Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: Thursday Bears: Lollapalooza 2010 Review - Day Two

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday Bears: Lollapalooza 2010 Review - Day Two

Day one was an undoubted success, but if anyone is familiar with music festivals, that kind of success isn't usually long-lived. But while day two wasn't the jubilant adventure Friday, August 6 was, the dropoff was hardly noticeable. Already, 2010 was shaping up to surpass 2009.

Day Two:

The perfect weather from Friday carried over the next morning, so me waking up over an hour later than I had originally planned didn't put too much of the damper on the beginning of my day, although it did force me to miss The Morning Benders at noon. I took my first steps in Grant Park that day just fast enough to catch the beginning of Harlem's short set. Quirky, intimate and fun, the Tuscon trio crashed through quick hits from their 2008 debut Free Drugs and this year's Hippies. Although nothing really jumped out of the group's set, the show still proved to be very solid for the early afternoon.


Ubiquitously, apathy set in after my short leave from the Sony Bloggie stage. Wild Beasts and Rogue Wave were both competing for my half-assed attention, with the former winning out. Now while I can't say for certain that Wild Beasts played a good or bad set, I can pretty much tell you I didn't care either way. With that, and the fact that Stars continued to seem less and less appealing at the time, I did what anyone else would (or should) do; go to Perry's place before I grabbed a spot for Gogol Bordello.

It's within that time that I learned my first official lesson for Lollapalooza this year: when you're bored, don't hesitate, just go to Perry's. As pedestrian as it sounds, it really is a constant string of fun - no waiting, non-stop music and unavoidable freaks by the barrel-full. It'll be something to remember for next year.

Balkan Beat Box

And then there's Gogol Bordello. For those who aren't aware of my obsession with their live act, or their devoted, energetic fan-base, Gogol Bordello is one of the most intense, blissful and heavy-hitting live acts out there. And just like 2008, the band proved to be one of the best, if not the best, non-headlining act of the weekend. It's no wonder I've now seen them more than any other group in my life.

Exhausted, covered in sweat and confetti, I decided to forgo a spot for Deer Tick and grab a better one for Spoon. As it always seems to be around five and six o'clock, the crowds begin to swelter and gather in enumerable droves at the main stages. So what came of a nice relaxing spot in the grass quickly grew into a choke-gasm behind the festival's seemingly tallest fans (they were all friends, who would have thought?).

Spoon, by the time they had begun, had proved once again that waiting is usually worth it. The Austin natives played through most of their catalog, from 1998's Series of Sneaks all the way up to this year's Transference, with the set mostly focusing from their previous two albums. Again, it wasn't a set that "blew" people away, that's not the kind of music Spoon plays, but it was eerily pitch perfect, long-lasting and invigorating all in the same time.


With the sun beginning to set on the Chicago skyline, I only had a few choices left for the night: starve to death, see a bit of Cut Copy or wait for Phoenix. Well, I hate starving, so I got that out of the way first, and wedged a spot for Cut Copy. Apparent sound problems drove me out after the group opened up with "Lights and Music," so I made my way back to where I started. It's worth noting that Cut Copy's show was apparently one of the best of the entire festival.

I may have lost my pristine-ish spot for Phoenix, but even from where I was (not too much further back than before) I saw perhaps the best show of the entire weekend. Coming in, knowing well that this was set to be the largest show in the band's ten-year career, and the fact that they supposedly weren't going to be a headliner prior to the festival's lineup announcement, Phoenix blew all my doubts right out the window. Spanning from the group's debut album United to last year's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (still the backdrop to their shows). While I'm not sure their big enough to still headline other festivals, they certainly are capable of doing so.

Phoenix backdrop

With two fantastic days behind me, I left the park, my fingers crossed until Sunday.

Best Performances: Phoenix, Gogol Bordello
Worst Performances: Wild Beasts

Highlight: "Start Wearing Purple," by Gogol Bordello, "Written in Reverse," by Spoon, "Love Like a Sunset" and "Playground Love" (Air cover) by Phoenix.
Lowlight: None

Day Three Review Tomorrow

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