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Music DVD Review: Bonnaroo 2008 – Live

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Written by Fumo Verde

Okay, so you may have read about or heard via Internet radio show B-Sides Concept Album about Bonnaroo 2008 and the adventure El Bicho and I had while there. Well the DVD of this four-day event has hit the stores and though there were more performances there than one could possibly see, sixteen acts made this DVD. I noticed there were only seven bands on this disc that EB and I had a chance to see, the other nine would be new for me, but this was a chance to see what I missed.

The show for you watching this disc begins with meeting some of the cool people who attended this festival, while showing you images of grounds where it all happened. The first band up is The Raconteurs playing “Old Enough”. I was stoked to see these katz on here because EB and I, when they were playing, were halfway across the festival grounds watching some other band, the name of which eludes me right now. [El Bicho’s note: the bands watched during the Raconteurs set were Les Claypool, The Swell Season, and Rilo Kiley.] It’s followed by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings playing “Let Them Knock,” a performance from a band we only got to see play their final song. It has that R&B beat as the brass section adds to the fullness of the sound. Jones has one of those voices that remind you of Della Reese or Aretha Franklin.

Another band I was told to see but didn’t get a shot at was Broken Social Scene. “Love Is New” is a tune I have heard a few times on the local college station, but seeing them here on this disc really makes me want to see them now, be it Bonnaroo or any local venue. Other bands that made it onto the DVD, which we missed but now seeing them I definitely want to catch live, are Gogol Bordello who have an international sound that mixes folk rock with a splash of theater for the eye. Their song “Think Locally/ Fuck Globally” has enough energy to power the town of Manchester, TN. Chali 2na w/Galactic’s “Lock Shit/ Right Now” blends rap with rock and uses a baritone saxophone to get those super low notes.

Bands which we saw and are here on this DVD are Pearl Jam (“Better Man”), Jack Johnson (“If I had Eyes”) Metallica (“Fade to Black”) [El Bicho’s note: Fumo hit our tent for refreshments during their set.] along with two new bands for myself: Mastodon (“Colony of Birchmen”) and My Morning Jacket (“I’m Amazed”). Mastodon I would consider to be a metal band. Following in the footsteps of Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Anthrax, Mastodon has a hard edge and full-throttle energy driven by the drums and bass. These are katz I need to keep an eye out for when they come to my town. My Morning Jacket is the complete opposite but just as good. They have a sound which is hard to describe because each song is different, yet this tune “I’m Amazed,” well, one could say they sound a little like Phish, or the Dead, or even the Eagles, but that still doesn’t capture the essence of My Morning Jacket, another band I’m getting tickets for when they come to town.

This DVD will give you a little taste of what Bonnarooers were privilege to witness and enjoy. After watching this disc, I really want to go there again, and though the adventure was a total trip, and EB and I partied a little too hard near the end, it was an experience I think any fan of good music should take. This DVD brings 1/10th of what the total Bonnaroo experience was and is, but for those who couldn’t make it or for those of us who did Bonnaroo 2008 – Live is a fantastic way to see some of the best bands around. All I can say is, thank you, Manchester, TN and thank you, Bonnaroo.

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