Lollapalooza 2013 Day Two: The Highs And The Lows
By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 4, 2013 6:30PM
Photo Credit: Jessica Mlinaric / Chicagoist
The second day of Lollapalooza is often the weirdest as festival fatigue sets in. The ebullience of opening day has faded and while Sunday has its share of Lolla-zombies it's also buoyed by the adrenaline triggered by the need to party one last day. And Saturday is also traditionally the day tempers grow shorter as cracks in the festival infrastructure manifest, often leading to necessary quick fixes by organizers to make Sunday more enjoyable. —Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Perry's Stage. Photo Credit: leyla_a / Creative Commons
I started my own day offsite at the combined CK one color music Lounge and the It's So Miami Lounge, one of the free day parties allowing even non-festival attendees to get their party on at The Hard Rock Hotel. In previous years these have been mellow affairs where the public and Lollapalooza artists have mingled and coexisted peacefully, but as Lollapalooza grows, so does the attendance at these parties. The Bro factor was high and teeming hordes of barely legal girls with flowers in their hair dominated the scene, making me wonder if the crowd at Perry's Stage had just found a new place to party. On the bright side it did drive us out of the party and to the festival grounds earlier to grab some food in Chow Town. —Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Death Grips' booting from Lollapalooza meant shake-ups in the lineup at The Grove stage, which was good for me because I was curious to see Family of the Year and had a chance to as they were pushed back to 2:15 p.m. Family of the Year traffics in well-worn jangly folk pop with touches of country sprinkled here and there, built upon wonderful harmonies. Frontman Joseph Keefe has a plaintive tone to his voice that helps to sell the tales he sings remarkably well.
Since The Grove stage is located a short walk away from Petrillo bandshell and the Bud Light stage I was able to catch the last third of Reignwolf’s set at Petrillo and wished I made my way there sooner. Singer-guitarist Jordan Cook collapsed to the stage in a fit of shrieking slide guitar, his bandmates riding a crescendo of cymbal fills and rumbling bass.
Charles Bradley. Photo Credit: Theo Wargo / Getty Images
I left Bradley to work the Bud Light stage crowd to catch the final half of Court Yard Hounds’ set at the Lakefront stage. Emily Robison and Martie McGuire were always the dressed-down, traditional counterweight to Natalie Maines’ vibrancy in the Dixie Chicks and it showed in this set, which was rife with by-the-numbers performances that left little in the way for spontaneity and personality. If this is what Robison and McGuire have in store for their post-Dixie Chicks musical career, they better keep Maines’ number handy. —Chuck Sudo
The Blisters' set at Kidzapalooza was one I greatly anticipated but also slightly feared. I am a big fan of their debut album but admit minor trepidation seeing them live since there's always the chance that the studio allows a group to correct mistakes that might manifest live. This was certainly not the case and their all too brief set left me wanting more and ensured I'd be there again today when they play for a second time at 4:05 p.m. hat means you have a second chance to see them too if you missed them yesterday! - Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Of course many folks were initially drawn to The Blisters since Jeff Tweedy’s son Spencer is on the drums, but these teenagers hold their own when it comes to making music. The group had actually played the Kids stage four years ago, with the announcer pointing out that they’re all a little taller with hair on their faces now, but then he suggested that perhaps their third appearance at the fest will be on one of the main stages. Lollapalooza may be more like a university of rock these days where artists move up to larger stages and later time slots as opposed to showcasing unknown talent, but the Blisters introduced us to 16-year-old singer songwriter Alaina Stacey, bringing her out to play one of her own songs. The last song in their 30 minute set did seem to borrow a lot from Dad’s style, with a whispery beginning that built into a crescendo of raucous noise, but the rest of their songs had their own voice, a gentile, tight rock that just might be ready to graduate to a larger stage.
