Tag Archives: Music

Day three of ‘Roo concludes with Cooper show

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Alice Cooper playing in That Tent on Day 3.

I found myself on a music high leaving That Tent at 2 a.m. after watching a 63-year-old Alice Cooper jam on stage to some of the best classic rock at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

Being raised on vinyl records of all the greats like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Journey and Bob Seger, I fell in love with Alice Cooper at an early age. I consider him to be one of the artists that jump-started other popular genres we have now such as alternative, punk and metal. How can you not respect a guy like that?

The crowd for Alice became massive, and for once being short had its advantages. After much begging and finding my way in front of all the tall people, I found my way in the fourth row. I could see Alice’s face paint, and apparently he was up to his old tricks.

Alice and his doll.

Recently I read an article that the first 20 rows would find themselves covered in blood. Thankfully, Alice didn’t bite the heads off of anything, and I came away blood free. However, he did come out with a gigantic snake, a life-sized doll and what looked to be a massive zombie.

For such an old man, he could definitely rock. Lots of people in the crowd were older, and an older man beside me started to cry during one of his slower songs. Alice had a larger fan base than I anticipated.

Toward the end of the set, he threw his dancing cane off stage, and I had my hand but a bigger guy took it away. Being little in the pit doesn’t always have the best advantages.

Before Alice’s performance, the Red Hot Chili Peppers came on at 10:00 on the main stage. I’ve always like the Chili Peppers, but I am no die-hard fan by any means. They did play two of my favorites “Dani California” and “Californication” which made my evening even more incredible.

For me there was a music lull before the evening really began, so the same friend that dragged me out to see Yelawolf made me go watch Puscifer. Of all the songs to play before an alternative rock show, salsa music continued to blare through the That Tent speakers before they performed at 5 p.m. Puscifer didn’t come on stage until 5:30, making them a half an hour late.

I never like waiting on music, and I am sure I am not the only one. While this band was totally unfamiliar to me, I know one of their

The Alice Cooper looking zombie.

members is from Tool, who I liked in the past. Puscifer didn’t leave the best impression. I even fell asleep on the grass during the set. Perhaps I should start listening to Puscifer on nights I feel restless.

Today is going to be rainy day at the Roo. While my community needs rain in the worst way, no one likes a muddy farm with 80,000 plus people. The fourth day is always my least favorite, but I have to go hear the Beach Boys. For me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity considering I don’t know how many more tours this oldies band is going to have.

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Day Two of the Roo: Hanging out in the Dust

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Foster the People at the Which Stage

The majority of my day two of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival consisted of my hands being in the air and the myriad of lights from the stage flashing over my face while listening to some of the best music.

Three of my favorite bands played, but I only really got to see and experience Foster the People, who is really all I cared about seeing for most of the festival. However, I managed to sit and listen to the Avett Brothers show for half an hour, and they put on a

The Avett Brothers playing at the main stage of Day 2.

great set. Had it not been for Mumford & Sons, I probably would have never fell in love with the Avett Brothers. I guess I did the whole hipster music scene in the wrong order.

I also got hear a little bit of the Ludacris show at This Tent, but the portion I heard was nothing but him singing Top 40 hits and none of his own music. More people showed out for him than I ever imagined, and the crowd went as far back as one of the vendor rows, which was impressive.The best show I saw all night by far was Foster the People with the atmosphere instantly changing as soon as the band played the first note. I cannot remember the exact order of the setlist, but they performed more of their popular hits from the Torches album like “Call It What You Want,” “Helena Beat,” “Warrant” and “Don’t Stop.”

By far the best song and stage performance came when the band began the opening notes to “Pumped Up Kicks,” which is the most popular song off the Torches album and a Top 40 hit. The crowd went crazy, and so did I. Confetti showered down us, and huge inflatables began popping up on the stage. Most if not all the crowd loudly sang the lyrics, making the concert even better.

