Lollapalooza 2009 Day Two Report | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Lollapalooza 2009 Day Two Report

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Los Campesinos!, Chairlift, Glasvegas, TV on the Radio, Animal Collective

Aug 09, 2009 Lollapalooza 2009 Photography by Andrew Reed Weller Bookmark and Share

Big heat! Blazing sun! And Los Campesinos!, the septet whose big-band indie rock requires that exclamation point, a jolt of energy to launch a full day of live music. Their multitasking singers, Ellen and Gareth, played pretty cop/shrill cop, she cooing girlishly while he spewed witty vitriol. Together, with violin, keyboards and glockenspiel complementing punkish guitars, the effect was something like being bossed around by brainy kids. Even cuter than that, Gareth mentioned that Lollapalooza 2007 had been the English/Welsh band’s first North American show and they were overjoyed to be back. “In celebration of that,” he said, “here’s a song about how we’re all going to die alone.” Nice.

From dark humor to the overcast tones of Brooklyn’s Chairlift, cloudy electropop with the occasional sunny break. The trio’s top pop tune “Bruises,” which appeared in an iPod Nano ad, was their set’s penultimate track, a curious move in light of the mass exodus that so predictably followed it. So much for that last tune.

Chairlift’s moody overtones were no match for the melancholy pall of Glasvegas, who took the stage to music that sounded remarkably like Joy Division’s “Atmosphere,” but was probably just a snatch of their own stuff. Clothed entirely in black, the Scottish band specializes in sad-sack anthems in the style of their countrymen The Jesus and Mary Chain, complete with a standing drummer pounding away while fuzzy guitars encircled her. Yes, a female drummer, who “wants fuck” according to singer James Allan, who attempted to solicit “big dicks” from the crowd on her behalf (later apologizing to the parents and small children in attendance) and joints for himself. Whether either was successful, we’ll never know. But the band sounds great live, though a daytime outdoor setting isn’t as fitting as their usual smoke-filled, dramatically lit ambiance. As derivative as their sound isnot to mention Allan’s Joe Strummer look-alike stylingsthey’ve really got something.

Walking to the opposite end of Grant Park, Lykke Li could be heard singing her cutie-pie electropop tune “Dance Dance Dance,” but it was time for TV on the Radio. The band had great energy, bobbing, weaving and sweating to their smart, funky pop songs, but unfortunately their sound doesn’t translate too well live. Maybe it’s because their horns tend to get lost in the shuffle, maybe it’s the fact that they rush through some of their best tunes.

Painted dudes, hippie chicks and hipsters of all stripes assembled for Animal Collective, their hallucinogenic pop ringing out with all its deep woods atmosphere and sputtering rhythms. Their screen was full of eye candy but the stage itself was dull to watch, a disappointment given their rep for wild costumes and absurdist antics.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs were day two’s headliners, having replaced The Beastie Boys due to Adam Yauch’s recent cancer diagnosis. They played a bit of the sampled guitar riff from “So Whatcha Want” in tribute, along with all the biggest tunes from their three albums. Karen O had all the chaotic costumes and theatrical moves you’d expect from a post-no wave, post-riot grrrl rock chick icon, truly one of a kind in today’s musical climate, at least above the radar, as it were. Hilariously, she forgot the lyrics to their biggest song, “Maps,” but the crowd was on her side when she said, “The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are never gonna forget this night. And we’re not even supposed to be here!”

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


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