The roar of the crowd, and a surge of people run towards the stage; it would be difficult for any outside observer to think that this set was being played on Thursday evening at “This Tent”. But Swedish act Miike Snow unofficially kicked of the 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival. With all due respect to Here We Go Magic, who performed immediately before the Stockholm-based group and played a very entertaining set, Miike Snow still won over the crowd.

I thoroughly enjoyed their electronic-infused music, as this is the first time I heard the band play live (something I’ll be saying throughout the festival). The band played to the crowd, the atmosphere going from girls with hula hoops twisting off their torsos to a light show from the various patrons with glow sticks, as the Thursday sun set in the west and the band closed out their set.  I must say I was impressed and I hope to hear more from Miike Snow.

I also had the chance to check out sets from both Neon Indian and The xx later on. A very strong crowd turnout for both and I like what I heard and saw, though it’s nothing to write home about (but just enough to blog about). Maybe it was the 36 hours straight I’d been awake. Or maybe I just wasn’t in love with their music. I’m new to a lot of this and learning so much about so many different bands, helped by the sheer wealth of information here from the patrons who make this festival tick. But I know when I hear something I like and Miike Snow provided that on the first day of Bonnaroo.

One thing I am not new to is hip-hop. As I was leaving Centeroo (the main area of the festival), I checked out Wale’s set to close out my night. I was very disappointed in his performance, to say the very least. There is no doubt I will be more critical with hip-hop acts than other genres as my ears and eyes have been trained to spot flaws, and conversely, find beauty in a performance. Yet, there were too many flaws in Wale’s performance. For one, he talks too much during his set, something that is very typical to the genre. However, there are emcees who talk in between songs to enhance their performance (see Jay-Z and Nas) and those who talk to essentially cover up inconsistencies. Once Wale uttered the words “I didn’t even rehearse for this” in a braggadocious style, I knew I was in for a tough set.

But at the end of the night I was very impressed with the first day of festivities. All in all, it was a good vibe that had me yearning for much more. But first it’s time for sleep. There’s a big day of music ahead  on Friday. And as Pharaohe Monch would say – bring it on!–Chris Dino

Photo via blackraptor