Monday, June 15, 2009

Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear & TV on the Radio at Bonnaroo 6/12/09

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

click to enlarge Animal Collective's Panda Bear
  • Animal Collective's Panda Bear

For more photos, check out the slideshow.

After a rain-drenched rager of a first evening, Camp Spin woke up Friday amid a swamp of fishy-smelling (Phishy-smelling?) mud puddles with Ghostfinger's Richie Kirkpatrick as a neighbor. (By the next day, folks from the Lake Fever and Mercy Lounge crews would move into the hood as well.) While trudging through the muck toward Centeroo, we came across local Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th champs Heypenny in their infamous marching-band attire. Looked like they were stirring up some attention...or, at the very least, a few curious stares.

2:45 - Animal Collective at Which Stage

After spotting Avey Tare side-stage at The Dirty Projectors' goosebump-inducing show, we headed over to Which Stage to see what he and fellow Animal Collective members Panda Bear and Geologist had in store for the festival crowd. We climbed into the upper reaches of the sun-baked press bleachers before realizing we probably would've had a better vantage point amongst the proletariat. Regardless, we caught a bird's eye view of the midday influx of shirtless 'Roo patrons, and it quickly became apparent that, despite A.C.'s sizable fan base, a large portion of the crowd was seeing the hipster icons perform for the first time.

click to enlarge BRoo09-AnimalCollectiveFri11.jpg

It's a shame, too, because the typically entrancing lights flashing onstage during their set seemed a bit silly in broad daylight. (A friend informed us that Geologist allegedly had a wedding to attend later that day, hence the uncharacteristically early set time.) While Panda Bear's vocals were mostly smooth, Avey Tare was pitchy, and songs from Merriweather Post Pavilion (their latest) sounded thin and not especially engaging. We resolved to watch the final quarter of their set on the televisions in the Guest Area while copping some shade-time and refilling our booze tanks.

5:00 - Grizzly Bear at This Tent

As mixed as our overall feelings about Grizzly Bear are, we can easily say that they were one of the most technically proficient acts we caught all weekend. Like little blue-blooded cherubs, G. Bear delivered their four-part harmonies in near-perfect, angelic falsettos. Between-song transitions were swift and seamless--that earns big points in festival performances--and the crowd went nuts for "Two Weeks," the undeniable single from Grizzly Bear's latest, Veckatemist. Later, when we bumped into their bassist exiting the pooper, we let him know that we enjoyed his set. We must have looked as blitzed as we were, because the face he responded with was a bit funny. Or wait...doesn't he always kinda make that face?

6:45 - TV on the Radio at Which Stage

It was back to Which Stage for TV on the Radio's early-evening set, which proved to be just the shot of energy we needed to shake us of our whiskey-induced nap craving. We'll forgive them their minor trespasses--rushing slightly on "Crying," for instance--because while they played mostly material from Dear Science, they dipped into their back catalog enough to keep us happy. It's just too bad Which Stage couldn't offer the intimacy of the tents, because TVOTR would have been a great one to catch on a smaller stage.

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