For those who couldn't attend the festival and for those who did but were having so much fun they either couldn't see everything or can't remember what they saw, Live From Bonnaroo 2009 is now available on DVD. It opens with a great but all-too-brief 30-second montage of festival sights. The artists are then presented randomly. First up is multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird and his band playing "Fitz and the Dizzyspells" on Sunday afternoon followed by singer Santigold with "L.E.S. Artistes" on Friday afternoon.
On the main stage, the Beastie Boys perform their hit "Intergalactic" in front of a giant, enthusiastic crowd. Elvis Costello joins Jenny Watson and her Sound for "Go Away" from his album Momofuku, which Watson provided backing vocals on. Upon seeing this pairing, it strikes me as odd that with all the musicians gathered together there aren’t more collaborations.
Bonnaroo is nearly a 24-hour event and the only act presented from a late-night set is Ben Harper and Restless 7 at 1:45 am. Nearly twelve hours later, Cage the Elephant deliver the rockin' "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked." The Tennessee heat must have got to the lead singer who strips off half his costume once on stage.
From Mali, Amadou & Mariam showcase the diversity Bonnaroo provides because if you were ever curious about world music, here would be the perfect opportunity to sample it. They are followed by Zac Brown Band, a country act you'd expect to find up I-24 in Nashville, but the audience they play in front of makes them feel just as welcome.
After Coheed & Cambria, the heaviest band in the collection, there is a two-track lull as Snoop Dogg delivers a short, forgettable song and while Passion Pit's "Little Secrets" has a good dance vibe, the lead singer's high-pitched voice is grating. I can’t believe with all the material available, these two performances were chosen.