The morning's drive, past serene, rolling pastures and plywood signs selling salvation, gave way to topless, painted women and a hot afternoon in a field full of rock'n roll.
Whatever happens from here on out, I can't say we weren't warned.
Actually, I haven't seen any topless women yet. But give me a minute – it's Bonnaroo.
Photograher Adam Brimer, visuals editor Jigsha Desai and I are back for a second year on assignment at the biggest music festival in Manchester, Tenn.
Being the responsible reporters we are, we got an earlier start this time around, dodging the traffic and arriving on “the farm” early enough to recharge at the taco truck and stroll the grounds.
And the weatherman must be a music fan, as it's shaping up to be a gorgeous day to kick off the 11th annual 'Roo.
Besides the minor, but welcome drop from last year's temps – a forecasted overnight low of 57 tonight!?- an overall different, subdued vibe greeted us on our first walk through the gates.
Well, subdued as in anxious - the music has yet to begin. Sorta.
Fiest's midday sound check at the What Stage drew an impromptu crowd of several hundred. The hula-hoopers and hacky sack circles surrounded us within minutes.
“Is this the first show you're seeing?” asked Feist, who isn't officially scheduled to play until Friday night. “Alright, then we're just gonna bust this out!
“As long as you promise to come back tomorrow.”
The first act set to for-real take a major stage this afternoon will be local boys done good, the Dirty Guv'nahs.
From the looks of it out there on the lawn, they shouldn't have any trouble drawing a crowd.
Hope everybody keeps their shirts on.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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