Saba performs at Bonnaroo's That Tent on Thursday, June 13, 2019 in Manchester, Tenn.
Hayden Goodridge | MTSU Seigenthaler News Service
Up-and-coming Chicago rapper Saba closed off That Tent’s first day at Bonnaroo well past midnight early Friday morning with a set that—despite the hour—was rife with collective energy.
After a brief DJ set to enliven the crowd, Saba took the stage in a bright orange vest and opened with his song “BUSY/SIRENS.”
The track is off his latest record, “Care for Me,” which was released last year to critical acclaim. The set continued with more songs from the record, including “BROKEN GIRLS” and “SMILE.”
While the stage for Saba’s set was just him and his DJ, his energetic personality was enough to excite fans, with frequent call-and-response sections in his songs as well as lively stage antics.
The rapper’s confident onstage demeanor gave no indication to his rookie status as a Bonnaroo act, and the large turnout for his set was proof his first appearance was highly anticipated.
“This is my first time at Bonnaroo, my first time in Tennessee,” Saba told the crowd. “And I want you all to make this feel like a party.”
By the close of the show, those who stuck out the first long day of Bonnaroo to the end were clearly in high spirits. Even Saba recognized the devotion of his late-night fans.
“This is like 1 in the morning,” he said. “Y’all are crazy.”