Brad and Barry recap their amazing 2018 Bonnaroo Experience. What worked....what didn't? What is the future of the podcast?
Hey, hey, hey, hey. Hey, how y'all feeling? Journey through the stories that define the artists playing Bonnaroo. Who are they? What are they? What will you see? The what? Which bands? This year, That Matter. With Brad Steiner and Barry Claire. Of all of the moments that you had for Bonnaroo 2018, you gotta think that the one at the top of the list and the one that probably carried from show to show to show is the Tom Petty Super Jam and the memory of Tom Petty was covering the entire festival of 2018. Yeah, it was a nice lick. Good idea on their part to come up with it. And you know what I thought about is maybe they don't book Sheryl Crow for anything other than the Super Jam. Because her coming out to American, that was it. I mean, that was the highlight of the entire Super Jam. And maybe the Sheryl Crow show is not something that you wanted, but they probably don't get Sheryl Crow at the Super Jam if they don't book her at the what. I would say that's a fact. Yeah, American Girl. She was definitely the highlight of that. It was fun. And then Boney Vare and Sylvan Esso come out to the Super Jam. One of the great Super Jams in Bonnaroo history. Welcome to our 2018 recap. It's the what podcast. That's Barry Courter from the Chattanooga Times Free Press. I'm Brad Steiner, hits 96 WDOD in Chattanooga. Hoo. Um, so. Yeah, you know, we were just before we went on, we were trying to figure out what song to start with and talking about what was the highlight. And to me, there wasn't one like skyrocketing to the moon. There was just a lot of really good moments. How was the reentry for you? Tough. Oh man. Tough. Never have I ever felt 36 before in my life until Monday morning. You know, I, looking back, I'm really kind of proud, I guess, if that's the right word of, I mean, I stayed till Monday. We were there, you and I, from Wednesday at two o'clock until Monday morning, 10 or 11. Man, I drove home, came in hot, started unpacking, and sat down and wasn't quite right until about Friday morning. It was rough. This was the roughest reentry into real life that I've ever had. I'm only 36. I got out of the car when I got back to Chattanooga and my back felt like it was breaking in half. I didn't have any of that. I just didn't know where I was most of the time. Well, I had that same feeling from Wednesday to Monday, honestly. No, it wasn't that. We worked, it was one of the best Bonnaroo's I've ever attended personally. Really? Yeah, I've told people, I can't think of a time when I wished I was somewhere else. Like I wished I was at home in my own bed or my own bathroom. Oh man, I've had those, I had those moments in years past, but you're exactly right. No, I never had one. This year was so comfortable and even in the heat of Friday, where I thought it felt like Friday was much hotter than Saturday. I don't know if it was just me, but Friday was difficult. But at no point did I say to myself, this is not working for me. No, no, and went, you know, the super jam started at what, 1.30 or 1.15 in the morning. You know, just we went round and round. It just felt like every time I turned a corner or came to a stage or did whatever. You were having a moment. Just having a moment. Somebody to meet, somebody to see, amazing. Friday to me was by far the best day. And we can get into that a little bit more when we start talking about music. But that one started at what, 12.30 or with Davey and ended with Sheik for me, Nile Rodgers. And it just was a perfect afternoon. So we don't have really a format for this. I literally walked in this morning and I said, I don't know what to do. I don't even know how to start, but where to start? Let's, how about this? Let's go your top three shows that you saw the entire weekend. We started Saturday with Davey and just seeing how happy they were and watching them smile and watch the crowd get bigger and their smiles get bigger. And went right from there to the War and Treaty, which was completely unexpected, completely emotional. One of my favorite Bonnaroo moments I've ever had in my life is that War and Treaty show. Brad, I never thought I would cry. And it was just the first of three shows where actual tears came to my eyes. You lapped me this year. I'm usually the crier. Oh, I mean, and I, you know, it was almost tears of joy watching Davey. And then we go and watch War and Treaty with Michael and Tanya Trotter and watching Michael talk about his PTSD and his Iraqi war experience and his friend committed suicide after being raped. And then just watching those two hugging each other, loving on each other. All they do is emit love. And a crowd yelling back and forth, we love you. And then them crying. And that was a pretty doggone special show. And then you and I got to talk to them. We'll have that as a next podcast just cause they were so great. And then to see the legend, Mavis Staples, and to watch her lip quiver singing about, you know, Freedom Highway, which is a song she's been doing since her pops wrote it in 1962. Wow. Yeah, it was just like feeling the history and thinking about, you know, where we've come and where we still need to go and all of that. That was powerful. And then we went right over to see Sheik with Nile Rodgers. And he said, I'd like to do some of the number one hit songs that I've written, you know, for people or produced for people. And then it was just- That started at 645 and ended at 745. It was hit after hit after hit, huh? Unbelievable. Yeah, Madonna, Bowie, Duran, was it Duran Duran? Oh, Daft Punk. Oh, okay. And then he started talking about eight years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer, aggressive cancer, and was told basically get your affairs in order. And then he had everybody hold up their cell phones with their flashlights, you know, instead of lighters. So your top shows all happened in order, almost on Saturday. It was one cry after another. It was amazing. And just smiling ear to ear. And while we were sitting watching Nile, the backup singer for Mavis came around the corner and we all stood up and high-fived and handshaked. That's what I mean. It was that kind of weekend. It was just totally unexpected. And she was cool and great. And it just amazing. So that's my top memory. My top show, Ron Gallo was every bit as good. Sturgill Simpson just, and I didn't even see all of it. But man, that guy came with something to prove. That's a great way of putting it. That's exactly what he did. And he did it. So I'm gonna rank it three to one. If I find my top three shows, number three, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, what Paul did, and I wasn't gonna say this before, but I've seen that show so many times that I almost decided not to see it. I almost went to see Dua Lipa instead because I've seen St. Paul so many times. But after the podcast, after everything that he gave us, I said, I have to do it for Paul. I am so glad that I went to see this show because what he did was, it was such a Paul thing to do, but such an un-Paul thing to do, if that makes sense. They took a giant carpet, put it on top of the crowd, and he rode the carpet all the way on his back doing one of the hardest songs that he has to sing in his set all the way to the soundboard, walked to the soundboard, stood on top of the soundboard, sung Broken Bones and Pocket Change, and then got on the carpet and rode it all the way back. And at some point during that show, he started to freak out. During that ride, he's like, give it down, give it down now, give it down now. It was fantastic. And luckily after the show, I ran backstage just to say thank you and hello. He was on Cloud Nine. He was bouncing all over the place. He was hugging babies. It's like a politician at work back there. It was not somebody who had just sweated the way that he did on a carpet. That was phenomenal. And the only reason I say that's one of my favorite shows is because of that moment. I will say the rest of the set I struggled with because the sound, for some reason, the sound this year in a lot of places was very spotty. I thought there was some sound issues from 10 to 10. I even had some sound issues on The Witch, which I thought that they had fixed that a few years ago. There were some spotty sound problems, and I've never had a sound problem in a tent, ever, ever, ever. Yeah, we actually, for that one, were right up front to the left when it started, and because we couldn't hear at all, couldn't hear vocals, they didn't have the, not that they have to do the VIP, but they didn't. So we went around to the back, and then actually, because I guess we'd seen the show before, watched half hour of it, and then left, so we missed. You missed the big moment. Missed the carpet ride, went over to the EDM tent or area and saw a little bit, 20 minutes. It was interesting, and then kind of moved around. So I didn't do a lot of that. Normally, we've talked about it in all these podcasts, the walk-bys. Didn't do a lot of walk-by. I saw more full shows this year than ever before. That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah, so that's my number three. Number two is War and Treaty. I don't like to do this FOMO thing, but if you missed this War and Treaty show, I swear to you, you missed one of the great moments in Bonnaroo history. I love when people, and we've talked about it before, stand on the stage of Bonnaroo and just let it take them over and feel the weight of what they are doing. I keep going back into my mind in that moment of when they just stopped, and when they just let the crowd go crazy and loved them as much as they were loving the crowd and just stood there and stared out amongst, it felt like it lasted an eternity. And I couldn't have loved that more. And the way that he can control, telling his story about being an Iraq War veteran, like you said, and talking about the PTSD issue that he has, and then the story about his, the way that he controlled that crowd in total silence, boy, that's when you know you got somebody on the hook. And that story is so powerful, that show is so powerful, and I'm telling you right now, you will hear this in the interview that we put on later on with the War and Treaty. Every single damn bit of it is real. None of it's fake. They're not faking it up there. They absolutely put all their love and effort and energy into loving you and changing your life. They want to change your life. That's a great way to, I didn't think about it till just now, but it almost felt like it quit being a show. It quit being a musical performance during some of that. You're right, he just absolutely stopped talking. We've heard so much before about the audience giving and the act giving back and forth, but man, you could see it and you could feel it. I've never seen anything like it. It was this pulse that just took over that tent. And we talk about it in the interview, the podcast. I've never seen a husband and wife stand at a piano like they did together. Well, honestly, when you first walk up to it, it's a little Saturday Night Live. It's sort of like that skittish Saturday Night Live where the husband's playing the piano. Hot mic. Hot mic. It's a little like that. It is, but then they can't stop hugging on each other and touching each other and just looking into each other's eyes. It was just unbelievably powerful, and it is not something I expected at three o'clock on a Saturday afternoon. Nor, and the best part of it is none of it is fake. None of it is just put on for you as a show. It's not a show. It is so real. Let's put it this way. When we, I had to chase them down. We had set up an interview for, I don't know, five o'clock, say, whatever, and I saw them walk out of a tent, and so I had to kind of chase them down. So it's me and you and what, four of our campmates were with us, turned around, immediate hugs for you and me, and then they hugged the other four people as well. It's like they had just invited us over to their house, and everybody was family. Everybody's family. Thanksgiving dinner at their house. And so then my number one show, it's the one that I keep coming back to. It's the one that has cut through all the noise of the weekend that I keep thinking about that I knew was gonna be good, I did not expect it to be as good as it was. Sturgill Simpson is everything that I thought it would be times a million. I forgot how good of a guitar player he is, the attitude that he plays with. Dude, that band is unbelievably tight. Yeah, let's contrast it a little bit, because I sat through the entire Muse set, don't know anything about Muse, didn't know anything about them, was with three, I think, of our campmates, and we all sat there, have been dissecting it ever since. It was electronically, orally, visually amazing. I mean, the light show, the sound was, it's the second best sound I've ever heard in a concert. Brian Wilson at the Tivoli here was the first. I mean, you could hear everything. But the best we can think of was that was the show, the technology. I couldn't hum you a song still. I couldn't tell you what it was about, other than stand up and fight. I think every song was an anthem. Oh, everything's an anthem with Muse. Standing up and fighting. We