by Seth Graves
Sundays at Bonnaroo are a mix bag of emotions for those of us who’ve stayed for the long haul. Now evolved officially from displaced indoor dwellers to sun-damaged, dust-covered festival freaks who’ve almost forgotten why we need mirrors, Facebook feeds or even cell phone reception. We can now wake up and shake off our sleep-deprived hangovers in record time with a little caffeine and booze and go on about our day.
However, the evolution from Sunday morning to Sunday night is even more radical — shifting from morning’s “Last day, bro!” to rescheduling the headlining slot from 8 p.m. to “fuck this shit o’clock." The aches and pains accumulated over the course of the fest can only truly be alleviated by artist hospitality’s open bar — to which I’d finally gotten access. In the words of my benefactor “I be f***in’ rappers!” You go, girl. Personally, I got a little overzealous on my last hurrah and ended my personal Bonnaroo experience after waking up in my car at 2 a.m.
The literate, shoegazin’, synth-tinged War on Drugs weren’t exactly an essential compoenent in keeping our blood pumping, but they’d amassed a pretty impressive crowd for such a haggard and pleasantly temperate Sunday at This Tent.
Shortly after, we caught former War on Drugs member Kurt Vile and his Violators across the field at the adjacent That Tent. Vile rocks a jangled mesh of intimately folky '90s-flavored guitar pop so criminally under-attended, we actually found a better vantage point from the back of the crowd than in our fancy press pit.
Temperatures dropped, clouds grew more ominous. I’d swilled as many free drinks as I could whilst singing along to the only two Shins records I know at What Stage and by the time the rain started falling, not a single Bonnaroo bud could be found. I returned to my camp to find it all but abandoned. I was officially the last man standing and I wouldn’t stay standing for long. I woke from inside my Honda CR-V to a soggy, half-empty campground, and though the echoes of those remaining Bonnaroosters raging in the distance warmed my heart a little, the call of my own bed screamed a hell of a lot louder. Let’s do it again next year, Manchester.