The Buzz

Decisions, decisions at Bonnaroo

Categories: Live Performance, Music

RadioheadRadiohead performs during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. on Friday. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)

CBC arts journalist and music fest veteran Laura Thompson is at the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Follow her reports about the goings-on down in Manchester, Tenn.

As far as Fridays go, this was one for the books.


Radiohead was amazing -- an "If-I-died-tomorrow-it-would-be-okay" kind of amazing. The sheer number of fans united by the demigod that is Thom Yorke, in all his corporeal glory, was a sight to be seen in itself. The band offered a wild, two-hour sonic journey that included ethereal jams from The King of Limbs and Kid A, as well as some classics like Karma Police and Paranoid Android. The light and sound show only solidified Radiohead's status as one of the greatest bands in the world -- maybe even of all time.

Two Door Cinema ClubTwo Door Cinema Club performs at the 2012 Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival. (Laura Thompson/CBC)

Beyond that, there was much good music to be had all day. The difficult decision of having to sacrifice one fantastic act for another (Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings or Two Door Cinema Club? The Avett Brothers or Fitz and The Tantrums?) is simply one of the best problems to have. Still, it doesn't make the choice any easier.

Here's what made the cut: I caught Two Door Cinema Club: a fun Irish indie band with danceable songs. The group's experience at major fests was evident right away, as the members commanded a massive crowd with exceptional ease.

English indie darling Laura Marling's sweet vocals rang through That Tent to provide the perfect afternoon soundtrack. Just 22, she just kicked off her tour and has dates in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver coming up, so keep an eye out.

Hey RosettaHey Rosetta! performs at the 2012 Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival. (Laura Thompson/CBC)

While bouncing to the infectious pop beats of L.A.'s Fitz and The Tantrums, Feist took to the stage next door. It was the perfect open-air venue to showcase her beautiful songs. Meanwhile, her fellow Canadians in Hey Rosetta! jammed out a wonderful set in one of the smaller tents. They're big back home, but still growing internationally. I've no doubt they attracted some new fans at Bonnaroo.

Finally, the energetic DJ project Major Lazer had devotees glowing and the uninitiated demanding more. His exciting set was only enhanced by an incredibly enthusiastic crowd. Major Lazer got some major love.

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival ends June 10.

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