lolla crowd 2

Lollapalooza daylight

Lots of fire at Lollapalooza this year. Fire, as in, that beaming light of rock and roll. I’d like to tell you that the finest moments were had 30 people deep on some dinky stage with some outlier, local band. But Lolla works on a larger tier. And all I have to say is – Pearl Jam.

lolla crowd 1

Lollapalooza nightlight

130 bands over three days, and all I’ve got to say is PJ? This is not lame for at least two reasons. One, using the power of shredding early 90’s angst and iconic status to rally 100,000 people to “Don’t go [to] BP/Amoco” is a testament to where music and the American conscious should be. Even if you don’t agree with the views – in this case a call to action against a company polluting Lake Michigan – you have to respect the level of awareness made possible. Eddie Vedder took it a step further, bringing an Iraq war vet to the stage for an impromptu anti-war ditty featuring Ben Harper. Again, uniting the focus of that crowd surpasses the moral issue, withdrawal or not.

And the second reason is that they tore the house down with their frequently borrowed Neil Young track “Rockin’ in the Free World,” Eddie pulverizing every inhibition and worry with each smash of his tambourine. I don’t care what you say. That shit heals the rock soul.

Of course, the other hundreds of bands present had some things to say as well. But they were a lot more subtle, and make up a different kind of testament – that music has never been so intense and widely appreciated, that conscious is almost not welcome.

Akron dirty blues duo The Black Keys led the pack only second to Daft Punk on opening day Friday. As the sun was setting, the two proved the traditional five-piece obsolete, with some epic reverb on the guitar and a warrior drummer. Daft Punk – following cue from cross stage performer LCD Soundsystem’s hit “Daft Punk is Playing at my House” – only raised the bar due to the fact that they turned the mile stretch of Grant Park into a sweaty dance club. I have never seen so many people dance in one spot without glow sticks.


A fan of the band The Rapture is pained to see Interpol beat them out as cover artists

Saturday crusaders can all file under Stephen Marley and his bid to “emancipate” ourselves “from mental slavery,” not to let the “government control us,” followed by a track called “Mind Control.” It was a handed down sentiment, but still felt good. Meanwhile the reborn Aussies Silverchair were crooning fancy anorexia puns with “Ana’s Song.” Lead singer Daniel Johns’ felt the need to rock every cliché known – playing the guitar with his teeth, kick-sliding on the floor of the stage, playing solos behind the back. And the Polyphonic Spree’s cover of “Lithium” deserves a nod for oddest choir performance of the weekend.

When Sunday arrived, Pearl Jam still had to happen. So pre-8 p.m. it was all Iggy and the Stooges bringing roughly 250 people up on stage to romp during the ironic “No Fun.” Under Iggy, all cred goes to North Carolina ambient explosionites Annuals, playing all their best cuts from 2006’s Be He Me. And let us not forget My Morning Jacket who played with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra in suits and ties. That was just heartwarming, watching all those young kids jam to hits off of Z.

rapture 2

What the Hell, let’s all just get jiggy…

This was all on nine stages, by the way. So I couldn’t possibly tell you what happened at the set of 13 year-old keyboard/drum protégées, Smoosh at 1:30 on Sunday. Or how the only jam band on the bill, moe., faired on Friday. But they all had something to say or rock, if you were there to listen.—Gavin Paul

  1. Daft Punk are sa-weeet! the encore was a tad wishy washy though. it was like let’s take 6 songs we just played and mash em all together. people still ate it up though.


  2. I saw that guy. He kept trying to get my phone number.


  3. Count,

    Let’s hope Sentimentalist Magazine is not in the hands of an indie stalker…:-))



  4. The Count feels that Sentimentalist Magazine has no need to wory about such stalker sentiments.
    Indie yes. Stalker no.

    - Count Fantismo -


  5. Jitterbug would like to add that although this dancing freak looks a tad stalkerish, and did infact talk to Count Fantismo (I saw them together over by the Bud Light stage sauntering together in the midst of the Polyphonic Spree), it appeared Count Fantismo was actually enamored by jitterbug’s hip dance steps. You could tell that it was Count Fantismo that was actually soliciting jitterbug for unknown favors. Jitterbug was merely stroking the ego of one of his many fans.


  6. Ahh,

    Sentimentalist Magazine lets out a big sigh of relief…