Rain shall not put a damper on hippie spirits

12 06 2009

Janelle Monae at SXSW 2009; photo by Jill Mapes

What’s a little rain when you’re tripping balls? We unfortunately wouldn’t know, but rain when you’re NOT tripping balls totally blows. Thanks, weather gods, for throwing us head first into this whole “camping at a festival” thing.

We toughed it out, though, and not only did we chat up some great bands like Passion Pit, Zac Brown Band and Those Darlins, but we also caught some kick-ass live sets (and only fell in a puddle of mud once). First up was Janelle Monae over at the Other tent. Humidity did not suit her signature coiffure well, and her ‘do came undid and looked a little like Sideshow Bob (Janelle, we say this with total endearment). No matter, the tiny Atlanta wonder woman owned the stage with her futuristic funked-out beats (how sick is her guitar player, too?), mesmerizing vocals, and terrific stage show (original painting of stage diving, anyone?).

Next up were my Columbia, Mo., brethren White Rabbits, who fell victim to a power outage, but still pressed up fantastically. Songs from the group’s most-excellent and recently released “It’s Frightening” took on a new dynamic live, with added percussion elevating the tunes to a whole new powerhouse level. Still always is that moody undertone of the music, and songs like “Percussion Gun,” “Rudie Fails” and the piano-driven “Lioness” showcased the talent these boys have together.

After hiding from the rain in the camping area with beers and friends and meeting some, uh, interesting Bonnaroo regulars, the end of Passion Pit was caught. The crowd was diggin’ it, but to be honest, it’s just not my thing (as I’ve explained to several people, the singer’s voice is too close to Coheed and Cambria for my liking). Nice dudes, though.

The night ended with a Burning Man-type fire show, and by that point, enough was enough, and it was time to call it a night. Tonight, Phish plays! And I’m the only one here who doesn’t care.




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