I woke up sore and a bit disoriented again Saturday morning, but about 10 to 15 minutes of stretching and yoga got me feeling back to human again, luckily. Emily and I knew that we had a long day ahead of us, so we stayed in bed a bit longer and got back into Bonnaroo around 2 p.m. We brought more ice and beer in for Ian and Scott, and again Ian met us on the path to his tent to help carry the load.
As soon as we got into Centeroo we headed for Sonic Stage to hear Bruce Hornsby’s acoustic set, but the sun was hot and there was nowhere to sit in the shade (plus, he was a bit boring, as much as I hate to say that), so we bolted. We walked over to Which Stage and heard a bit of Alison Krauss, and then grabbed some more pizzas from the woodfired pizza place we had become so fond of. After we ate, Emily, Scott and I headed up as close as we could get for the Mumford & Sons set, but the crowd was thickening and I got a bit claustrophobic so I headed back to our spot near the drum tent to sit with Ian for a while.
Ian and I eventually wandered up front to That Tent to hear Loretta Lynn, and sat down at a picnic table with a really nice couple from Nashville and a friend of the woman’s daughter. They swapped camping war-stories with Ian, laughed and congratulated me on my decision to day park, and we ended up hanging out with them for pretty much the entire show. By then Emily had wandered over to us, so we decided to hit the port-a-potties (since we were near “the good ones”) and then head up to What Stage for The Black Keys show. We lay down the tablecloth again, made friends with the people around us, and eventually Scott showed up and joined us as well.
Having heard The Black Keys at the Ryman when they were last in Nashville, we were a bit shocked and disappointed at how quiet they were on What Stage. They blew the freaking roof off of the Ryman, but we could hardly hear them sitting out on the lawn in front of the stage. Emily and I bailed about halfway through to make a trip back to the car to grab our hoodies, glowsticks and my buffalo hat in preparation for Scissor Sisters and Girl Talk later that night. It was thundering and lightning so on the way back into Centeroo we put on our disposable ponchos, and were protected from the mere minutes of light rain that came down as we walked back over to Which Stage to meet up with Ian and Scott again.
Back at our drum tent, the four of us sat on the ground and listened to Buffalo Springfield (I was wearing my buffalo hat for it, of course). A man came up to Emily and I with several large tubes filled with glow bracelets, and asked Emily if we’d like to help him make a chain. She agreed, and he walked away and came back shortly with a small stool and packs of glowstick connectors. He handed us various colors of glow bracelets and connectors, and when I asked how he wanted the colors put together he said that I was the creative director of the project. I decided on purple to blue to green.
Soon, a number of kids approached the man asking to buy some glow bracelets, and he began selling them at three for $5. He instructed us to hand out the glowsticks as he took the cash, and then asked us to watch the operation while he walked around a bit. A couple of guys came up and asked if they could “just have a few,” and we told them no, they weren’t ours to give away, but they could buy three for $5 when the man returned. They looked around, agitated, and asked again if they couldn’t just grab them. I replied no again, and they sighed and took off.
The man returned, took a look at our chain, and decided it was time to connect ours to his. After he did this, he wrapped the chain around his neck, and then broke off about 20 bracelets and two necklaces and handed them to Emily and I, thanking us for our help. He mumbled something about meeting back there again Sunday night, and took off.
After Neil Young finished out the Buffalo Springfield set with Rockin’ in the Free World, we got up and walked to the What Stage to see about the Eminem show. The crowd was packed in pretty tightly, and people near the back were fist-pumping and jumping and getting kind of rowdy. I noticed that Eminem was using a backing track, and wondered if that was something standard for rappers to do when performing live.
Ian and Scott were tired, and so we walked them back to their tent, Emily and I debating on whether we could make it almost three more hours before Girl Talk even came on. On one hand we had our glow necklaces and bracelets that we were excited about, but on the other hand we were tired and dirty and kind of ready to just head home. We chatted at the tent for a while, and then headed back to our car to call it a night. Unfortunately, Optimus Prime was just about deflated, so we thanked him for his days of dutiful service and tied him to the fence in a sort of balloon burial.
When we got back to Murfreesboro the skies opened up and the rain washed a good amount of the dirt and grime from my car, but unfortunately Manchester didn’t receive the same gift. We were in for another dusty day on Sunday.