Full Bonnaroo Photo Gallery Ted Leo (left) on stage at Bonnaroo, June 14, 2009. Hey man, your bassist rocks for the simple fact that he's wearing a Dead Moon t-shirt. Viva la Portland garage rock! Photo by David McClister/Billboard.com. More photos after the jump.
Early on the final day of Bonnaroo 2009, a welcome cloud cover provided cool temperatures and a bit of rest for festivalgoers, most still weary after attending late-night Saturday sets from Bruce Springsteen, Nine Inch Nails, Ben Harper and MGMT. After a relaxing morning recuperating in the Tennessee breeze, the crowds began to trickle back to the various stages, encountering performances by the likes of gospel act Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue and progressive bluegrass pickers the Lovell Sisters.
Way over in the Other Tent, indie-rock stalwart Ted Leo and his merry band the Pharmacists provided the audience with an hour of foot-stomping, fist-raising rock perfect for raising spirits and tapping energy reserves.
A full third of the band’s set was dedicated to a batch of new songs, and a couple – “Bottled in Cork” and “Where Was My Brain” – earned boisterous responses. But the most raucous cheers were saved for proven fare like “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?,” “Me and Mia,” and the closing pair of songs from 2001’s “The Tyranny of Distance”: “Timorous Me” and a ten-minute workout of “Stove By a Whale” that found Leo pogoing and posturing, eventually breaking a guitar string and coaxing a cathartic wave of feedback to send the crowd back out into the slowly emerging sunlight with smiles on their faces.
There are over 125 acts playing at Bonnaroo this year. Trying to
navigate the overload? Billboard picked ten sets to take you from
Friday through Sunday night and give you the most band for your buck
without passing out from trying to race from one stage to the next.
Just start with number one as we count you through the weekend, and
preview the tunes you might hear along the way.
8. TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS Sunday 1.30-2.30 pm The Other Tent
New Jersey-based indie rock hero Ted Leo will also play a solo show Sunday on the Sonic Stage, but the best way to experience his fiery brand of punky, politicized rock is to see him in full-band mode with the Pharmacists. The group's last album, "Living With The Living" (Touch & Go), was released more than two years ago, so expect a nice mix of songs from throughout the band's career, and expect a typically incendiary performance by Leo, whose onstage energy level mirrors that of his danceable, eardrum-rattling music.