Photo via Bonnaroo’s Facebook page
Bleachers frontman and Grammy-winning producer Jack Antonoff hosted Bonnaroo’s annual SuperJam last night. One of Bonnaroo’s signature offerings—the collaborative performance actually predates the festival by a number of years—the SuperJam has taken on several themes during the past two decades. This year, Antonoff celebrated the music of 1984—the year he was born—noting his love of the music from that time period as well as the George Orwell association that goes along with it.
Antonoff is also no stranger to Bonnaroo. He first appeared at the festival in 2005 with his post-jam band Steel Train, playing a Thursday night showcase set that he has long cited as a defining moment in his career. He returned to Bonnaroo with Streel Train two additional times, as well as with pop trio fun. and his current project Bleachers. In addition, he also participated in a 2015 SuperJam hosted by Pretty Lights.
For yesterday’s SuperJam, Antonoff used Bleachers as his house band, augmenting his combo with musicians Claud and Blu DeTiger. (Both performers guested with Bleachers on SNL in January when several band members contracted COVID.) After a 30-minute delay, the set kicked off with Claud leading Bleachers through Van Halen’s “Jump.” Then, CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry emerged for Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl.” Nodding to the SuperJam’s ties to the roots-music world, Rick Mitarotonda—the frontman of rising jamband Goose—then appeared on Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life” and a‐ha’s “Take On Me” while singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun cycled in for Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).”
Antonoff then offered a series of surprise appearance. First, Britt Daniel—who recruited Antonoff to help out on a song off Spoon’s latest set, but was not officially booked for Bonnaroo—took the stage for Bruce Springteen’s “I’m Goin’ Down’” and Echo & the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon.” Next, fellow New Jersey musician Nicole Atkins—who also wasn’t even on the official Bonnaroo lineup but has recorded with Bleachers—led the outfit through The Smith’s “What Difference Does It Make?” And, finally—after Blu DeTiger moved to the front for Prince’s “When Doves Cry”—surprise performer and close Antonoff associate Carly Rae Jepsen received a heroes welcome for Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”
As a breather, Antonoff then played a guest-free take on Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round,” before Friday Bonnaroo performers and current indie buzz act Japanese Breakfast appeared on Nena’s “99 Luftballons.” To close out the show, Antonoff, Jepsen, Mitarotonda, Oladokun and Japanese Breakfast all appeared on a sing-along version of “Islands in the Stream,” the Bee Gees song popularized by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.
Though not an official SuperJam, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong also got in the collaborative spirit during Bonnaroo on Saturday inviting out Goose multi-instrumentalist Peter Anspach for a take on “Water.” Meanwhile, Billy Strings made his official Bonnaroo debut–after having done a socially distanced concert on The Farm last year–on the main What Stage. The bluegrass star opened his set with a memorable segue from “Dust in a Baggie” into “Everything’s the Same.”
Bonnaroo will conclude this evening.
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Jack Antonoff Presents 1984 Superjam At Bonnaroo - newsJune 20, 2022 at 11:50 am
[…] by a house band featuring members of Bleachers as well as Claud and Blu DeTiger for the Superjam as per Jambands.com’s report. The ensemble got the festivities underway with Van Halen’s “Jump” and then were led by […]