will not be defeated. We will not be defeated. So, and I say that only, it was really well done, but then you contrast that, and I'll let you describe it more, because you saw all of it, but the Sturgill Simpson was the complete opposite, right? I mean, three guys. Right, here's what I loved about the Sturgill Simpson show, and Muse is a great way of putting it. You can have all the lights you want. You can have all of the pyrotechnics you want. What Sturgill Simpson did is he had four guys on stage, including himself. The lights were white. They were pointed in one direction. There was no pretentiousness about it. It was a dude and a guitar, and the best damn band I have ever heard at Bonnaroo. He just said, screw you, watch this. I honestly know this might irk some people, but it's everything Jack White wants to be. Everything that Jack White really, really wants to be. Sturgill's already there. Sturgill is, he can't miss a note. He cannot screw up a note. That's how good of a guitar player he is, and he just pulverized you with insane guitar solo after insane guitar solo. And when we talked originally in the second episode of this podcast about Sturgill Simpson, I was really wary that without the horns, it wasn't gonna be the show that I wanted, because I love those horns. I love when he starts doing those big brass songs. Screw it. I don't need it anymore. I don't ever want it again. I want those four guys, and that's all I ever want. I just, I couldn't believe how much I loved that show. It was great, and I know you didn't see it. The chic was similar in that it sounds like, because it was a, he turned that whole what stage crowd into a disco party. Yeah. I mean, and it was not because of lights and all that. It was the band. There was the stage setting was very simple. He had the female, the singers that he had with him. Oh man, he at one point, he said, he introduced her and I wish I could remember her name, but he said, show them what you can do. And she did. I didn't know that. Oh my goodness. The other things that, like some of the highlights for us, some of our picks, let's go through some of our picks, and if they delivered and gave you what you wanted, Anderson Pock show, me and one of our new camp mates, our newly minted camp mate, Brad Girl, she had seen the show too before, and the Anderson Pock show was always good. I always liked it. It wasn't that. That new show that he has is monster. It's so big. It's gotten so large. It's gotten so, the crowd was enormous. I couldn't believe how many people actually knew and loved Anderson Pock. I thought I was still in the minority. I thought I had a little crowd. No, no, no, no. That show was massive. That's one of those I missed. That was Saturday, right? Right, that was Saturday. You had already had your day. Me and two of the other guys who had seen all four, we saw them all together. It was like nothing against Anderson Pock, nothing against anything that was coming, but after the Sheik, we were like, it can't get any better. Really? We're done. We need to go decompress. Honestly, I'm not sure I could have cried anymore. Maybe that's what it was. I guess what I saw when I watched Anderson Pock is that I'm eventually watching a Saturday night headliner. I think that's where his show is going. If this new album of his is as big as what the industry thinks it's gonna be, he's gonna be one of your Saturday headliners in a year or two. Well, that was the other thing. We all know, everyone who's listening, I assume, is a Bonnaroo veteran, so you guys know about the crowd. You know about the day and the ebb and flow of the day. I did the same thing with The Killers on Sunday. Ended up back behind the stage listening to it, so I didn't see it, and it was okay. I just didn't feel like fighting that crowd. And you didn't wanna do that with Anderson Pock either, huh? No, and especially having already had such a great day. Nothing against him. So yeah, going through, I was not impressed with the Japanese breakfast show. I know there was one more pick. Well, I wanna get to disappointments here in a sec. Okay, all right. Oh yeah, because I have a long list. Okay. So, then Bon Iver. Did you spend any time with Bon Iver? No. Okay, so the first set was everything I ever wanted. It's exactly what I wanted. I loved 22 A Million. I've said it over and over and over. That set had me slam dancing, and that ain't the set to be slam dancing. I was so, I was a giddy child at that first set. Then, you know, we took a break, and me and the pals, something must've happened in that hour and a half or two hours. We took Eminem, we went to Eminem for a little bit. I did not go back into the second Bon Iver set with the right mindset, and I missed so much of what the moments were. So many of the moments that happened, and I listened to it on, thank goodness for SiriusXM, they played the Bon Iver second set on my way back to Chattanooga, so I got to relive it. But every, I'm just gonna say, look, I wasn't sleepy, and I didn't find it to be boring, but I just wasn't in the right mindset, and I will admit, I fell asleep standing up three times. To the point where my buddy Nick kept looking over at me, and I knew I couldn't be able to see this, but Barry, this is how I was standing. Yeah. It was ridiculous. You were trying to catch rain type of? Yeah, like I was thirsty, right. And so, but what I saw when I remember of it, and what I'm being told is that it was a very, very powerful hour, and it was almost like a second super jam. Just friend after friend after friend kept coming out, and the Moses-Sumny thing, I will say, the Moses-Sumny doing shot A was phenomenal. It was phenomenal. Thank God for Moses-Sumny. We're both kind of saying the same thing, is that's sort of where I felt like I was going to be had I gone to Anderson Pack or Boney Bear. I was so just not there mentally, and I didn't want to stand in a crowd with my mouth open, and sleep staring at the sky. Another big highlight for me, I thought maybe one of my favorite shows of the weekend, it's hard to get my top three, I chose my top three because of the moments. I thought those three moments are my favorite, but boy, that Jungle Show was so damn good. They just get better and better and better. That new set is as tight as that I ever remember it. It was good. God, I loved it. Well, talk about a dance party. It was good. Dua Lipa was a superstar. I thought she, from last year, where I thought that she struggled to figure out what she was doing on stage, and she was almost acting like a star on stage, and acting like what she should be doing. This year, she is. She is a superstar, and that new