Friday, July 2, 2010
The music was phenomenal, the people were amazing, the overall experience was fantastic. The heat however was out of this world HOT. I haven't sweat like that outside of being in a sauna EVER before in my life. 97% humidity and temperatures that spanned 94 - 100 degrees - and waking up in a tent(!), it was killer.
Although my body felt as if it was literally frying, I could never bring myself to go in that water. People had no shame though and were all about it, dirtiness and all. Power to 'em!
Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling risky enough to take my Nikon into the festival which was the only camera I brought with me, so there are no inside music shots to show off. However there are a lot of great images taken by the NPR staff, which you can see on their flickr page here.
So I've always wanted to try acid and well, I had (a safe & trusted) opportunity to do so, and I figured what would be a better time to try it other than seeing The Flaming Lips perform, especially while they are also playing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.
(?) Yeah, you got me.
Their stage presence and show as a whole in general is just about the best damn thing ever. There's confetti and lights everywhere - it is visually orgasmic to say the least. (Wayne Coyne may be the new love of my life, not really, but close)
Image by Shantell Mitchell
It kicked in about 10 minutes before The Flaming Lips went on - by the time we braved the THICK, thick crowd and made our way up, about 100 yards from the stage (thanks baby-that was all you), I was in another world. That world was colorful, deep, limitlessly beautiful, full of confetti and streamers, and music, and Wayne - there was Wayne - singing/leading me through my journey - holding my mental hand to places I had never experienced quite like this. It was a once and a lifetime experience that I will never forget.
The peak of all this was toward the end of their first set - they did two, one of their music that followed a 15 minute break and then the second set was Dark Side of the Moon. Wayne takes a minute before they break into "Taps" to give us an anti-war, pro-love reminder - he talks about how they vowed to play this song when the war on terrorism was first started by Bush and he asks us to be the generation that really believes in Peace, not as a an empty statement but as a way of life - he asks us to put up our peace signs and really believe it and energetically beam our energy to those that need it most...I can not describe or even try to articulate the emotions I went through during all of this. I cried, I was screaming, I cried some more - it was so powerful and moving to be in such a large group of people holding up their peace signs with both hands, sending energy off to another side of the world, and that sad music in the background, reminding us of death and "freedom" and this war we're in and the direction this country is going - it was so intensely moving and beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. ...
A song later, they closed with "Do you realize?" - I can't even tell you guys, I.just.can't.even.tell.you.! The confetti cannons that were spurting off about every 20 seconds and everyone singing along...
"Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize - we're floating in space -
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Oh - oh - oh
Do you realize?"
Oh, it was so much - to take in those words and sing them at the top of your lungs - I was a screaming, smiling, crying maniac. It was awesome and so beautiful!!
But there is just no real way for me to articulate my acid trip - it's pretty much impossible, but I came across this photo when looking for Flaming Lips footage and the first thing I thought (after these people look they are on drugs) was, yeah, It pretty much feels like this ....
(note - the full on tiger suit guy, the guy laughing and the girl w/pink hair)
Image by Michael Didyoung
It was a journey to say the least and I felt mentally and emotionally exhausted - and hell, that was only after their first set. (!) They were definitely the biggest highlight by far, but Edward Sharpe, Angus and Julia Stone, LCD Soundsystem, and Nas and Damien Marley were probably some of my favorite performances as well. All the bands that I saw were pretty amazing though - I wasn't disappointed by any of the music - and to the contrary, I feel like I often left each stage/tent saying, "wow - they put on a really great show". It was awesome.
Some of the festival art...
Things that made me chuckle ...
Annnndddddd..... The Showers.
By the fourth day, this shit brought out the priss in me. I was pretty good at handling the heat, the dirtiness, the smells, the mud, the porta potties in the heat with the smells and the dirtiness which progressively got worse each day(!!!), but for some reason the showers just got to me. Even still, thinking back makes me cringe a little.
First you had to trek through this smelly mud - which, this was a down moment - normally the line was 7 to 15 people deep so you're just standing in it, waiting to get only semi-clean.
People walking by, horse's strutting through, cars driving by kicking up dust
And there you are, sweaty and hot as hell, dousing yourself with cold water from a communal sink with 15 people around you, and their water is splashing on you, and yours is splashing on them, and people's left over bottles and beer cups and toothpaste and just random shit is everywhere(!) heavens, it was so.GROSS.
Eeehh! Other than that, and the hellish heat - it was an amazing experience and I'm glad I can say I've done Bonnaroo. It's definitely something to experience once. You - yes, you, should go next year - but word to the wise - RENT AN RV!!!
Over and out.