Matt Shultz, lead singer of Cage the Elephant, tries to go in to festivals with “a very artisan frame of mind” and calls the experience “eye-opening.” Cage the Elephant celebrated their tenth year at Bonnaroo, not as performers, but as festival-goers.
Cage the Elephant has had recent radio success for the first time in their eight years together. “I never thought that we would have any radio success” but that they did with their song “Come a Little Closer” of the album “Melophobia.” Though it has brought the band success, Shultz says radio “almost becomes a chip on your shoulder” and that he would “rather not pay attention to those things.”
Cage the Elephant played in front of a huge crowd on the Which Stage Saturday afternoon.
For John Butler, Bonnaroo is about what it does for the people. “People like to get together and celebrate life through music” adding that “music is a common voice, no matter what language you speak.”
The John Butler Trio performed Saturday evening in front of an audience of all kinds. “Its cool that an audience will support all things.”
Butler, of Australian roots, has been to Bonnaroo four times and embraces the life in the festival. “They (festivals) help us all feel like we’re not going crazy in this mad world.”
Sarah Jarosz, a seasoned Bonnaroo performer, said “There is such a broad range of open mindedness towards a bunch of different acts” in regards to the festival.
This is Jarosz’s third appearance, but her first SuperJam. “I think it is a really great coming together of a lot of different musicians but we all have the same background.” Jarosz played alongside Ed Helms, Dierks Bentley, the Lonesome Trio, and many more bluegrass artists.
Charlie Starr of Blackberry smoke said the fans at Bonnaroo are “more attractive” than those he usually sees. “It is always new and exciting” Starr said.
When asked on how he sizes up a crowd he says it can be a surprise “at first you think ‘oh [expletive] we’re bombing’ but then as soon as you finish, applause.”
All artists had the same thing to say on two topics.
One being that none of the artists attended Kanye’s performance (Shultz said “I like his music… But I was watching Game of Thrones.”)
The other is that a Bonnaroo audience is truly unique and full of open-mindedness.