Perry Farrell performs at the Kidzapalooza stage. Photo Credit: Theo Wargo / Getty Images
I stuck around the Kidzapalooza area for a while longer. Had to get my Perry Farrell sighting in! A little kid introduced the founder of Lollapalooza, who in turn introduced special guests Bad Things. In true Perry fashion (just creepy enough that you’re not sure if you should take your kids and run away or encourage them to take in his words of wisdom), he said, “They’re gonna teach you what not to do and how to do it in the best way!” After some schedule shifting, Shaun White’s (yes THAT Shaun White) band took the stage about 20 minutes later than intended, so I was only able to stick around for one song, but they had a pretty good rock sound, and you’d never know that White’s main job is destroying a half-pipe and taking home precious metals.
Over in the Grove, there was a sparse crowd in the sunny middle in front of the stage, and I walked up just in time for Unknown Mortal Orchestra to play “an old song,” “How Can You Love Me,” which is the very song that turned me on to this fuzzy psych group. After a few songs from their newer album, II, they closed with the popular “FFunny FFriends,” but their jams between songs were a little long and distracting. This gave me time to continue my tally of things-on-sticks in the crowd, you know, the ones that make it easy to find your friends in the crowd, and just be all around funny. I had already seen a blow up doll, some guy’s face on a giant poster, several traffic signs, Nicholas Cage’s head and a giant British flag at New Order. Here lead singer Ruban Nielson pointed out the “baby face” that turned out to be a giant cut-out of Honey Boo Boo. —Michelle Meywes
Singer Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards. Photo Credit: Chuck Sudo / Chicagoist
I spent the remainder of the daylight hours wandering the grounds, sampling sets by Matt & Kim, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Foals and The National—two acts I've heard much buzz about yet never seen live bookended by two acts I'm extremely familiar with—but all four fell flat for me. Matt & Kim's set was marred by the fact that if you weren't right in front of the stage the volume was just too thin to pump up their party vibe. Uknown Mortal orchestra and Foals just seemed to lack any direction and grew too noodle-y for my tastes, and The National is The National; they either snag that intensity that draws you in at the beginning or they don't, and this time around they didn't. My travels also gave me a chance to experience firsthand the fact that wherever you went—and I explored the whole grounds to make certain this was true—lines for beer and the bathroom were incredibly long. One would think logically one should wane as the other crests, right? —Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Photo Credit: Steve Rhodes / Creative Commons
Friday’s start to the festival saw early crowds, while Saturday’s attendance gradually built until it reached packed capacity by late-afternoon, and the lines for everything—water refilling stations, food and beverage lines, merchandise and porta potties—were at least 10 to 15 deep. In addition to the aforementioned passed out fans at Perry’s stage, festival attendees were taxing medical stations throughout the festival grounds and organizers may have a budding underage drinking problem on their hands. I watched in awe as a mass of kids attempted to buy beer with fake IDs at one tent on Columbus. The manager of that tent confiscated 6 to 8 bogus identification cards and said he snagged close to another two dozen Friday. In addition, I counted at least 10 to 12 festival attendees with cans of beer in hand and no wristbands indicating they were of legal drinking age, a sign of cracks in even the tightest protocols. —Chuck Sudo
Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis of Postal Service. Photo Credit: Lollapalooza
The things I do to try and understand people's popular tastes in music: I sat through part of Mumford & Sons' set. It was just as bland and pedestrian as I'd imagined and I was amused by the fact that the longer they played the thinner the crowd got. I stopped a few fans with questions to try and figure out the reason behind the mass exodus and answers ranged from "It's too much. I heard everything I wanted to hear," to "They played their two biggest songs and got kind of boring so we're gonna go dance. They sound really good though!" There you have it! The kids like the hits but you better have more than two and you better not front-load your set with them! Apparently. So I decided I had suffered enough and headed to the north side of the park to catch a snippet of The Postal Service's set, but since I'm seeing them perform again tonight at the aftershow at the Metro I decided to stay away. It also gave me a head start on my late evening plans which included an amazing last-minute live performance by Salt-N-Pepa at the free to the public #ASOSRocks party at the Hard Rock Hotel (which was pleasantly devoid of the Bro crowd). In a day where all of us experienced some pretty mixed feelings about the festival overall, it was a great high note to end the day on. —Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Kendrick Lamar performs at the Aragon. Photo Credit: Jessica Mlinaric / Chicagoist
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