If I had to make lists for the best and worst ways to start off a day at Lollapalooza, one of the worst would be rain, but one of the best would be a pumped up Latin band. We got both on Saturday, and luckily the band made the scattered showers virtually unnoticeable. Although my ability to understand Spanish is little to none (and I assume the same can be said for a majority of the crowd), these guys got us all moving without even having to coerce us.
And the award for most mediocre electronic artist goes to….Savoy! I stumbled upon this duo while waiting for an appropriate time to head over to Death From Above 1979, and I must admit I was pretty let down. First, their bass was heavy enough to drown out even the concepts of other sounds entering their tracks. Then, in an attempt to cater to the Perry regulars, Savoy tried their hand at dubstep, but inevitably produced a contrived wobble bass with relatively no compositional depth behind it. These reasons, plus a sampling of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, made for a forgettable performance. Luckily, the beats delivered for about 75% of the Perry’s folk whose primary objective is to dance until they drop dead, so mission accomplished I suppose.
If I told you I had been waiting for this show for years and would give up my first and second born to be there it would be an understatement. After a five year hiatus, the dance punk duo (consisting of a bass guitar and drums) that was never expected to get back together joined forces once more for a 2011 tour, and Lollapalooza just happened to be on the list of dates. In the six years that they previously existed, their catalog only amounted to one album, an EP, and a remix CD with a couple B-Sides. Because of this short (but sweet) list of tracks, it was apparent that we were going to hear almost every song the band had ever composed, and this is exactly what happened.
They started out with the first track (“Turn It Out”) from their album You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine. A song that begins with a brutal bass guitar squeal, it served as a melodic siren for what was to come. The crowd must have taken this cue, because in an instant everybody was being shoved, mosh pits were forming, and people were caked head to toe in mud. This behavior was only escalated by each song DFA performed. With every scream, cymbal smash, and bass riff the crowd got progressively more insane.
Not only did they play the entire You’re A Woman album, but also three tracks from Heads Up!, one of the B-Sides from Romance Bloody Romance, and the beginning of ACDC’s “Thunderstruck” (inspired by Sebastian seeing the crowd and thinking back on the “Thunderstruck” video). Although the show was a rough and muddy mess, I couldn’t help but leave feeling as if a small hole in my soul had just been patched. Death From Above 1979 was on the top of my musical bucket list, and now I can merrily scratch them off…but then quickly write them back on said list just so I can justify going the extra mile to see them again.
- Turn It Out
- Dead Womb
- Going Steady
- Too Much Love
- Cold War
- Black History Month
- Go Home, Get Down
- Little Girl
- Blood On Our Hands
- You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine
- Thunderstruck (kind of)
- You’re Lovely (But You’ve Got Problems)
- Pull Out
- We Don’t Sleep at Night
- Romantic Rights
- Do It!
Starting fifteen minutes late, The Glitch Mob finally got on to perform. Albeit short, the 45 minute set was nothing short of incredible. Consisting of a mere seven tracks, the setlist was a perfect exposé of The Glitch Mob’s atmospheric and dynamic music. They opened with “Animus Vox”, the first track off Drink The Sea, and from there traversed their entire discography (amounting to a grand total of one album and a newly released EP).
Not only did they perform a handful of tracks we were all familiar with, but also showcased a new track (title unknown) with a heavy bass and eerie synth. To top it all off, there was a dancer who appeared to be straight out of Cirque du Soleil stage left, performing acrobatics in mid air with nothing more than two flowing streams of lace (see picture). Although The Glitch Mob didn’t go beyond their 8:00 PM cutoff time as hoped, I suppose 45 minutes of ecstatic joy and dancing is better than none at all.
- Animus Vox
- Warrior Concerto
- Fortune Days
- We Swarm mixed with harder better
- Unknown (New Track)
- Drive It Like You Stole It
- We Can Make the World Stop
With a time slot rivaling acts such as My Morning Jacket, Pretty Lights, and Eminem, Beirut had their work cut out for them. Lucky for us, all these artist options for Saturday night allowed for major dispersion, making the crowd far more intimate. Kicking off earlier than scheduled, Beirut came on stage and began with “Mimizan”, an accordion-infused song sprinkled here and there with dashes of xylophone.
The crowd was absolutely in love with the group, calmly swaying to and fro and singing every word to every song performed. Zach Condon, in only a way he can, crooned into the microphone in his semi-drunken style and progressed through each song with effortless craft. We were even treated to hearing the single, “East Harlem”, from Beirut’s upcoming release, The RIp Tide (to be released August 30).
Overall, the hits were covered (“Elephant Gun”, “Sunday Smile”, “Postcards From Italy”, etc.) and the show served as a calming way to finish the night. I have never been in such a chilled-out and content crowd, which only heightened the experience for a band that holds the same demeanor. This day spanned all genres imaginable. From electronica to dance punk to even Latin, every act brought something new to the table, and made for a day no festival-goer will forget.
- Elephant Gun
- Postcards From Italy
- Scenic World (Version)
- Sunday Smile
- East Harlem
- Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)