Foster the People’s Mark Foster and Mark Pontius perform their song “Call It What You Want”

However, fans of Foster were also Raidohead fans. The final note of “Pumped Up Kicks” seemed to activate a massive herd of people all trying to reach the main stage to catch the set. Radiohead brought out thousands of fans, and there was no place to even sit or stand.

Trying to listen to them presented a challenge because of all the people, but I did learn a tidbit of news for all you Radiohead and Jack White fans.During the show, Radiohead gave out a huge thank you to Jack White, but wouldn’t tell us why. I am not sure what’s going on, but I’ve heard murmurs of a collaboration between the two from some of the die-hard fans that talked to me. We will just have to see.

I am not sure what is on tap for today. I hope to hear Alice Cooper and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s going to be a good day ladies and gentlemen. There is too much music in my little town for it not to be.

Day 1 of Bonnaroo lets the smaller acts shine

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Waiting on Yelawolf to take the That Stage.

The moon is full, and the music is coming from all angles on a 700-acre farm in my hometown of Manchester, Tenn., where four days out of the year my town becomes the hub of one of the largest musical festivals in the world.

Bonnaroo got the party started tonight with a variety of smaller artists lighting up the tents and the smaller stages while all the festival-goers continued to trickle through the gates. As of late this afternoon, Bonnaroo finally sold out for the eleventh year of the festival.

Being a local, I highly anticipate this time of year. To kick the festival off, I found my way over to the This Tent to watch Yelawolf, a white rapper from Alabama. I had never heard of him until recently and knew only of his song “Let’s Roll” that featured Kid Rock.

Out of no disrespect to him, he wasn’t exactly on my see list. However, one of my friends raved on and on for weeks before Bonnaroo even started, and blared his music anytime we were together.

Before Yelawolf even took the stage, I heard a few songs from artist Danny Brown, who is rapper from Detroit, Mich. I had never heard of this performer, but that is the fun and part of the point of going to a music festival. I am not going to know every act or heard of every band, and I definitely enjoy getting to hear new music and maybe even becoming a fan if they suit my eclectic tastes.

Finally around 8:30, Yelawolf started to play, but I was so far back from the stage Yelwolf was nothing but a dot on a straight line. Being short has no advantages at Bonnaroo unless someone taller than you allows you to sit on their shoulders. Otherwise, you can only dance and listen from where you are standing.

In simple terms, Yelwolf put on a fun show. He burst music from different genres. Being a southern Alabama boy, I guess he couldn’t totally ignore his roots as he sang a little Johnny Cash and Lynyrd Skynyrd. What’s a good concert in the south without a few chords from “Freebird”? Yelawolf finally started playing his own beats again, but not before he contributed the rest of his show to the Beastie Boys.

The rest of my evening was tame as I listened to some mellow music by Soja at That Tent around 10 o’clock. I had only heard of Soja because this band occassionally popped up on my Pandora radio. They have grown on me in the past couple of months with their folksy, yet reggae sound to songs. Their newest album “Strength to Survive” is fairly good, and I got to hear some of their new music sitting on the wet grass with tons of other listeners.

Something about their music must have made people want to dance because all sorts of people were on their feet moving to the music. A couple of different girls asked my friends and I to dance. That’s another perk of Bonnaroo: everyone is so nice. I can’t say I danced the night away or anything, but I bobbed my head from my seat on the ground.

Tomorrow is what I cannot wait to hear. I’m not sure how I will be able to sit through nine hours of work. Between Feist, Foster the People and Radiohead back-to-back, I will be all over place listening to some of the best acts the line up has to offer.

Spinning the dial

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As I have driven all over creation these past few months to and fro from Murfressboro, I have spun my radio dial a time or two, trying to find new tunes. Not only that, but I need some serious walking music. MTSU isn’t exactly a small campus when it comes to walking around.

My finger has skipped song after song in efforts to satisfy me. The over one thousand songs I have now weren’t cutting it. Something had to give. I had to find something new. Something that could keep my attention for more than ten seconds.

