Ever since the organizers of the annual Bonnaroo festival began dribbling out their 2010 artist lineup back in February, it’s been clear that this would be a transformational year. The jam bands that used to characterize the muddy, sweaty extravaganza in Tennessee are now often competing with radio-friendly megastars, who are just as hungry to connect with real live fans. Down on the Bonnaroo farm this year: Jay-Z, Kid Cudi and main-stage-ready B.o.B, who all drew hordes of fans to their respective sets this weekend. Watch their performances below and decide for yourself: is this what a music festival should sound like?
Jay-Z’s voice served him better at Bonnaroo than it did two months ago at Southern California’s Coachella festival, but his set still suffered a certain lack of star wattage. (How could it not, when you’re trying to compete with the incomparable Jay-Z/Beyonce performance of “Young Forever”?). Jay instead kept to the expected lineup of cohorts, with Memphis Bleek as his rapping partner and the talented Bridget Kelly singing the hook on “Empire State Of Mind.” (Beyonce did root for her husband from the side of the stage). Watch below as Jay — after quick shoutouts to Stevie Wonder and Jack White — winds up to the Blueprint 3‘s “On To The Next One”:
And here’s Jay following it up with a stellar “99 Problems”:
Performing under something of a cloud (and no, not that kind) was Kid Cudi, who traveled to the festival hours after being arrested for criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance. “I really wanted to be here tonight,” Cudi said after taking the stage following a hilarious intro by Aziz Ansari.
Watch Aziz’s introduction and Kid Cudi’s performance of “Man On The Moon” below:
Kid Cudi “Man On The Moon”:
And watch B.o.B perform his mixtape track “No Man’s Land” below:
Did you catch Bonnaroo for yourself? What did you think?