By Frank E. Lee
Imagine staring into a quasar and somehow being able to hear what it sounded like in airless space. On closer examination, you notice there are people inside the malestrom singing and playing jittery songs at a frantic pace. Occasionally, an announcer makes a whimsical statement to break the tension, but then it starts all over again. Some couldn’t bear to watch and left, maybe out of fear or confusion, but those who stayed were transformed by Radiohead, returning to Grant Park to astound us once again with their take on the music of the spheres.
Other bands dazzled as well. Foals are a perfect example of rockers at the height of their powers: Impeccable musicianship, terrific songs, and perfectly executed stage moves. M8 was the Lolla equivalent of a French new wave cinema soundtrack played at full volume with lots of soulful vocals.
Frank Turner and his Sleeping Souls danced and sang through a breakneck set that was like watching The Clash play The Clancy Brothers. The show included a contest testing the crowds’ enthusiasm, a stage dive, and some political advice from an Englishman.
Lettuce provided a super funky soul rock instrumental break and Miike Snow delighted with some poppy Nordic EDM.
Overall, the most popular word of stage banter continued to be the F bomb. There was another period of steady rain, but the temperatures remained moderate. Member(s) of the first family supposedly were on hand and sneakers replaced sandals as the footweat of choice.
The staff and volunteers are superb and should be thanked often. Let’s do it again!