"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"...hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk, it's still rock and roll to me..." - Billy Joel - DAY TOO: Bonnaroo '09

Friday, June 12, 2009 We woke up to quiet weather this morning and looked forward to a full day of music. Our focus today was on smaller up-and-coming acts on smaller stages that we had done some research on prior to Bonnaroo and liked their sound. The day started at noon with an hour set in a much less-crowded than the previous night This Tent by alt-country veteran, Tift Merritt. The humidity was back however and the swelter showed its affects on the band (especially her lead guitarist whose shirt was soaked in sweat by the end of the first song) in every way but performance. The lady's got pipes in voice and harmonica and a killer accompanying band (did we mention the sweaty lead guitarist). We really enjoyed her and her band's performance and it made for a great start to a day whose weather was improving by the hour. We headed back to the tiny Troo Music Lounge next for two back-to-back shows making sure we got as close as we could to the low stage for good views of Everest and Evan Watson. The former is a band from LA that was very polished and looks to have been playing a long time together. According to the band, this was their first visit to Tennessee, and it was there only appearance at the Bonnaroo Festival. They made the most of it by churning out solid original rock and roll from start to finish. Ashlee was so impressed that she even bought one of their cool T-shirts. Taking the stage next was Evan Watson (photo above), a tall, fair-haired young man who said he was from Indiana. Well, don't judge a book by it's cover because what flowed from Evan over the next hour was some of the most amazing soulful bluesy original rock and roll rivaling anything coming out of the Louisiana swamps or off the muddy waters of the Mississippi River. Accompanied by an excellent band of great musicians, this set was a real surprise and a real treat. We retraced our steps again back to This Tent to catch a few tunes from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. ]The crowd was back and packed again under This Tent, but not because of rain this time. Grace is a tall sexy drink of water with a great voice as well. The Nocturnals are adept and you can tell these guys have played together for a long time. They are hugely popular in the Northeast and are infiltrating the airwaves throughout the rest of the country through TV shows and independent radio airplay. Since we couldn't get too close, we only stayed for a few songs because we knew they would be at the smaller Sonic Stage tomorrow as well, so we could get a better view. It was deja' vu again as we walked back to the Troo Music Lounge yet one more time to see Dirty Sweet from San Diego. It was almost as if we had traveled back in time to the late 60's or 70's when rock band members all had long hair, beards and a lot of attitude. The few clues that gave it away as to what year you where in was lead singer, Ryan Koontz's (photo right) nice clean long hair, gym-toned and tanned body, and perfect white teeth. However, he and the rest of the band were all business when it comes to the music and great stage presence. Like Grace Potter these guys are hugely popular from a regional standpoint on the West Coast. All their songs are original and beautifully-crafted pure rock and roll. We didn't have anyone we just had to see that evening and headed back to the trailer for a little rest as the sun was going down. We planned on taking a quick nap to refresh and be back around 10 PM to see Steve Earle's son, Justin Townes Earle, but just never made it. We woke up from our "nap" 4 hours later at around 10:30. The rain was coming down again and some lightning was visible in the distance, so we just called it an early night (yeah, we're old) and anticipated the biggest day tomorrow when the legends would start rolling in to Bonnaroo 2009.


Craig and Alison Harris said...

OK, the Koontz guy looks like an early Alice Cooper (minus the makeup) and if Grace Potter is that hot, why isn't there a picture of her???? I am trying to live vicariously through you but you aren't making it easy! LOL

Rob and Ashlee said...

slow down there, hot rod, and read it again...we couldn't get close to the lovely Ms. Potter on this day for a good picture, but hope to the next day at a smaller stage...I got yelled at twice for a having a "pro" camera at Bonnaroo, so there's no way I am bringing a real telephoto lens in there to get it confiscated...