"Thank you for coming to the only band worth seeing here. That's not a diss; it's just a fact," declared cult psych-rocker Ariel Pink at the start of his Thursday set at Manchester, Tennessee's Bonnaroo festival. Ariel definitely put on a good show, but he was wrong: There were many acts worth seeing on Bonnaroo's first day, like British buzz bands the Vaccines and Django Django, and American up-and-comers like Twenty One Pilots and Capital Cities.
The Haim Sisters Unofficially Adopted a Baby Brother
Haim — aka real-life San Fernando Valley girls and sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim — wowed the absolutely packed That Tent with their unique mix of sweet Laurel Canyon folk-rock and sexy '90s R&B, not to mention their fetching stage presence. (They looked like they'd just sprung from the pages of an Urban Outfitters catalog, all coltish legs and perfect beachy ombré hair.) The Haims rocked hard, but they showed their softer side when they spotted a toddler in the audience holding a handmade Haim sign. "Oh my gawd, stop the show!" they squealed. Soon Este was leaping into the crowd and (with Mom's permission, of course) bringing the boy onstage to watch from the wings. As he rocked out in his giant noise-blocking earmuffs while Haim serenaded him, he probably assumed all concerts in his life would be like this. Little did the poor kid know it'd be all downhill from here; the concert he saw at age 3 would probably end up being his personal gig-going peak. Still…this was adorable.
It Was Christmas in June
So what if it was 90 degrees outside? Within the frostily air-conditioned confines of Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Barn, it felt like the holidaze. The best moment inside this not-exactly-winter wonderland came when the DJ spun Run-DMC's "Christmas in Hollis," natch...but no matter what song was playing, the revelers on the dance floor seemed pretty merry, indeed.
Bonnaroo Went Deap
Deap Vally — aka screamer/shredder Lindsey Troy and thunderous drummer Julie Edwards — completely owned This Tent with their greasy, sexy, fiery brand of rock 'n blues. Imagine the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O fronting Led Zeppelin; they were that cool. Deap Vally are definitely a band to watch...and between then and Haim, I was developing quite a few (Valley/Vally) girl-crushes at Bonnaroo.
It Was the Freakin' Weekend
Before the Cinema Tent's late-night screening of R. Kelly's infamous, epic hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet, the emcee warmed up the crowd by throwing an in-the-aisles dance party to some of R.'s greatest video hits. A little bumping 'n' grinding ensued, and I didn't see anything wrong with that.
Watch Yahoo! Music's Bonnaroo livestream, from Friday 2pm to Sunday 10:15pm CT, in the player below:
For more Bonnaroo reportage, check out Yahoo! Music's 2013 Summer Music Guide.