While the Rothbury Music Festival's inaugural 2008 lineup — which included the likes of Dave Matthews and John Mayer plus a couple of newer artists — made for a music-finding quest, this year's fest (in Rothbury, Michigan) has a more jam-band vibe, with the Grateful Dead and the String Cheese Incident at the top of the bill.
Lost in modulation heaven, Sting Cheese were able to regain momentum after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus. Their Rothbury reunion show was the first time they played together since 2007, when they actually disbanded. They sounded refreshed and rejuvenated during their clean and crisp performance, and arguably sounded even better than before.
They opened and closed their first set with fan fave "Rollover." Between the two sets, they hit many of their best songs, like "Black Clouds," "Restless Wind" and "Way Back Home." The two-year hiatus also gave everyone to appreciate newer songs like "Bumpin" and "Love Is Like a Train." They also played Talking Heads' "Naïve Melody (This Must Be the Place)" and filled the stage with fire dancers and circus performers.
On a very different yet equally amazing tip, Chromeo proved why they're becoming eletronic-pop heavyweights. With several songs dedicated to stealing girlfriends (or at least promoting the idea), a mass of dancing bodies played along. Definite fan favorite: "Tenderoni."
Girl Talk (once again) did not disappoint during his set. But his Rothbury appearance was a bit more controlled than last month's Bonnaroo set, where the stage nearly collapsed. His show took a while to get rolling, but once it did, toilet-paper streamers, glow sticks and a Michael Jackson tribute led to much booty bouncing. —Carissa Bowlin