The Bonnaroo Diaries – 2012 – Day 3 By Steve Pipps

Photo via Steve Pipps

I don’t have to tell you about our morning on Saturday besides the fact that Saturday morning is the morning you really start wondering why you wouldn’t just pay for a shower. You are disgusting. After three days of not showering, countless hours of concerts in the sun and sleeping in a sweltering tent your body cracks with dried sweat after every move. You can try to “clean” yourself with body wipes that just move the sweat around. Or you can jump under the big fountain in Centeroo and deal with being soaked for a few hours. It is your choice.

Bands of Day 3:
Das Racist
Childish Gambino
The Roots
Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP)
Superjam ft. ?uestlove and very special guests

Das Racist didn’t take the stage until around 2pm so we again had some time to walk around the grounds and just enjoy the arts festival. There is a large Ferris wheel at the top-most point of Centeroo that gives a fantastic view of the grounds. We hopped on for a quick ride and saw just how big the grounds were. It doesn’t click at ground level, but the area is vast. You realize how much you walk when you are jumping from tent to tent.

This Tent housed Das Racist. They put on a sick show. Their energy was electric on the most minimal stage of the weekend. Armed with some mics, a black table that held a computer and their voices, they rapped their way through eight songs and gave us some insight into the k-hole one of them experienced the night before. They were a fascinating hip-hop group who broke up later in 2012 after only one studio album. Kind of cool to say I saw them live.

Right after Das Racist we decided to get in the pit for Childish Gambino, which meant waiting for a few hours in line for his show to start. The pit is a great part of concerts.  Basically it empties out and refills for each show at the bigger stages and you have to wait and possibly miss other shows to be close for a preferred artist. We chose to do it for Gambino because the other acts at that time were miss-able. Santigold and SBTRKT were somewhat regrettable to miss, but Gambino was worth it.

While in line we shielded our skin from the beating sun, drank from our Camelbacks and turned down a few bowls that were passed our way. If you were hoping for more drug stories I’m sorry to disappoint. We went mostly for the music and the arts and aren’t big drug enthusiasts.

Gambino 2
Photo via Steve Pipps

Gambino was an absolute fire show, possibly one of the best of the weekend and not only because we were second row. He just knows how to perform. His set was roughly 90 minutes, 23 songs and one hell of a time. At the time he was touring for Camp but played a number of hits from his album Culdesac and his EP EP. He even threw in a cover of Tyga’s Rack City.

If Gambino had any problems with being respected as a rapper, he proved any doubters wrong at Bonnaroo 2012.

Right after Gambino, we walked to What Stage to see The Roots and get a decent spot for Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Roots had a packed set that was very enjoyable, probably more so for a true fan of the band. I am a fan of one song, “The Seed (2.0),” which is one of their more popular tracks to those who are just topical fans. They are a great band that had another set later in the night during the Superjam, which was a momentous occasion.

But it was time for RHCP. They put on one of the best shows of the weekend as they do most times they step on stage. They kicked their set off with “Monarchy of Roses,” from their most recent album I’m With You, but made sure to pepper in fan favorites including “Under the Bridge,” and “Californication,” to name just a few.

They kicked off their final jam with “Give It Away,” and then proceeded to jam until their time was up.

We sauntered over to the Superjam where ?uestlove was gearing up for a special appearance from none other than D’Angelo, who had not performed in The States in over 11 years. It really was a momentous occasion that I was not able to fully appreciate not knowing who D’Angelo was. However, livemusicblog can do a better job than me.

It’s a little disappointing some things like this were lost on me as I’m not as well rounded of a music fan as many others who attend Bonnaroo. It is cool to say I was there, I just wish it meant more to me at the time.

The final show of the night was Skrillex, a show I barely made it to. My feet were on fire in the worst way possible from standing for roughly twelve hours for the third day in a row. I was shifting my weight as much as possible to try and stay alive until 330am when Skrillex was scheduled to finish his set, but I failed. I called it a night and hobbled back to the tent while my friend stayed and enjoyed the pulsing bass of Skrillex.

One more day to go. My feet were begging for it to be over.

Diary to be continued in day-by-day diary/tips format) Part 0 here, part 1 here, part 2 here, with one more to come.)

Steve Pipps is a Chicago-based freelance writer and a frequent contributor to Step On magazine. He enjoys writing for both the screen and TV. Follow him on Twitter or check out his website.