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Bonnaroo 2014 Day 4

Final Day
Final Day
L Paul Mann

Music Festival

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Bonnaroo 2014 Day 4
L. Paul Mann

Elton John Closes Bonnaroo 2014
L Paul Mann

The final day of Bonnaroo 2014 began early with bright summer sunshine bathing the Manchester farm lands. While many festival goers were up early to take full advantage of this last shortened day of music, three days of non stop partying was beginning to take it’s toll on others. Some young EDM fans began packing up and heading for the exits. Others passed out in any shady area where a prone position was possible. But there was still a mass of music fans ready for a full day of music. More traditional music was the order of the day, with a strong showing by Bluegrass in all it’s incantations and ending with an historic classic rock finale, featuring Elton John playing his first ever American music festival. Special classic rock moments began the day before when the legendary bass player of Led Zeppelin, John Paul Jones sat in during a 1.30 set by Seasick Steve. Jones is a veteran of Bonnaroo having played one of the most memorable Super Jams in one of the first of these special sessions. Social media was buzzing with the event so many were exploring the music possibilities early on Sunday. By early afternoon a large crowd had formed in front of the main stage for Colorado based Yonder Mountain String Band, who offer up their own progressive brand of Bluegrass music. On the other Outside stage an even bigger crowd gathered for the dance friendly beats of Los Angeles duo Capital Cities and their funky electronica dance band. Later in the afternoon the Arctic Monkeys brought their signature brand of fiery English rock to the mains stage. The band evoked a huge response from the large crowd, with many people just coming out of their four day Bonnaroo hangover. The band that was largely launched by social media has always been a fierce favorite for many hard rock fans. Meanwhile, Fitz and The Tantrums were keeping the funky dance beat going on the other Outside stage. This band, always a festival crowd favorite has also endeared itself to a fierce fan following. The mood on the same stage turned decidedly mellow with the much anticipated set by Indie music super duo Broken Bells. As the sun began to set the duo led their band in a mood drenched set that pleased many in the crowd of ardent fans. Always a Nashville area favorite, the North Carolina modern Bluegrass band, the Avett Brothers, rocked the Main stage as a massive crowd began to form, in anticipation of the closing set by Elton John. Pot loving rapper Wiz Khalifa closed the other Outside stage with a well received set, including his hip hop hits. The rapper appeared to smoke pot non stop during his entire set, keeping with his stoner image to the delight of the crowd.

As the sun set a huge crowd of die hard Bonnaroo fans began to swarm the main stage hours before the scheduled set time of Elton John. Music fans of many generations, but especially young music fans packed together tightly, bubbling with excitement and anticipation and appreciative of the chance to witness the concert of a legendary performer. It was hard to imagine a headliner rivaling the set of rock royalty Sir Paul McCartney’s previous years massive spectacle. But Sir Elton John certainly came close. Many in the crowd didn’t realize the historic significance of the event. Not only was it the iconic piano man’s first American festival, but the concert also included two of the three English rockers that were members of his original band, formed back in 1969. Drummer Nigel Olsen and guitarist Davey Johnstone gave the concert a whole new dimension, that an Elton John concert has not had in decades. These veteran rockers brought a vibe similar to Rod Stewart’s original Faces band or even the Rolling Stones themselves. The heavy rock and well amplified sound of the original power trio, helped launch John into the superstardom that he enjoys to this day. But the piano man had no problem dominating his group of loud and impeccable musicians, with strong crisp vocals and incredible piano playing, during his marathon string of hit song lasting well over two hours. The humble musician stopped repeatedly to thank the fans for allowing him to participate in Bonnaroo. A massive multi media presentation for each of his greatest hit songs added to the euphoria in the crowd. The 67 year old master of the piano even enlisted Bonnaroo veteran Ben Folds to join him for a song during the long set. It may have been one of the largest crowds ever to stay to the very end of the Bonnaroo festival. I have never seen so many smiling faces at the end of a concert, especially after a marathon four days of nearly non stop music. A fitting finish to the best Bonnaroo yet? Festival goers with have to make that call.

Set List for Elton John:
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Bennie and the Jets
Candle in the Wind
Levon
Tiny Dancer
Philadelphia Freedom
(Elton John Band song)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
Hey Ahab
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Grey Seal
(with Ben Folds)
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
All the Girls Love Alice
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
I'm Still Standing
The Bitch Is Back
Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n Roll)
Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
Encore:
Your Song
Crocodile Rock