The hot sun and soaring temperatures couldn’t prevent Bonnaroo’s Saturday lineup from creating one of the most memorable and eclectic days of the past few years.
Eminem was the night’s biggest draw, but Kaskade, Anderson. Paak, Bon Iver, Nile Rodgers, Old Crow Medicine Show and more showed that on Saturday there was a little something for everyone.
Eminem played a set that lasted longer than an hour and a half and spanned his incredible 20 year career. Ripping through his iconic hits like “Real Slim Shady”, “Stan”, “Love the Way You Lie”, and many more, the biggest crowd of the festival screamed every word they could and had their middle fingers raised.
Eminem is at his absolute peak as a performer, while still channeling the rage that made him so irresistible, there is a level of showmanship he has gained that make his live shows so engaging and entertaining. While closing with “Lose Yourself”, the grip he had on the near 80,000 in attendance was stunning and made for a highlight the crowd in attendance will never forget.
Nile Rodgers & Chic
When you go to a Bonnaroo show, you are never expecting a dance party set to Daft Punk, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, David Bowie and more. But Nile Rodgers, one of the greatest guitarists and producers of all time created maybe the most fun set of the entire festival.
Ripping through his collection spanning from “Get Lucky,” “We are Family” and closing with “Le Freak” and “Good Time,” the 65 year old guitarist provided the most rhythm, fun and good times imaginable.
Anderson. Paak & The Free Nationals
This funk, rap, rock, hip-hop, soul show was as much fun and energy packed as any show I can remember at Bonnaroo. Anderson .Paak is a phenomenal performer from his soulful singing, to incredibly sick flow and then even his many moments rocking out on the drums. The thousands in attendance were moving to every single song while he definitely announced his presence with such a huge billed spot opening up before Eminem.
Justin Vernon had the very impressive honour of being selected to play two sets on Saturday evening, one before Eminem and one after. Bon Iver’s first set was the usual chill, soul immersive music he is known for. While his second set was as upbeat as he ever could put on with several guests joining him on stage including members of Sylvan Esso and Francis and the Lights. The most moving part was having Aalayah Eastmond give an incredible speech; Eastmond is an activist and a survivor of the Parkland High School shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
Sunday’s highlights include The Killers, Moon Taxi, Future, Broken Social Scene and many more.
Photo by Taylor Mithelman.