Indie Soundcheck Lolla Recap Day 2

Hey everybody…it’s Ryan from Indie Soundcheck.  And here’s the second of three long-winded Lollapalooza recaps.

(All photos except one are credited to the Lollapalooza wesbite….Lollapaloozafest photostream, and photographers are listed.  All photographers did some fantastic work over the weekend and they all deserve a raise.)

Federico Aubele — We stopped by early to see Federico, who kind of looks like Andy Samberg, but is a much better musician in terms of guitar technique and vocal ability.  It was a nice set of songs in Spanish…but the real motivation for checking him out was the fact that the keyboard player in his band was an old friend of mine from my high school days in Maryland.  That’s Will Rast, who truthfully was overqualified to be playing the keyboards in this band….he’s astoundingly good and can play virtually any style.  That being said — it’s probably just nice to have a gig.  Good to see you Will!

(Photo Credits:  Dave Mead and Ryan Miller)

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Los Campesinos!

Here’s a formula:   Young Welch band + gallons of red bull = Los Campesinos!.  They came across sincerely happy to be there, despite playing to a fairly small crowd of people actively listening to them.  I’m a sucker for bigger bands that employ synths, violins, and glockenspeals.  They were able to maintain the energy through the whole set, though they lamented that they were running out of songs before their time was up.  They saved their best two songs for last, “You! Me! Dancing!” and “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed”.

(Photo credit:  Dave Mead)

Arctic Monkeys

While Robert Earl Keen played at the other end, we stayed pat to keep our spot for the Arctic Monkeys, who played the same stage as Los Campesinos!.  (Although — I did venture over to see Keen when he played his signature song, “The Road Goes On Forever”…that was one of the smallest crowds of the festival.  Neko Case is probably as C&W as the festival can handle…Keen was an adventurous booking).  Alex Turner looks like a rock-star now.  He’s got the swagger, the long hair, the tank-top with a naughty word on it, and three albums worth of Monkeys material to choose from.  The first half of the set was fantastic, but they kind of lost me in the second half.  Part of that probably had to do with me hoping that they’d be playing a couple of my favorite tracks from the first CD, which they never did.  “Crying Lightning” is great live, and the other new material that I hadn’t heard before held up as well.  Other highlights included “Brianstorm” and a surprisingly awesome “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” (I bet they get tired of playing that song).

(Photo Credit:  Dave Mead)

TV On The Radio

We had planned on catching some of Santigold’s set….but she was late, so we decided to try and mozy our way to get some food.  BAD IDEA, as the people-moving-traffic was horrendous.  Lots of people trying to get out versus lots of people trying to get in.  Why was everyone on that side of the festival grounds?  Because GLASVEGAS was somehow given a prime timeslot on the other side of the festival grounds, and nobody cared.  That’s why.  We were packed like sardines.  Lots of pushing going on.  This dude in front of me threatened me if my hand didn’t stop touching his back.  Not really my choice, man.  And you weren’t my first choice for a dance partner either!

After that debacle — TV On The Radio finally got a full Lollapalooza set.  It was two years ago that they were shafted by set times — the band before them went late, and the band after them was Pearl Jam, who NEEDED to start at 10pm.  So they only had like a 35 minute set.  Full 60 minutes this time.  Loved the horn section, and I love the energy that Tunde brings to the table.  “Dancing Choose”, “Golden Age”, and “Wolf Like Me” were highlights.

(photo credit:  Dave Mead)

Animal Collective

Another wrong-time wrong-place band.  There were three places you could have been to watch this show.

1:  Surrounded by the die-hards.
2:  Surrounded by people just hanging out because apparently that’s what lots of people do at Lollapalooza, music be damned.
3:  Surrounded by people waiting for Tool to start.

There is no way that anybody in the last two of those could enjoy the show.  Sadly, that’s where we were stationed.  We were very far away from the stage, and the video screen was used for artistic purposes instead of showing what was happening on the stage.  And frankly, it was very repetitive and tough to get in to.  Is it blasphemy to say that I didn’t enjoy Animal Collective?  Some might say so.  But Animal Collective could use some dissent for a change.  It wasn’t as awesome as it should have been.  I want to see them indoors.

(Photo Credit:  Matthew Taplinger)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

90% awesome.  Would have been 100% if Karen could have remembered the words to “Maps” and avoided having to stop the song mid-way through.

A nice set — they played everything they were supposed to.  And they even gave a hat-tip to the Beastie Boys in their second song, throwing in a guitar riff from “So What’cha Want” at the end of their song “Phenomenon”.  Karen didn’t spend the whole set with that thing on her head, and during “Zero” she brought out the same KO leather jacket she wore in the music video.  All of them are fun to watch on stage, and it was a great way to end day two.

(Photo credit:  Jack Edinger)

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