Saturday began and ended as one for the record books, as Charles Bradley, the “original victim of love,” and his Extraordinaires quickly took on the energetic crowd at What Stage. The Extraordinaires starting things off with a few sickly brouhaha jams, and then the soul spinner himself, Mr. Chalres Bradley, come onto the stage in a suit and shiny gold button up, ready to preach like a wise, loud king.
And preach he did, as he wailed in that deep chested, full-throttle voice about the long and cold road of life, about heartache, and all about love. The crowd was a Pelvic Thrust Nation, absorbing all as Bardley and his crew yelled affirmations when he beckoned us, “Do you wanna get a little funky?” And so it went, a funk party of love and wisdom, with Charles Bradley emanating as a beacon of light for the lost and downtrodden.
Throughout the day, acts such as Blind Pilot, who rocked under the giant Which Stage question mark, the masterful folk from Punch Brothers, and Battles, who streamed their wild vortex of commotion, kept the day crowd at Centeroo in merrymaking mode.
The evening began to set down on us as Mogwai trampled the minds of the audience at This Tent with their loud and fucking awesome conduction of hard rock. The Scottish sound-troopers, with their larger-than-life concoctions, made sure to crank the volume and take control of the down-and-dirty fandom. Certainly the thrashing set laid some truth to the namesake of their latest album, that rock and roll is hardcore, and, yes, it will never die.
Then we moved over to check out a piece of Dispatch at Which Stage, who definitely donned their fair share of shredding, along with their traditional touches of acoustic persuasion. Fruits of the laidback minds of Dispatch, here are some words we should all try to live by from time to time: “Ease your mind with a banana or two.”
Onward came the headliner of the day, Red Hot Chili Peppers. The time-defying monsters of rock and funk didn’t miss a beat all night, convincing us steadily with their classic hits, dashed with a few new-album anthems, as well as some incredibly heady, wide-water desert jams. Among others, their performance of “By the Way” was an invigorating display of emotional rock and roll that prompted the crowd to jump into the mix. All in all, the Chili Peppers dominated the stage, and effected, like the pro’s that they are, some heavy-duty body control.
Now that we’d gotten deeper into the mystery of another Bonnaroovian night, it was time to slip into a little dub, brought to us by the worldwide sensation, Skrillex. Let’s get one thing straight, when you mix dub and Bob Marley, human-locomotion is inevitable. Such was the case at Which Stage, as Skrillex kept bringing us up on the rise, and then demolishing us with the heavy, heavy drops of wa-wa-wa dub. The set looked and sounded like an ongoing battle between the Death Star and the Event Horizon, and with a perfect amount of light misty rain, the show was not just ground-breaking, but space-time-continuum-breaking.