was the first of these. Joyful, fantastic music.
Uncle Earl: A four-woman bluegrass group who recently recorded an album produced by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. Great stuff. I’d never heard it before. When JPJ took the stage to play the mandolin as a surprise guest, it was a genuine thrill. Later, he played with Gillian Welsh, and he apparently bopped around the bluegrass shows all weekend long.
Paulo Nutini: Started off a bit dull, but as soon as Roomate left to check out another show, he kicked it up. Played a great cover of Moby’s “Natural Blues.”
Gillian Welch: Sounded just like I hoped she would, like an angel. Won me at the first song, “Orphan Girl.” John Paul Jones guested. The only rain during the entire event occurred during her show.
Kings of Leon: Boring and repetitive. My opinion, though, was clearly in the minority.
Lily Allen: See Best Of
Firecracker Jazz Band: See Best Of
Angel and the Love Mongers: In the tiny Troo Music Tent, this Knoxville band was so good that for the first three or four songs, I was sure they were playing covers. Lead singer is a former model and actor, and his on-stage strutting and preening and pouting seemed a parody of rockstar-dom. But, alas, he was dead serious. Still and all, his voice made up for the silliness, and the whole set led Roommate to comment “there weren’t bands like this when I lived in Knoxville” on several occasions.