So where did we leave off. Oh yeah the Roots vieing for the title of hardest working band in show biz. To prove the point, as soon as ?uestlove left the stage he went back to the Holiday Inn to rehearse with Ben Harper and John Paul Jones (yes, that John Paul Jones as in Led Zep) for the annual Bonnaroo Superjam. Sometime after the witching hour the trio took the stage in the Other Tent to a thunderous reception. It was a hair on your arms standing up kind of ovation, even before the first chord was struck, but when the open notes of "When The Levee Breaks" clicked in the audiences brain, well... the levee was obliterated as a wave of sonic yelps of joy beat out the massive JBL's. This was Zep, Zep, and more. Praise Be.
The set is exactly what the pilgramage to the farm is all about, collaboration, and man this was it in spades. Harper clenching his fist and straining his vocal chords to the limit, admirally going for the Robert Plant highnote; ?uest doing his best Bonham, hammer of the gods, impersonation to the point where during the thirty four minute (yes I clocked it) "Dazed and Confused" (with a nifty "We've Got The Funk" sandwiched in the middle, two drum techs reapeatedly had to tighten the kit because it kept vibrating loose from the pounding onslaught;
JPJ doing his best JPJ letting a barrage of open E bombs shake the hollow of everyone's chest cavity and then nimbly dancing the fret board with lightning fills of bottom end bliss. In typical Bonnaroo mind screw, the encore came from the opposite side of the 70's spectrum with a soul medley that would have made Bill Withers holla. Captain Kirk Douglas camee on stage for some added guitar and vocals, and the quartet charged through a loose "Superstition" > "It's Your Thing" > "Gonna Take You Higher" > "Superstition". Somewhere around 2:30 when they stepped off stage, everyone in attendence drenched in a soulful sweat, it was clear Bonnaroo had delivered another notch in it's What the F*#k just Happened belt.
Friday extra point: Tool is the loudest band these ears have ever encountered. (in case you missed it that was a bold PERIOD at the end of that last sentence). Their sound made my eyelashes quiver and joints shake. In fact I am fairly certain I lost a filling.