Saturday night (June 13) at Bonnaroo 2009 belongs to Bruce Springsteen, but Wilco put on a powerhouse show of its own as the Boss’ “opening act” on the main What Stage. The Chicago sextet proved to be the bridge between the festival’s two headliners; the perfect blend of Springsteen’s pure American rock and Phish’s wild, funky experimental jams.
Wilco utilized the full power of its lineup to rock festivalgoers into the evening – frontman Jeff Tweedy was naturally the star of the show, with stalwart bassist John Stirratt riding copilot up front and fiery drummer Glen Kotche twirling madly in the back, but it was multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone and especially guitarist Nels Cline who propelled Wilco’s set to ecstatic heights.
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.
Bonnaroo veterans Wilco warm up the main stage for Bruce on Saturday night, and there couldn't be a better American rock band right now to pull off that formidable task. With a dossier that runs the gamut from country-bar-rock to classic Americana to pulsating, 10-minute "Marquee Moon"-style epics, Wilco continues to break new ground in its 15th year, with "Wilco (The Album)" set to drop June 30 on Nonesuch. A more down-to-earth rock album than adventurous 2007 predecessor "Sky Blue Sky," the new set features such festival-ready material as the summery pop single "You Never Know," the frightening, angular murder mystery "Bull Black Nova" and tongue-in-cheek love letter to fans "Wilco (The Song)." -Troy Carpenter