Maximum Performance

5 Cool Things Witnessed on Bonnaroo 2013 Saturday

Lyndsey Parker
Maximum Performance

Saturday, the busiest and possibly buzziest day of Manchester, Tennessee's four-day Bonnaroo festival, featured a slew of impressive performers, from Solange and Nas to Cat Power and the Lumineers. But who impressed the most? That's a pretty easy question to answer.

Here are five cool things that transpired on Bonnaroo day three:

Bjork Wore This Headdress
Iceland's favorite eccentric hit the What Stage looking like a cross between Hellraiser's Pinhead and one of those dandelion-shaped, touch-sensitive novelty lamps from Spencer's Gifts, thanks to her amazingly bizarre headpiece designed by Maiko Takeda. It was a look that probably not even Lady Gaga could pull off, but it was pure, perfect Bjork. Bjork's face was almost entirely obscured, but her unmistakable, otherworldly voice behind all those glinty space-needles came through loud and clear. Thank heavens that a few professional photographers were allowed to disobey the sign requesting that no photos or videos be taken during the concert, so that this fantastically brain-prickling image can now exist on the Interweb.

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photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Empire Of The Sun's Frontman Wore This Headdress
My new dream/goal in life: to go headwear-shopping with Bjork and Empire's Luke Steele someday. Why were these awesome above-the-neck looks not available for sale at the 'Roo merch booth?

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photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

R. Kelly Out-Kanye'd Kanye West
At 2011's Coachella festival, Kanye West arrived onstage via a mid-air crane. Not to be outdone, when R. Kelly played Bonnaroo this year, he made a similarly grand entrance, as he sang "Ignition" while standing in a cherry-picker basket suspended 40 feet above the Which Stage's illuminated question mark. (And he was accompanied by a choir, yet. And this was just his first song, mind you.) Kelly even later covered Kanye's "Flashing Lights," although it took him a few minutes to get around to that, since he seemed to have show-delaying, Spinal Tap-like technical difficulties making his way back down to the stage. (Forget about "Trapped in the Closet"…this was a case of being trapped in the crane!) Kelly concluded his over-the-top, comically epic set with a surprisingly enthusiastic crowd singalong of "I Believe I Can Fly," while hundreds of dove-shaped balloons were ejected into the night sky. And how else did Kelly top Kanye? Well, unlike Kanye at Bonnaroo 2008 (when 'Ye played an infuriating two hours late), Kelly was extremely punctual. An onstage jumbotron screen ran a NASA-style countdown clock before showtime, and the instant the countdown hit "R-minus zero," his concert launched. Well-played, R. Kelly. Well-played.

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photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Bonnaroo Hosted a Battle of the '80s
Okay, whoever decided to book Weird Al Yankovic, Billy Idol, and John Oates's allstar "Superjam" at the same time at Bonnaroo seriously needs to be fired. What a cruel Sophie's Choice for '80s fans! But the one totally tubular thing was, flitting about between the three stages sort of felt like attending the legendary US Festival back in 1982. Where else but Bonnaroo could someone leave Weird Al's set in the middle of "My Bologna," then run across the field just in time to see Billy croon "Eyes Without a Face"? In 2013? Multitasking '80s diehards got to see Oates and Idol join forces later on at the Superjam, when Billy lent his rebel yell to a cover of T. Rex's "Get It On." But for sheer entertainment value, nothing could beat Al's set, which featured about a dozen costume changes (most notably a Shallow Hal-style fatsuit for, of course, "Fat"), a Segway during "White and Nerdy," several howlingly funny "AL TV" segments, and a keytar. Weird Al for the win!

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photo: FilmMagic

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photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage

Bonnaroo Hosted a "Joker"-Off
On Saturday afternoon, jam band Gov't Mule played a crowd-pleasing version of the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker." Only a few hours later, on the same stage, headliner Jack Johnson covered the same song, oddly. Who sang it best? That is up for debate. But this "Joker" double-header indicated one thing: Steve Miller should really be invited to headline Bonnaroo next year. No joke.

Watch the rebroadcast of Yahoo! Music's Bonnaroo livestream in the player below:

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For more Bonnaroo reportage, check out Yahoo! Music's 2013 Summer Music Guide.

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