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Bonnaroo Highlights Include "Extraordinary" Wilco Set (NY Times) and "Moving" Low Anthem Show (WSJ)

  • Monday, June 15, 2009
    Bonnaroo Highlights Include "Extraordinary" Wilco Set (NY Times) and "Moving" Low Anthem Show (WSJ)

    After four days, 70,000-plus music lovers, scores of A-list performers, and a healthy bit of rain to jump start the proceedings on Thursday, the 2009 Bonnaroo music and arts festival has come to a close and the fields of Manchester, Tennessee, have cleared out. Among the festival's performers were no fewer than seven Nonesuch artists: Amadou & Mariam, The Low Anthem, Toumani Diabaté with Béla Fleck, Allen Toussaint, Sara Watkins with Fiction Family, Wilco, and David Byrne, who, in addition to his own set, led the festival's first-ever artist-curated stage.

    New York Times music critic Jon Pareles picks Wilco's Saturday night set as a highlight of the festival, writing:

    Wilco, from Chicago, played one of Bonnaroo’s most extraordinary sets. Many of Jeff Tweedy’s songs, suffused with depression and estrangement, could have been straightforward 1960s and ’70s rock, glancing back at the Beatles and Neil Young. But Wilco doesn’t play them that way. Strange tangents arise midsong—faraway keyboard dissonances, streaking and scrabbling guitar crescendos—and envelop the whole band, only to disappear moments later as if nothing had happened.

    Read more from Pareles's Bonnaroo report at nytimes.com.

    Pop Matters' John Bohannon would concur, calling Wilco's set not just a highlight of the festival, but among the band's best as well:

    Wilco’s set made me remember how much I actually love this band (and how much I love Nels Cline’s guitar playing). This was possibly the best set I’ve ever seen them play. Jeff Tweedy was playful and full of life—dancing around the stage like a child and loving every second of it ... [S]omething sparked a fire in him that put new life into the songs they’ve played thousands of times. They are all learning to feed off each other and working more as a band than they ever have before. They are one of the few bands of their status that keep growing internally, and it shows on stage, and hopefully on their new recordings.

    Pop Matters also draws attention to The Low Anthem's intimate showcase for the press, calling it "one of the most pleasant surprises" of the day. "Combining the droning element of a pump organ and the subtle nuance of atmospheric tones, the band hit a perfect chord, especially the vocals, which were absolutely phenomenal and as pure as can be," says Bohannon. "Their debut Oh My God, Charlie Darwin will be making it into my hands as soon as the festival is finished, and I suggest it makes it into yours as well." Read more of the site's festival coverage at popmatters.com.

    The Wall Street Journal's Jim Fusilli describes The Low Anthem's "fine new album" as "both clever and affecting." He reports from the band's Thursday night's set, providing both literal and figurative shelter from the monsoonal rain outside the tent, for the paper's "Speakeasy" arts blog. "On stage, the band offered moving, folk-based Americana, conveyed with a pump organ, upright bass and clarinet, among other instruments," writes Fusilli. "In the quiet numbers, Miller’s singing brought to mind the high, tender voice of the Band’s Richard Manuel. At one point, a blast of thunder seemed an appropriate accompaniment to their dark, occasionally eerie music." Read more at blogs.wsj.com.

    Spinner's Benjy Eisen calls The Low Anthem "one of the true breakout bands at Bonnaroo this year," and Paste magazine's Josh Jackson says performances by The Low Anthem, and by David Byrne, contributed to "a day full of musical highlights," and despite the competing sounds inherent to a multistage event, he describes the band's recent Nonesuch debut, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, as "one of my favorite albums this year."

on June 15, 2009 - 1:35pm
Excerpt: 

After four days, 70,000-plus music lovers, and scores of A-list performers, the Bonnaroo music and arts festival has come to a close. Among the festival's performers were no fewer than seven Nonesuch artists. The New York Times calls the Wilco show "one of Bonnaroo’s most extraordinary sets." The Wall Street Journal describes The Low Anthem's "fine new album" as "both clever and affecting" and its live set as "moving, folk-based Americana." Pop Matters calls it "one of the most pleasant surprises" of the day and the trio's vocals "absolutely phenomenal and as pure as can be." Spinner calls them "one of the true breakout bands at Bonnaroo this year."

