Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lollapalooza Day 1 - August 1st

I am super sleepy after spending a day in the sun at Lallapalooza. It was 90 degrees today and my body is asking me for nourishment and sleep. I left my cousin's house around 10:30am for a quick hang out with my old roommate, Dan from Cambridge. He met me right by the L station closest to Grant Park where the concert was being held. We talked about his PhD program and my recent move to Cleveland to help out with my Grandmother. Our short meeting was really nice and he walked me up to the concert's entrance. We said our goodbyes and I went to wait in the giant entrance line into the outdoor venue.

The first thing I noticed besides the crowd was the lovely Buckingham fountain. It was much more grandiose than I remembered. I didn't have time to marvel at its beauty for The Black Lips were beginning. I ran down to the other side of the park to listen to some good old punky/blues tunes by these boys out of Atlanta. They were fun and really into showing off for their fans. Guitarist TK wore a black curly wig with a feather and screamed into the mike and then spitted up into the sky and catched it. He was quite good at it. The band played a lot of familiar tunes, but not my favorite "It feels alright."

After watching these boys play it was time to run to the other side of the park to hear the Yeasayer, which in my opinion were God awful. They were trying to be "wordly" and instead it just got on my nerves. I think I don't have a threshold for bands that create music from blending their favorite world bands together. However, I do realize my opinion really doesn't matter because they were playing at the large AT&T stage and their fans were really into them.

On my way back across the park (probably a good 1/2 walk) I stopped to watch a band called Enemy UK. They were obviously a new British band and didn't look older than 21, but they did possess a real raw punk sound. I'm going to check out more of their stuff. I got to the Bud Light stage to watch a very energetic The Go! Team with two amazing girl musicians. The lead singer reminded me of a Spice Girl, with a lot of talent. She jumped around stage and did aerobic dance moves while her Japanese guitarist worked it. I am so impressed by talented bands especially led by powerful lead females. The entire band danced and jumped into each other and crashed to the ground. A bunch of great performers who were obviously having a lot of fun while creating amazing music.

Walking back again to the AT&T stage, I caught a new act from England called Electric Touch. I was so impressed by these guys too. They really had a gripe on the modern British rock. The lead man reminded me of Eddie Furlong with a gripping voice of some famous singer from the past that I can't recall. They sang a lot of love songs while beating on electric guitars. Another newbie, worth downloading. I stopped for a bit to listen to Louis XIV, which was cool for a few songs. They are really not my style, but they play a very interesting style of blues guitar and reminded me of ZZ Top. They sang about getting it on and used just about all the sexual innuendos in rock for their lyrics.

I decided to sacrifice trying to stand close up to see The Black Keys so that I could be front and center for Cat Power. I truly like The Black Keys, I think they're one of the most talented bands out there, but I have been really been into Cat Power lately. I love her realistic perspective on love, heart break, and just the fact she has such dynamic lyrics and a voice to back it up. Yes, I was up in front, but the sound guy was horrible. The show consisted of the band trying to tune up with the sound guy and the audience plugging their ear's from the feedback. Chan was really amazing to watch perform. You could really tell she felt everything she was saying. She was very self pitiful in such a righteous way. Everyone seemed to love her performance even though the sound system was horrendous.

I decided not to stay for the whole Cat Power show because I really wanted to see Grizzly Bear. I believe this band is the best new band out there. Their set was so tight and really showed that these guys practice a lot. The two singer's voices were so beautiful. One of them could sing in falsetto, which I thought was impressive since his physique didn't match the lovely high notes he could hit.

After that, it was time to reclaim my position at AT&T stage to watch the headliners. It was packed with thousands of people waiting to see Radiohead. I missed a lot of bands that I would have loved to see such as The Raconteurs, The Cool Kids, CSS, but it was smart to stay in one place. I got to watch Bloc Party perform, which surprisingly turned out to be my very favorite band of the day. (Close second Grizzly Bear). It was so wonderful to hear them and they really got me to dance. I haven't felt that spirited watching a monitor. The band was too far away to see. Bloc Party is a really likable band. The lead singer wore an Obama shirt with red shorts. Very stylish.

After Bloc Party, the rest of the crowd and I wait 45 minutes for Radiohead. There were some funny convos going on and one that I especially enjoyed listening to was by a couple of local music writers. It was great talking to these guys about the writing scene in Chicago, even though they weren't really hopeful about it. After testing the water in three metropolitan cities for writing, I feel nothing could really make me disillusioned from wanting to become a writer. That's another story.

Radiohead was pretty cool. The only complaint I had was that I felt like I was watching them on TV since I was so far away. The light show was impressive. They even had fireworks in the background, but I don't think that was intentionally part of the show because it was rather cheesy.

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