Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bonnaroo 2013: Billboard Review

By the third day of Bonnaroo (June 15), patrons of the Manchester, Tenn. fest were starting to get into the swing of things. After a couple days on the grounds, the masses were beginning to get more accustomed to the setting around them, finding their way around, and interacting as a community on the sun-drenched farm. It was the weekend's hottest day yet, leaving some midday performances particularly tense and sweaty. News continued to spread of Mumford and Sons' cancellation as the night's headliner, though replacement Jack Johnson and show-stopper R. Kelly (who could have easily headlined himself) kept the 'Roo crowd loose, relaxed, and ready to party long into the night.

1. R. Kelly busted out his catalog of hits at Bonnaroo on Saturday night, from "Ignition (Remix)" to "I Wish" to "I'm a Flirt (Remix)." But for "I Believe I Can Fly," the R&B crooner had something special at the Which Stage: white, inflatable doves adorned the black sky as Kellz delivered the climactic final bars. Fake birds: one of the many ways in which a stage show can be enhanced thanks to an outdoor setting.


Billboard's Top 10 Best Performances
3. An R. Kelly show is always going to be an unforgettable experience, but the R&B maestro's Bonnaroo set should basically be viewed as folklore at this point. Opening with "Ignition (Remix)" was a risky move, but between "I'm a Flirt (Remix)," "Feelin' On Yo Booty," "Step In the Name of Love," a remix of Kanye West's "Flashing Lights," a tiny bit of "Bump 'n Grind" and an epic "I Believe I Can Fly" (with inflatable doves released into the night sky, for good measure), Kellz kept the crowd toot-tooting and beep-beeping for 90 minutes. "If music has inspired you to do better, make some noise," Kelly commanded at one point. We all made noise.

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