Lollapalooza day two in review
Published: Monday, August 6, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
More disparate crew of collaborators than a formal super group, Doomtree is one of the most eclectic group of forward-thinking musicians in the industry. With each member an accomplished performer in his or her own right, each strong musical personality contributes to Doomtree’s alternative hip-hop sound. During a varied set including cuts from Doomtree’s catalog and essential tracks by each artist, Dessa, with true-to-form unpredictability, performed fan-favorite “Dixon’s Girl” from her solo project. The frenzied performance included crowd-pleaser “Bangarang” and roused sleepy fans while undoubtedly shattering eardrums.
Marking the San Diego outfit’s second year in a row at Lollapalooza, Delta Spirit shredded through a rocking set of lo-fi power pop with a rigid backbone. The swirling guitars and Americana-tinged vocals of “Empty House” flaunted the band’s versatility and musical experimentation throughout their seven-year career. The five-piece reached far back in the catalogs and busted out a rootsy harmonica intro for “Children.” Steady percussion and a varied set list allowed for a well-paced show that gave each song ample time to progress at its own pace, teasing the crowd with its unpredictability.
*Allow a brief intermission for overcast skies, a massive festival evacuation and frantically searching for Wi-Fi and shelter with The DePaulia’s Arts and Life Editor Courtney Jacquin. After hours of biding time and witnessing a violent storm blow through the Loop, the festival resumed at 6:30 p.m. with a condensed schedule and line-up reconfigurations. Festivalgoers scrambled to reach the front gate to reserve a spot at one of the many shortened artist sets. Overall, morale is soaring as some frolic in the knee-deep mud and others trudge through the deplorable conditions of Grant Park. *
What Merrill Garbus creates with two drums, a ukulele and her gruff yowls is an overwhelming ocean of noise that is as primal as it is complex. Combining Nordic yodeling and scats harkening back to Ella Fitzgerald’s reign created a primal style of music. The incredibly short set was composed of highlights from tUnE-yArDs’ relatively brief discography, including “Gangsta,” with two wailing saxophones and fist-pumper “Bizness.” Garbus’ stage presence reflected the completely controlled chaos of her music and enticed listeners’ from the very first drum loop.
As the sky glowed an eerie shade of pale rose and streaky storm clouds muddled the skyline, an ample crowd gathered to hear colorful musical history of one of the most distinctive alternative rock bands of all time. Singer Kele Okereke cruised through “Hunting for Witches,” a thrashing head bobber that delighted fans. A danceable appeal for clemency, “One More Chance” wrapped with masses of fans screaming, “no one loves you” with mystifying benediction and passionate force. The brusque set ended with the clanging guitar of the band’s most popular single “Helicopter,” shredding and wailing like TV on the Radio’s reckless kid siblings going through an emotional crisis with a post-punk soundtrack.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
The seasoned rock vets opened with “Monarchy of Roses,” the kick-off track of their most recent album and soldiered on through sound difficulties to celebrate a nearly 30-year musical career with essential tracks including “Otherside,” “Can’t Stop,” and “Californication.” Flea flaunted his funk chops with generous bass solos, laying the foundation for Anthony Kiedis’ syncopated social commentaries and dreary imagery. Josh Klinghoffer was burdened with the task of fill-in for core member John Frusciante; and instead of trying to break out of the iconic guitarist’s shadow, he successfully carved his own stage identity while remaining a support for the two star members, Kiedis and Flea. The two-hour set oscillated between Chili Peppers classics and new material, satisfying fans’ thirsts for impassioned sing-alongs while delivering a fresh, unpredictable live spectacle.