At 2:30 on Friday, June 16th, I became a Devendra Banhart fan.
Prior to my baptism by fire, I never gave that golden-throated shaman the time of day; but after sticking around to see him follow up Andrew Bird, you can count me among his throngs of followers.
MP3: Devendra Banhart – White Reggae Troll (live Bonnaroo 2006)
Banhart’s performance was one of joy, talent and an undeniable air of mysticism. Wearing only a pair of jeans and two necklaces, Devendra looked right at home amongst the Bonnaroo attendees who chose to “dress down” for the festival.
This laid back quality carried over to his live show as well. Through his entire set, Devendra was all smiles and jokes–even sticking to his usual habit of inviting up an audience member to sing and play one of their own songs. If Bonnaroo is the “make or break” festival for new bands that a lot of media like to make it out to be, you wouldn’t have known it from Devendra’s show. What we saw that day was a man who set out to have a great time, and did his best to bring us along for the ride.
We also caught Banhart later that day for a performance at the Sonic Stage, a more “intimate” location (tell that to the thousand people who came to watch Matisyahu). He wore a Vegoose mask and did a medley of a Charles Manson song and Lauren Hill’s “Doo Wop.”