Is it just me or was Lollapalooza this year one of the most fun ever? Despite a rough start with the evacuation Thursday night, the fest recovered itself and rewarded marathon fest goers with countless, unforgettable performances. Here are a few of my favorites:
Cage The Elephant, Thursday Evening
Matt Shultz’s insane energy and vocals proved once again that Cage The Elephant is one of the best live bands out there, and they get better every time they come to town. His shimmery dress and fishnet tights fueled the fire, and as they played hit after hit I was reminded of how many quality songs they’ve released in a seeemingly short career. Great way to kick off the weekend.
The Lemon Twigs, Friday Afternoon
Brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario put on an impressive, high energy set that literally drew me to the stage, moving up a few feet every song or so. They have such a perfect balance of nostalgia and originality, backed by talent and rounded out by weird. This set made my weekend.
Whitney, Friday Night
Our hometown heroes brought their tour back to where it all began, and they were received warmly. With covers like NRBQ’s “Magnet” and Lion’s “You’ve Got A Woman,” they live up to the dangerous hype. I lost my voice screaming at this one.
The Shins, Sunday Afternoon
It feels like a decade since we’ve had a visit from James Mercer and his ever changing band. They seemed to “festivalize” a few of their more downbeat songs and create energy from everything that came out of the stage. The band was genuinely pleased to be sharing the afternoon with Chicago, and the charm was mutual.
Arcade Fire, Sunday Night
Win and Regine are the closest thing to Superheroes that I’ll ever get. And that’s okay with me. The mix of “classic” songs from their 4 album discography along with their 5th, brand new release “Everything Now” solidified their place as indie rock legends and relevant, modern day contributors to the music scene. With a nod to David Bowie and John Lennon they showed where they stand, and I think that was one of the best times I’ve had at a music festival.