Lollapalooza 2012 – Day 2
Taylor Brennan: I assumed I’d be in for another scorcher. Day two would be one for the record books, just not in the way I thought.
Anna Holmquist: The unexpected storm cut my day short on Saturday. Fortunately, I still got to hear some great music, and the rain cooled things down a bit.
Bear in Heaven – Sony – 1:30
AH: The Brooklyn-based Bears in Heaven took the Sony stage in the early afternoon. The band’s sound is hard to describe, but it’s certainly intriguing, and drew a fairly large crowd. I stopped by the stage at the recommendation of my friend, and was not disappointed. The electro-psych-rock makes good use of reverb, synth and catchy choruses. I’m excited to start listening to more of the band’s stuff.
Delta Spirit – Bud Light Stage – 2:15
TB: Delta Spirit is another one of those bands that is perfect for these big, outdoor parties, especially while the sun is still shining. “Tear it Up,” performed early in the set, was a perfect summer sing-along, though few in the audience could match singer Matthew Vasquez’s energy and his uninhibited, throaty vocals. Delta Spirit had a great stage show, though the lights were lost in the already blindingly bright day. As Vasquez sang “How can one little speck make a difference to the rest?” from the song “Empty House,” the smallest cloud in the sky blocked out the angry sun, providing temporary relief to the crowd and answering his question.
Givers – Google Play – 2:15
AH: While waiting for the Chairlift show that didn’t happen, I watched GIVERS perform at the Google Play stage. They’re another band that I’m excited to listen to more. The high-energy set drew a large, dancing crowd. The lead singer looks disturbingly like a jock I went to school with, but other than that, I enjoyed the show. The fact that I didn’t know any of the catchy songs didn’t stop me from trying to sing along.
Moon Taxi – BMI – 2:45
TB: Admittedly, I only saw the last song of Moon Taxi as I stood in the back of the BMI Stage on my way to see Empires. I don’t regret seeing Delta Spirit, but did Moon Taxi ever slay its crowd. The organ was blaring, building up the finale that had every member of the crowd dancing crazily.
For such an early set, Moon Taxi riled up several hundred Lollapaloozers to the point of no return, and I doubt any band on these folks’ lists were able to top Moon Taxi’s performance.
Empires – BMI – 3:20 / Lolla Evacuation
TB: Empires is a Chicago band, which has paid its dues, put in the elbow grease, and various other metaphors to let you know that they deserved to be playing here. It’s any local band’s dream to have a set at Chicago’s biggest music festival. As I waited for the set to start, members of the band chatted with the crowd, handing out big foam fingers emblazoned with Empires. Then it seemed the crew stopped setting up, and began tearing down.
The drums were covered, the stage was wrapped up. Then the announcement came that there was a huge storm coming and the festival would be evacuated immediately. Everyone grumbled, many cursed and hurled sarcastic comments into the air.
Through it all, Empires singer Sean Van Vleet chatted with the crowd, humbly thanking them for spending their time with the band.“It happens, thank you all so much.” I would be throwing trash cans into Lake Shore Drive if I had waited for this moment and the universe pulled the rug out from under me, so Van Vleet and his band are particularly impressive to me. I wasn’t sad to leave the festival, but was so bummed for this band. They are talented and have an unseen DIY ethic that’s got the members where they are.
So, in case you weren’t able to make it to the band’s rescheduled set, I’m going to pause this article to promote the band’s next Chicago show: Empires performs next at Lincoln Hall on September 21st. Go out and see them. Don’t let the universe win.
Bloc Party – Sony – 8:15
TB: To Lollapalooza’s credit, it was a wallop of a storm, however brief. Within a couple of hours, the gates had reopened with a new schedule in place, extending the curfew. The festival clearly wanted what was best for its attendees, and organizers certainly made the right call. They couldn’t please everyone, and a few shows were canceled for good, but they did their best.
Walking back onto the Grant Park field, the temporary mud capital of Chicago, I tried to get close to see and hear Bloc Party. What I heard wasn’t pretty. While the drummer was fantastic enough for me to stick around a while, the singer couldn’t find the pitch, and it was tough to listen to. The light show accompanying the band was awesome, especially against the backdrop of a confused looking sky, not sure if it wanted to shine or open up again. With mud up to my shoelaces and an off-key singer, I didn’t last more than a few songs.
RHCP – Red Bull Stage – 9:00
TB: Not going through this again. I’m out for today Lollapalooza, see you tomorrow. I’ve got places to be.
Santigold – Perry’s Stage – 9:45
AH: By the time Santigold was rescheduled and I returned to Grant Park, I was drained, so I only stayed for a bit of her set. What I did see was fabulous. I love a solid performer, and Santigold is that, complete with dancers and fun music.