Bonnaroo 2015: Friday - Kendrick Lamar, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kacey Musgraves

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Bonnaroo 2015: Friday - Kendrick Lamar, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kacey Musgraves

Despite early forecasts of rain on Friday, day two on the farm was sunny and scorching, with strong performances from Dawes, Alabama Shakes and Kacey Musgraves leading up to a highly-anticipated set from Kendrick Lamar. Check out the day in photos, via Brooke Bennett and Mary Caroline Russell, in the gallery above. Read up on the day’s highlights below.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
This Australian psych outfit’s fuzzy experimentalism was perfect for some mid-afternoon weirdness on Friday at The Other Tent. Their latest LP, Quarters, features four 10-minute songs, and that sort of blend of psychedlia and jammy-ness was evident throughout their set. Even if that’s not your style, sometimes it’s exactly what you need—to get lost in the soundscape—at a festival like Bonnaroo. —Bonnie Stiernberg

Dawes has gotten significantly bigger since their last trip to Bonnaroo—so much so that they’re now playing the main stage as the sun begins to set—and it’s obvious that they’ve learned how to play to an enormous festival crowd. Old favorites like “When My Time Comes” lend themselves perfectly to massive sing-alongs, but this set, it was the new material that shined just as brightly, particularly on “All Your Favorite Bands,” the title track from their latest album that offers a very Bonnaroo-appropriate wish of “I hope your brother’s El Camino runs forever, and I hope all your favorite bands stay together.” —Bonnie Stiernberg

Kacey Musgraves
CMA Fest may be in full swing right down the road, but Kacey Musgraves brought real country to the farm this weekend, complete with enough glitter and grit to do Dolly Parton proud. She commented several times on how much she loves playing Bonnaroo—she appeared at the festival in 2013, too—and while the audience was a modest one, they were devoted. Singing along to tracks from Same Trailer, Different Park like “Stupid,” “I Miss You” and “It Is What It Is” as well as her charming new single “Biscuits,” there was little winning over to do on Musgraves’ part when it came to the crowd. Not that she didn’t put forth a show to remember: sprinkling in covers like “No Scrubs” and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” and closing with Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” really put the spunky singer’s versatility on display while newer tracks like “High Time” and “This Town” were a reminder of her enduring wit in the writing room. If this set was any indication, her forthcoming release Pageant Material and the shows surrounding it will be something to write home about. —Dacey Orr

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar has faced some criticism recently for his decision to not play many To Pimp A Butterfly tracks live, and while his set Friday night at the What Stage featured primarily older material—including favorites like “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”—he did toss in a few TPAB tracks this time around (including “I” and the undeniable “King Kunta”), and the crowd predictably ate it up. Hopefully this is a sign of what’s to come and we can eventually plan on hearing more of one of this year’s greatest albums in a live setting. —Bonnie Stiernberg

Run The Jewels
By the time I made it to This Tent for Run The Jewels, I’d been walking around the farm all day and frankly, I was exhausted. But Killer Mike and El-P weren’t having it—within minutes of crossing into the crowd at Run the Jewels, it was like my batteries were re-charged and I had no choice but to take on the rest of the night in full force. Between thundering chants to “Lie, Cheat, Steal” and a seemingly-continuous string of “R-T-J!” cheers, it was impossible not to be drawn in as the hip-hop duo ran through their catalog. Beyond the contagious energy, the duo’s rapport is always lighthearted and fun. This is the act that you never miss out on if you can help it. —Dacey Orr

Earth, Wind & Fire
This legendary act’s set was as fantastic as you might expect, with hits like “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Shining Star,” “Sing A Song” all sounding pristine, but it was a surprise appearance from Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper that was the talk of the night. After being spotted watching the set from backstage, they were invited to come out and freestyle, and the result left us fantasizing about what an Earth, Wind & Fire/Kendrick Lamar/Chance The Rapper superjam set would have been like. —Bonnie Stiernberg