My ears experienced several different bands, and I think they like what they hear. I can’t study to the same tunes I did in high school all the time. If it is possible to grow bored from music, I certainly have, and I am hunting Pandora and Spotify high and low for something new.

The one perk of my newsroom is that we have all eclectic tastes. Our Pandora in the office is playing something different, and I always find my foot tapping to something I had never heard. Sometimes, the music even makes me want to dance but that is a different story.

So here are a few of my new favorite college tunes. Are you ready for this? Some how I don’t think you are.

1) Freelance Whales: I know what you are thinking. Whales? As in whales that swim in the ocean? Well yes, that is apart of the name. This quirky band got my attention last week as I awaited my editing class. My news editor introduced them to me, and we listened to them with the rest of the people in our class. The music itself has an eclectic sound with its Metrostation meets Mumford & Sons feel. This techno sound with a hint of banjo is just the right combination.

2) Explosions in the Sky: If you’ve ever seen the show or the movie “Friday Night Lights,” you are more than familiar with the instrumental song that seems to tug at your heartstrings and emotions. Months ago, I had researched to see who played the theme to the TV show, and I discovered that I liked the band as much as I the show. The instrumental sounds are soothing and are great for studying. Since most songs don’t have lyrics, I don’t sing along nor do I feel the need to dance. This is exactly why it’s perfect studying.

3) Death Cab For Cutie: Before you ask me where I have been the past few years if I am just now liking this band, hold your breath. I listened to Death Cab’s slow melodic music my freshman and sophomore years of high school. “I Will Follow You into the Dark” is one my favorite songs, and it has a beautiful meaning. However, this band just got swept under the rug, and I just let them fall off my radar screen. Until recently that is. One of my friends heard “Stay Young Go Dancing” on Pandora, and she liked it so much she played it for me. Now, I have fallen in love with the Codes and Keys, the album they produced in 2011. For the past few articles I have written, I type in Codes and Keys on my Spotify and hit play. My newest writing music muse.

4) Kate Nash: Singer songwriter Kate Nash has lifted my spirits these past few months. Here poppy sound and English accent have a way to make my bob my head along and want to sing. Except, I don’t have the English accent to sing along with her. I want to compare her to Sara Bareilles since they write about similar topics, but some of her lyrics are as bitter as Adele. However, Nash has the edge that makes my ears ever wonder why I thought she was mellow in the first place. Nonetheless, her witty music has found her way to my playlist. Not the best homework jams, but hey what’s a girl to do?

5) Foster the People: I know, I know. You are going to declare I only like them because of their hit song “Pumped Up Kicks.” Guess what? You’re right. That is what got me listening to them. That and I listened to that song so many times that I learned to play the acoustic version of the song. I don’t even know how to properly describe this band. They incorporate different elements to their music to get the right blend of beats. Call it what you want, but they made it to my list. It’s on my must buy, in fact. Hopefully, it will end up on my iTunes sooner than later.

2012 To-Do List

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So in a short few days, the ball will drop on Times Square, and we have a brand new year, a fresh slate. I always love the beginning of each new year. For me, it’s filled with endless possibilities, and I always look for new ways to make myself a better person.

A few days ago, my friend Milton asked if I had any resolutions. I couldn’t think of any except the fact that I want to lose weight. What girl doesn’t set herself that goal at the dawning of the new year? Other than that, I couldn’t think of a single one.

I’ve tried making my resolutions stick since middle school. But around the middle of January, I usually find myself back to my old habits and routines, and my resolutions are absent. So for this new year, I decided upon a different approach. Yes, I want to be a better person, but I am not going to do it through resolutions.

Call it a bucket-list if you want, but I really don’t plan on dying in 2012 even though most people think the world is going to end. I don’t. Jesus is way more creative with that. Like He’s really going to let the world know when it’s going to end? Yeah right.

For 2012, I’ve made a to-do list of things, places, and tasks I want to do. All of the items on my list I have never done or been able to fully complete before now.

