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Lollapalooza Sun Aug 08 2010
Celebrity Kickball (photo by Michelle Meywes)
My Saturday began at a Celebrity Kickball game just outside the Lolla grounds. Put together by new Chicago event website Do 312, the game featured celebrity musicians (Foxy Shazam, Wolfmother, Kill Hannah and The Lovehammers' Marty Casey), television actors (Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat, Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad) along with some local celebrities (Chicagoist's Tankboy, Rockit's Billy Dec, Clayton Hauck and Miss Wicker Park, Jill Hopkins). As awkward as you might expect a lineup like that to be, it ended up being really entertaining for players and spectators alike. Yes, there were lots of skinny jeans, some short athletic shorts, and of course, beer and big league chew. There were some great catches, some great kicks, and some hilarious misses. A fun beginning to a music-filled afternoon in Grant Park.
Watching Dad from the side of Perry's stage
I showed up just in time to catch Lollapalooza founder and venerable Godfather Perry Farrell take the DJ stage at Perry's. As usual, the area was filled with the most, well, intoxicated fest goers in attendance. He kicked off the set with the classic Jane's Addiction shout "Here we go!" from "Stop!" His DJ partner was responsible for most of the actual mixing, which turned into a virtual daytime rave as deep bass drops had the young crowd going insane. Perry's kids were even in attendance, sitting politely on the side of the stage, watching Dad do his thing.
Metric had a daytime slot on the north end of the park, which was a little unusual being accustomed to seeing them in a dark venue with a lot of lights making up much of the atmosphere of the show. Regardless, the group was predictably tight and frontwoman Emily Haines helmed the group with her trademark energy and dancing.
Spoon's Britt Daniel (photo by Kate Gardiner/PBS NewsHour)
Spoon was next on the north side and was as solid as always. Frontman Britt Daniel began the show solo on acoustic guitar with the song "Me and the Bean." Their setlist was a string of hits, with only a few songs from their newest album, Transference. Even Daniel, not one for much banter during shows, could sense the positive energy saying, "Last time we played a show like this was Coachella. You put them to shame." Quite a difference from the pains of the crummy acoustics at their Aragon show in April.
For the headlining shift, I decided to split my time between Green Day and Phoenix. It was an easy decision since Green Day was a relatively early start at 7:45pm compared to Phoenix's 8:30pm start time, and I had never seen Green Day live before, while I have seen Phoenix more than a few times.
Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong (photo by Jim Kopeny/Chicagoist)
Green Day was on fire, literally, with fireworks and pyrotechnics flying from the stage every few minutes. Really though, Billy Joe and crew are some of the most seasoned, theatric performers. His eyes are lit up the entire time, and boy does he love to talk. Always entertaining though, throwing in a comment about the Smashing Pumpkins following them, "wait, wrong year," Billy Joe said, referencing when they played Lollapalooza original incarnation in 1994. He also brought a couple of audience members on stage with him, "Gimme somebody," he said, "I need somebody," eventually picking the "dude with the flag" to come on stage and sing "Know Your Enemy" with him. He then instructed photographers to put their cameras down so they could catch the fan's stage dive. One lucky little girl with blond pigtails also got to join him on stage when he asked for a "volunteer, something young, something fresh."
Phoenix lead singer Thomas Mars (photo by Kate Gardiner/PBS NewsHour)
I stuck around for a few more Green Day songs, paying homage to a band I practically grew up with, before swinging up to Phoenix on my way to the north exit. A French band, who barely filled the Park West a year ago had an amazing turnout in the headlining slot. This band has exploded over the past year, with cheerful, still danceable pop melodies in songs like hits "1901" and "Listzomania." but almost every song they play turns into a happy sing-along. The only thing the group could do to improve is to make their drummer an official member of the band. Sure, their acoustic sets with the main four members are charming, but their show drummer brings that extra oomph that has made their music so popular.
A trick of the eye (or mind) causes Phoenix lead singer Thomas Mars to combust (photo by Kate Gardiner/PBS NewsHour)