The belated full-on Lolla recap post.

Time for my much-belated full Lollapalooza recap. No MP3s in this post. But I’ll be updating later with some, so stay calm. If you want to check out all my photos from the festival click here. Clicking on a highlighted artists’ name will send you directly to their photos.

Day 1
The Fratellis
I love these guys’ debut album. I drive a lot from state-to-state and it’s always a great pick-me-up for those mid-drive doldrums that can potentially cause you to drive off a bridge. Sadly they aren’t as exciting as I thought they would be live, but that’s probably because they took the stage at 11:45. Doesn’t change the fact that their songs rock.

Ghostland Observatory
I know nothing about this band, but they were playing right after The Fratellis on the same side of the park so I thought I’d check them out. Love the back-up dude’s cape. I need to get me one of those. My first impression of the singer was “wow that chick can sing” but then I get a little closer and revise my statement to “wow, that dude can sing.” Androgyny is totally making a comeback!

Son Volt
We head down to the other end of the park so we can catch The Polyphonic Spree. As an unintended side-effect of that we catch the second half of Sun Volt’s set. That’s all I have to say about that.

The Polyphonic Spree

There’s really nothing like seeing 20+ people rush out on stage wearing the exact same set clothes and performing in songs in a near-choir like fashion. However, the shock and awe wears off quick and you’re left with nothing more than some pretty boring tunes. It probably didn’t help that they were performing at the hottest moment of the hottest day either.

Against Me!
I took off from The Polyphonic Spree early so I could check out Against Me!, who are My New Favorite Band. Having been listening to New Wave nearly nonstop since it came out, I had really high hopes for these guys and they totally met them. Storming onto the stage right on time they wasted no time getting into the rock, delivering one great ball-busting tune after another. I guess the only thing better than an Against Me! CD is seeing Against Me! live. I am slightly annoyed by the use of the exclamation point in their name though, it drives MS Word fucking nuts.

Blonde Redhead
We make are way back to the main stage to catch Satellite Party (I wanted to see The Black Keys, but it was at the opposite end of the park and it was really fucking hot outside). We’re there pretty early so we get to hear most of Blonde Redhead’s set. I’m digging it but my friend Lisa turns to me about 20 minutes later and says to me “Make the scary music stop.” So I guess they aren’t for everyone.

Satellite Party
For those of you who don’t know, Satellite Party is the latest musical creation of Perry Farrell. Considering that his past two bands were Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros, they have some pretty big shoes to fill. I reviewed their album when it came out at another website and I have to say I was really let down by it. Many of the songs just sounded like boring rehashes of better Jane’s songs, and some just flat-out sucked. Thankfully Perry’s one energetic motherfucker on stage and even when the band was playing some of the weaker songs off of the album he remains highly entertaining. The band also played many older tunes from Perry’s other bands, including ‘Pets’ by Porno For Pyros, which makes me happy. We take off as ‘Jane Says’ starts, and marvel at the fact that people still make out to this touching tune about a junkie.

LCD Soundsystem
I saw LCD live right after their first album came out in a small club in Cleveland. The place wasn’t even half full so I had plenty of room that night to shave my various groove things and have an overall bootylicious time. This time I was sharing LCD with a 20,000+ people and with the sun just beginning to set I still wasn’t in a very dancable mood. Instead I sat on my ass and soaked up a mist fan. They did a good set though and I still love them.

Daft Punk (These photos REALLLLLY suck)

Having not moved for about an hour now, I was fully energized for Daft Punk, and it’s a good thing. As the electro-French duo emerged from a giant LCD pyramid to the sounds of ‘Technologic’ I instantly realized that this was going to be a bitchin’ show. With an godlike visual show that included several giant video screens and every light effect known to man, as well as a bass beat about 2 decibels away from bending me over and fucking me up the ass, Daft Punk’s live show can be described as impressive to say the least. It was like seeing the last 22 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey in concert. By the time they begin to mix in ‘Around The World’ I have forgotten about the 11+ hours I have spent outside, the sunburn on my neck and my aching feet and started getting my groove on. The pulsing lights and sounds moved through me as I began to shake like an epileptic using a vibrator. Everyone around me (douchebag drunks and their idiot bitches) stared at the wild gyrations I made but I didn’t care. For the first time of the dayI was at one with the music and all is good.

