Buffalo Springfield: Bonnaroo Festival 2011 Headliners - Concert Reviews, Photos, Videos
Photo by John Partipilo/The Tennessean
Buffalo Springfield at Bonnaroo's — "Rockin' in the Free World"
From Buffalo Springfield at Bonnaroo's Which Stage, 6/11/11 — For What It's Worth | Nashville Cream by Jack Silverman:
Buffalo Springfield took the stage at 9:30 and kicked into a decent rendition 'On the Way Home,' but it wasn't until the second song — the more well-known 'Rock & Roll Woman' — that the familiar harmonies of front men Richie Furay, Stephen Stills and Neil Young really started to resonate. The Furay-fronted numbers (which also were the slow ones) were snoozers, but considering he co-founded Poco and went on to be a church pastor, perhaps not surprising. Stills was solid, and his guitar work got better as the night went on, and Young, as usual, was electrifying. Dude still sings as well as ever, and plays guitar like he's possessed by demons. (Perhaps Furay helped him exorcise them after the set.)
In fact, the Young numbers were among the best Bonnaroo moments. Things really took off midset with a blazing 'Mr. Soul' — still one of my favorite ’60s gems, even if the riff is a blatant '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' ripoff. Few people can bash out a hook on a Les Paul like Young. 'I Am a Child' — the song that would be the template for the acoustic guitar/harmonica sound for much of the Young catalog — was utterly gorgeous.
Stills had some shining moments too, including an epic 'Bluebird,' complete with an extended psychedelic freakout. (For a moment, I saw Stills' face morph into the visage of William F. Buckley, and thought someone had dosed my Gatorade. But I soon realized that, no, Stills actually looks a little like Buckley.) A rousing 'For What It's Worth' had the entire audience — most of whom were born 20 years after Buffalo Springfield broke up — singing along.
But the highlight was the encore, an incendiary 'Rockin' in the Free World' (also born 20 years after Buffalo Springfield broke up). The Young staple, a not-so-found shout-out to George Herbert Walker Bush, featured Young's best guitar-abusing of the evening. If ever there was a tailor-made festival rock song, this is it. My girlfriend even looked at me and said, 'I was never a fan of this song on the radio, but now I totally get it.' Judging by the response in the above video, so did everyone else.
From Buffalo Springfield Have Their 'Greatest' Night Ever at Bonnaroo 2011 - Spinner by Alex Suskind:
But unfortunately, the set was not without its problems.
The main complaint heard from the crowd was that the volume just wasn't high enough. When you are pretty close to the stage at a concert for one of the more influential rock groups ever, there is no reason you should be able to have a clear and coherent conversation with your neighbor without screaming. Alas, you actually could, causing many annoyed Springfield fans to start chants of 'Turn up the volume' and 'Louder.' In the end, it didn't work, and everyone had to live with what the current decibel level was at.
Photo by Ian Witlen
From spinfestivalstwitter - StumbleUpon by Chris Martins:
To the band's credit, the only audible complaints from the field were directed at the soundboard. 'Turn it up! Turn it up! Turn it up!' one group began to shout, and they were right — the audio was too quiet a couple hundred yards out, flattening the laidback strum, lean rhythms, and warm vocals into a placid slab of often-acoustic Americana.
But eventually, Young took matters into his own hands. For 'Mr. Soul,' he picked up an electric axe and began to shred, slathering the Stones-referencing tune in distortion as he snarled the vocals with gusto.
The sudden influx of pumping blood seemed to quicken the pulse of the others onstage. Rosas started grooving, Vitale beat his kit, and Stills and Furay seemed just a bit awed. But they gave it back on longtime fan favorite 'Bluebird,' which morphed into a furious 10-minute guitar jam pitting Stills' more technical playing against Young's black grinding.
Stephen Stills and Richie Furay Backstage with Buffalo Springfield at Bonnaroo
From Buffalo Springfield: Stills and Furay on the band's future | Rolling Stone New and Hot Videos by Eric Helton, Matthew Murphy:
"'It's really neat to reconnect with these guys,' Furay says. 'When we were young we didn't know what we were doing. I don't remember the bickering and the fighting...I think people want to add something that wasn't there because lots of times it's more fun if there's a little dirt.' Furay says that the band has '30-plus' dates for the fall - a number the freaks Stills out. 'They better have a break in there, he says. 'If we had this much trouble with six, I can't imagine 30.'
Richie Furay Backstage with Buffalo Springfield at Bonnaroo
Buffalo Springfield will headline tonight's Bonnaroo Festival - 2011.
Concert begins @ 9:30 EST.
It does not appear that concert will be webcast.
Live Twitter feed to immediate right sidebar.
Also, see The Triumphant Reunion of The Buffalo Springfield, Pearl Jam and Neil Young @ 2010 Bridge School Benefit Concerts.
UPDATE: Neil Young News: Buffalo Springfield Reunion Tour Dates and Reviews.