stage show is as big as it can be. I mean, she is going to be a monster. She's gonna be a Lady Gaga level star one day, if she's not already. Favorite moments, having Repeat Repeat come to our camp, doing the podcast, that was a lot of fun. Those guys are amazing. They are amazing. We've been talking ever since. I just wanna be pals. I just wanna hang out with them. We exchanged phone numbers. I kept running into them, Kristen and Jared. What a great, happy, normal couple. So nice. I don't think that they would use the word normal. I don't know if they would. Maybe not. Yeah, I love the Repeat Repeat kids. And if you wanna go, seriously, go back and listen to that episode that we put out while we were on the farm. They came to our camp for Crying Out Loud. These kids are so dedicated to figuring out this band thing and making this work. They're willing to go to two dopes' camp backstage and talk to them on a podcast they've never heard of. I don't know if you talked to them after, but not long after they talked to us, they went and interviewed with Rolling Stone. Oh yeah, that's all. We had them first. That's all, yeah. Repeat Repeat backstage at the Camp Nut Butter, if you wanna listen back at that. It's available at the whatpodcast.com. Let me see what else I really, really loved. Yeah, Ron Gallo was exactly what I thought. The ending of that was so terrific. We talked about it all weekend. I forgot, my gosh, I forgot all about it till just now. Where he's playing his big hit and then he asks a random girl to come on stage. Hands are a guitar and she's like, I don't know how to play guitar. He said, it doesn't matter, play whatever. It all works. It all works. It all works and it did, cause she killed. It was hysterical. He apparently, we walked up a little bit late, but you remember our friend Evan was there and said he started the show by messing up. Yeah, sure. On purpose, they kept messing up and he was like, ah, I'm sorry and then just starting over. It was just one of those. Talk about confidence, man. Yeah, exactly. That kid's got it. I can, that was a great show. Yep. Let me see, what else did I love? We got to see three songs from Lissy in the Hey Bell. Oh yeah, we went to the Hey Bell session. Lissy, she is adorable. Boy, that voice is fantastic. That is pretty doggone cool. And she has got this really great tone. I hate that I missed that show, but she's definitely somebody I wanna come back to. Yeah, if she sound what? A little Mary Ann Faithful, Stevie Nicks combination, kinda has that raw, scratchy, beautiful. It was great. And then I had a moment that will go down as one of the most interesting moments of my Bonnaroo career for the first time in 13 years. Brad Steiner. You called into the tent with me? That was awkward. Brad Steiner went to GA. Oh yes. I had a blast. We didn't even talk about all that stuff. So me and the friend of ours, we went to GA on Thursday night because we got word that there was gonna be a Secret Cage the Elephant show. But unfortunately, the people that told us about the Secret Cage the Elephant show told us the wrong time. So we show up an hour and a half late. It was supposed to be at 12.30. We were told two. So at two o'clock, this idiot, we walk all the way out to GA. I got 3% left on my phone. I'm like, oh, screw it, I don't need it. Who needs it? It's Thursday night, it's Bonnaroo. What do I need my phone for? So we get out there and we're waiting, we're waiting and there's a karaoke set or something at the yes, at the one that Matt Schultz put together. So it was pod seven, Plaza seven. Right. I'm blown away by the way with how much GA has changed. GA has changed since I have been there. I keep saying it, but I never actually saw it. It's really not that far of a walk. I have always in my mind gone back to the very first year that I went to Bonnaroo and thought that that GA walk was just miles and miles and miles. No, to Plaza seven from Centaroo was really only 15 minutes. I think it's about attitude and time of day. It probably is. It's more than 15 minutes. At two o'clock in the afternoon, it's a little different than two o'clock in the morning. Probably. Exactly. So we get out to Plaza seven and they're doing this karaoke thing. We think we're watching KG Elephant. Never actually happens, but turns out there's a pop-up Cherub DJ set, right? And turns out she knows Cherub and has known them forever. So this became an absolute blast. I mean, it was a dance party for hours. I did not get back to camp until 5.30 in the morning. Yeah, about time I was getting up. It was great. It was great. And I was upset that I actually didn't get out to GA more because I mean, every single time he turned around, there was somebody texting us from GA saying, you gotta be here. You gotta see what's happening right now. It was moment after moment out there. And it, look, they have nailed, nailed those Plaza experiences. And for being at the first year that they've done it, next year, wow. I mean, it's gonna be worth every penny. I went out there for work, to do more work for the paper Friday morning-ish, around noon time. Walked up on a couple that had just gotten married. They were having their wedding photos taken. Yep. Hung out in the Grove a little bit, all the people in the trees. And then we wandered over to the Tim Love love shack. Yeah. He was doing a cooking demonstration. Talked to him for a few minutes. And then a couple of, a husband and wife and their friend who had done the cooking demonstration, decided they were full and shared their steak and shrimp and grilled carrots with us. So you met at- It was that kind of weekend, all weekend, just at random. So you saw somebody that got married at Bonnaroo. I personally know somebody who got engaged on the Ferris wheel on Thursday night. Wow. You know, I mean, those are two. How many others do you think there were? I don't know. I don't know. I really can't think of, I told you and it sounds crazy, but I can't think of a bad, you know. Well, I didn't care for the- Let's find the bad. I didn't care for the EDM playing until seven in the morning. Let's go through some of the disappointments. Disappointments. Not ever more bad bad, but disappointments. Some of the places and times and experiences where you were like, this is just not doing it for me. Watching Japanese Breakfast do a sound check for a half hour and then just play for a half hour was disappointing. Okay, so you know how much I love her. Yeah, yeah. I love Michelle. She's great. I got to be in the hay bale Friday morning to watch them do their hay bale session. And look, it was great. It was so good. I think they sound so good when