Bonnaroo 2014 – Day Four Recap
After keeping the party raging until sunrise for three days straight, Bonnaroo 2014 finally came to its conclusion on Sunday. Late-night lovers were now zombies in the shade as the Tennessee sun didn’t do any favors for anybody looking for a rest. Still, Bonnaroo marched on with its last hurrah with some of the biggest acts if the weekend, royally blessed and otherwise, ready to take a bow.
As the opening stomp of ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ punched out through the main stage field, festival veterans Arctic Monkeys got their first taste of Bonnaroo right in the middle of peak heat. Frontman Alex Turner spared little time for small talk as the band ripped through the bulk of their U.S. breakthrough ‘AM.’ Although plenty of fans were at risk for sun stroke, ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ served as one of the more memorable spark-plug moments of the festival.
Never one to take much time off, James Mercer returned to Bonnaroo two years removed from his Which Stage closing performance with the Shins. Joined this time by Danger Mouse as Broken Bells, the tenor of the pre-Wiz Khalifa set rang eerily similar with what went down in 2012.
The sun was finally relenting, people were starting to rustle awake underneath their chosen tree, and Mercer’s airy croon extended well past the limits of the field. Natural closer ‘The High Road’ served as a perfect hazy singalong before the big deal about to go down on the What Stage.
Bonnaroo has made its name through booking a steady stream of contemporary and legendary talent. Last year’s high-water mark came when Paul McCartney rocked a nearly three-hour set of his endless catalog. But there was still another Sir ready to make his Bonnaroo mark, as Elton John nearly packed in every one of the 80,000-plus attendees.
Sir Elton rewarded everyone with a rollicking run-through of hits with a one-two opening punch of ‘Funeral for a Friend’ and ‘Bennie and the Jets.’ Just like McCartney before him, John — who was joined by Ben Folds at one point and played tribute to the late radio legend Casey Kasem — got up from behind his piano multiple times to take stock of the somehow still-energized crowd.
Most Sunday headliners usually see a large crowd for only a few songs of their sets, since many tired festival goers try to beat the traffic. But John’s headlining romp kept people inside the gates until the very last note, when he put a cap on another phenomenal Bonnaroo.