The Rest of ‘Roo: Lessons Learned

1. I am capable of making copies really, really fast.
Well, at least if seeing Matt & Kim is on the line. They’ve been on my “must-see-if-at-all-possible” list since Summer ’09, when they came to Atlanta with Bacardi and played a 21+ show I couldn’t attend. Since my amazing Bonnaroo weekend was made possible by an equally-wonderful former internship, I wound up racing the clock to get some necessary tasks done by Matt & Kim’s 3:15 set on Friday. Fortunately, it was worth the work and the wait. After thanking the crowd several times for “taking their Bonnaroo virginity,” Matt & Kim put on an incredibly energetic show that included Kim standing on the crowd (literally, standing on their hands) to dance and concluded with Daylight. It was everything I had dreamt of as I entered spreadsheets and learned my way around the copy machine.

2. I like seeing musicians watch other musicians.

That’s admittedly somewhat strangely worded, but it’s true. I think an over-looked advantage of big festivals like Bonnaroo is that you get to see performers as audience members, too. I saw Grace Potter mouthing the words during the My Morning Jacket set and likewise, we spotted Jim James backstage at the Big Boi show later that evening. I’m pretty sure Jamin Orrall (Jeff the Brotherhood) might share a few musical preferences of mine after I saw him in the crowd at Cheer Up Charlie Daniels (Nashville solidarity, perhaps?) and on the sidestage at Old Crow Medicine Show. The Strokes even came on a little late thanks to Julian Casablancas eagerness to see a few Beirut songs. It’s  a fun realization, discovering that an artist you respect geeks out about the same performances you do.

3. I’m easily smitten. Surprise!
 The worst part about my open-love for most of the performers I saw is the fact that I’m hopelessly awkward in person; I paced around for about 10 minutes before finally telling Bobby Long I liked his set. When I spotted Ryan Bingham during lunch, I about tripped over his chair with a full plate of food. Apparently, I need to work on my game.
I even got called out for tweeting about a new love-of-my-life performer every time I went to a show. Don’t even look at my Twitter. I’m embarrassed.

Speaking of embarrassments on Twitter, in other news: Justin Townes Earle has fallen from my aforementioned Top 3 Bonnaroo bachelors, thanks to his attitude.

4. I need to stop pretending to be too good for rap and dubstep.

I’m just gonna come out and say it:  Those shows are awesome. You win, popular opinion. You win.

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