It was a weekend of sing-alongs, raves, rappers and rockers. More than 80,000 music fans made a pilgrimage to Manchester, Tennessee for the 13th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. A diverse lineup boasted EDM artists like Zedd and Skrillex next to classic soulsters like Lionel Richie and Bobby Womack, proving that music festivals allow acts to perform for both new and old audiences. Here are five of the top music moments (in no particular order) from the 2014 Bonnarro Music & Arts Festival.
1. Elder statesmen of Rock Meet the New School: Skrillex & Friends SuperJam
Sonny Moore AKA Skrillex pulled out all the stops for his SuperJam. A few of the highlights included Janelle Monea taking the stage to perform Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and the 1965 James Brown classic "I Feel Good," and later Cage the Elephant's Matt Shultz fronting the Doors' "Break On Through (To The Otherside)" alongside the iconic group's guitarist and songwriter Robby Krieger.
2. Jack White Covers Zeppelin, Electrifying Stage with Mix of New and Old
Just four days after the release of White's second solo studio album Lazaretto, the Nashville resident gave the immense crowd a two-and-a-half hour long performance. During the 26-song set, White performed songs from across his vast catalogue, opening with The White Stripes' "Icky Thump," and later taking on covers of Led Zeppelin ("The Lemon Song") and Dick Dale and his Del-Tones ("Misirlou"), and sprinkled in new songs and favorites from his days in The White Stripes and The Raconteurs.
3. Lionel Richie Lives up to the Headliner Hype
A name that came with top billing, Lionel Richie lived up to the buzz that stirred the farm. The former lead singer for the Commodores acknowledged and poked fun at his age saying: “Some of you were here from the beginning. The other group, they say these words, 'My mama, my daddy, my brother, my sister played your records.'” During his What Stage performance, Richie nailed the classics like "All Around the World," "Easy," "Say You, Say Me," "Brick House," "Hello" and "All Night Long (All Night)" before encoring with "We Are The World."
4. Elton John Honors Legend and Packs 50 Years of Songwriting into Epic Set
Tens of thousands of the festival's attendees stuck around for its closer, 1994 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Elton John. The Rocketman gave those who stuck it out for the entire raucous weekend a rousing set, taking on many of the favorites from his five-decade career, including "Bennie and the Jets," "Candle in the Wind," "Tiny Dancer" and "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." "Your Song" and "Crocodile Rock" came as encores.
Earlier in the day, most of the nation heard that radio icon Casey Kasem had passed away. During Sir Elton's 21-song set, a touching moment came when he dedicated "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" to the American Top 40 host.
Watch Ben Folds join Elton John for "Grey Seal."
5. High-energy High-impact Rock by way of France via Phoenix
French group Phoenix delivered one of the most memorable, energy packed sets of the festival. Opening with "Entertainment," Thomas Mars and crew roared through 75-minutes of material, with most of it coming from their last two studio albums, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and Bankrupt!. Their set was as visually exhilarating as it was audibly.
Were you at this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival? Share your favorite moments in the comments section!
Open now through January 31, 2015, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum presents its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience - an immersive and engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience.
Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists – both old and new – or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe.