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Tuesday, January 31

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« Pre-Gaming Lollapalooza with Boyd Tinsley Lollapalooza: Day Two Recap »

Lollapalooza Sat Aug 04 2012

Lollapalooza: Day One Recap

Photo by Will Rice, courtesy of Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza weekend always sneaks up on me, but here we are at the beginning of August. The weekend of sweat, bruises, lobster corndogs, and fantastic music is upon us. For some reason I had forgotten how many bands I had been stoked to check out on Friday's schedule, which left me running from stage to stage with few breaks. It was worth it. Friday offered many musical highs and hardly any lows, and my legs aren't even sore yet. Not a bad start to the weekend.

Photo by Dave Mead, courtesy of Lollapalooza

The crowd for Metric was huge, and I would estimate there were probably twice as many people crowded around to see Emily Haines & Co. than there were for headliners Black Sabbath at the same stage later in the night. I love the dichotomy of Metric's music, between the upbeat highly dance-able tunes and the desperate, wallowing lyrics. This was only exemplified in their live set with a jumping, hands-waving, fist-pumping crowd of neon-wearing teenagers. Emily herself donned a bright multicolored sequin top, as she bounced around the stage. If I wasn't so old and ridiculously hot, I would have joined in with the rest of them.

Die Antwoord
Photo by Matt Ellis, courtesy of Lollapalooza

Predictably enough, the award for freakiest set of the day goes to South Africa's husband-and-wife duo plus DJ act Die Antwoord. They actually exceeded my expectations, which were high enough to begin with. Everyone was packed in at the Playstation stage to catch this band and the crowd went absolutely nuts for them. Even my festival-going buddy, who I dragged with me to see Die Antwoord even though he had held an active disliking of them, cannot stop talking about how great they were. Heat be damned, they spent the entire set jumping around the stage and getting the audience as hyped as possible. The group underwent several outfit changes throughout their set, losing layers until they were wearing almost nothing and then suddenly donning completely new look altogether, before you had the chance to even realize they had gone off stage. They ended the set with "I Fink You Freeky," and usually I would find it a bit silly for a non-headlining act to return on-stage for an encore, but in this case it was warranted. They ended up coming back to the stage with deafening beats for "Enter the Ninja." This was hands-down the best set of the day.

The Shins
Photo by Cambria Harkey, courtesy of Lollapalooza

It's difficult to talk about The Shins without mentioning the Garden State soundtrack, as that's the point when the band started to get shoved down our throats and the backlash began. I've only listened to them intermittently since then, so I had forgotten how many songs of theirs I had really truly loved. I found a nice spot on the lawn that still had a clear viewing access to the stage and could not have had a better time, each song sparking up joy and nostalgia. They played several tracks from their latest album, Port of Morrow, which I am not too familiar with, but also interspersed all of the old favorites you'd expect to hear from them. This was perfect set to sit down, relax, and have a good time. There was even a group of people in front of me doing yoga through their entire performance.

Photo by Matt Ellis, courtesy of Lollapalooza

I've seen M83 live before and have absolutely loved them, but for some reason their set at Lollapalooza just wasn't clicking with me. It may just be due to heat and exhaustion. The stage was packed for their performance, so we opted for a spot near the back, and that may have had something to do with it. From my vantage-point, the light show and sound just wasn't intense enough to get lost in the music. I opted to leave their set early in favor of getting a good spot to see Black Sabbath.

Black Sabbath
Photo by Dave Mead, courtesy of Lollapalooza

My original plan for the evening was to try to catch a little of each headliner, starting with about half an hour of Black Sabbath. I mostly wanted to see Sabbath just to be able to say that I'd seen them, especially with the almost original line-up that was performing at Lollapalooza (original drummer Bill Ward was replaced by Tommy Cluefetos). However, I couldn't drag myself away from the Bud Light stage and ended up staying for their entire near two hour set. My apologies to The Black Keys and Bassnectar.

Ozzy was completely on point, his voice strong and performance without stumbles. They rocked through all of the expected crowd-pleasers, including "War Pigs," "Iron Man" and "Paranoid." The best part of the set was the crowd-watching, as many people seemed to have decided to check out their set for the same reason I did -- plain curiosity -- and ironic headbanging slowly turned to full, unabashed rocking out. Still, the crowd was a lot more sparse than I was expecting considering this is likely to be one of our last chances to see this band live.

Because Lollapalooza was so jam-packed with artists I wanted to see on Friday, I still haven't had a chance to really walk around and appreciate all of the non-musical aspects of the festival this year, so I'm looking forward to getting a chance to really take in the festival in the next two days.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


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Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
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Park West
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Red Line Tap
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The Shrine
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Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

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  & Shops:

Alligator Records
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Dave's Records
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Drag City
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Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
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Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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