Bonnaroo Notebook: Who knew the tuba could rock?

Never, ever poke fun at a tuba player again. After checking out The Roots on the main stage, I was blown away. Don’t get me wrong, Kings of Leon were great. I’ll admit to not being a big fan, but seeing them live they proved they can rock with a setlist (see speed metal meets power ballad meets straight-on rock) as eclectic as the crowd (see hippy meets reggae meets average beer swilling Joe). On another stage Michael Franti played some reggae-inspired tunes that got the tie-die, hoola-hooping crowd moving. But The Roots rocked Bonnaroo like no other. Take your standard rock instuments and add a horn section which includes a trumpet, sax, trombone, and yes, you guessed it, a tuba. Mix in some hip hop style with a little taste of Hendrix, and you’ve got The Roots. “Tuba Gooding Junior” jammed with guitarist Kirk Douglas like I never knew a tuba could. Damn, the two of them even ran into the audience to play. The bass rattled my bones and their cover of a Bob Dylan tune was inspired. This ain’t your average jam band. Check them out. —Mary Q. Burton

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