Live Review: Bonnaroo Lineup Announcement Megathon (BLAM) @ Criminal Records 2/19


Roo fans across the country gathered in riveting anticipation last night to officially find out who we could expect to see on the farm in 2014. Official viewing parties were hosted at record stores across the nation, one of them being at Atlanta’s own Criminal Records tucked into Little Five Points.

I arrived at Criminal Records towards the end of the pre-show, which mostly consisted of memorable sets from Bonnaroos past. There was a decent sized projector streaming BLAM set up adjacent to the stage in the back of the store, surrounded by true diehard Bonnaroovians who had been there since the event began at 7 p.m. I smacked myself in the head over forgetting to sport my own Bonnaroo t-shirt from my journey to Manchester, TN back in 2012, reminded by a room full of fans rocking their trophies from Roo. My attention immediately shifted to the raffle for 2 VIP tickets to the festival. I tried desperately to enter the names of every one of my family members, but was sadly met with a one person minimum. I prayed for good fortune as I dropped my slip into the fishbowl.

The next thirty minutes or so awaiting the BLAM stream to commence I spent thumbing through the amazing collection of vinyl Criminal Records has to offer. I gripped a Talking Heads record for a good bit as I contemplated whether to sacrifice eating the rest of the week. The music would feed my soul…right?

One of the Bonnaroo mottos being to “radiate positivity”, it was so exceptionally positive to see fellow Bonnaroovians out to show their support and love for the festival. The online live stream to the announcement would have been the most effortless option, but the sense of temporary community the spirit of the festival creates brought a group of strangers together to have some cheers and laughs on what would have been an ordinary Wednesday night. Everyone had a blast discussing their own Roo experiences, favorite sets, epic memories, and even camping horror stories.

With the festival bubble bursting and new events popping up at rate that really is out of control, it is a magical thing that this specific festival can summon the attention of music fans across the country regarding a lineup release for an entire 30 minutes. Bonnaroo wrote the book on lineup hype, and after being teased with Roo clues via Instagram for the past several weeks I will say I got a few chill bumps when the clock struck 9 p.m. and BLAM officially began.

The BLAM story line starred SNL’s, Taran Killman, who played Bricen “Hey-man, Hey-man”, and Hannibal Burress, the doorman for “Snake and Jake’s Christmas Card Barn”. Bricen, whose artistic talent is to scream the “heys” for bands, is desperately trying to find out if he made the Superjam. On top of the hilarious plot line, and crazy bits and pieces squeezed into the megathon, like the Muppets casually announcing artists and pant-less dance offs, the Flaming Lips and Ben Folds jammed together throughout the show. They played “She Don’t Use Jelly”, “Steve”, “Pancakes as Big as Your Head”, “Not the Same”, and an unforgettable rendition of “Love in This Club” as the artist announcements for the festival jumped across the screen.

The full lineup can be found on the Bonnaroo website as well as streaming highlights from BLAM. Not everyone agrees with the lineup. Personally I cringed when Kanye West’s name appeared on the screen, but cheered when Elton John’s face appeared in the crystal salt lamp. Either way, we can all harmonize on how extraordinary the Bonnaroo experience truly is. Tickets go on sale Saturday 2/22 at Noon EST. Oh and I did not win the VIP tickets by the way…in case you were wondering, but Bricen did get invited to the Superjam! (Only because they thought he was dying.)


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