As the evening of August 8 drew to a close, so did Lollapalooza 2010, and this year’s festival was a dandy. Though I was only able to make it to Saturday and Sunday of the three day event, I was more than pleased with the performances I watched. Here’s a quick recap of my favorites at this season’s Lolla.
Saturday began with my biggest surprise of the festival: The Kissaway Trail. Before entering Grant Park early that morning, I had never heard of the Danish indie-pop/art rock band, but they were killer live. The group’s songs “Beat Your Heartbeat” and “SDP” were anthem-like tunes that vibed perfectly with the colorful light display and live setting. The Kissaway Trail also showed off a great cover of Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” Combining cool but energetic demeanor with foreign, floppy hair cuts swaying all over the stage, this band definitely impressed me enough to check them out post Lolla.
While the Kissaway Trail was a great way to start off Saturday, Phoenix took the cake for best performance that day. Since I was working at the ever-popular XRT Lounge for part of their set, I only caught about the last half – which was definitely worth the wait. Sans Arcade Fire the next night, I think Phoenix’s performance of “Rome” was my most memorable experience at Lolla. The song begins slow and builds and builds until the group lashes out the gusto. Under a sea of strobe lights and background synth noise, singer Thomas Mars strutted around the stage with his signature “Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome” repetition, all the while interacting with fellow band mates and audience alike. A special moment indeed: to see Phoenix smiling at one another on stage just reveling in the moment, along with crowd members dancing out of their shoes, the scene was existential and unforgettable.
I mentioned Arcade Fire a bit earlier, and that’s no slip. Throughout writing this entire piece about the great acts at Lollapalooza, I can’t even make it that far before thinking about Arcade Fire. The band simply knows how to connect and put on a great show. You cannot fake real, raw emotion and energy, which is exactly what Win Butler and company have. Since the release of Funeral years back, I have heard and watched (via the wonderful internet) the epic live performances of Arcade Fire; the group has always been on my list of performances to see. Their performance Sunday night at Lolla was perhaps one of the best I’ve ever witnessed. The members are sincere in their musicianship, lyrics, attitude on stage, and gratitude towards the crowd. All of these ingredients make you as a viewer appreciate the moment even more. Thank you, Arcade Fire.