It’s that time of the year when people pack their tents and head to the farm in Manchester, Tennessee, for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
In honor of the festival coming back after a two-year hiatus, we are taking a walk down memory lane to Tyler Childers bringing the house down during his set in 2018.
This was one of my first years at Bonnaroo, Tyler had just started to peak in his stardom, and I had to beg my group to go to his show with me.
Childers headed to Bonnaroo coming off of opening for Margo Price at the Ryman the month prior. In all honesty, I was not sure how receptive Bonnaroo goers would be to Childers, given the wide variety of artists the festival brings in.
But let me tell you, the crowd was electric. The Tennessean said it best in their 2018 article: Childers “threw down the gauntlet.”
His performance included all the hits from his 2017 album, Purgatory, including one of my all-time favorites, “Honky Tonk Flame.” Though, the set’s highlight for me was “Whitehouse Road.”
At the time, I was playing this song at least five times a day, and my dad and I thought the lyric “get me higher than the grocery bill” was borderline genius. So, seeing it live for the first time was a fever dream.
Childers planted this song perfectly in his setlist, so the audience was at their peak energy level. The bass drum was pounding in the crowd’s chest, and everyone belted the lyrics. It was near the end of the set, giving the crowd a second wind and wanting more by the time he finished up with “Lady May.”
Rolling Stone named this set “The Best Reason to Beat the Heat” in their 2018 recap article, and they sure were right about it. Four years later, this set is still a Bonnaroo standout for me.