they're playing. But for half an hour, they tinkered and tinkered and sound checked. Look, you don't get a sound check at a festival. Nobody does. And if you need to sound check for half an hour when you get on stage, it's on you, man. It's on you. I got the feeling watching some of the stage crew and all that the act before them, which was a rap, a hip hop act, might've gone a little long, but that should not have impacted because you don't get to do sound check. No, let me tell you, what you saw on the Japanese Breakfast for half an hour was exactly, exactly almost carbon copy of what I saw in the hay bale session. They did the exact same tinkering almost to the T. And look, if you have an hour set, you wasted half of it by sound checking. I was really disappointed with that. But once they started going, they sounded great. Sounded great, a little sleepy for me. I'll learn more because I liked it. It was just a little sleepy. And maybe that's because we watched the drummer. Dum dum dum dum dum dum. Yeah, over and over and over. Yeah, that was a bit disappointing. That was disappointing. I thought it was a little weird that they dedicated the entire, the other stage to EDM and then ended, was it Muse that ended or was it Chic? It was, I think it was, I can't, which night was Bass Nectar? It was a little strange, whatever day it was, because they have the EDM. Bass Nectar was Friday. Okay, so after Muse, you have dedicated EDM over on the other stage, and then Bass Nectar was on the witch stage, which by the way was pretty doggone amazing. Did you like that? I loved it. Of course, you love them. Well, I knew I was going to be able to hear it, but it literally, after Muse, we wanted to go get refreshed, whatever, get another beer. And the light show just drew us like literally a moth to a flame. All of us together went, did a little zip beeline, just because he had lasers going in the trees, which we need to mention those two, the lighting in the trees. These are fantastic. They made a lot of great additions this year. Yeah, the lasers in the trees and the sky were amazing. And then, it was a half hour, like I told you, you can't do much more than, but then the, and we never did figure out, do we call it Calliope or Calliope stage? Okay, this is a big argument. I don't know. It's the argument about the hill being moved. It's the same argument. I don't know. So the Calliope stage went till seven o'clock every morning. And because of where they moved it, basically everyone in camp could hear it. So you had EDM on the other, and then EDM at midnight with base nectar. And then that Calliope stage kicked in. I like EDM more than you do, but I don't need 24 hours of it. And I thought it was strange that it took over the whole space, basically. All right, let me ask you this. About the Calliope, Calliope, you know, Khalid stage. Of all the things that you saw or that were scheduled on that stage or on that whatever that thing is, over those courses of four hours a night from three to seven in the morning or whenever they schedule it, how many were actually worth a damn? Why can't you take those and just put them on the other in the spaces that you already have available? That stage seems so redundant. And frankly, I don't like removing the comedy tent and the movie tent and the cinema tent for that. I don't know what it was. So Friday night, so Thursday night I do the GA thing. And then Friday at 2.30 in the morning, we all decide to go and experience that and give that a try. Barry, I don't get it. And even if I can get myself into a dance party, it's the same loop over and over and over. It's three, two, one, hank! Over and over and over. And they do the same thing. I mean, it's a lot of fun if I can get myself into the right mindset, but I don't know why I need four nights of that. Three nights, three and a half nights. I know. And I know we sound, you know, you kids get off my lawn a little bit, but I'm with you. I don't get the, I couldn't do it for hours. You have the other stage. I don't know why you need the caliope. I don't, it's just bigger. I don't know. I don't know. We don't, if they maybe wanted to just create a space for those people that don't want to go to bed at four in the morning. And that'd be- Then why can't you do that with the other? I don't understand. I don't know. I don't know. And I didn't hear anybody really say they were happy with the comedy tent changes. Well, again, I didn't experience any of the comedy because I just, I'm not gonna experience standup comedy while I'm standing up. I mean, that's not the way that it's supposed to be done. And I don't know if Reggie, I heard the Reggie Watt Show was great. I don't know how Adam DeVine is gonna do, or Devine, however you say his name, from Workaholics. I didn't know how anybody went. I don't know. Somebody's gonna have to show me and tell me because I can't imagine that doing well. Social media people, and some of the comedians saying I hope they bring it back. I hope so too because it's a nice addition. It's very different and it's something that- My only problem is that I never could get in. It's always so crowded. And you remember those lines would line up from the door all the way to the center road, the middle road. So maybe that was why. Maybe it was an opportunity to get more people the chance to actually see some of the comedians. That's true. I get that. All right, the show that I'm most disappointed with, and man, I don't like saying this because I love him. I didn't get Khalid. I didn't get it. And I'm telling you, I love this kid. I think he's an amazing songwriter. He is, that album, I really think is one of the best breakup albums I've heard in decades. But man, that show was just too cartoony. The backup dancers were dressed like, you know, in weird neon colors. It just felt like some sort of puppet show. I didn't think his vocal level, again, The Witch gets very weird with sound and I thought that they had gotten that pretty much figured out. But the sound wasn't there. And part of it is sort of on him because he's a down tempo singer already. It just didn't work for me. It just never connected the way that I wanted it to connect. It's interesting to hear as I'm listening to you talk, I mean, you were so hyped for Bon Iver and Anderson Vak and a lot of times, you know, our expectations can be so high that there's no way it was ever gonna be met. Right. But that's not what you're talking about with Khalid, right? It just wasn't, you just didn't like the show. I didn't like it. Yeah. My expectations were high because I like him, but I wasn't expecting much, if that makes sense. My expectations were