Until I have to walk back to the hotel. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

Day 2

Matt & Kim
I had no idea who these guys were before I saw them but the second they took the stage I instantly fell in love with them. The whole chick drummer/dude singer thing may make some people think they are a White Stripes rip-off, but aside from their member/gender makeup they have nothing in common with the famous Detroit duo. These indie-poppers rock out pure happiness. Unfortunately, they were suffering various technical difficulties during their show, but they didn’t let it get their spirits down. If anything the downtime made me like them more, as they filled it with hilarious stories about “dipping the pen in the company inkwell” and other funny events. After their short set Kim even came down to sign autographs and take pictures! She’s super-duper-neato-keen-cool.

Ludo
More time to kill before Silverchair. The Lollapalooza program described these guys as “part Weezer and part Queen”. I’m more than a little doubtful of that intriguing combination, but their isn’t anything else going on so we check them out anyways (and their stage is covered in the shade -bonus). The geeky-looking hipsters take the stage and I’m shocked to discover that their Weezer/Queen description is shockingly accurate. When they aren’t performing cute break-up songs like ‘Good Will Hunting By Yourself’ their performing cuts from their rock opera EP Broken Bride, which is about a time traveler who has to choose between saving his wife from certain death or saving humanity from the devil’s reign in the far future. It sounds stupid for sure, but I’ve listened to it more than any other CD I picked up since the show. If that isn’t enough to convince you that these guys rock, they closed their set with a cover of Faith No More’s ‘Epic’! How fucking metal is that shit!?

Silverchair
Tomorrow (Cover)
Not a big Silverchair fan, but Lisa wants to see them and I’m an incredibly nice guy so I go along. I’m actually surprised to see how much they’ve changed since I heard them last (circa 1999) and their shockingly pretty damn good. I also take lots of pictures for a friend who couldn’t make it but finds their lead singer “dreamy”. I don’t stay for the whole set though because I want to get Regina Spector’s autograph.

Intermission – The Horrible Midday Episode of Sadness
So I leave Silverchair early and make my way to the FYE tent to get in the line for Regina’s autograph. The two dudes in front of me let me know that I have to buy her CD if I want to see her. This sucks since I bought it the day it came out, but whatever, I dig her so I figure it’s worth it. I make it inside the tent where the manager is and I have this conversation:

Me: “Do I need to buy a Regina Spector CD if I want her autograph?”
Asshat Douchebage: “Yes.”
Me: “Okay, where are they?”
AD: “We’re sold out.”
Me: “Oh, so can I just get in line then?”
AD: “No, you need to buy a CD first.”
Me: “But you’re sold out!”
AD: “You need one to get in line.”

This went on for awhile, it’s like I found an error in his programming and he was caught in an endless loop. He finally informs me that I can’t get her autograph because they don’t have any CDs. I’m not happy.

Me: “That’s bullshit!”
AD: “Hey those are her rules, not mine.”

Okay, let’s reflect on that statement for a minute. Regina Spector, a small-time, aspiring singer-songwriter with a rabid fanbase is going to force all of her fans that love her and have already bought her CD to buy it again just so they can get her autograph. And if any of her fans already bought her CD or can’t buy it at the FYE tent then they are shit out of luck. I call the dude’s bluff.

Me: “You’re full of shit and you know it. I’ve met her before and she’s never had these restrictions.”
AD: “Those are her rules dude.”
Me: “Fuck off and die.”

Okay, so some people thought that was rude. Those people can fuck off. He was obviously lying and knew it. Some of you may be saying, “But he’s just some lackey working retail, it’s not his policy!” Well, no you’re wrong. This little twat had the cute little “manager” tag on his shitty little shirt, so he knew what was really going on. And even if I didn’t, well I really don’t care. If he didn’t want to deal with large loud assholes like me that don’t take bullshit then he shouldn’t have gotten a job at a shit retail store infamous for having an overpriced shitty selection. (It’s a little-known fact that FYE stands for Fucking You Endlessly).

Dejected I head down to where Regina is playing (sitting through STS9…shudder) so I can get a good spot.

Regina Spector

As I mentioned before, I love Regina Spector. I want to bear her children. The only thing more beautiful than her are her flawless songs. Am I sounding like a stalker? I don’t care.

