Grace Potter & the Nocturnals made the scorching afternoon heat more bearable by playing such an energetic and enthusiastic set that the crowd seemed to soak up almost as much music as UV rays. The song "Paris (Ooh La La)" brought the crowd to their feet. Everyone was ooh la la-ing right along with Grace and her band, and she closed her set with a riveting cover of "White Rabbit." In just one year's time, Potter has gone from performing at a small tent at Bonnaroo to commanding the main stage. Plus, she’s a great candidate for a headliner for next year’s festival.
The Decemberists took the helm next, continuing in the vein of great music. They played a 90-minute set sprinkled with a variety of songs, the majority of which came from their studio album,The King is Dead, released earlier this year.
Friday’s toughest decision revolved around whether to see Ray LaMontagne or Florence and the Machine. I started at LaMontagne, and he gave his audience exactly what they wanted. His voice was flawless as he flowed easily from one song into the next without even talking in between.
About mid-way through the set, I popped over to Florence to catch a bit of her show. The tent was packed in and out and all around with adoring fans watching and singing along. Florence told her audience repeatedly, "You've got the love, Bonnaroo!" before jumping into the song “You've Got the Love."
Friday night’s Crowd-thrilling headliners My Morning Jacket and Arcade Fire brought their best, and fans jammed out during the entirety of both sets. Some of the crowd favorites for My Morning Jacket included "Victory Dance," Smokin from Shootin" and the set closer "One Big Holiday." Grammy Award-winners Arcade Fire played heavily off their album The Suburbs and gave a solid close with "Wake Up,” causing the crowd to go absolutely wild.
The nightlife in Manchester was a flash of glitter and glow sticks as late-night musical acts Bassnectar, Lil Wayne and Pretty Lights performed in various locations. Booming bass and happy fans danced the night away and sang along with Lil Wayne’s energetic set. Early into the morning, sleep-deprived fans were full of great music (along with some other substances) and ready to launch into day two.