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Bonnaroo 2014 – Day Three Recap

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Rallying for Bonnaroo on Saturday after a full night if shows running past 3:30AM is never a fun prospect. Combine this with the morning’s suffocating heat, and you have the recipe for complete and total exhaustion.

That special shot of adrenaline comes streamlined by the festival’s overall atmosphere and fan’s readiness to rock and overjoyed disposition. So how did Bonnaroo roll on less than hours after the second coming of Yeezus? Here are some the highlights from day three of the annual music marathon.

Even though Bonnaroo’s late nights are the stuff of festival legend, there were plenty of great shows to take in straight from the outset of Saturday. Raucous bluesman Seasick Steve was joined and bolstered by the virtuoso powers of rock legend (and former Led Zeppelin bassist) John Paul Jones.

Their no-nonsense performance was juxtaposed by the costumed glam rock of King Khan & the Shrines across the way at the That Tent. The eclectic kick off to Bonnaroo Saturday mixed and culminated with Cake, who delivered their well-worn hits as well as some new cuts and rarities. Stage banter drove home the ironic, peace-loving attitude of the band as well as a cover of Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs”.

As a member of two popular groups of the past 20 years, Damon Albarn has seen more than his fair share of music festivals. That didn’t stop him from grinning from ear to ear throughout the entirety of his main-stage set, as he paused multiple times to compare Bonnaroo to the early days of Glastonbury, when Blur – the band in which he got his start — played there.

Fans in the crowd who were curious, but maybe unsure of who Albarn was, were rewarded with a pair of Gorillaz songs and cameos: De La Soul’s appearance on ‘Feel Good Inc.’ and the hardly ever seen Del the Funkee Homosapien for ‘Clint Eastwood.’

If Kanye West had taken stake in the throne on the previous night, then Jack White must have been working on some otherworldly level as he channeled and paid tribute to generations of legendary past performers during his extended headlining set. Calling out “tabloid” journalism after his misconstrued interview with Rolling Stone, White proceeded to test the absolute limits of his talents and endurance while running, jumping, soloing and leading his band of hired guns.

It was clear from his extended and heartwarming speeches that White had been looking forward to his Bonnaroo slot on the biggest stage in his adopted home state. Scheduled to go until 12:30AM, the opening pangs of ‘Seven Nation Army’ didn’t ring out until past 1AM, well after the well-traveled musician sampled songs from each of his previous projects (including the White Stripes) with ‘Top Yourself,’ ‘Blue Blood Blues’ and set opener ‘Icky Thump.’

“We didn’t want a bunch of fireworks  and explosions for this festival set. We wanted to play as we would as if you were in our living room,” he told the audience at one point. Even though fireworks did stream out following ‘Ball & Biscuit,’ that was the only disingenuous aspect of White’s royal Bonnaroo homecoming.

Music would rock and rage all night with Nick Cave, the Flaming Lips and a guest spot from the Doors‘ Bobby Kreiger during Skrillex‘s Superjam, there was no touching White’s legacy-extending masterclass.

Next: Bonnaroo 2014 Day Two Recap

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