Detroit Does Bonnaroo - Days 1-2

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With spotty wi-fi, hot mud, stinky hippies and a flow of overwhelming mediocrity from The Kings of Leon on the main stage, here are day 1 and 2 updates on Detroit's brightest at Bonnaroo.

As one of the trio of acts to start the festivities Thursday afternoon, rollicking folk act Frontier Ruckus pulled a surprisingly big crowd at small tent in Centeroo, bucking some of the trend that opening crowds are fairly inattentive (and sometimes in single-digits) as roughly 200 people found their way to Metro Detroit quintet's 45-minute set.

Despite not being a Detroiter, we'll give Diane Birch a little love as she was born in Michigan before moving to South Africa. Birch led the crowd in a bouncy version of Hall (who is playing the festival tomorrow) & Oates' "Rich Girl," closing out her set at That Tent.

However, it was Mayer Hawthorne & The County who took the reins into the evening, as the real party starts as the sun goes down. Hawthorne, dressed to the nines, worked the jumpy late night crowd of This Tent with his "Maybe So, Maybe No," a take on Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky," and an interlude hip-hop test with the incomparable Biz Markie, and some trace J-Dilla beats scattered throughout the set with a shout out to the late-great producer from Hawthorne himself. In my Jim Leyland jersey, a new found fan of Hawthorne slapped me on the back saying, "Alls you gotta do is put a little L.A. spit shine on you Detroit boys, and you clean right up don'tcha?"


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Early on Friday, Detroit's new jangle 'n' swoon sensation, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, played their first of two sets of the weekend at The Ford Fiesta Tent, and Frontier Ruckus treated campers to an impromptu performance at a crowded street corner in the massive campground.


--- Pietro Truba


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