Anyways, right when shebegins her first song a girl next to me passes out. She gets up, tells everyone she’s fine and then immediately passes out again. Everyone around her try to get the attention of security but they are nowhere to be seen. Thankfully Regina sees us, stops her set and helps direct the crowd so her friends can carry her to medical personnel. Not only is Regina’s music amazing, she saves lives!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but I love the Blue Room even better. The Blue Room is this heavenly air-conditioned room provided by AT&T so people can get into a dark place and cool off. I hear most of their set from inside the tent though, and it is nice.

Spoon
I’m just now becoming a Spoon fan, having really discovered them thanks to this awesome video. I didn’t know most of the songs they played, but they were very good. I was still kind of half out-of-it though when they started so I don’t remember most of it.

Muse
Before Muse took the stage I told Lisa that they’d really have to do something if they wanted to top Daft Punk from the night before. I guess they heard me because once they came on stage there was nothing but blinding lights and deafening music filling Grant Park for 90 minutes. Accompanied behind the band were more lights and LED monitors then all of Times Square, and those combined with the unearthly music coming out of the speakers gave me a near-religious experience. Once again I loose my goddamn mind and start jumping around like a zealot speaking tongues. By the time Matthew Bellamy unleashes the opening riff to ‘Plug In Baby’ during their encore I go apeshit and begin to fly around the park and scream at the top of my lungs. The people around me must’ve been staring, but they can suck it. I had a blast.

Day 3
Juliette & The Licks
So Juliette Lewis has a punk rock band. Actually, it’s pretty good. The chick sure does have the energy to back it up, running around the stage like a dolled-up monkey on meth. Their cover of ‘Hot Stuff’ is especially impressive. I might actually get their CD sometime.

The Cribs
These guys are the latest garage-rock “The [fill-in-the-blank]s” band to get massive hype from the UK press. Lisa is a slave to NME so OMG we HAVE to check them out. Yawn.

Amy Winehouse
Holy shit this bitch needs to go to rehab.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

She barely moves during her entire set and barely even seems to notice that an audience is in front of her. I get bored quickly and head for the all-loving shade.

Iggy And The Stooges
The highlight of day three came early, as Iggy Pop and his cronies took the stage around 4:15 and proceeded to blow my balls off with raw power, old-school punk rock. Halfway through his set Iggy (who is shockingly NOT wearing a shirt) allows the fans to rush the stage, at which point over 100 drunk idiots surround him. I don’t know how the stage didn’t collapse. It was a blast though. And the sudden flood of people on the stage allowed me to get pretty close as a side-effect.

Modest Mouse
I love Modest Mouse, but I couldn’t watch them. There was nothing wrong with their performance, they were actually excellent (and Johnny Marr is awesome) it was their fans that drove me fucking nuts. The rant from my previous post came mostly from the mindless little taints that surrounded me during this show. We leave early and head for the Blue Room to cool down.

TV On The Radio
Whoever decided that TV On The Radio only deserved 45 minutes was a fucking asshole. By the time they got in their groove their set was over. Not only that, they didn’t get to play many of their best tunes, including ‘Dry Drunk Emperor’ and ‘Ambulance’. Bummer.

Pearl Jam
I’ve seen Pearl Jam live six times before this performance, so to say I like them is an understatement. I was a little underwhelmed by most of their set though, as it was mostly tailored for casual fans who probably haven’t bought a PJ album since No Code or Yield. Still, hearing classics like “Elderly Woman’, ‘Corduroy’ and ‘Evenflow’ really never gets old. At the end of their set they performed a new anti-war song dedicated to an Iraqi vet who joined them on stage (along with Ben Harper) before closing off with the obligatory ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ cover.

After all was said and done I saw over 20 bands, many of which I enjoyed. I’ve been going to Lollapalooza ever since it revamped itself as a one-off event in downtown Chicago and I’m fairly certain I’ll be continuing to do so as long as they hold them. There may be a few problems with the event (crowded line-up, shitty merch tent) but the good far outweighs the bad.

One Response to “The belated full-on Lolla recap post.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You’re a wanker. Of course you loved Pearl Jam and not The Polyphonic Spree. The Spree’s music is a little too uplifting for you? They’re the best live band I’ve seen and I’ve seen Pearl Yam as well so…that’s all! I Still like your blog.

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