After a day when news of the Orlando nightclub tragedy subdued everyone even in the love and sunshine of Bonnaroo 2016’s folk- and Americana-led last day, Dead & Company’s two-set ride, with John Mayer’s guitarwork leading the charge, brought the fest to a fitting close on Sunday (June 12). Bob Weir had the final word, referencing homophobic politicians acting heartlessly in the face of the Florida shootings, he said, "Register and vote. Get those assholes out of there," provoking emotional tears and cheers from the crowd.
Thousands of tie-dyed ‘Roo-goers of all races, genders, nationalities, religions and ages got together on the grass in front of the mainstage to hear the band roll through iconic Grateful Dead goodies like “Truckin’” and “Casey Jones” amid long stretches of trademark instrumental jamming.
Clearly, all these chill, chill people wanted to do was get together peacefully and live in the moment as the music (and all of John Mayer’s guitar faces) washed over them all—and it’s hard to find anything wrong with that while the world grapples with so much hate and death today.
Between sets, a rainbow-background version of the Dead’s skull logo flashed onto the screen. Within hours of live music, a powerful image made the most lasting impact.
Watch Death Cab for Cutie bassist Nick Harmer share his emotional reaction to the Orlando events and LGBTQ rights in our Bonnaroo 2016 interview below: