Ponchos are for suckers, and suckers were few and far between on Day Two of the 2008 Bonnaroo music festival. Part wet t-shirt contest, part rock’n’roll event of the century, Friday was a pleasantly soggy exercise in bands one-upping one another on the musical sick-o-meter. At the end of the day, though, we had to award the Golden Swim Trunks of Sickness to the following bands:
Sick: Drive By Truckers. Highlight: Before launching into “18 Wheels of Love,“ Patterson Hood recounted the song’s moving back-story about his mother’s love affair with a trucker. Throughout the lengthy spoken-word monologue, he kept repeating, “I know you’re thinking: ‘This m*f* is making this sh*t up.’ It’s all true! I couldn’t make this sh*t up.”
Lots of air guitarists in attendance.
Sicker: Metallica. Of the 80-odd-thousand festival-goers who made it out to this year’s Bonnaroo, approximately 79,999 appeared to be in attendance at Metallica’s early evening set. The music was everything we hoped it would be—including an awesomely epic rendition of “One”—AND there were lots of explosions!!! One Metro Pulse-er, who spent some time on the front row, crawled out of his tent this morning sporting the souvenir “singed eyebrow” look. Rock on.
Sickest: The Raconteurs. You took the words straight out of our mouth, dude. Jack White is a superhero.
Sickest-est: My Morning Jacket. “Did last night really happen?” That was the first question on the lips of many Bonnaroovians upon waking this morning, still damp from MMJ’s rain-soaked midnight-to-3 a.m. set. (Followed closely by: “What time is it?” “Where am I?” And, “How did I get here?”) The Louisville, Ky. band unleashed nothing short of a tsunami-scale wall of sound upon its audience, accompanied by a splashy light show that made even veteran Phish-heads squint their eyes in reverence. Jim James, we salute you.
The rest of the weekend has a hard act to follow. More to come.