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At Bonnaroo, Kings of Leon Play a Pensive Set; Kid Cudi Performs Despite Arrest

Note Nathan Followill's introspection.

In Manchester, Tennessee, on Thursday, half-naked indie girls ran across a stage in face paint to express their love for Neon Indian (woo!), and confetti-shooting cannons enhanced the Flaming Lips' performance. But the tone at Bonnaroo apparently turned uncharacteristically somber yesterday when Kings of Leon, Dr. Dog, and the National played "introspective" sets. The xx is getting tired, and more Bonnaroo news, below:

• Local Natives "drew a massive audience" on opening night (Thursday). Afterward, nearly naked girls in face paint and Native American headgear ran around the audience in honor of Neon Indian, who played a set described as an "epic ... spaceship dance party." [RS]

• An uncharacteristically introspective mood overtook the festival yesterday, according to the Times: "The more pensive side of Kings of Leon rippled down through the rest of the day’s bill. The National brooded cryptically over smoldering crescendos ... Dr. Dog pondered mortality." Rolling Stone also notes that the Kings of Leon set was surprisingly "snarling, stubborn, and aching." [ArtsBeat/NYT, RS]

• During Thursday's highly anticipated xx set, "Temperatures [were] high, soundchecks nonexistent," and the environment was "chaotic." The AP notes, "The xx wouldn't seem like a band whose sound is befitting to festivals ... They would seem perfect for a Twilight movie soundtrack." Alas, "The xx are on a road former buzz bands like MGMT know something about." (Granted, this is pulled from a story that includes the sentence, "It goes to that old adage: Strike while the Twitter is hot." Ack.) Xx singer Romy Madley Croft notes: ''I've been very tired a lot of this year." [NYT]

• Despite having been arrested on charges of criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance in New York yesterday, Kid Cudi performed at the festival early this morning (2 a.m. early). After being introduced by Aziz Ansari, Cudi explained, "I really wanted to be here tonight." [HipHopRx, Billboard]

• The U.S.A.-England World Cup match was screened for the crowds today. [Neal's Blog/Bonnaroo Official Website]

• Tori Amos performed "A Sorta Fairytale," and the Times called it "rhapsodic psychocabaret ... unscary entertainment." [USAT, ArtsBeat/NYT]

• There was no somber mood for the Flaming Lips yesterday: Wayne Coyne played from a giant plastic bubble. "Enormous cannons fired huge clouds of confetti into the sky during the rousing 'Do You Realize???' and Coyne donned massive prosthetic hands and used them to shoot green lasers up at a pair of planet-sized disco balls, which reflected the beams out above the crowd." Wow. [RS]

Photo: Getty Images