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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Deena's Lolla Experience--Saturday

I had trouble committing to most of the acts I saw on Saturday, mostly because I had already seen them or wasn't terribly familiar with their body of work. Thusly...

Saturday--Deena Has ADD

The theme song from Team America: World Police blared from the south stage just before Blues Traveler (left) took the stage for their set of uptempo blues-rock. They boldly opened with "Runaround," their biggest hit, and I gladly stuck around for more, including a playful cover of Sublime's "What I Got." I wandered off to see The Verve Pipe on the kids stage but was sorely disappointed by a set that didn't start on time. Then Brian Vander Ark and company took the stage in colorful shirts and ties and started singing something that sounded absolutely terrible--oh wait, they have a children's album?! I got back to Blues Traveler in time to hear them close with "Hook."

Against Me! (right) announced that they were working on about two hours of sleep for whatever reason, but they still delivered a set of great punk anthems. Using an accordion and unleashing tuneful 3-part harmonies is not always the norm when you're thrashing out on guitars, but they certainly pull it off well. Highlights were "Up the Cuts" and "I Was a Teenage Anarchist."

Energetic and talented as ever, Gogol Bordello are a perfect festival show band. This year I watched from afar since in 2008, I had to dodge a pack of sweaty drunkards pumping their fists in order to see them. Plus I was saving my energy for AFI, who hit hard from the start with "Medicate" and "Girl's Not Grey." Frontman Davey Havoc fabulously paraded around the stage soaked in sweat, and he freaked out security several times by jumping down from the stage to get close to the audience. They closed dramatically, leaving their satisfied audience with "Miss Murder" and "Love Like Winter."

I suppose I wanted to see Social Distortion just to say I had--you know, in case Mike Ness OD's or something. But really, I couldn't connect with the unintelligible lyrics, despite a pretty solid rock n' roll sound from the band. They opened with the catchy "Story of My Life" and did their well-known cover of the Stones' "Under My Thumb," but aside from that, Social D was kind of a downer. So I trekked across Grant Park to listen to some of Spoon's set, which didn't really interest me much either. I like their music, and it sounded pretty good live, but I just sort of sat and let my mind wander during their performance. What? Ice cream? Okay, sounds good.

Unfortunately I should have stuck around it seems, because by the time I came back to the north stages, Cut Copy (right) was kicking major ass and had everyone grooving, including themselves, to their '80s-esque dance-pop. There was such a great party atmosphere in the crowd, I think they would have made excellent closers for the evening. But Phoenix was still to come. The quiet Frenchmen opened with "Lisztomania" and closed with "1901," but that's about all I remember besides the really bright flashing lights on the stage.

Of course I strayed from Phoenix a few songs in, finding a picnic bench near Lederhosen's Biergarten where I watched the video feed from the Green Day (left) concert, which looked just as packed as Lady Gaga had been the night before. Their show seemed about the same as when I saw their American Idiot tour a few years back...but "about the same" for Green Day means "pretty damn awesome." I watched their cover of The Isley Brothers' "Shout" morph into other singable classics like "Satisfaction," "Hey Jude," and "Paint It Black;" then they followed with "21 Guns" as their "closer." Which was hardly a closer--after reappearing onstage to perform "American Idiot," they went on to play the epic 10-minute long "Jesus of Suburbia." Finally, Billy Joe came out to perform an acoustic mash-up of "She's a Rebel," "Good Riddance," and "Wake Me Up When September Ends" so we could all leave Lolla feeling warm and fuzzy.

Saturday's Top Acts:
1. AFI
2. Green Day
3. Gogol Bordello
4. Against Me!

1 comment:

Scott said...

Cool review Deena... even as I was skipping Green Day, I couldn't believe I was doing it, since their live show is so amazing. But I'm glad I got to see Empire of the Sun.