Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lollapalooza, Day One, continued...

Okay, so there's LOTS to tell, and sadly, not a lot of time to do that this morning.

Iris is working on uploading some pics, and I really can't wait til we can share these videos with you!

So here's a quick rundown on the rest of the bands we saw last night.

Blonde Redhead--you know, I really wanted to like these guys. The critics love them, my cool friends in the know love them, but they did not engage me *at all*. They're like Interpol or Ladytron without the hooks. I also suspect that a large outdoor festival is just not the best venue for them. One would need to listen to their album or see them in a small club. They just couldn't hold my attention in Grant Park. In fact, the Blonde Redhead set was where I learned that my camera phone has "fun tools," so I spent that time taking silly pictures of Mr. Maise. Also, Kazu Makino's vocals really just border on screechy at times. During the last song, Mr. Maise asked, "Is she practicing her sperm whale calls?" So yeah, everyone loves this Italian-Japanese indie trio, but I died a little inside.

Fortunately, Satellite Party, Perry Farrell's new band came up next, and they played a solid, fun set. Perry Farrell looks the same, sounds the same, and he doesn't give a shit what band he's in, he'll play the Jane's Addiction and Porno for Pyro's favorites. He twirls like a whirling dervish and has little drunken/high conversations with the audience that turn into interesting little segueways to the next song. "My darlings, I just want to get down there and pet all of you," he announced before playing "Pets." "Are you...kinky?" he asked before playing a song that must have been entitled "Kinky." "The forecast was going to call for rain today, but since it's not raining, I dub this day INSANITY RAIN DAY!" he decreed, before playing..."Insanity Rain." And so on. Interestingly enough, at one point, he claimed that the Chicago Sun Times did not want Lollapalooza to return to Chicago. Now Jim Derogatis, the music critic for the Sun Times, has been especially cranky about Lollapalooza this year, but I wouldn't say that he's called for an outright ban of the festival. All the old favorites, like "Been Caught Stealing" and "Jane Says" sounded great, and Farrell was accompanied by a swimsuit-clad dancer/backup vocalist who may be his wife. I just really enjoyed this was nice to hear some songs I knew, and Farrell did start this whole festival to begin with.

LCD Soundsystem--what can I say? This was clearly the best performance of the night. Who would ever believe that these schlumpy-looking guys would produce this infectious dancepunk??? They had all the hipsters dancing like dorks in the park. I'm not terribly familiar with a lot of their music, but standouts included "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" (ha ha), "North American Scum" and "Yeah." The latter, in particular, was stretched out to about 15 minutes, but it never lost its energy. James Murphy really won me over with his witty average guy commentary. "I don't really know what to say. Usually when bands don't know what to say, they'll shout, ARE YOU READY??? Which doesn't make any sense. Why should you be ready? We're the ones playing..." He praised the guys dancing in the audience for not scaring the girls away. It was just a great set, and I can't wait til Iris gets her videos up for this because I feel like those will say it all. I highly recommend this band to anyone, anytime.

Daft Punk--okay, this band is legendary, influential, visionary, and produce an astounding show. But we could only take about 30 minutes of it. It's very repetitive techno, and as Mr. Maise said, we forgot our ecstasy and our glowsticks in our other pants. Their set is remiscent of $25,000 Pyramid, and they sit inside the pyramid, wearing these eerie-looking motorcycle helmets. Lights and lasers are flashing and there's a LOT of lead up to songs like "Around the World." Honestly, I can't imagine that we would have gotten any more out of it staying for the full 90 minutes, and the chick with the pigtails in front of me was threatening to clock me in the head with her fancy moves.

And that is that for the first day, kids. I'll try to fill this in a little better later on, but we're late for brunch at Ro's...more to come!


Iris said...

Yes there are pics and videos of all the above mentioned bands. Just need some little post-palooza production touch-ups. And you all will be able to see our VIEWPOINTS...of the stages that is. ;)

Iris said...

Yes there are pics and videos of all the above mentioned bands. Just need some little post-palooza production touch-ups. And you all will be able to see our VIEWPOINTS...of the stages that is. ;)

emerald527 said...

I appreciate your giving Daft Punk a chance. I just wanted to know what it'd be like. I guess I'll stick to watching Interstella 5555 for the millionth time.

I'm very happy that you dug LCD as much as I do. They're a shut-up-and-rock kind of band, except they're not cocky or arrogant enough to actually say "Shut up and rock." At one show I saw, Murphy didn't even banter; he just (re)introduced Nancy every time banter was called for. And I dance like an idiot every time I see them, too.

Angelman said...

Is LCD soundsytem a band?

Explain to me how electronic music is good, someone... I just hear beeps and boops and not even fun or energetic beeps and boops.

JR said...

It's about being messed up while you're listening to it or remembering when you were younger and could get messed up and go out.

Or so I've been told.

Angelman said...

I see, I was never one to get "messed up" so instead I just went to metal concerts so I could express my rage at being a young upper-middle class white guy from California.

Oh, the rage!

Angelman said...

Ok, wait... Maise, you just earned my eternal respect for listing Star Trek II: TWOK under your favorite movies. The secrets of the universe are in that movie. No matter what your dilemma is you can find a quote in that flick that answers it.

JR said...

Angelman, I think that going to metal shows qualifies as being "messed up", just not chemically.

Ro said...

Since I'm a bad little blogger(blame my stolen internet access at home), I'm just getting around to my recaps now. Here's my thoughts on Day 1's acts.

While I didn't hate them, I just couldn't get into Polyphonic Spree that much. I found their lyrics to be outright laughable: "The trees wanna grow...grow grow grow." I felt like they were writing for the Dick & Jane set. I mean, they weren't HORRIBLE, especially considering the level of mediocrity many other bands showed, but they just weren't my thing.

I enjoy Blonde Redhead's CDs, and was excited to finally see them perform live. But I found them to be a little blah. I think it may have been more of the venue and atmosphere that was just not well suited to their more mellow and laidback sound. They couldn't hold anyone's attention, and don't have the stage presence command it when there's a million other things one could focus on. But I found Kazu Makino to be really endearing, especially when she timidly said, "I don't talk much. I'm not even American!" Too cute.

Oh, LCD Soundsystem, how you totally made the evening for me! John Murphy was totally unassuming and endearing, and as a whole, they achieved what Blonde Redhead could not. They grabbed your attention and held onto it for the duration. Note to Murphy: just because you CAN hold a single screachy note that long doesn't mean that you SHOULD.

And on to Daft Punk...WOW! To be honest, I don't know their music all that well, and had I not been so dead tired at that point, I probably would have made the trek acros Grant Park to catch Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. But I was so glad that I didn't! I found Daft Punk's performance thoroughly enjoyable. I mean, they made me want to get up and dance even though I'd been up since 5 that morning and was hot and dirty and dead tired. I wish I had the energy of the whippets dancing themselves into a frenzy (though I could have done without the man in hot pants busting a move) and I'm sad that I couldn't hang until the end, but yeah, they were definitely one of the highlights of the weekend!