Alex Kilpatrick | Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Lollapalooza literally held its own on Sunday, the final day of a relaxing weekend of good music at Chicago’s Grant Park. The laid-back summer music festival became more crowded than ever on Sunday, bringing in a total of more than 75,000 people. Many of them were there to see Perry Farrell’s band Jane’s Addiction, whose farewell tour back in 1991 became the first Lollapalooza festival. In spite of the annoying bottlenecks formed throughout the park because of the large crowds, Sunday went smoothly in terms of the musical quality of the performances and the responses of the audiences.
One of the first acts of the day, Airborne Toxic Event, played at the Chicago 2016 stage to a surprisingly large audience, most of whom were likely there to stake out spots for the well-anticipated, New York-based band Vampire Weekend. The Los Angeles- based Airborne Toxic Event certainly drew in the crowds, and for good reason.
A harmonic distorted violin and slow drumbeat accompanied by entrancing lead vocals seemed to translate well to the dehydrated and sweaty yet enthusiastic audience, especially during the band’s angsty hit single “Sometime Around Midnight.” The alt rock band certainly seemed well rehearsed and precise during their show, but they inexplicably decided to end the set 10 minutes early.
Vampire Weekend performed an hour later on the same stage. The preppy indie band certainly got the audience dancing to familiar favorites from their debut LP, heard in college dorm rooms throughout the nation last year. An unexpected yet welcomed mosh pit formed in broad daylight within the hyper-excited crowd when the band members, decked out in bright sunglasses, polos, and shorts, began playing the ever-popular “A-Punk.” A few new tunes from the band’s upcoming sophomore album were sprinkled throughout the set for everyone’s enjoyment as well.
Neko Case was simultaneously playing her rocking set on the Budweiser stage. Her strong lead vocals, backed by the oddly fitting instrumentation of banjo, steel guitar and tenor guitar, soared throughout the park. Case, all dolled up in a black cocktail dress, performed singles from her new album “Middle Cyclone,” including the breezy and beautiful new favorite, “This Tornado Loves You.”
Back on the south side of the park, happy-go-lucky Passion Pit played an upbeat set on the Citi Stage. The synth-pop indie band from Cambridge, Mass., drew in the gleeful crowd, who backed lead singer Michael Angelakos’ signature falsetto vocals on the “higher and higher” chorus of “Little Secrets,” a new single from their debut LP, “Manners.” The audience also received “The Reeling” well, dancing exuberantly and again singing along with the chorus.
Los Angeles-based alt-rock band Silversun Pickups, whose spacey, distorted sound has often been compared to that of the Smashing Pumpkins, performed at the Vitamin Water stage. The crowd was small because many were just leaving the Snoop Dogg dance party, which received a very large, enthusiastic audience and excellent reviews on behalf of the polished party jams and covers of club favorites.
In spite of the small crowd, Silversun Pickups lived up to expectations, with catchy driving tunes like the new hit single “Panic Switch” and the ever-popular “Lazy Eye.” Lead Singer Brian Aubert’s vocals were not quite up to par as he seemed to blow out his voice with his loud, raspy, high-pitched singing. Nonetheless, the fuzzy, distorted guitar riffs and Aubert’s outspoken thankfulness for the audience’s support certainly charmed the crowd.
It’s tough to headline opposite the band whose farewell tour started it all. Nevertheless, the Killers’ headlining show Sunday night at the Chicago 2016 stage not only was a wild success, but also proved to their loyal fans and many others that the band is not “losing touch.” The Las Vegas-based alternative rock band opened the set with “Human,” the first single off their new album “Day & Age.”
The show was entirely over-the-top, including a Las Vegas-themed stage setup complete with neons, sequins and plenty of palm trees, but each and every song brought enthusiasm from the audience, who danced to the point of exhaustion by the end of the hour and a half show.
Altogether, Lollapalooza came to an end Sunday with a lineup of talented musicians and enthusiastic crowds.