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August 15, 2011 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-08-15

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Monday, August 15, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Lollapalooza: The beat goes on.
Twentieth-anniversary festival rocks despite
the rain with its stellar headlinersE
By Elliot Alpern I Daily Arts Writer .m

CHICAGO - The rain came
down in sheets over the cityscape
of Chicago on a hot Sunday night,
and at its center, hundreds of thou-
sands of wet, tired people danced
Grant Park's spacious fields into a
thick mud. The Foo Fighters' Dave
Grohl led a massive audience in
singing "My Hero" on one end of
the parkland and a human ocean
swayed to deadmauS's reverber-
ating beats on the other. This was
the finale to Lollapalooza's 20th
The eldest of the three major
American summer music festivals
(the others being Coachella and
Bonnaroo), Lollapalooza has had
a long and storied history, boast-
ing such recording giants as Pearl
Jam, Green Day, and the Red Hot
Chili Peppers in the past, to name
a select few.
"In 1991, I expected about 10 to
20,000 weirdos," said founder and
Jane's Addiction lead singer Perry
Farrell at an opening day press
conference. "Now I'm proud to say
we have 90,000 weirdos!"
And this year, those weirdos
came out in staggering numbers to
behold a slightly humdrum collec-
tion of headliners: Coldolay, Muse,

the Foo Fighters and Eminem. But
if that tandem of names did noth-
ing to excite, their sets sure did.
On day one, Coldplay and Muse
competed to draw fans as the coin-
ciding acts of the night, and did not
disappoint those who made either
choice. Coldplay's Chris Martin
offered a tribute to the late Amy
Winehouse, and debuted a hand-
ful of new songs from the band's
upcoming album. Those that
decided to see the rock trio Muse
bore witness to a spectacular show
of effects, complete with lights,
lasers, columns of smoke and even
fireworks that echoed through the
skyscrapers of Chicago.
Eminem ruled the night on day
two, baitingthe audience with sur-
prise guests Bruno Mars, Skylar
Grey, and Royce da 5'9" in a fren-
zied but powerful performance.
The packed concert grounds con-
trasted with the rather undersized
turnout for My Morning Jacket,
which still proved to be worth-
while for fans of its wandering
psychedelic rock and blissful jams.
Those lucky enough to buy
three-day passes or Sunday tick-
ets were treated to what will likely
be an oft-remembered experience,


Muse plays a Friday set to festivalgoers.
regardless of whom they went
to see that night. The rain front
that had delayed the Arctic Mon-
keys for the better half of an hour
did nothing to dissuade the fea-
tured events that were Foo Fight-
ers and deadmau5, each of which
drew immense crowds despite
the temperamental climate. The
latter mix-master sat atop a mas-
sive cubic throne and subjected
his congregation to a unison of
deafening beats and blinding
lights despite technical issues that
afflicted some of the effects. Noth-
ing, though, could bring the festi-
val to a close better than a surprise
appearance by - the founder him-
self - Perry Farrell, who gave his
spectators a hearty goodnight as
the Foos rounded out their exten-
sive and dynamic set-list with the
always popular "Everlong."
However, as any seasoned fes-
tival-goer will tell you, the head-
liners don't make the show. The
established big (but not biggest)
names along with the budding up-
and-comers constitute the meat
and potatoes of the festivities,
and through these offerings, Lol-
lapalooza shined brilliantly this
Due to favorably scheduled
matchups (which can conversely
destroy crowds at multiple stages),
day one saw several bands draw
considerably larger turnouts than
they were used to.
"When we did our sound check
an hour earlier, there were like,
a hundred people maybe," said

The M
an hour
there w
and sla
the cro
Foster t
sive ga
win ov(
utes. E
of guita
easily g
alike, c
The Me
on day,
ly, to ex
into ra

the Giant guitarist Eric their soaked fans with "I Bet You
a in an interview with Look Good On The Dance Floor"
ichigan Daily. "And then early in their show.
r later, we walked out and Though Lollapalooza features
ere more than 10 times the the newest and freshest,'70s band
of people. It woke us up The Cars and '80s group Big Audio
pped us in the face ... but Dynamite played on consecutive
wd responded really well." days to a variety of ages. Unfortu-
g with California natives nately, neither seemed to have the
the Giant, the unproven energy or excitement that many
he People attracted a mas- were looking for, and ultimately
thering, and managed to just went through the motions.
er onlookers within min- For those not interested in join-
mploying quick tempos, ing the masses, the staff at Lolla-
rhythm and timely bursts palooza made certain to include an
r, lead singer Mark Foster alternative. Created for the many
;alvanized both the unfa- that wanted to dance the festival
and long-time admirers away, Perry's tent was a welcome
reating a sea of dancing alternative, with artists like Skril-
nakers. lex, Girl Talk, and Pretty Lights
leading massive raves. KiD CuDi
was cut off with one song remain-
ing at Perry's finale on day three,
wnpour only and furiously knocked over two
amplifiers in his exit.
adds to the it's impossible to really grasp
the scope and magnitude of a fes-
mories made tival like Lollapalooza without
going. For three days, the windy
t Lolla 2011. city is awash with Lolla fever, and
everything in Grant Park has its
own flair: the food stands serve
"lobster corn dogs" and "fried rav-
tionally, outfits Portugal. ioli," and prospective alcoholics
an and Local Natives per- take swigs out of wine-filled squirt
to multitudes of viewers bottles. Take the third night, for
two and three, respective- instance - as the fans exited with
xtremely warm receptions. thousands of phones, cameras, and
seemingly dismayed at a shoes ruined by the rain, nobody
r-shortened set, the Arctic could stop talking about a show
ys channeled their enmity and a festival they would always
.w British rock, pleasing remember.

Eminem performed for an audience of 95,000 on Saturday.

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