MANCHESTER, Tenn. (USA TODAY) -- Bonnaroo's known as a music lover's festival, partly because it books big acts, partly because so many of them show up with guests in tow. Saturday's set had plenty of both, with sets from Frank Ocean, the Flaming Lips, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Ms. Lauryn Hill and others. Brian Mansfield picks a handful of highlights from the day.
Soul deep: Bonnaroo fans got to see a true soul legend Friday afternoon, as Bobby Womack turned in a set of '70s and '80s hits including Across 100th Street, Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out and I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much. Womack fit right into a festival that's strong on soul greats this year, from William Bell to Chaka Khan to Lionel Richie.
Damon and Del, together again: First, Blur and Gorillaz co-founder Albarn brought out a seven-piece brass band, but that wasn't the big surprise: Del That Funky Homosapien showed up to reprise the Gorillaz's big hit Clint Eastwood.
Lionel Richie, back at Bonnaroo: "This is my first Bonnaroo — certainly not my last," Lionel Richie told his main-stage audience Friday night, as he brought his All the Hits All Night Long Tour to the festival. That's not quite accurate — Richie made a guest appearance with Kenny Rogers in 2012. Richie performed a couple dozen songs, including a mid-set string of Commodores hits like Three Times a Lady, Sail On, Fancy Dancer and Sweet Love. He also seemed especially taken with a guy near the front wearing a fake Afro and mustache: "Nothing like coming to the show, and you find your son here," he said. "I knew I was going to be surprised, but this is out of control."
White hot: "Everybody else is just visiting," said Jack White, who lives an hour up the road in Nashville, making him the closest thing the festival had to a hometown headliner this year. White opened his blistering two-hour-plus set with the White Stripes' Icky Thump and closed with Seven Nation Army. In between he played songs from his new album Lazaretto, as well as tunes associated with his other projects. He also became the second headliner in as many nights to rail against the press, calling Rolling Stone "a tabloid" and telling the audience, "You and I make music."
You never know what's coming next: Why do people consider Bonnaroo so special? Where else are you going to see Janelle Monáe sing Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' and James Brown's I Feel Good with a backing band that features EDM superstar Skrillex? A$AP Ferg followed with Notorious B.I.G.'s Juicy, and Cage the Elephant's Matt Shultz sang the Doors' Break on Through (To the Other Side), with the Doors' Robbie Krieger and Skrillex playing guitar. Then, to stall between set-ups, Skrillex led the audience in a couple of sing-along verses of Hakuna Matata and Part of Your World.
On tap for Sunday:
- That Tent boasts a healthy lineup of acoustic acts, including the Lone Bellow, Shovels & Rope and the Black Lillies.
- Actor/comedian Ed Helms helms a bluegrass-based SuperJam set to feature Dierks Bentley, Sarah Jarosz, Lake Street Dive and others.
- Elton John closes the festival.