Bonnaroo’s annual SuperJams have been a fan favorites since the festival’s earliest days. Over the past 15 years, the gatherings have brought a wide variety of artists together to celebrate everything from hip-hop and bluegrass to old fashioned jam band noodling. Hell, neo-soul icon D’Angelo even used the platform for a surprise set in 2012 that marked his first performance in a decade.
These SuperJams often have themes and this year it was “The Soul Shakedown,” a billing that makes a lot of sense if one looks at the song selection. If one looks at the talent, on the the other hand, it’s clear the night’s theme might as well have been “New Orleans.” That’s because the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jon Batiste, George Porter Jr., Boyfriend and Tank and the Bangas all contributed to the festivities.
For starters, the Pres Hall guys were essentially the show’s house band, adding their chops to pretty much every tune (including taking lead on the cover of C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” that opened the party). Batiste took over for a rendition of Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy,” while Boyfriend and her dancers followed with an energetic and expertly choreographed take on Rick James’ “Super Freak.” Porter brought the night’s most New Orleans moment when he led the band through The Meters’ “Hand Clapping Song,” and Tank and the Bangas joined the fray for The Crusaders’ “Keep That Same Old Feeling.” Finally, these New Orleanians teamed up with the all of the night’s guests—-Chance the Rapper, Lukas Nelson, Nicole Atkins, Margo Price and more—for a closing cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”
Check out some of the collaborations below.
“Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”
Tank and the Bangas