Lollapalooza Day Three – Grant Park – Chicago, IL – 8-5-17

This is the day three truth or false recap of Lollapalooza.

The Shelters

Only band to ever hail from Antarctica.

TRUE…ahhh…Sike!

This no nonsense rock band from LA brought three things with them today: wailing riffs, blistering solos, and late 60’s Yardbirds’-tinged melodies. All were apart of a successful equation. Add Tom Petty’s seal of approval and this band might be much higher in the bill the next time they play Lollapalooza. Recommended listening.

Ron Gallo

Coined the term, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

FALSE (that was George Costanza, obviously)

Ron Gallo played a furious set filled with in your face garage rock oomph. However, it comes at you with an underlying wink and a nod smartness. And what’s not to love about the set ending melt-your-face off rendition of Helter Skelter. Spririted set.

Alvvays

Pronounced All-vays (like a Transylvania vampire).

FALSE

It’s actually just always. Undoubtedly pop to the core, this Toronto based band actually had drive a van to Chicago due to inclement weather in Toronto. So, no, their arms are not tired (groan). Forlorn love and getting-my-life together angst was in their message and they did it well.

Royal Blood

Rocked the living life out of Lollapalooza.

TRUE

Listen, the immediate comparisons to The White Stripes and Black Keys is too hard not to ignore. And with any modern rock duo coming up it’s hard to espace. The trick is to make more with less. So, every drum bear and guitar riff has to matter. Everything becomes magnified.

But, ultimately, this is what makes Royal Blood work. They found the key to that sound.

Monolithic blues rock riffs and head pulsing percussion will do that. And the headbanging crowd was proof of that success.

One of the best sets of the weekend, by far. If you’re a fan of blues rock please seek them. Highly recommended.

alt-J

Named after the street name of an organic farmed joint.

FALSE

Actually typing this on a Mac keyboard will lead you to the answer. But the ever popular indy rock band certainly brought their brand of moody rock and pop rock demeanor. But with a crowd eagerly anticipating Chance The Rapper on the Grant Park stage, the atmosphere did not seem entirely genuine. Nevertheless, they worked with what they had to offer.

Chance The Rapper

Lollapalooza left disappointed.

FALSE

The hotly anticipated homecoming, of sorts, for the nearly mythical folk hero of the masses in Chicago finally arrived. It was part sing-a-long, introspection, freak out, civic pride, and overwhelming support for a near iconic Chicago figure.

It appears every time Chance The Rapper plays Lollapalooza the pageantry grows. And in reprocrocity he continues to give back, not only to his fans, but to his city.

The legend continues and he’s making damn sure he’s not leaving it to chance alone.

Lollapalooza Day Two – Grant Park – Chicago, IL – 8-4-17

This is the day two truth or false recap of Lollapalooza.

Slothrust

…is my middle name.

FALSE

This grunge trio started a gloomy day with punk riffs and blazing blues-surf rock overtones. Lead guitarist and singer Leah Wellhbaum was a impressive. Check them out!

Skott

Endorsed by Scott Paper Towels.

FALSE

The Scandinavian chanteuse brought her soothing vocals to a receptive crowd. Impressive set.

The Lemon Twigs

The D’Addario brothers were former child actors.

TRUE

Now instead of a closed studio set they played outdoors on a partly cloudy day in Grant Park. You can’t help but hear The Beatles boroque rock in their music. Cheery set.

Phantogram

Named after an optical illusion.

TRUE

The self proclaimed electro rock act engulfed the Grant Park stage in a hazy spacey guitars and galloping percussive beats. The crowd and band were working in unity.

Foster the People

Did a billion people see this band at the Bud Light stage?

PROBABLY

Playing in front of an enormous crowd, the band played all their hits and the crowd voraciously consumed every one of them with glee.

The Killers

Too obvious to create a true or statement.

[imagine what the scene appeared to be since my camera was useless]

Playing covers of Disarm by The Smashing Pumpkins, Starlight by Muse, and their long standing rention of Shadowplay by Joy Division, The Killers no doubt played a crowd friendly set. A commanding set.

Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-16-2016 – Day Two

Before we begin let’s talk about the five greatest rappers of all time: 

Well, I’m glad we got that out of the way. Don’t you? 

A sun drenched Union Park hosted day two of the Pitchfork Music Festival. And while I wilted like a lifeless tomato plant, the rest of the crowd, filled with that pesky cosmic energy, buzzed right along. 

So, let’s buzz right into the top acts of the day:

Royal Headache was anything but what their name suggested. These Aussies proved to play their garage punk set at a frenetic pace, but not at the expense of catchy melodies.

Recommended listening:

While I previously mentioned the greatest rapper of all-time (Dylan [dye-lon]), one the better hip-hop groups of all-time, Digable Planets, played a rare set to an immense crowd. Their message, aside from making sure everyone grooved right along to their songs, was a message of peace, good will to your neighbors, and mindfulness of the struggles being felt around the world. 

Recommended listening:

The Super Furry Animals brought their brand of psychedelic brilliant madness to a noticeably tone down crowd (so I guess I wasn’t the only one beaten down by the sun). That still didn’t stop them from putting on a spaced out and visually compelling set.

Recommended listening:

Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals were honestly worth the price of admission today. Anderson .Paak manned the drums and MC’d in an extremely crowd pleasing that brought smiles to faces young and old. Anderson is one of the brightest stars in music today.

Recommended listening:

Sufjan Stevens…wow. I can’t even do justice to his sprawling live version of “Impossible Soul.” It really has to be seen to be believed. And props for his cover of Prince’s “Kiss” to end the night.

Live version of “Impossible Soul”:

Honorable mention:

Brian Wilson played Pet Sounds and other Beach Boys’ hits to a massive crowd. At 74 years old, he did about as good as you could expect. A tremendous amount of respect was telling for the reverent attendance to his incredible career.

And that’s day two ladies and gentlemen.