Lollapalooza 2009 Day 3 Report | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Neko Case

Lollapalooza 2009 Day 3 Report

Lou Reed, Bat For Lashes, The Raveonettes, Neko Case, Jane’s Addiction

Aug 11, 2009 Photography by Andrew Reed Weller Lollapalooza 2009
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The impact of the word “awesome” has been eroded in recent years, but it’s an adjective that’s applicable to this year’s edition of Lollapalooza. Sure, that’s subjective. Well-established summer festivals in general, and Lollapalooza in particular, are foreign to me, as is Chicago. But the combination of a great line-up, solid organization and crowd management, dozens of affordable food options, a stunning location and an audience that filled it to its legal capacity (80,000) made for a truly awesome experience.

Not that there weren’t disappointments. I could’ve done without the Budweiser exclusivity, the smelly kitty litter spread over the previous day’s mud, the port-o-potties, The Killers. Realistically, these offences to good taste are unavoidable at a festival of this magnitude. However, when you’re let down by musicians you respect, it can be disheartening.

Unfortunately I’m referring to Lou Reed, legendary for fronting rock’s most influential sub-radar band, The Velvet Underground. He was the only performer I saw who started lateacross the park, Snoop Dogg’s set was reportedly right on time. Technical difficulties seemed to be the issue, but given Reed’s set-long dissatisfaction with half of the guitars on stage, it might’ve been mere nitpicking. He began and ended with VU tunes, (“Sweet Jane” and “I’m Waiting for the Man”) and solo standouts from the ‘70s and ‘80s (“Walk on the Wild Side” and “Dirty Boulevard”), and pleased noise fans with a bit of “metal machine music.” But latter-day material dominated, with the band drawing songs out to jammy blues-rock proportions, topped with piercing, manic sax. Reed has never been known to be a crowd-pleaser, but perhaps he should’ve thrown more bones to casual fans in such a setting, and looked a little less miserable while he was doing it.

Earlier in the day, when the harsh sun and humidity burdened artists and audiences alike, Bat For Lashes singer Natasha Khan may have been suffering while dancing in her dark-hued sequin shirt and leggings, but she sucked it up. The British band’s unison of ethereal Celtic folk and Scandinavian electropop seemed to soothe and enliven the crowd simultaneously, a very lovely way to start a long steamy day.

More good looks were in store as The Raveonettes played their gloomy pop harmonies, evoking girl groups with their melodies and shoegazers with their guitars. Throwing in a few songs from their first three albums, the band concentrated on their recent ode to The Jesus and Mary Chain, Lust Lust Lust (featuring the same distinctively JAMC drum set-up that Glasvegas displayed the previous day), and previewed some promising new material too.

Country-noir chanteuse and Chicago native Neko Case was next, she and her band belting out choice selections from across her decade-long discography. While the screen to the left of the stage showed original animation and old industrial footage, appropriately pretty and sinister, songs such as “Things That Scare Me,” “Hold On, Hold On” and “This Tornado Loves You” prompted goosebumps despite the heat-I wasn’t the only one moved by Case’s powerful voice and the band’s beautifully rendered arrangements.

But where to go for the final act? I wish I’d chosen Deadmau5, but I just had to hear Jane Addiction’s greatest hit, “Been Caught Stealing,” and see the founder of this festival in action. I always knew guitarist Dave Navarro was a tool (anyone who’s seen his solo music videos or his stint on Rock Star: Supernova has witnessed the shitness) but Perry Farrell took the douchebag crown during this performance. Like a grotesque caricature of a glam rocker, he emerged in something resembling a gold lamé tux with tails, minus the shirt, and frantically posed and gesticulated to the point where Federico Fellini would have vomited. My friend and I were doubled up laughing at the awful theatrics and asinine banter until the signature song arrived, only 15 minutes in. We enjoyed it until Farrell’s misogynist mid-song monologue, an appreciation of whores (fine) and ugly chicks (um, okay) who have to be sluts to compensate for their inferior looks (what?), followed by a detailed description of an encounter with one such groupie in a hotel room (gross). We were among the hundred-plus people who chose this time to leave, forcing security to open the park’s north exit a half-hour early. Nice festival Perry, but next time, keep it behind the scenes.

Click here for the full gallery of Lollapalooza Day Three photos.


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January 26th 2014

Wow, that’s a really clever way of thikinng about it!

July 14th 2016

Love this project!  It reminds me of when I was very young and my grnotmadher taught me to embroidery by stitching a sampler – made up of rows of different stitches.  (I believe I still have that sampler somewhere).  I am looking forward to seeing your finished project . . . and thank you for bringing back a very special memory for me.