A day late but it's here. We survived some kind of random tornado warning that led us to a hotel basement. A bad case of jet lag (even though were in the same time zone). Crazy cab drivers, violence on the subway, and numerous stops to our new favorite bar in in Chicago. But when it was all said and done Lollapalooza was another great time and this is our perspective on it. You can also check out our good friends at Consequence of Sound who also have a great recap of the festival...
Yeasayer - Walked into the park just in time to catch the end of their set. The songs are always phenomenal. Not exactly tailored for such a large stage but great nonetheless.
The Black Keys - We hiked all the way over to the other side of the field to catch The Keys. This is one of the few bands of the festival I hadn't had a chance to see yet so I was really excited. They didn't let me down. The set was dead on and was enjoyable despite the fact that sun was hitting us dead on at that point. It was funny that the largest cheer of the set came when a large cloud covered the stage. (1st Perry Farrell sighting of the weekend)
Bloc Party- Sporting the 1st Obama shirt of the weekend Bloc Party just seemed to be going through the motions. The songs are always fun to watch live but the band didn't seem to be in the best of spirits. I still feel that even though they are a great band they were a little to high up on the schedule. The new track "Mercury" is really fucking awesome when performed live. That gives me hope.
The Raconteurs - I had to miss Bloc Party to catch these guys, but I have no regrets. They started off with "Consolers of The Lonely" and then broke into one of my favorite tunes, "Level" (check out the rest of the setlist here). They had a few difficulties (breaking guitar strings, microphones falling off the stands) during their set but I still left amazed and would rank it as one of my favorite performances of the weekend.
CSS- CSS is always fun. I never go into it with any higher expectations than that and I am always pleased. It was great to see some track off the new album "Donkey" and she came out in a red jumpsuit that was covered with fake flowers. What more do you want?
Radiohead- The perfect set. Although the show we caught in May was a little more comfortable in this set we got The Bends. The sound was a little off, a problem all weekend, so it felt a little too quiet but that did give the set a strangely intimate feel. If Thom Yorke was not feeling well it didn't show and his voice sounded fantastic. I stood next to the singer for The Black Kids for this one.
01. "15 Step"
03. "There There"
04. "All I Need"
06. "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"
07. "The Gloaming"
08. "The National Anthem"
09. "Faust Arp"
10. "No Surprises"
11. "Jigsaw Falling Into Place"
14. "The Bends"
15. "Everything In Its Right Place"
16. "Fake Plastic Trees"
19. "Paranoid Android"
20. "Dollars and Cents"
21. "House of Cards"
Foals -Got in just in time for Foals who played one of the highlight sets of the weekend. This band is awesome. They played to a huge crowd on a small stage and the crowd was deserved. Probably one of the best non headliner bands we saw all weekend.
Devotchka - I chose to skip MGMT for the gypsy sounds of Devotchka. I would have preferred to see them a little later in the day but the heat didn't stop Nick from swigging from a bottle of red wine. A lot of people were dancing to the music. They played some of my favorites, "Transliterator", "How It Ends" (fantastic), and "The Enemy Guns" (I love this song!).
MGMT - I love this band. But the sound was terrible and they don't really cross over in a large daytime set. They didn't really pick up steam until halfway through the set and by then a lot of the crowd had started to move on or went to the bar. They did come out and announce themselves as Radiohead which was kind of cool.
Spank Rock - Always a great time, Spank Rock provided some energy after grabbing some food. The real stand out is Amanda Blank (pictured above). She really brought the energy to the set and looked really good doing it. Whenever you have a chance go see Spank Rock!
Jamie Lidell - Only stayed for a short time but it was enough to want to stay just a little bit longer. He is going to be here for ACL and I am going to catch his after show at The Parish the same weekend.
Battles - Math Rock can be really fun. I don't know why I love this band so much but I do and this set was one of my absolute favorites of the weekend. They make such strange but calculated music and you really can't get it out of your head after. The crowd went pretty nuts during the entire set.
Toadies - Only saw them on the way to Rage Against The Machine. Not a big fan despite being from Austin (where you seem to have to be by law or something) but they did play a bunch of songs I knew thanks to the fact that they play them every 10 minutes on 101X. It was actually a really nice surprise.
Rage Against The Machine - We all know by now what the set was all about and yes we did move back 5 steps several times. Despite being sandwiched in between two mosh pits we actually got through the set unscathed. It was sad to see to the look in Zach face after the security explained what was going on. The set was the most energetic I have ever been a part of. It was actually a little more crazy than the Coachella set. The best part was walking around seeing all the casts and crutches walking around on Sunday. That and how everyone went crazy and took over the entire streets of Chicago after the show. We even saw a guy get in a fight with a cop. Idiot.
Bulls On Parade
People of the Sun
Know Your Enemy
Bullet In The Head
Born Of A Broken Man
Ashes In The Fall
Calm Like A Bomb
Sleep Now In The Fire
Killing In The Name
Slept in and decided to catch a Cubs game before heading to the venue. There is only so much sun you can take. After the game we rushed down to the park just in time for the second half of the day...
Saul Williams - One of my favorite artists and he just gets better with time. Williams has really stepped up his performance over the last year and even has his daughter on stage with him now. He finished the set with List of Demands and Sunday Bloody Sunday. We are truly lucky to have an artist like him and hopefully more and more people will take notice.
Gnarls Barkley - I just can't get into it anymore. I walked over for a few songs and it made me feel nostalgic for 06 but other than that it just didn't do it for me this time.
Girl Talk - This show was insane. he had a canoe, toilet paper shooters, and the stage was completely filled with dancers. Best mashup of the set to me was when he mixed Lil Wayne's "A Milli" with the music from Weezer's "Say it Ain't So".
Mark Ronson - Didn't mean to see this but ended up loving it. Everyone was talking about this set afterwards at Kanye. One of the best parts of these festivals is finding something new. It's gotten harder for me over the years since I am exposed to so much music. I knew about Ronson but still enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.
Nine Inch Nails - I've heard so much a what a great show Kanye gives that I decided to watch about a half an hour and then devote the last hour of my weekend to NIN. Kanye was phenomenal but at 9:00 I ran to the other side of the park just to see Trent and company. Reznor was a little sick, but gave a great performance nonetheless, even cutting his finger (you could see the blood on the screen when there was a close-up of him). I missed out on his newer material but made it just in time to hear "Piggy", the always great "Wish", everyone singing along to "Terrible Lie", and the crowd favorite "Head Like A Hole".
March of the Pigs
Ghosts (I Think 30?)
The Greater Good
The Big Come Down
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole
In This Twilight
Kanye West - No Obama. No Special Guests. Just us an Mr.West for an hour and a half. This was almost a self serving hometown party for the guy but he does it with such style you can't help but be inspired by it. This was very different from the Glow in The Dark tour and was more of a greatest hits set. This was certainly the most fun set of the weekend.
Through the Wire
Put on For My City
Get 'Em High*
Diamonds From Sierra Leone
Can't Tell Me Nothing
Touch the Sky
Don't Stop Believing