published Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Bonnaroo: A great night of old-school music

So the Beastie Boys were good last night, but they didn’t blow me away. For the most part the set was tight with everything I wanted to hear, but there were moments where MCA, Mike D and Ad-Roc seemed out of synch.

Still, it was a fun show and the crowd was huge.

David Byrne, who I expected to be cool, was amazing. With his bleached blond hair, white suit and white guitar, he looked like Southern preacher gone bad.

His set was filled with Talking Heads numbers, which came as a great surprise to me.

“Once in a Lifetime,” “Life During Wartime” and “Burning Down the House” were all fantastic.

I skipped on the Phish set, but made it to see the 12:30 a.m. show by Public Enemy and I’m glad I did. It was the most politically charged show I’ve seen so far, but Chuck D and Flavor Flav kept their talking to a minimum. Much less so than during their shows two decades ago at McKenzie Arena. Those concerts were marred by too much talk.

“Rebel With a Pause,” “Welcome to the Terrordome,” “Bring Tha Noise” and “Night of the Living Baseheads” were all vintage PE.

King Sunny Ade & The African Beats' show was a sonic wonder, filled with African rhythms accompanied by electronic and synthetic power.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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