Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Bonnaroo Countdown is on!

The Jersey fists take over Manchester, TN in 91 days. Will you be there?

Today, Bonnaroo announced that this year, festivalgoers will have the chance to live their Bonnaroo dream. There will be over a dozen Xbox 360 kiosks set up in the Arcade Discotheque, which will allow yours truly to play Rock Band 2 on the big screen and wow tens of music lovers with my button mashing skills. The best party game ever comes to the biggest party of the summer. It was only a matter of time.

Speaking of which, it will only be a matter of time until the big 'Roo kicks off - in fact, June 11 is exactly 3 months from today. In just 91 measley days, the Schiff Happens caravan - space still available, inquire within - will invade Manchester, Tennessee, and I'll be damned if we don't have ourselves a good old-fashioned countdown from now until then.

Here's how it's gonna work. Every day from now until Bonnaroo, I'll pick a band from the lineup, maybe drop an interesting little knowledge nugget on you (some bit of trivia or anecdotal nonsense) and give you an audio track or a video sample of their work. With each passing day we'll get more acquainted with the musical company we'll be keeping at Bonnaroo until finally the big day will be upon us.

How much longer did he say? Only 91 days?

I have a feeling this endeavor will grow and change a lot over the course of the next 90 days. That being said, if you have a favorite band or song from among the vast initial lineup (more still to come, where are the comedians?) and you feel that you can hype them up better than I can, by all means let me know. Email me and we'll set it up. I'd love to see what others come up with.

So to kick things off, we're going to keep it real simple. With 91 days until Bonnaroo, allow me to introduce you to one of this year's headliners, playing Friday and Sunday night on the main stage... Phish! Phish are 4 dudes who started a band at the University of Vermont. Individually, Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell and Jon Fishman are incredibly talented musicians. Together, they are a revolutionary band who pioneered a movement toward group improvisation and extended jam-grooves, and pretty much the most colossal touring force in the history of music. Or, as Rolling Stone calls them, "The most important band of the Nineties." They are defined by the aforementioned qualities, as well as blending genres from rock and jazz to funk and bluegrass, hiatuses (2 extended breakups during their more than 20-year history), hosting large-scale festivals for upwards of 85,000 people at a time, and their insanely loyal fans who are willing to follow the band anywhere, pay any price, take any risk, and ingest any substance in order to enjoy just one more Phish show. The band recently reunited almost 5 years after their last farewell show, the emotional but musically underwhelming Coventry festival in Vermont. I was one of those lucky enough to wade through the mud all weekend and hear Phish sob through half-hearted versions of their once-epic hits at Coventry. Wasn't quite lucky enough to attend this weekend's festivities in Hampton, VA. Whatever, at least I didn't have to hang out with these cretins.

Anyway, Phish are back in top form and ready to rock all of our summers, so as we embark on this countdown to Bonnaroo, Phish and I welcome you to return to this space each day for just a little bit more hype. It is in that spirit that I invite you to come waste your time with me. 91 days to go, friends (and today is almost over). As always, I only want to know one thing.

Who's comin with me?

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