Country fans may have had their eyes on CMA Music Festival in Nashville over the weekend but just down the road in Manchester, Tenn., the 2012 Bonnaroo Music Arts Festival was taking place, offering four days of music and more than 60 hours of performances from rock music’s biggest names and newcomers alike. But it was country legend Kenny Rogers who came in at No. 3 Billboard’s list of Top 10 performances from the festival.
Kenny performed at the festival on Sunday afternoon, playing hits from throughout his five-decade career including “The Gambler,” which had the audience holding up their beers in a toast. Kenny brought out friend Lionel Richie for two songs, solidifying the set’s place as a top performance with a performance of “All Night Long (All Night).”
Billboard wasn’t the only media outlet raving about Kenny’s Bonnaroo performance. Fuse posted a blog titled ‘Top 5 Reasons Why Kenny Roger’s Bonnaroo Set Was Better Than Your Favorite Band’s.’ Lionel’s surprise appearance was the top reason listed, but Kenny’s acknowledgement that he was out of place made the list at No. 5.
“Kenny Rogers and Bonnaroo: What’s wrong with this picture?” he said at the start of his set. “But I belong here. Know how I know? I have a bracelet.” He also poked fun at his audience, reason No. 4 his set was one of the best. “I just have to say you guys are terrible singers,” he said. “They did it better in Quebec and they don’t even speak English.”
It was a busy weekend for Kenny. He also played at LP Field during CMA Music Festival, taking the stage during Saturday Night’s show before heading down the road to Bonnaroo.