The List in the making

  1. Fly a kite
  2. Read 50 books in a year
  3. Read the entire Bible in 364 days
  4. Go somewhere I’ve never gone before
  5. Photograph something incredible
  6. Color an entire coloring book
  7. Successfully do yoga
  8. Somehow run a mile each day
  9. Try sushi
  10. Play in the rain barefooted
  11. Visit my best friend at UTC
  12. Master five songs on the guitar
  13. Learn how to use bar chords on the guitar
  14. Learn how to properly use Photoshop
  15. Make myself more vulnerable
  16. Keep a journal each day
  17. Try everything on the Starbucks menu
  18. Lead others to Christ
  19. Be bold in my faith
  20. Go back to Memphis
  21. Watch all of the Star Wars movies–even though I didn’t even like the first one
  22. Straighten my mom’s insanely curly hair
  23. Write a blog at least once a week
  24. Watch every episode of Psych
  25. Shoot a gun–like at a target or can. I just felt the need to clarify.
  26. Take a road trip with just friends
  27. Take a road trip just me and mom
  28. Write a poem worth reading
  29. Bake 100 cookies and randomly give them away
  30. Start writing a novel
  31. Write a song
  32. Build a sand castle
  33. Make fried pies
  34. Be in a flash mob
  35. Climb a tree
  36. Document my entire day with a camera
  37. Go completely silent for one entire day
  38. Make dinner for my family and friends
  39. See an SEC team play that I’ve never seen before
  40. Do a one handed push-up
  41. Stay in Barnes and Noble for an entire day
  42. Visit the creepiest, scariest, most haunted house I can find on Halloween
  43. See an 80’s band in concert
  44. Let my dog ride in my car with his head hanging out the window
  45. Go to more than 5 concerts
  46. Stay an entire night at Bonnaroo
  47. Sleep outside in the summer without a tent in my yard
  48. Make 4 new friends
  49. Go horse back riding
  50. Vote in the election
  51. Paint something for my apartment
  52. Throw someone a surprise party
  53. Finish a scrapbook
  54. Work an entire jigsaw puzzle by myself
  55. Learn how to play one song on the piano
  56. Make a snow man with 3 people–providing that it snows
  57. Learn how to sew on a button
  58. Straighten my hair every day for an entire week
  59. Do a backhandspring at MTSU
  60. Win a game of laser tag
  61. Make someone’s day


Mosh Pit 101

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"Dedication takes a lifetime, but dreams only last for a night." ~All Time Low

You see all these people? Well, guess what. They were all behind me at the All Time Low concert. I never intended to be next to the cold barricade fencing all the crazy fans. However, I ended up that way with little to no effort. How you might ask? The answer to that friends is learning how to mosh pit.

I have been to a variety of concerts over time. Those that are standing, sitting, etc. I have been to a lot. I went to the 30 Seconds to Mars concert last year, which was my second time to ever be in crowd that wanted to jump, sway, push and sweat all at the same time. It ended badly, and I told myself I would never do it again. Except I did.

Last night, I ended up right next to the stage and singing to my heart’s content along with one of my favorite bands. I must say that I decided to just go flow  instead of being angered by all the chaos. I learned a few things just learning to roll with the crowd.

1) Be careful with your cellphone

I found it wise to be diligent with your phone in a mosh pit. People are constantly moving. Constantly jumping. Constantly squishing you. Especially that six foot tall guy that has blocked your view the entire concert. Yes, oh friends be alert. I dropped my phone last night and somehow heard it hit the concrete floor. I immediately grabbed it, but my phone cover didn’t survive. I am sure my pretty, purple cover was trampled under someone’s Converse.

2) Watch out for crowd surfers

Last night at the concert, the lead singer from All Time Low announced that it was not a real concert until someone decided to crowd surf. Well, that’s all fine and good. I honestly don’t care. Until it affects me that is. I watched all the crowd surfers go by. Some lost their clothes or a shoe. Others made it through effortlessly. And some got thrown over the barricade. While there are major perks to being in the front row, you never know when the crowd surfers are coming. I got kicked in the back of head hard enough to leave a knot. I guess that’s the price you pay for being in the front row.

