Houston artist Tyagaraja recently won the Ford Fiesta Team Houston Battle of The Bands, the grand prize of which was a trip to perform at the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee. Meghan Hendley, keyboardist/vocalist for Tyagaraja, reports back to us with her tales of the festival. Read the rest of her journey here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
After this writer and musician finally made it back to the RV after the mass exodus from Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z , I basically submitted myself to the festival gods and told my numb feet that we were going out for one last hurrah. My band mates were not going to allow me to miss the experience of the most tripped out metal show of my life: GWAR.
Marcus Gausepohl of local band Golden Cities and I were the two brave souls that traveled back to the festival grounds to witness the musical carnage. As we approached the 'other' tent at the far end of the festival, we heard these words from the lead, err... singer: "There will be a few celebrity appearances this evening during our set, ladies and gentlemen, and when they do arrive (dramatic pause), they will be brutally annihilated!"
Desperate to try and get a few pictures of these space Vikings that look like KISS on acid, I fought my way through the throng using elbows and hidden strength. Just when I pulled up my camera to take my first shot, a giant foot came and smacked the right side of my head while the left side of me was being sucked into a giant mosh pit. I stood my girl-ground long enough to get a few shots and decided to retreat before I got my nose broken or I was abducted to be featured on the stage in order to take part in the ceremony of the giant crack-ball meteorite.
I emerged from the crowd covered in GWAR-ish dirt and fake blood to watch the rest of the set from a safe distance, long enough to see a zombie Michael Jackson doll to be... well... brutally annihilated as a space robot was chopped to pieces and showered the strung-out crowd with streams of blood.
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Post-GWAR, we decided we wanted to check out the tent that held nightly seven-hour raves. On Friday evening, we had passed by the insanity of The Crystal Method, who had 7,000-plus people packed in to dance in glowstick-waving unison to pounding bass and screeching electronics. Early Sunday morning was another DJ famous for vibrating beats and epileptic-fit-inducing stage lighting that provided the "special" kids of druggie wonders with enough trance music to float your body to another dimension. Curious above all get out, this festival participant wanted to get a closer look.
Looking at the schedule for Saturday/Sunday morning, I was unsure of the name of the DJ of the evening but took a wild guess it had to do something with a deceased rodent. My main clue was the girl sauntering around in a giant glowing mouse head with X's over the eyeballs and a devilish grin. The name turned out to be DJ Deadmaus. I sipped my evening's libation while sitting from afar, taking in every stereotypical dance move and glowstick-waving action associated with rave culture.
Marcus and I played "guess which drug that poor person is on" for a while before retreating back to the band's hotbox trailer for the evening, but not before one last meal in the ultimate of festival food offerings.
Fresh-cut potato curly fries covered in cheese sauce and ice cream are my anti-drugs.