With Day One of Bonnaroo 2013 behind us, check out a visual recap of the highs, lows and pure insanity of the kickoff of the best music festival in America! If you've never been out to the fields of Manchester, TN for the annual music marathon featuring over 150 bands and 100,000 or so attendees, here are just a few reasons why you're missing out in a big way…
Best Bonnaroo Fakeout: Rain!
As most 'Roo dwellers were setting up camp on Thursday afternoon, the skies darkened, the winds rose to a howl and the rain began to fall. Scrambling for shelter, the sweating masses were treated to 20 minutes of a solid downpour… and then it ended. The skies cleared, the sun returned and it's been gorgeous ever since.
The Crowd Goes Wild: Japandroids
These boys have turned a corner. The Canadian rock duo of Brian King and David Prowse arrived to hysterical enthusiasm from an enormous crowd, and turned wild excitement into a white-knuckle freakout frenzy with a razor-sharp set that spastically spanned an array of blistering rockers from their two studio albums. Kids screaming every word, deafening call-and-response singing between band and fans, those same kids streaming over the barricade in various stages of consciousness. In other words, it was a real goddamned rock show, and a reinvigorating splash of jet fuel in the Bonnaroo engine.
Largest Audience: Alt J
A tasty hybrid of Radiohead and Zero 7, college-rock darlings Alt J commanded the largest crowd of Day One, delivering a gorgeously downtempo-groove set that included fan-favorites "Tessellate," "Something Good," "Breezeblocks" and more. The crowd stretched far beyond the rear of the This Tent, with people butting up against some of the food vendors to the far back.
Sexual Healer: Father John Misty
The night's biggest surprise was a writhing, hypersensual lanky seducer of the That Tent. Frontman Joshua Tillman crooned, quipped and strutted through an hour's worth of sexual healing laced with some rather hilarious wit. Squealing girls heavily outnumbered the boys in the crowd, who found themselves grappling with feelings they may not have felt before…
Biggest Hype-train Crash: Ariel Pink
A completely undeserved overdose of self-satisfaction has always seemed to plague Ariel Pink, but in the loving atmosphere of Bonnaroo it was remarkable to hear such unanimous disapproval throughout the rather large crowd that turned out for their Thursday night set.
Best Way To Chill: Watersports!
Bad News Bearers: Mumford and Sons
Cancelling their Saturday headlining performance, Mumford and Sons are being replaced by Jack Johnson – much to pretty much everyone's dismay. Between the grumblings on the fields of 'Roo and the digital assaults online, the soft-surf rocker is definitely the lesser preferred of the two Jacks rumored to fill the gap – the other being Mr. Jack White, of course.
Day-Saver: Jack Johnson
To his credit, Jack stepped up in a big way to help, only circumstantially making his way to the fields of Manchester to support his friends ALO. Without having played in over a year, the clearly nervous late addition gave the press a little preview in the media tent on Friday, trying out two new songs for the first time anywhere. They're solid, and we're fascinated to see what he brings tomorrow night.
Best Random Graffiti: A monkey riding a unicorn. Duh.
Best Hula-Hooper: This girl
Death of Chivalry Award: Guys cutting girls off in line at the port-a-potties
Most Thankless Job: Picking up cigarette butts