Early in the Day One recap of Lockeland’s time at Bonnaroo, there was some passing mention of some sort of festival “dread” – that was referencing some festival-goers’ interpretations of the so-called paltry headlining lineup – but altogether maintaining some positivity for the live sets. The bands of Day One came through strong, setting the tone for the first full day of sets; needless to say (but I’ll still say it anyway), it was hot as all get out.
Day Two for Lockeland saw a full slate of press commitments and shows conveniently occurring on the hottest day of 2016. After shoots with a number of bands including Beach Fossils, Lucius, and Bully, it was off to check out sets from buzz-band extraordinaire Whitney, a Nashville takeover of the Miller Lite stage featuring sets from Aubrie Sellers and Andrew Combs, and then of course, the headliners for Day 2 – J. Cole, LCD Soundsystem and Tame Impala.
Cole was a relatively early set at 8:45, but that didn’t stop the flood of young blooded hip-hop fans looking to witness Forest Hills Drive in all its live glory. The set ended up featuring the festival’s most famous cameo to date – sorry Vulfeck and Børns – when Chance the Rapper – who apparently is at Bonnaroo as a member of the press (though curiously enough, I have yet to see him in the press tent) came on and belted out “No Problem,” and thus sending the crowd of 35,000+ into a frenzy. Apparently Chance also came on during Bryson Tiller’s set, but alas I was at LCD Soundsystem.
Unfortunately, there was hyper-exclusive photo access for James Murphy and his LCD cohorts, so no photo for Lockeland at that set. Even despite that fact, it didn’t really matter for myself, because my gear crapped out on me during Tyler, the Creator, so rather than go and charge up, I opted for a good spot in the pit for the uber-dance party that was LCD Soundsystem’s set.
LCD’s set was without a doubt one of the best live mixes I’ve ever heard at a festival show, and probably a Top Five-r as far as Bonnaroo sets are concerned – Jack White, Bon Iver, D’Angelo’s Superjam, and The Roots are the other four – by far and away the best 80,000+ dance party I’ve ever been a part of. Tame Impala’s set was about as solid as one could hope for, as Kevin Brown and co. carried out a near 2-hour set of psych-gazing mastery from Lonerism and Currents that combined with LCD’s set made for the most relentless trio of late night headliners in recent Bonnaroo memory.