Copy: 

After four days, 70,000-plus music lovers, scores of A-list performers, and a healthy bit of rain to jump start the proceedings on Thursday, the 2009 Bonnaroo music and arts festival has come to a close and the fields of Manchester, Tennessee, have cleared out. Among the festival's performers were no fewer than seven Nonesuch artists: Amadou & Mariam, The Low Anthem, Toumani Diabaté with Béla Fleck, Allen Toussaint, Sara Watkins with Fiction Family, Wilco, and David Byrne, who, in addition to his own set, led the festival's first-ever artist-curated stage.

New York Times music critic Jon Pareles picks Wilco's Saturday night set as a highlight of the festival, writing:

Wilco, from Chicago, played one of Bonnaroo’s most extraordinary sets. Many of Jeff Tweedy’s songs, suffused with depression and estrangement, could have been straightforward 1960s and ’70s rock, glancing back at the Beatles and Neil Young. But Wilco doesn’t play them that way. Strange tangents arise midsong—faraway keyboard dissonances, streaking and scrabbling guitar crescendos—and envelop the whole band, only to disappear moments later as if nothing had happened.

Read more from Pareles's Bonnaroo report at nytimes.com.

Pop Matters' John Bohannon would concur, calling Wilco's set not just a highlight of the festival, but among the band's best as well:

Wilco’s set made me remember how much I actually love this band (and how much I love Nels Cline’s guitar playing). This was possibly the best set I’ve ever seen them play. Jeff Tweedy was playful and full of life—dancing around the stage like a child and loving every second of it ... [S]omething sparked a fire in him that put new life into the songs they’ve played thousands of times. They are all learning to feed off each other and working more as a band than they ever have before. They are one of the few bands of their status that keep growing internally, and it shows on stage, and hopefully on their new recordings.

Pop Matters also draws attention to The Low Anthem's intimate showcase for the press, calling it "one of the most pleasant surprises" of the day. "Combining the droning element of a pump organ and the subtle nuance of atmospheric tones, the band hit a perfect chord, especially the vocals, which were absolutely phenomenal and as pure as can be," says Bohannon. "Their debut Oh My God, Charlie Darwin will be making it into my hands as soon as the festival is finished, and I suggest it makes it into yours as well." Read more of the site's festival coverage at popmatters.com.

The Wall Street Journal's Jim Fusilli describes The Low Anthem's "fine new album" as "both clever and affecting." He reports from the band's Thursday night's set, providing both literal and figurative shelter from the monsoonal rain outside the tent, for the paper's "Speakeasy" arts blog. "On stage, the band offered moving, folk-based Americana, conveyed with a pump organ, upright bass and clarinet, among other instruments," writes Fusilli. "In the quiet numbers, Miller’s singing brought to mind the high, tender voice of the Band’s Richard Manuel. At one point, a blast of thunder seemed an appropriate accompaniment to their dark, occasionally eerie music." Read more at blogs.wsj.com.

Spinner's Benjy Eisen calls The Low Anthem "one of the true breakout bands at Bonnaroo this year," and Paste magazine's Josh Jackson says performances by The Low Anthem, and by David Byrne, contributed to "a day full of musical highlights," and despite the competing sounds inherent to a multistage event, he describes the band's recent Nonesuch debut, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, as "one of my favorite albums this year."

Publish date: 
Monday, June 15, 2009 - 11:00
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Comments

Hey guys I came across a very interesting site which has all the Bonnaroo news and also lists and ratings...
http://www.ranker.com/list/home.htm#mainlistid=54918&start=1

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