And Out Of The Beats Of Tomorrow, Tell Me What Beat Fills The Night
Lollapalooza 2009 came and went and I'm reminded again how old one can feel amongst throngs of teens and college kids.
Representing the youngest crowds were Peter, Bjorn & John and Passion Pit. PBJ have played Lolla multiple times and have had sound issues almost every single time. This year, I just found them outright boring. That, or I just wasn't in the mood to listen to Peter's nasally voice while a group of underage teens were falling down drunk right in front of me. It's definitely part of the price I pay for attending these festivals, but it doesn't mean I'm afraid to let fists fly over it. As for Passion Pit, it was actually one of the best shows of the weekend. I was afraid of getting tired of lead singer Michael Angelakos' shrill voice, but it actually worked in the setting we were in. They were high energy and killed the crowd with "Little Secrets," and of course "The Reeling" and "Sleepyhead."
Another highlight of the weekend was the stellar representation of female-led bands, from Heartless Bastards, Ida Maria and Santigold to Bat for Lashes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The latter were last minute replacements for the ailing Beastie Boys and their outstanding performance was basically a giant middle finger to those who said they couldn't hold a Lolla-sized crowd. Not only did they perform an amazing set, but Karen O more than proved she is a motherfucking ROCK STAR. They were commanding and powerful, yet humble at the same time. Highlights of the show were an extra slowed down version of "Maps," and "Heads Will Roll."
The best show of the weekend, for me personally, was Depeche Mode. I think Lizzie Borden summed it up perfectly in her concert review here last week. Dave Gahan both looked and sounded fantastic and they killed it with oldies like "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth." I mean, you all know how much I love synthesizers and it pretty much felt like I was at an emo 80's prom, so I was in heaven. I'm so glad I chose the Mode over Kings of Leon in the end.
Snoop Dogg delivered what was expected, which was a party, with a nice little 2Pac tribute in the middle of his set. He was number one on my list to see during the weekend, but unfortunately festivals like Lolla don't really draw a diverse crowd. I'm not trying to say white people don't know how to party but...No wait, I am saying that. There were too many damn square-ass white people there, OK! I don't like being the only one singing (or attempting to rap?) along to 2Pac's "Hail Mary" in a crowd of 50,000 but I damn sure was that person.
There were two new-ish bands that really stood out to me: Hey Champ and The Gaslight Anthem. Hey Champ provided the background music from our walk from our hotel to the grounds, but just mere background sounds it wasn't. Their beats are dance-y and synth-y. Big surprise I liked it, right? I should probably just marry a synth at this point in my life.
Gaslight Anthem provided the soundtrack of my friends beer-bonging with some new Aussie friends we made while it poured down rain. Their Jersey brand of music was perfect for that scene. You can tell just by listening to them they were heavily influenced by Springsteen. Perfect fist pumping music for after the beer bong explodes in your face due to the nozzle falling off, right? (Note: this actually happened to my friend. HAHA!)
The weekend wasn't all flowers and sausages though. I definitely know we got shorted on the Mode show by 15 minutes, and from the sounds of it they cut out a significant portion from their regular show. Also, stay far, far away from a band called Gang Gang Dance unless you enjoy the sounds of toddlers banging on mom's pots and pans with an Aboriginal tribe hollering in the background. The Killers also weren't even good enough to get a mention on this website. What the fuck are they doing headlining a huge festival??? GO AWAY!!!
Lollapalooza is already prepping for 2010 with a secret $60 golden ticket sale held last week, which sold out promptly. Early bird tickets go on sale today, which is months earlier than past years. It seems the sell-out this year ("IN THIS ECONOMY!!!" As really irritating people would put it) has enthused the promoters to start stealing more of our money during a longer time frame. I look forward to creating more Port-A-Potty memories in the years to come. This was the first year I didn't walk in on anyone ,and vice versa! Yay for me! I can add that to my list of accomplishments for 2009, which will accompany polishing off four plates of food at our hotel's breakfast buffet and essentially staying irrelevant in regards to life in general.
Felicia is a winter loathing Minnesotan who is an office drone by day and a ninja blogger by night. You can find her bitching, complaining and getting in trouble at My Boring Life.