"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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ROO 2012


After taking a year off to enjoy a couple of music cruises instead of attending Bonnaroo in 2011, we were lured back to Manchester this year to this amazing music and arts festival that takes place in our own back yard.  It also helped that we had an open schedule around the time and that there was a decent line-up for the festival including a headliner we have wanted to see play live for a long time, The Red Hot Chili Peppers!
The crowds were back but the usual high temps and humidity were not so much.

Thursday, June 8, 2012 - Man, did we get in quick!  Unlike the nightmare of two years ago (7 hours in traffic and missed all the music on the first night), we slipped right into the Bonnaroo campground this morning and were set up before noon thanks to an earlier than usual departure from home and the fact that the campground now opens the night before.  Smart decision, Bonnaroo.  We had an easy camp set-up with some friends sharing our RV space.  There was Bridgette. who we meet here a couple years ago, and three young guys from Chattanooga:  Ryne,(the son of a friend of ours) and his friends, Jason and Gage.  We started the music-listening after lunch by catching a little funky bluegrass from the band, Rollin' in the Hay,  then it was off to see one our favorite regional rock bands, The Dirty Guv'nahs.  After dinner, we caught a portion of the show of a young rapper named Kendrick Lamar as we waited to get a good space to see that band after him and our closer for the night, The Alabama Shakes, a relatively new rock band on the scene with the amazing, old-soul lead singer named Brittany Howard (check out a little of the band and Ms. Howard's bluesy vocals in the clip below).

The boys from Knoxville played for a huge crowd under This Tent.

Friday. June 8, 2012 - We started the day just after noon with the hilarious comedic musical duo, Garfunkel & Oates, in the Comedy Theater (yeah, it's a tent).  Sadly it was only 15 minutes worth since these funny ladies were just one of three comedic performers in the set.  Later we got to hear a little of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings on the big What Stage just before The Avett Brothers took the stage with a huge crowd gathering to hear them despite the heat and no shade to speak of.  They were definitely the musical highlight of the day to us.  What a great band!  We even got a cool poster commemorating their show this year at The Roo.  Can't wait to see it framed and hanging in our home.  We then caught most of the set of The Infamous Stringdusters at our favorite small Bonnaroo venue, The Sonic Stage.  The big acts of the night were Foster the People and Radiohead, and we caught a little of both shows, but couldn't really get into either one.  Just not our kind of music, I guess.

The Avett Brothers perform before a huge crowd braving the warmest day at Bonnaroo 2012.
We are to the left about 40 rows back.  I caught this cool shot off one of the big TV monitors
they have set up on each side of the gigantic What Stage.
Below is a quick clip of one of their livelier tunes from our vantage point.

Saturday, June 9, 2012 - We got up this morning and got another quick dose of Garfunkel & Oates to start our day.  Still funny despite them playing three of the same funny ditties we heard the day before, albeit this time in only a 10-minute slot.  We did enjoy another 10-minute set beforehand by comedian and  amazing juggler, Marcus Monroe.  After splitting up for a little while, we met back up at the Miller Lite Great Taste Lounge, a smaller stage for up-and-coming bands where we found some actual rare non-grass seating (in comfy Adirondack chairs nonetheless) with some much-needed shade overhead.  While we relaxed there, we caught a good set by a young rock band out of LA called Cosmic Suckerpunch (great band name).  In between sets we could also hear (and "see" thanks to a big video screen next to the stage) the indie folk band, Blind Pilot, on the large Which Stage nearby.  Next up in the Great Taste Lounge was Wild Cub, a young band out of Nashville.  We left about halfway through that set to catch a few tunes by one of our favorite Irish folk and rock bands, Flogging Molly, in That Tent.  These guys should have been on one of the bigger stages because the crowd for them was huge (and raucous).  They sounded great, but we were so far back we could never really see them (see the short clip below for evidence of both of these facts). 

Next we moved past the main What Stage and heard The Temper Trap end their set with their biggest hit, "Sweet Disposition" on our way to Cafe Where (another tent actually) to catch Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, another great band name and the artists who easily won our personal award of "Best Newly Discovered Band at Bonnaroo 2012."  This nine- (yes, nine) member funk and soul band of young Caucasians (yes, white folks) tore up the place with some amazing sound (see the second video below for evidence of all three facts).  After a brief rest back at the campsite, we moved back down to the main What Stage to find our spot for the much-anticipated headliner we wanted to see most of all, the recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, The Red Hot Chili Peppers!  Beforehand, as we waited for TRHCP,we also caught about an hour of The Roots performing on the What Stage as well.  The Peppers were awesome to say the least.  Bassist, and band spokesperson for the most part, Flea, was genuinely honored to be on the stage and said so to the huge crowd on more than one occasion.  He also acknowledged his admiration of several other artists that he saw perform at the festival himself showing that he is not only one hell of a bass player, but also a real lover of live music which he also urged the crowd to continue to support.  We couldn't agree more.   With tired legs and sore feet, we headed back toward our campsite after the show, but did take time to catch a few tunes by the still-rocking, Alice Cooper, who started a set a midnight...yeah, he's 64, and it didn't seem to faze him a bit.  Talk about inspiration!  You go, Alice!!

This is technically an illegal picture (no photography in the Comedy Theater-
shhh! don't tell!!) of the great Garfunkel & Oates doing their funny, funny stuff.
Google them if you are curious and want a good laugh but be forewarned,
their stuff is NSFW and could offend some folks (but not the good folks).
Ahh, the sweaty youth of rock-n-roll.
Fabien Hameline (left) and Ari Welkom of Cosmic Suckerpunch push on through their first encounter
with Tennessee humidity.  Welcome to Bonnaroo, boys!

Kudos to Ashlee and her new Sony pocket-sized camera for this stunning
shot of The Red Hot Chili Peppers doing what they do best
as the Saturday-night headliners of Bonnaroo 2012.
We were close to the stage, but nowhere near this close.
Below is a quick sound clip of TRHCP from our true vantage point. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012 - The rain started in well after we got in from out long Saturday night at Bonnaroo and didn't let up until well into Sunday morning.  After much debate and consternation that morning, we decided to play it safe and get out of The Roo while the getting was good, and pass on the Sunday line-up which had some interesting acts we wanted to see, but nothing we couldn't live without.  Since we are already pushing the towing limits of our Honda CRV with the pop-up camper, we just couldn't risk the chance of getting stuck in mud and putting too much strain on the engine based on the forecast for the rest of the day calling for more rain and thunderstorms as well.  We reluctantly bid farewell to our camp-mates and headed home without incident.    But with music still in our heads and the images above and below still in our minds, we felt like we had definitely gotten our money's worth this year at Bonnaroo 2012.  More importantly, our faith has been restored in this festival after a rather tough time of it two years ago.  I can definitely say now that we will be back to ROO the day again!!

The 2012 Roo Crew  (Bridgette, me, Ryne, Ashlee, Jason and Gage)

Flower-power takes over the Bonnaroo aerial tower at night.

It's a truly "green" festival with recycling taken very seriously.
Free light show above the giant main What Stage courtesy of Mother Nature.
Our sweet campsite set-up with our pop-up camper on the left,
Bridgette's tent in the middle on the end, the boys' tent on the right
and our "common area" of chairs under a tarped awning in the front center.
Toddle-loo to the Roo...see you again real soon!

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