Bonnaroo 2012: Quick Highlights from Day One (White Denim, Alabama Shakes and more)

Ladies and gentlemen, Bonnaroo 2012 has arrived, and it began with explosive force on Thursday night with acts such as White Denim, Big Gigantic, The Alabama Shakes, Danny Brown, and a ton of other mind-altering performances. Naturally, things were destined to get raunchy from the beginning. On the drive up, things were a little quiet in the car as we sat listening to a mega Bonnaroo playlist, when all of the sudden my funk-craving friend started laughing out loud at himself and said, “I’m going to get weird this weekend.”

Bonnaroo warrants such dedication, and when we touched down in the Han Solo campsite, we dutifully began our adventure. Feeling the astronomical vibes of Tent City, we made our way right into the dirty, sweaty mess of Centeroo, where all the steamy magic happens.

The night kicked off for us with the Austin-based quartet, White Denim, who melted the faces of an enormous The Other Tent crowd, leaving us asking for nothing more. The band wielded seamless transitions between songs, managing to cram a huge, devoted set into the conservative allotted time whilst thrashing their guitars and drum sticks around like pure-bred champions. While the whole set was a joyous demolition of restraint, the performance of “All Consolation” sent the audience into an eruptive splendor of motion, and with their quick cuts and sharp tricks, White Denim demonstrated a perfection of timing.

After a proper beer break, we moseyed over to check out the fresh, worldwide sensation, The Alabama Shakes. It could have easily been the biggest tent crowd in Bonnaroo history, as fleshy bundles of joy spilled from under the tent roof and all across the lawn surrounding This Tent. And in due form, the Shakes rocked every body in the joint with their epic generation of rock and roll, christening this Bonnaroovian escapade with heart and soul. The silver light of the stage dawned upon the band like an ethereal revelation, and we all howled with Brittany Howard as she wailed, “I wake up and bow to the sun.” The feeling was one of union, of a collective bliss and appreciation of where we were, at this loving Bonnaroo experience listening to a group of freshman greats, with a plethora of delicious performances to look forward to over the weekend.

As a whole, the first day of Bonnaroo was a huge success, as the artists came prepared to electrify the patrons, leaving everybody jump-started with a touch of static electricity running through their blood. Today, Tent City is jam-packed (or johmed), the vibes are buzzing, the patrons are in full gear to dip deeper into this earthly heaven, and now it’s Friday, which means things will only get better.

Among the Bonnaroo friendlies was this hairy nest of smiles, who rightfully claimed the prize for Thursday’s Gnarliest Face of the Day:

Tons more gnarly to come…