high because I was just excited to finally see him because I've missed my opportunity so often in the past and it's like, oh, now it is. Now I finally get it and then once I was there, I was like, oh, this just doesn't work. Doesn't work as well. He's trying to do a big stage presence, a big stage show and I just don't think that's who he is. And maybe he being a Monday morning quarterback and maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but it just didn't work at all for me. No, we talked about it, Earth, Wind and Fire a couple of years ago on the witch stage didn't work. It just got lost somehow. Right, right. And they're great. I mean, there's guys, my gosh, they've amazing, but it just got lost. That's exactly what happened. Khalid got lost and they tried to make it work with a whole bunch of stagecraft. Yeah. And most of the time you see right through that kind of stuff. To me, if there was a theme running through what I liked about all the shows I saw this year was that honesty. It was about the song. It didn't need a lot of nonsense. It was not about lights and everything. Sturgell versus Muse. Which is why you didn't, okay, so this Muse conversation is very interesting to me because externally, external from the people that I know, the Muse show was talked about maybe more than any other show. Eminem was talked about for the wrong reasons. But this Muse show was just, I can't stop hearing people talk about the Muse show. Everyone that I know that is a fan says it was a great Muse show, but it's the same Muse show you will see in London or Paris or Bonnaroo or wherever. It's just what they do. And like I said, technically it was perfect. It was the, you're right, you said it earlier. It's the best sounding show I've ever heard on that stage. Somebody described it as cotton candy. As I did. You did. Yeah, that's what it was. Yeah, it was good. That's what it was. Yeah, I don't need a lot of this. Don't need a lot. The reason why it sounds like, his vocal processing is like butter. Incredible. How does he, like it didn't even seem as though he was singing actually. It seemed like he was tracked because it didn't matter where he was on the mic, you got the exact same amount of volume out of him. It was incredible. It was nuts, it was nuts how good that was. But when it was over, we just looked at each other and said, what did we just see? What am I supposed to take away from this? But the other ones, every other one that I saw was just. All right, I have another one that I need somebody to help me with. And you can comment at the what underscore podcast on Twitter or the whatpodcast.com. What in the hell happened at T-Pain? First off, the crowd was just as massive as I thought it would be. It probably should have been on a stage. But at some point, he got four songs in after buy me a drink, buy you a drink, whatever the hell the song is. He just stopped. And he was gone from the stage for five minutes. And then out of nowhere, some guy gets on stage and we're all leaving. And he goes, where you assholes going? Where you assholes going? Give it up on my boy T-Pain. What in the hell happened? Now by then, I was gone and I had no. But somebody tell me what happened. Maybe he got sick. Did he make it to the karaoke? I have no idea. I don't know. Yeah, yeah, yeah, forgot about the whole karaoke. I never heard anything. I need somebody to tell me what in hell, A, happened at the T-Pain show. And what that was, is that was just a bit? Was he just trying to fire up the crowd? Did he come back out? Yeah, maybe you're supposed to bag him back on. And then, I mean, it was four songs in. And then secondly, did the karaoke thing actually happen? I don't know the answer to any of these questions. Maybe you can, the whatpodcast.com. All right, so let's see. Is there anything else that sticks out of my mind as something that was a little strange? So, I wanna go back to this argument about the Hill. Now, if you missed our episode that we did backstage at Camp Nut Butter. And it's not about them moving the VIP Hill, whether they did or whether they didn't. But you can tell that every single thing in the festival has been reduced. Now, no matter what they say, now, we talked to Ashley about this on the Wednesday press conference thing. When they took us around the site, it just feels different. And you can't convince me otherwise. You can't convince me otherwise that they have not either moved the what stage in, moved the walls in, and added so much stuff in the middle of the festival grounds to make it feel so much tighter. When we walked out Wednesday night, you could not turn around without hitting some sort of like tent experience thing shining lights into your face. You couldn't move. Let's say this. What, two weeks ago, we were hearing this, the crowd estimates in the mid 70s. I was told by a couple of officials, not with AC, but otherwise, that the actual count was around low to mid 50s. It felt pretty crowded. It felt packed. It felt packed. I think, and we saw this last year, they do as good a job as any big event like that that I've ever been a part of, of adjusting. So to your point, I don't disagree. I think they brought fences in. I know they did last year. I know they did three years ago when the numbers were way low. They put more tents in. They move things around to make it feel like, and that's not a, that sounds like a deceptive thing. No, I actually like it. It's genius because there's nothing worse than being in a small crowd in a huge venue. Even if it's a good size crowd, it just feels bad. It's no longer a wide open field festival. And if you have 52,000 people in a wide open field festival, it feels empty. It feels empty. You don't need that. You think, why am I here? Right. So to that, I give them all credit for that because it never felt uncomfortable, like my cart in a year or whenever, when there was so many people you couldn't move, but it also never felt empty. It never felt like something was missing. By the way, and to show you that this is not a negative, you know me, as far as my professional career, I care a lot about the little tiny touches of brands. I love brand touches that make the user experience better. I don't know who is their person that obsesses over teeny tiny little details, but they get every single one of them right. It is nuts to me, like every time you turn around, like when we said, when they took the giant heads out of the witch stage field, we were all like, why did you do this? How dare you? But no, instead of the heads, they planted new trees. The way that they strategically place certain tents, not the this or the that tent, but