Bonnaroo is frequently a land where time has no meaning, where an hour can pass in a blink or an eternity depending on what you’re listening to and the quality of your footwear. While Friday’s 14-hour marathon was an experience I’d not trade — until you’ve watched an entire Kings of Leon set while standing in mud so thick you have to move your rain boots every couple of songs to be sure they don’t get stuck, I believe you have not yet lived — it’s possible that my compact, musically-mindblowing Saturday is the day of this year’s ‘Roo I’ll remember most.
Though I only saw six artists, there were moments in each set that lifted me out of my post-apocalyptic surroundings, transporting me on a cloud of endorphins to a happy place where puppies and kittens roamed, and beer was non-caloric and free. The blisters on my feet stopped screaming. The pain in my back subsided. The worker bee who lives in my head and is constantly telling me to keep moving keep working you’re not doing enough they’re gonna yell at you was silenced, and I was able to enjoy every one of the six acts as a straight-up fan of music who felt very lucky to be standing in her rain boots in that Tennessee field in that humid moment.
After the jump: The soaring emotion of Mumford & Sons; the thunder of the Dead Weather; the songwriting royalty of John Prine; the spazzy joy of Weezer; the uplifting mastery of Stevie Wonder. And then there was the massive mainstream hip-hop headliner who not only started on time — we here at Bonnaroo are skittish about such things, *cough*Kanye*cough* — but proceeded to absolutely rap our faces off. I understand self-aggrandizement is par for the course in his genre, but as far as I’m concerned, Jay-Z is welcome to refer to himself as “the best rapper alive” as often as he’d like from now on. Jigga what? Jigga yes. HIT ME!