In Rare Fest Appearance, The Boss Plays Bonnaroo

They were sure to be chanting "Bruuuuuce" at Bonnaroo Saturday night.

Bruce Springsteen, one of the festivals two headliners along with Phish, was to take the main stage Saturday evening at the Tennessee music festival.

It's a rare festival performance for Springsteen and the E Street Band, whose festival experience has mostly been in Europe. The band's guitarist Steven Van Zandt earlier said he looked forward to playing for those in the Bonnaroo audience that might not have heard of or simply heard their music.

If such a person exists.

Bonnaroo is, after all, a relatively unremarkable gig for a band that has already this year played halftime at the Super Bowl and at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Before Springsteen was to take the stage, his presence was already felt.

"If anybody boos us tonight, we have a built in excuse: They're just yelling `Bruce,'" joked Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.

Wilco played a scintillating sunset performance, running the gamut of their earlier material as well as songs off their upcoming disc, "Wilco (The Album)."

After torrential lightning storms Thursday and humidity Friday, Saturday was the sunniest day yet at Bonnaroo, which concludes Sunday night with Phish's second performance.

Saturday's slate also included Elvis Costello, who, before his set, joined Jenny Lewis on stage for a song: Lewis' "Carpetbaggers."

Other acts Saturday included the Decemberists, the Mars Volta, Of Montreal, Raphael Saadiq, Booker T, Bon Iver, Robyn Hitchcock and Allen Toussaint. One stage _ dubbed "Tennessee Shines" _ hosted bluegrass all day with acts such as the David Grisman Quintet and the Del McCoury Band.


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