just experienced tents. And where they put the silent disco, the tiny details that they have to obsess over, the way that the roads work inside GA, where they put signage inside GA. Man, it is baffling how good it is. Go to some other festivals, and I don't mean to be a dick about this, but go to Sloss Fest and compare how the user experience is there versus what Bonnaroo does. Somebody has got it nailed at Bonnaroo. I don't know who it is, but they're a genius. I'll be honest with you, that early on, when I started going, that's what fascinated me was the logistics of it. And we talked to Ashley Capps about it, and I asked him that first year. To me, nobody does that kind of thing better than Disney. Right. And so I thought, I said to him, was Disney your model? And he actually said, no, it was the European festivals. But Disney, the masters was painting the cups green, and if you drop your sandwich wrapper, it's green, so it doesn't show up on television. Yeah. It's that level of detail. That's exactly right. That they get. I love that. Yes, that was what makes my heart flutter. I love stuff like that so much. Yeah, me too. And honestly, my daughter who interned with them, that's what she liked was the logistics of how do you get these many people in and out? It's amazing. How do you get 100 acts to show up at the right place at the right time and all the people? So that's what they do. And it was interesting when you and I first went in there with Brian Stone, one of our campmates, we walked around on Wednesday. It's not something I noticed right away, but you guys both did. The lighting in the trees is one of those. It's just phenomenal. It changes the whole feel of that giant field once it's dark. And we're not talking about one little white spotlight like over your back door. It was colored lights, it was beautiful. No telling what they spent. They dug trenches to run new electricity is a big, big deal. But just little things like that make you feel this is an ongoing thing. These people care, they've thought about it. I always, I put it this way, I don't like going places where I feel like they have their hand in my wallet, where it's just a money grab. They get my money. I don't mean to say they don't. I like to feel like they're giving back as much as they're taking. And you get that when you're there. And as far as the thoughtfulness and how things are operated and the user experience, take a tour through the men's bathroom. That line moves so fast. I was talking to some girls, two friends of ours, who were standing in the females line. And I said, what, you guys don't have two lines? Like we do. We got the two line and the one line. And the one line flies. And I don't know how they figured it out. But they've gotten the math of all of this down to a science. And it's just the user experience, at least, has gotten so much better and gets better every single year that at this point, I don't really have any complaints anymore. I have observations. And that's a big deal because you like to complain. I love to complain, yes. I have observations. Like for instance, they moved the VIP hill. I have observations. I don't have complaints about it. One of the things along those lines, just as Wertha mentioned, the metal detectors. That's the next thing I was gonna bring up. Yeah, what'd you think about that? Now, granted, we didn't have to deal with what they had to deal with in GA. I'd love for somebody to tell me their metal detector experience because I've heard a couple of things here and there. And most of it has been, didn't really matter. Right, that's what I was gonna say. Everything I heard from people was, I'm glad it's there. I get it. I understand. Las Vegas makes it a reality. Florida makes it a reality. All these types of things. But it was pretty much worthless. It was more of an aggravation. And it's sort of the reason, by the way, if you have a problem with their bag policy, I have a feeling that's why they gave you a fanny pack with your GA pass. Oh, I'm certain of that. Yeah, this is what you get to bring your stuff in. Yeah, you know, one of those, a minor, minor nuisance. I felt bad for the poor guys who sat there, those volunteers for 12 hours, and listened to that thing beep when you walked by with your phone and your car keys and whatever. But as far as like it actually affecting my bond room, no, it didn't do anything. A sad reality. A lot of, we should probably say this every year, the week's leading up to it when you start getting all those emails about the bag policy and this and that, you start puckering up. Oh man. You and I and everyone starts puckering up. This is gonna be bad. You should have seen the Reddit threads. It really, really freaked people out. I wasn't. I had a good time. I didn't see anything that was. And again, we weren't trying. My bond room experience changed zero because of it. Exactly, that's my point. It felt like it was gonna change an enormous amount to begin with, but it never felt that way at all. Felt like the same relaxed through all the volunteers were smiling, have a great time. Actually, they were probably nicer this year on the whole than, because sometimes you can get them at the, that 10th hour of their shift, and you can tell they're a little tired. But everyone was very nice. All in all, I can't think of anything else. It was just a really good. How'd you feel about Camp Nut Butter? You feel good about Camp Nut Butter? We had a good time. You had a great time, huh? I had a great time. We had rain, it rained on Sunday with the lightning hit the transformer, what? A couple hundred yards from us. Oh yeah. That was a moment. Yeah, so what happened is the lightning struck within 100 yards of our camp, right there on Production Road, which is the first exit that you get to if you're coming north, right? Right at the KOA. Right at the KOA. It struck lightning right there. And within two seconds, a guy that is camping with us, the water had accumulated on the top of his tent so heavy. Yeah, he had an easy up. He had an easy up over his pup tent. It crashed onto his tent and soaked everything that he had. I mean, seconds after the lightning struck. We literally thought at that time lightning had struck his tent. I think he was emerging from that tent expecting to see people in wings. I'm pretty sure he thought he had passed on as he should have, cause I mean, it was instantaneous. Honestly, that Sunday morning rainstorm was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. Because we were all stuck in this tiny space with each other on a day that some of us were struggling more than others. Yeah, no, it was a great time to