Bonnaroo day three offered debatably the most diverse group of artists thus far from Hozier and Rhiannon Giddens to Childish Gambino and SBTRKT. But it was My Morning Jacket and Slayer who ended up stealing the show, and the Superjam that kept fans awake until the sun came up.
Another unorthodox aspect of Bonnaroo is the inclusion of comedy into the lineups with comedians like Chris Rock and Louis C.K. having performed there previously.
One of the headlining comedians of Bonnaroo day three was host of the Nerdist podcast and @midnight, a TV game show, Chris Hardwick. Comedienne April Richardson opened for Hardwick, readying the crowd for what would ultimately be a bigger set than the audience had prepared for.
After Richardson’s set concluded she turned to introduce the next act.
“Our next act is pretty new to comedy but he wanted to try it,” said Richardson taking a dramatic pause. “Please welcome Mr. Zach Galifianakis.”
Galifianakis lumbered out on stage to a standing ovation from a sufficiently flabbergasted audience.
Galifianakis’s set had the audience laughing all the way through. At one point Galifianakis began telling the audience about a dream he’d had involving a beautiful actor feeding him gummy bears, but he stopped midway through the story saying, “I don’t know where that was going.”
A few minutes passed and then Galifianakis’s set was interrupted by actor Jon Hamm who came on stage whistling “Flight of the Bumblebee,” and tossed gummy bears at Galifianakis who fell to his knees and hungrily caught them in his mouth.
Following Galifianakis’s set was the headliner Chris Hardwick which the crowd again welcomed with a standing ovation.
Hardwick touched on topics like how he uses comedy to deal with difficult situations, specifically with the recent passing of his father, and told anecdotes including when Hardwick and his girlfriend dressed in their Kigurumi, or animal onesies, and proceeded to have food delivered to their house, much to the surprise of the delivery man.
Following Hardwick’s set was a performance from Bonnaroo veteran performers, My Morning Jacket.
My Morning Jacket performed on the “What Stage,” the biggest stage Bonnaroo has to offer, and they managed to make a crowd of thousands of onlookers feel much smaller, as if every spot was front row.
Lead vocalist Jim James was adorned in a colorful jacket and at some points donned a cape that he would twirl as he sang and played guitar and synthesizer.
There’s very little chance for My Morning Jacket to play another set like Bonnaroo 2008 when it lasted four hours through heavy rains, but My Morning Jacket still managed to bring their audience together as a group of fans.
Then Slayer proceeded to tear Bomnaroo apart.
As expected, Slayer’s set was packed with blistering guitar riffs and angry vocals.
After twenty minutes of Slayer’s brand of thrash metal that not even Bonnaroovians could resist moshing to, lead vocalist and bassist Tom Araya finally greeted the crowd during a break between songs.
“How do you do, Bonnaroo?” said the bearded Araya, smiling as he looked out over a sea of metal fans.
Then it was straight back into the action.
More scorching guitars and double kick drum filled the air at the “This Tent.”