Monday, August 10, 2009

I&H: Day 3 Lolla 2009 Review, plus awards!

Helicopter flyby before Jane's Addiction, Lollapalooza 2009, Sunday
Well that was something. Even with a weak set of headliners, this year's Lollapalooza was fantastic. Day 3 highlights and overall awards coming up:

Friendly Fires - Strong contender for best of the day, this UK band brought an hour of uptempo party music. Like Franz Ferdinand but not nearly as annoying. What is it about Brits - all the guys in the band could sing, which made the sound so much better. Highly recommended.

Portugal the Man - We were taking cover from the sun under shady trees, so I never saw the group, but from what I heard they were pretty good. High vocals, smooth beats, from Wasila, Alaska so if you don't like them, I blame Sarah Palin.

Kaiser Chiefs - Another UK band who can all sing. Soundtrack for a night at the frat boy bar. Fun if you're part of the crowd, not fun if you're just trying to drink your Merlot in peace. Lots of singalongs make this another one for your party mix.

The Raveonettes - Mysterious and moody sounding, we didn't get up close for them.

Neko Case - I saw Neko at the Chicago Theatre this winter and definitely prefer her in a smaller venue. Her voice is soaring and amazing, but too many slow songs for a 90 degree day. Also, and I don't mean to complain, she and her friends on stage need to work on their banter. They take a long time between songs, people yell at them, and then they respond to everyone's shouts. It is distracting.

Cold War Kids - Songs sounded pretty much the same as I remember from 2007, but the audio quality from the side stage that year was so horrible I didn't get the full effect. This year they sounded great.

Snoop Dogg - Any children in the audience learned a whole lot of new words when Snoop took the stage. A Tupac cover, an impromptu eastside/westside battle, and a big ol helping of beeotch. Just what the 99.9% white crowd was hoping for. What's the word? Cathartic.

Silversun Pickups - Best set of the day and maybe the weekend. I was exhausted from the heat and crowds and heard this from across the field. Something about that high voice and perfect electric guitar just clicked for me. Tight, precise, with immense energy.

Jane's Addiction - Dave Navarro is amazing. That's all there is to say. The songs are fine, whatever, but Navarro gave one of the best guitar performances I've ever seen. Effortless, controlled, powerful, he made the show (and no offense Perry, but he is the band.)

Best Party Set: Friendly Fires (Honorable Mention: Thievery Corporation)
Best Rock Set: The Gaslight Anthem (Delta Spirit)
Best Alt Set: Silversun Pickups (Other Lives)

Style Award (male): Dave Navarro (Fedora, leather pants, ink)
Style Award (female): Lykke Li (black cape, ripped leggings, black heels)

Chicago Police Department Congeniality Award: Snoop Dogg

Photo: Helicopter flyby before Jane's Addiction, Lollapalooza 2009, Sunday

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