Chicago Drive-In
Pavement Entertainment

Lollapalooza Day 2

| August 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

Face paint alert! Walk The Moon are rockin’ the Dayglo makeup and it would appear plenty of those already planted in front of the Music Unlimited stage got the memo. The boys are churning out buoyant pop music for the crowd of believers who are getting an early start on Day 2. The throng pogos their way through “I Could Lift A Car,” “Shiver, Shiver, Shiver,” and, as if they needed additional encouragement, a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.”

View extended Lollapalooza photo galleries now at illinoisentertainerphoto.com!

The grounds are already soupy from heavy overnight rains, and here it comes again. Not that anyone listening to Phantogram seems to mind. If fact, it’s unclear what they cheer louder for, the band’s bedrock beats that pulse under a dirty, industrial swirl of guitars and synths, or the drizzle that has now built itself into a steady shower.

From Grant Park to Harlem without even traveling. Fitz And The Tantrums bring their brand of retro-soul to the south field for an afternoon set. With humidity now soaring, the oversized grooves manage to get the masses sticky, even though the proceedings occasionally border on shtick-y.

Black Lips make it immediately clear they’re not fucking around. They sprint onto the stage of the Petrillo Music Shell (oops, Playstation Stage, sorry generous corporate sponsor), their guitarist shotguns a beer and they launch themselves into a soundtrack of dirty-boogie rock that makes the heads bang and the sweat fly.

Speaking of rock, reunited Death From Above 1979 sound like Black Sabbath’s bastard son. A neat trick considering they’re only a duo. The fuzzed-out bass lines, sinister keyboard attacks and assault and battery drumming makes the Bud Light stage sound as if Armageddon has arrived.

Post-Clash project Big Audio Dynamite (B.A.D.) rewind the tape back to the days before Lollapalooza even existed. And from the opening sounds of “Medicine Show” (with that great spaghetti western soundbed) it is once again 1984. Although songs like “Party,” “Rush,” and “E=mc2” fell very much of their time, it’s a thoughtful reminder that Mick Jones (both with B.A.D. and The Clash) brought dub music to those who might not have ever had exposure to it. Oh, and “Rob Peter, Pay Paul” seems all to appropriate on the same weekend the U.S. economy gets downgraded.

Human teddy bear Cee-Lo Green was anything but when he emerged from the wings. Dressed in football shoulder pads with huge silver spikes, Green looked like a cross between a demented quarterback and one of those dudes who worships Lord Humongous in Road Warrior. Even stranger was his set. He opened with a cover of Danzig’s “Mother,” then the Violent Femmes’ (via Gnarls Barkley) “Gone Daddy Gone,” and started, and ultimately aborted, Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly.” He seems cranky and even lashes out at the audience for not being properly engaged. Maybe next time he can try actually completing a song.

Five years is a lifetime in the music business. So all eyes were on Eminem. Arguably one of the biggest comebacks in recent history has been his storyline. Fame, riches, addiction, recluse, rehab, relapse, and recovery. When he stepped on a Chicago stage for the first time in over five years, the roar that greeting him was rapturous. As if trying to cram a careers worth of material into 90 minutes, the Detroit native was very workmanlike. His machine-gun delivery seemed as sharp as ever, almost bordering on compulsive, as if he wouldn’t allow himself to enjoy this. And if that were the case, there had to be a chink in his armor when tens of thousands of arms waved in unison during “Lose Yourself.” Not even a hard-ass could deny himself that pleasure.

— Curt Baran

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Category: Featured, Live Reviews, Weekly

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