Bonnaroo Day Four: Afternoon… Tired Of Waiting For You

15 06 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

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Jessica Lea Mayfield, Bonnaroo 2009

You know who scares the hell out of me? Jessica Lea Mayfield that’s who. Don’t get me wrong she’s a nice kid, and we had an engrossing chit-chat before her set Sunday afternoon. Mayfield told me that when you write a song that includes the lyric “Get Behind Me Jesus” you’re just asking for trouble. The Lord don’t like a fibber either, but when she makes up stories about how she met Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys (producer of her stunning debut album) it’s only because she’s tired of answering the question. Besides her made up version includes Auerbach’s father, a roller coaster, and puke. Mayfield scares me when she starts singing. “Haunting” isn’t enough of a word. Mayfield may have her issues with the Almighty, but someone gave her that voice.

Leaving Mayfield behind I had to join a mob of photographers to capture Erykah Badu. I’ll cop to not knowing her music well, but I was looking foward to learning. My enthusiasm quickly went sippy cup of milk in a soccer mom’s mini van sour as we waited for Badu for a solid 45 minutes. She even made her band vamp the same groove for ten of those minutes. Don’t mean to trouble you Erykah, we know all the biggest artists make the people wait, but really it just makes you look like a whiny little diva. You know like Kanye, or Axl. Blah. Anyway her first song was something about Hip Hop being bigger than God. Got news for Air-eeeee-kaw, John Lennon came up with that bit about 43 years ago. Dear Lord, please spare Jessica Lea Mayfield your wrath and give Irrikah wrestless leg syndrome instead.

Thank you Okkervil River for quickly washing me clean of that nonsense. Taking the stage on time is always appreciated. Doing your Austin, Texas proud with an energetic set is even better.

Merle Haggard…. Merle Haggard… is there a more descriptive name in music? Taking pictures of Merle was like chisling a new head in Mount Rushmore. It would take you years and a hell of a jackhammer to get all those crags in there. Merle’s gift is that his odes to the regular guy resonate. He’s lived this shit people. That’s real country. Yeah I’m looking at you Kenny Chesney. Merle didn’t make us wait either Snear-eeeee-kah.

My final assignment was one I was more than happy to take. While Jill Menze was stepping in a plate of mayonaise at Snoop Dogg. (Apparantly he did “Gin And Juice” without his goblet. What? Just put Gatoraid in there G. Gotta have the goblet) I was front and center for the beauty that is South Carolina’s Band Of Horses. They played “The First Song” second. That’s my fave. Spinechilling.

With a dead van battery I had to leave without seeing Neko Case. I got a jump though, and made it home about 4am to Palestra World Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

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