3) You will sweat and get sweated upon

I know what you’re thinking. Sounds gross, right? Trust me it is. You notice when you walk out into the crisp night air and discovered your drenched and wet. You especially know something happened when you went in with straight hair and walked out with curls. I guess it’s all just apart of the concert atmosphere. I found some people I graduated high school with among the crowd. One of my friends said that he always had a motto for concerts. He told me that if I didn’t come out with 15 other people’s sweat, I wasn’t doing it right. I am fairly certain I didn’t have to worry about that. In fact, I am sure I achieved.

4) Just bounce along

I felt like a ball being pelted in one of those old school pinball machines. I couldn’t move, and I was trapped. Everyone is trying to push their way to the front thinking if they push hard enough, they will get there. Logically not everyone can be up front. Plus, everyone feels the need to jump and sway as they push to the beat. So between all the crowd shifting, I learned to literally go with the flow of things. There was nothing I could, so I ended up front. Such a small price to pay for a great view. I thank all the tall people.

And the Roonies came back to town

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Welcome to Bonnaroo. Population...130,000

  As a fourth year “roonie,” I actually experienced Bonnaroo for the first time this past year. I didn’t hide in a tent to sell items and beg for tips. No, this time I went, listened, and watched.

            I can sum up the Bonnaroo Music Festival into two words: an adventure. Since I am usually just a vendor, I don’t see everything much less hear everything.  This year, however, was a different story. I saw more of people than I ever intended and learned more than I ever wanted.

My experience this year did start out with me working except it was in a different capacity. The Sunday before Bonnaroo started, the director of missions from our region of churches came and spoke. He mentioned the fact that there was a ministry tent. I thought it would be a great opportunity to serve others especially in that atmosphere, so off I went headfirst not really knowing what to expect.

Our tent gave out a variety of free stuff, and for the most part everyone was very grateful for the free water and lemonade. In ninety degree weather, anyone would be. The majority of the people who came in congregated and sat down to cool off with the fans. And while they sat, they had the opportunity to look at all the tracks and New Testament Bibles and talk to us. I watched some even take them. I wonder if some of those people will ever read what’s inside them.

Other than my ministry opportunities, I got what I felt like was a huge photography assignment. I received media bands and the assignment from local paper to photograph different people and bands at the festival. It was an interesting assignment to say the least.

Graffiti man

I saw a whole bunch of things. Some of which I had no desire to photograph. Some of the things were cool though. On the first day, I watched two guys graffiti the wall outside of Centeroo. One of them was spelling out something with his own creative flair while the other was making a Pokemon collage. It was definitely different.

The best photography experiences I had were when I went to photograph the bands. It was so neat, and I am blessed that I got the opportunity to do this at all. Some of the media pits felt more like a mosh pit. But as one of my CBS/Sony buds told me, this was not going to be a delicate job. I found it not to be a delicate job at 5’3’’. But I always tried to make the best of my situation and do the best I could despite the fact that I am vertically challenged.

However, Bonnaroo was not all work and no play. I got listen to some great musicians on my Bonnaroo journey. I listened to Warren Haynes, Florence + the Machine, Mumford & Sons, and Buffalo Springfield.

I actually stood in line with a couple of friends for almost four hours to get in the pit for Buffalo Springfield. They hadn’t toured since the 60’s so it was totally worth it. I even met a blind guy that lived right outside of Boston, Mass., who came to hear them. As I said, Bonnaroo is full of interesting individuals.

Buffalo Springfield--Richie Furay

After my first real experience, I would like to think I will go back. It depends on who is playing and if I get another assignment.  Bonnaroo is sort of like another world entirely.  However, it is good to sometimes to get a taste of something different. Life is an adventure after all.