published Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Bonnaroo: 'Oldies' acts on top of their game

It occurred to me that this year’s Bonnaroo has a bit of an oldies flavor to it. Every act that I spent any real time watching yesterday could fall into that category in somebody’s book.

Yesterday it was Al Green, the Beastie Boys, David Byrne and Public Enemy.

Earlier today Jimmy Buffett performed. Tonight it will be Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello.

What is cool about all of them, is that they did some cool new stuff, but they also did the hits. It can be a tricky thing. Bonnaroo fans are definitely open to experimentation. If fact, they demand that an act push the boundaries.

But, they also want to hear the hits. It was really cool watching 70,000 people sing along with every word of Al Green hits, and it was even cooler hearing Byrne do Talking Heads’ stuff.

It was also cool to see the artists give the fans what they wanted.

Gov’t Mule is right now doing “Southern Man.” They opened with "One" and "Helter Skelter" and a Radiohead number. Go Figure.

It might be too much to hope that Costello does “Alison,” but it be a whole lot cooler if he did.

Drew Berrymore was just here hanging out backstage.

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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