Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lolla Day Three (Final Day!)

So, the last day of Lolla fell with a twinge of humidity and we once again found ourselves looking back over the experience, the highs, the lows, but wait! (insert record skip sound fx)... it's not even over yet!!!
We started the day right with a proper face melting from the Whigs who could have benefited from a proper sound guy (who didn't struggle with the concept and operation of gates). They rocked anyway and are definitely on my must catch again list! We also caught bits of Brazilian Girls, Chromeo, and get this, Perry Farrell and Slash doing a medley of cover tunes including "Superstition", "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", and Jane's Addiction favorite "Mountain Song". Pretty cool stuff.
After a quick bio break (30 minutes of standing in line!), we settled in on the north side of the park for Flogging Molly who drove us straight to hell on the sinner bus with a witty and enjoyable set that kicked off with the lead singer demanding, "How are ya doin', ya bastards?!?" Afterwards we saw Love and Rockets, who ,while not terrible, wasn't among my favorite moments. I'm not hatin', just saying. They summed up my feelings with one song that spelled it out, "time moves so slow..." Ain't that the truth. Why did I sit through this if it were so bad, only to have a long distance seat for the National (who ruled, by the way)? Why, to have a bitchin' view for the mind exploding rockfest that was NIN! Amazing sound, amazing visuals and brilliant theatrics made this one of my favs for sure, not to mention they played their collective asses off. Get yourself over to YouTube and check out the vids. Wow!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lolla Day Two

Day Two. Cooler. Happier. More ready to rock. Having the massive rockfest that was Radiohead behind us, and a decent night's sleep, Sarah and I head off for some coffee and quiet time and quickly find ourselves on Michigan Avenue and directly in the shop of an unnamed purveyor of such things. We order our beverages and find seats in the mostly quiet storefront. As I author the Lolla Day One blog here I find myself somewhat distracted by three males and one female--"band dudes" we will call them. Only distracted in the way that upon hearing a few choice words like beggin' strips or wanna go outside would make any dog's attention stir, not to say I am a dog or even dog-like. At any rate, some words were spoken and I only caught a few like, "the coolest little apartment in the Village", and "yeah, that band is way too much", and "what time do we hit the stage?". Special Note: I only saw one from the front, which was the female and I didn't really study her appearance other than to note she was indeed a female and that she was wearing a red and black striped shirt. As for the dudes, I didn't really catch their faces, only that they were all wearing fedoras. They drank their coffee (or whatever they had, I didn't notice) and vacated the premises. After they left, I got my wife's attention and said, "Did you see those guys? Obviously playing the fest, obviously today, and what douchebag New York hipster-band are these guys in anyway?" Why is this significant you ask? Which band were these cats with? All in good time, all in good time.

Back to the fest.

After coffee, we got into the fest and commenced the rocking directly. Do not pass go. Forget all about collecting $200 (Lolla tix?). Just go directly to Rock. Why, you ask? Three words. The Gutter Twins. Maybe, quite possibly, the best ass-kicking I got all weekend. Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan (not to mention the band) were stellar. Did I mention that this dark creation played at 2:30 in the afternoon? YEAH. Bad-ASS. The day continued on a good note with an amazing performance from the always fantastic Explosions in the Sky. Note here: My wife almost got into a fight after people kept coming up past us in the rudest of ways upsetting not only us but many other fans. Cooler heads prevailed and a riot was kept at bay.
Next we made our next stop at the Citi stage for the first half of a blistering set from Battles which was amazing. We decided to head on, walking across the park in hopes of catching the last half of Broken Social Scene's timeslot. As we approached that stage, the camera shot on the screen was of the singer sporting a fedora, quickly cutting to a girl singing in, you guessed it, a red and black shirt. Uh, um, yep, this was the band I uh was calling um a hipster NY... uh, yeah, I had coffee next to... Broken Social Scene. I feel like a huge dork. At least I didn't verbally say something stupid. Anyways, they ruled from what we saw and I am glad I caught the end of their set. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings strutted and grooved our souls next and we got equally rocked directly by a stunning set from Chicago's own (not to mention just a guy formerly from 'round here) Wilco. Yeah, I know. We didn't watch Rage. I'm over it. I saw enough last year at Coachella. Awesome day. All in all.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lolla Day One

Chicago. What a great town. Just in general, always a good time to be had in the windy city, you just have to find it. Not hard to spot the location where surely fun can be had this weekend. Inside the beautiful greenness of Grant Park, nestled on the banks of Lake Michigan, one can find a cornucopia of fun that calls itself Lollapalooza. My wife and I made the pilgrimage again this year, joined up here by Shae, Annie and another player to be named later.

It all began on Friday. Actually, nope. Let's rewind that. It all began on Thursday, for us at least.

Thursday. We took the train from the Lou up, which is always something to behold. Always an interesting mix of folks on the train and always something that makes for good stories (maybe next time). Once we made it to Chi-town, we checked into our deluxe accomodations and found some food and made our way to the first of shows to be seen, a secret-prepalooza show for Butch Walker (formerly of the Marvelous Three and Southgang), known on the bill as Chalky Jesus. This was a cool show for many reasons, one being the fact I have been trying to see Chalky for almost the last 5 years, but due to schedule conflicts and canceling shows due to sickness (his not mine) he has evaded my grasp. But more to the point, this show was for industry folks (who didn't seem to know much about him), and a handful of fans who caught his blog and bought tix. The venue held only 130 people so it was quite intimate, and he played solo on acoustic guitar, rhodes and assorted percussion. Great show. Worth the wait.

Friday, Lolla.
Yeah, lots of cool bands on the bill for Friday; Butch playing with his band the Let's Go Out Tonites, The Go! Team, Jeff Tweedy on the Kidapalooza stage, Gogol Bordello, The Kills, and so many more. But the reason most people were there was the amazing mysticism that is Radiohead. Yeah, they rocked. And so did their crew. Sounds like such an odd statement, but seriously. The lighting and sound were so good. At times I asked myself if they were even playing because it sounded so good. The tones were amazing and their performance was amazing. And the lights. Don't even get me started. Also amazing was the band we saw right before Radiohead, the Raconteurs. Brendan Benson, Jack White and the boys smoked the other side of the park with a blistering set of energetic rockers. This was the second time I caught them in the past month and they delivered an even more powerful mix of jams this go around. At one point White says to the multi-thousand numbered crowd, "I broke two strings, Patrick (the drummer) has broken two bass drum pedals, Brendan blew a tube in his amp, and Jack Lawrence (the bass player) is just blowin' my mind!" Yup, that is a good sum up.

Today should prove to be interesting, lots more good rock to be had. Check later for more not so useful descriptions from me!


Friday, August 1, 2008

Echo Bravo sounds sick!

Wednesday night the Bravo boys came through to finish mixes of their first effort with Yellow Hat and it was a rocking good time. You can check out one of the tunes on our MySpace and I believe all three are available on theirs. Now you won't confuse them with a Cannibal Corpse Tribute Band! Good stuff. I hope they come back and rock with us some more soon!