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Bonnaroo says goodbye with Caribou and Billy Joel

The final day of Bonnaroo is somber and bittersweet for many.

The previous four days have been filled with music, memories and one of the most positive atmospheres available, but at the expense of an extended stay away from family, friends and air conditioning. So for many the end of Bonnaroo is a welcome reprieve from the heat and dust.

But Bonnaroo day four’s intention is to keep the same core principle of radiating positivity alive through performances from Billy Joel, Caribou, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib and Mick Jenkins.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s set was the earliest in the day, drawing hip-hop heads from all across the farm to “The Other Tent.”

Gibbs is a Gary, IN rapper who has managed to keep gangster rap alive over the course of the last decade of his career, while Madlib is a famed California producer who was one half of the acclaimed group Madvillian alongside MF DOOM.

The duo’s set was an hour long and featured tracks from Gibbs’s solo discography as well as tracks from the two’s more recent collaborative project, “Cocaine Piñata.”

Gibbs interacted with the crowd and told anecdotes about Madlib’s animated alter ego, Quasimoto who is depicted as a yellow pig-like animal that walks on two feet, smoking a cigarette and carrying a red brick.

“I see ya’ll got that Quasimoto out there in the crowd,” said Gibbs, referring to an audience member with a picture of the cartoon character alter ego of Madlib. “Ya’ll been seeing that for years, but I bet ya’ll didn’t realize that was a brick of cocaine in his hand, did you?”

This is important because that is where Gibbs mainly draws his inspiration for music from: his experiences as a drug dealer in Gary.

Gibbs blazed through the rest of his set, never missing a syllable in his fast-paced raps and even brought out Chance the Rapper for a short cameo where Gibbs, Madlib and Chance made a song on the spot. Chance was not a stranger to cameos at this year’s Bonnaroo after showing up at the Superjam the night before and Earth Wind & Fire’s set two days prior with Kendrick Lamar.

Gibbs & Madlib ended their set and walked offstage to a roaring crowd leading into the lesser-known Chicago rapper, Mick Jenkins’s show at the New Music on tap Lounge.

Jenkins made an impact on the hip-hop community with the recent release of his somber and jazzy mixtape, “The Water[s].”

Jenkins is a relatively new name in hip-hop with only a few projects under his belt, though he rapped as though he had something to prove, and his excitement for performing helped the crowd to groove with him even more.

Following the previous two rap shows was the electronic dance producer, Caribou, otherwise known as Dan Snaith.

Snaith took the stage at “The Other Tent” alongside a live band all dressed in white from head to toe, and many a Bonnaroovian came to dance to the producer’s eloquent rhythms.

Snaith’s set was not ornate. The producer and his band were grouped together in the center of the stage, and each member of the band was given an equal amount of the spotlight.

Snaith and his band provided a variety of danceable beats for the entirety of their performance, most notably in, “Can’t do Without You,” the lead single from Snaith’s most recent album as Caribou, “Our Love.”

Audience members who were seated stood up to the stage and those who were standing pushed even closer for the song.

After a nine minute closing song, Snaith closed out the set leading into the biggest headliner, Billy Joel.

If you kept up with Bonnaroo on the social media platform, Snapchat, you might have seen a video shot by a fan of Joel arriving to the farm in a motorcade with police vehicles in front and behind of the star-studded performer.

It’s no wonder the security was needed after seeing the crowd of 70,000+ people in attendance for his set.

Joel gave all the audience members a sizable dose of nostalgia during his performance with songs like, “Piano Man,” “Big Shot” and even a cover of AC/DC’s, “Highway to Hell.”

Many Bonnaroovians chose to forgo Joel’s performance in order to pack up their respective camps and beat the traffic out of the farm, but even a mile away from the “What Stage,” fans could be heard vehemently singing along with Joel to “Piano Man.”

Singing passionately enough with Billy Joel that you can be heard for miles away encapsulates the ideals that Bonnaroo fosters: being yourself, radiating positivity and having a general passion for the things each individual enjoys.

About Sean McCully

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