relax. We couldn't go anywhere. They closed center-roo, cooled things off for a bit, then heated it up. The humidity, but yeah, it just felt like camping at that point. Yeah, and you became sort of like the doctor of camp. You were tinkering and toying and fixing. We put some tarps over and tied them down for the second wave of storms. Yeah, you did very nice. It was good. The rest of us, the kids. Did what you do. Sat there and watched. Yeah, watched cartoons. Ate your cereal and watched cartoons. Yeah, me and Nicky T just sat there and drank Bloody Marys and watched Dad fix the tent. It was fun. It was great. And it sort of re-energized for the rest of the day. So the podcasting studio, that was fun. We had our own podcasting studio back there. Repeat, repeat. We talked about that. They came by. It would be great if we could sucker some more artists to come back there. Probably should thank Brian Stone for doing that. He brought all of his equipment. I knew you'd say that, but he made it work. That was cool. He made some things work at camp, if you know what I mean. Yes, he did. He had a busy week. He made some very good friends at one camp over. Yeah, that was, yeah. Location being what it is. Yeah, so. Yeah, the podcasting was great. I think we can, we'll definitely continue that. Yeah, so I guess. Thanks to all the, I mean, regrets. Yeah, we talked to them. Warrant treaty. Listen, if you don't know anything about the regrets, we talked to them backstage. They're a kid band. I mean, these are really, really young kids. LA Mercy Girl punk band. Yeah, and we also talked to Bazzy again to sort of like check in after his show. We're gonna put all those together. And you had one other guy that you talked to. By the way. Colin McLeod. Colin McLeod, you talked to him and you were really excited about this. He came back to camp too to talk to us at Camp Nut Butter. I didn't make it to that. You were there. I was five feet away. You were there. And what did I do? Snored, I think. Yeah, it took a two hour nap. Colin is from Scotland. He's a farmer from Scotland. Denson and I went and watched his set, man. And it, I don't know how he does it. It's just him and a guitar, but it sounds like the Moors. I mean, it sounds. Yeah, that's good. Nope, that would be the Moops. It just sounded like the Boggs or whatever in Scotland. It was the darndest thing. And especially at that late at night, it was really cool. But yeah, he came by. Who else did we talk to? Talked to Greg from Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. And Greg, I'm sorry, it's my fault that I somehow screwed up the whole recording. I got nothing. Yeah, we listened back to it the next morning after you talked to the guy from, what's his name from Pigeons Playing Ping Pong? Greg. And it sounded like. Ma-oh, ma-oh, ma-oh, ma-oh. And just the total, this SD card was fried. And I apologize, lesson learned. Hey, the official Bonnaroo podcast doesn't have these problems, pal. I bet not. I bet not, but that was the only one. By the way, we're doing this with a zero budget and dopey friends and just prayers. And we're just hoping to God that we get something. But we don't have a major budget. That was so cool. Everyone was so agreeable. That's what I'm saying. It just, the whole weekend was like that. I would ask for something and sure, how can we make it work? We had a couple of scheduled podcast meetings and either the message didn't get through or whatever. And everybody said, give us another time. Let's make it work. So it wasn't. Sir Sly being one of those, by the way. Yeah, I totally blew it on Sir Sly. We were doing something else and the weather screwed up on Sunday and all hell broke loose. So hopefully there's more to come. And that's probably the question that we've been asked the most in the last couple. By the way, Bonnarooaster showing up at our camp. Oh, how can we forget? How could I forget? Bonnarooaster is great. What's his Twitter handle? Is it just Bonnarooaster? Find him on Twitter. He's a great follow, great dude. Stop by camp every single day. What a great time we had with him. We had a couple of really good conversations talking about changes and what we liked and didn't like. And he's every bit as passionate about it as we are. It's awesome. Yeah, that was great. And we actually had run into him checking in and didn't realize. And then so we started setting up camp. Yeah, and if we missed you, Bonnaroo, I'm very sorry. We're very, very sorry. But please understand that- Ran into Randy. My body just can't do everything. Randy said, came up and said hello. Oh yeah, we met Randy. That was right after war and treaty. Yep. That's right. Yep, so did run into some folks. That was cool. And so the big question that we've been asked is what in the hell do we do next? And we don't know. We don't know. We have no idea. I don't know what to do with this. I mean, we could do more, but I don't know what we do. I don't know what we talk about. I'm thinking probably when January, when the announcement comes out, we might pick it up from there. Yeah. I don't know about weekly, but I'd like to. We'll have to figure it out. If you guys have suggestions, love to hear them. Yeah, give me an idea. Anything, anything. Thewhatpodcast.com. Had a lot of fun doing it. We'll keep them up. We'll keep them up throughout the year. You can go back and relive them or catch up on some that you haven't listened to. Thewhatpodcast.com or thewhat underscore podcast. Until then, we've got more interviews and more entreaty to post. We've got some Bozzy chats, the regrets, and more if we can find them. You know what we could do? We could probably do an episode, a really quick episode with our buddy, Lord Taco, and hear about like a Bonnaroo first timer. He's never been to Bonnaroo. I'd love to hear like somebody who's never been and their impression of what we said it would be if it actually was. If it lived up to it. Yeah. In fact, if you have a Bonnaroo first timer that you want to get us in touch with, drop us a note. We'll call them. We'd love to hear your experiences at Bonnaroo, the what podcast or the what underscore podcast. Shoot us a note and we'll talk to some Bonnaroo first timers, I guess. Let's do that too. Yeah. That's another episode. I'm up for anything. We can milk another one out of that. It's been fun. All right, there you go. Until next time. We'll see you then. Hey, hey, hey, hey. Hey, hey, hey, hey. How y'all feeling? Journey through the stories that define the artists playing Bonnaroo. Who are they? What are they? What will you see? The what. Which bands? This year, that matter. Yay. With Brad Steiner and Barry Courter.