I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats awaiting my review of Saturday 8/4 at Lollapalooza. Well, I don't like to disappoint. So here you go.
I am lazy, I sleep late, and I don't do well spending all day in crowds, so I didn't show up til 3:30 and only saw 5 bands. But it was totally worth the $80, and I'm gonna tell you about it.
Cold War Kids
Originally we'd planned to get there at about 2:30 to catch either Silverchair or Stephen Marley, though I have no idea what either is doing these days. That didn't really work out and so we got there just in time for Cold War Kids.
They sounded really good, but they were on a little side stage and this created the only "dear lord, get these people away from me!" conditions we experienced all day. A tiny bit of that reaction may have been due to my sober state, which I did not maintain after CWK, thank god. But it was packed and we were quite far from the stage. Plus we were facing west and people crossing the park were walking north/south, and thus right into us. This blew.
The lead singer had a lot of enthusiasm and I'm quite excited about seeing them open for the White Stripes in October. But we were just too far, it was too crowded, and I was too hot to really get into this.
Clap Your Hands Say YeahI basically just wanted to hear them live and had no desire to get near the stage. So we laid down an little blanket and sat on the grass, which was lovely after standing in the throng watching Cold War Kids. It also started to cool off and get breezy, which was nice. CYHSY sounded pretty good; I'm not a huge fan but I like what I've heard of their newer album. A lot of rather hot and slutty girls around us were dancing happily. I bet these dudes get laid a lot, by better-looking chicks than you'd suspect.
We left CYHSY early to catch Regina Spektor. We should have left my house the night before for a chance to get near the stage, because she was a helluva lot more popular than I expected. We were planning to head back across the park towards the end of her set, so we took a spot on the far left side of the stage. Unfortunately some very loud, very bad metal was being played not very far away on the left, so at first she was very difficult to hear (plus it was just her and a piano or occasionally just her and a guitar -- none of the bells and whistles heard on her albums). She was incredibly cute and endearing. She seems like one of those people you want to hate because they seem naively nice, but you have to love them for it. At one point when the bad metal was still going on, I thought she was singing about those dudes fucking up her songs. I've since discovered she has a song about neighbors fucking to her songs. I still think she might have changed the lyrics to fit the situation.
I was really impressed by her ability to keep people completely enchanted with her music despite the bare-bones set up. She doesn't have the raw punk spirit of Patti Smith or the haughty cheekiness of Tori Amos, but she killed us with kindness, and it was fun.
This, incidentally, was around the time I got drunk. Three cheers for my High School antics; were were allowed to bring 2 bottles of water into the park so I brought one of water, and one of heavily spiked vitamin water. Since I still bought about $40 worth of beer, I don't feel too badly about this.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I had never seen the YYYs live before, and it was awesome. Karen O is my hero and everything I aspire to be. Bitch is crazy, in the best possible sense. She had all kinds of weird accessories including something that looked like a small tent my sister had when we were little, but in black and white. She sounded damn good, though. Their new single "Down Boy" is the sexiest song this year. Download it illegally, I promise you won't regret it (J/k, I buy almost all of my music. seriously. I'm not a good for nothing, entitled piece of scum like you). They sang a bunch of stuff from Show Your Bones, too, and a few from Fever to Tell, including "Y Control" which is one of my favorite songs ever. I was very happy about that.
During their set, I left to go to the bathroom because at this point I was drinking beer and peeing frequently, like I do. We weren't very close to the stage, but a lot closer than we had been to Ms. Spektor. I absolutely forgot to take a look at where, exactly, we were standing, though. Like a total moron, I had left my bag and my phone with my friends. I spent the majority of "Maps" wandering around looking for our spot, which is kind of funny.
We caught a couple of songs from Spoon when we were walking over to the other stage to see Interpol. I like all of the songs I've heard by Spoon, but these first 2 or 3 sounded like really, really bad classic rock. Like the Doobie Brothers -- the Michael McDonald incarnation of the Doobie Brothers. Maybe it just wasn't an appropriate buffer between YYYs and Interpol, and my head was in the wrong place. Then it started to rain and we left for beer and food.
InterpolOh, lovely boys who make lovely music. Interpol and the YYYs were my reasons for attending Lollapalooza. We got there about 20 minutes before the set, but didn't even try to get very close because a) there were porta potties just down a lane from where we stood, which was important for both my bladder and my bad sense of direction and b) we were never going to get incredibly close, so I decided to deal. I was pretty much drunk at this point, and then friends of my friend gave me a few shots of vodka.
I am not a dancer at shows. I'm more a watcher and listener. But I was drunk, I love Interpol, and they sounded great. So I was dancing. Not like a damn fool, but dancing. The people around us were a mix of Interpol fans, people they'd dragged along, some curious sorts, and old men smoking pot who had clearly come straight over from Patti Smith, who had played at a nearby stage. This one dude who was dancing around like a fool gave me a high five when he saw that I knew the words. It was pretty awesome. More people are into this band than I thought. Fun times.
Then we went to a bar in Wicker Park, where we always seem to end up when the night is heading toward blacked-out drunken embarrasment. We must have had a premonition of where we were headed, because we were there pretty early, by about 11:3o, and drunk off our asses and acting like fools by about 1. It was a fun night.
Pitchfork's review of Saturday is actually pretty good and not too douchey, a real first for them.