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Kanye West Rankles Bonnaroo With Tardy Pre-Dawn Set

June 16, 2008 11:49 AM ET

Kanye West delivered the most controversial performance at Bonnaroo this weekend, leaving thousands of festival-goers bummed out when his late-night set didn't kick off until nearly 4:30 in the morning — an hour and 45 minutes after its scheduled time. (According to our source, Kanye didn't want to go on until Phil Lesh and Sigur Ros had finished playing their late-night sets on Bonnaroo's other stages; he also had an enormous stage production.) As a jumbotron by the main stage posted the delays every half-hour, the crowd grew increasingly restless, eventually erupting into full-on boos just before he hit the stage.

West managed to drown those out with a giant theatrical show — a truncated version of his Glow in the Dark Tour space opera — which included deafening versions of "Stronger" and "Heard 'Em Say," as Bonnaroo celebrities like former Grateful Dead bassist Lesh watched in the crowd. The next day, some performers echoed the crowd's dissatisfaction during their sets. "Did Kanye really come on at 4:30 last night?" asked Zach Rogue of the California indie-rock group Rogue Wave during their Sunday afternoon set. The crowd responded with massive booing. "I have enough respect to show up on time for all you nice people." And during his Sunday performance, pedal-steel bluesman Robert Randolph led the crowd in a chant of "Kanye sucks!"

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

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