Friday, August 10, 2012

Lollapalooza 2012 Coverage - Day Three: Sunday, August 5

And so it all came down to this: the final day of Lollapalooza 2012. There was so much anticipation for the weekend, and it all came to a culmination on Sunday, August 5.

I decided after the previous day's debacle, it was probably in my best interest to catch as much music as I could; sort of a 'don't take anything for granted' situation. Not only that, but Sunday was filled with a few of my favorite bands, new and old.

Polica (Photo Credit: Cambria Harkey)
I started off by heading to see Polica at Lollapalooza's Sony Stage, a band that I saw earlier this year in Milwaukee, and was absolutely blown away by their impacting sound. The double drummers make the music resonate deep within you, as both Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu are undeniably talented and compliment each other fantastically. Meanwhile, bass player Chris Bierden absolutely tears it up live; probably one of the best bassists I've ever seen perform in action. The stellar beauty of Channy Leaneagh's voice and grace of her movements can leave audience members awestruck. Polica always brings their A-game when they perform live, and it shows.

The Walkmen (Photo Credit: Cambria Harkey)

Speaking of great performers, The Walkmen have been near the top of my list for favorite live acts for a few years, and I was lucky enough to get to see them next at the Sony Stage. Like Polica, I'd seen The Walkmen already this year, but was not going to miss what I believed was going to be one of my favorite sets of the fest. And I was right, Hamilton Leithauser absolutely wailed through songs from each album, while his bandmates played a perfectly in tune set behind him. Some of my favorite tracks were played, including "On The Water" "Angela Surf City" "Juveniles" and "Heartbreaker" just to name a few.

Sigur Ros (Photo Credit: Jack Edinger)
Directly following The Walkmen was Sigur Ros, at the neighboring Red Bull Soundstage, a band that I've wanted to see live since 2004, but have just never been able to. So I jumped at the chance to catch their set. And I don't want to say that the Icelandic 11-piece group sounded dull, because it was far from it, but I think the set was scheduled poorly. Although the band has taken a side seat to other instrumental-heavy ambiance music, I still would have liked to have seen this band scheduled a little later in one of the days. The crowd was still into it, I casually looked around me at one point during "Hoppipolla" and saw many people closing their eyes, swaying back and forth, each person not really knowing the lyrics they were connecting with, but connecting nonetheless.

At The Drive-In (Photo Credit: Dave Mead)

At The Drive-In was my favorite set by far; I absolutely lost my mind as they came out to stage with Danzig's "Mother" serving as almost at-bat music, and Cedric (lead vocalist) joked that they were pretty much the "Latin Danzig." The set ATDI played was completely perfect, front-to-back. It's a pity that a few of the band members were disinterested in their performance; I get it that the only reason the band reunited was for the nostalgia and economic benefits, but at least put a little oomph behind the performance. Nevertheless, the show was incredible. Cedric Bixler-Zafala did an amazing job with his role, jumping off monitors and amps, microphone "acrobatics" and a pitch-perfect vocal yell that gave me goosebumps from the nostalgia. Check out At The Drive-In's performance of "Pattern Against User" below.

The final highlight of the weekend on the Lollapalooza Festival grounds may also be my biggest regret of the weekend: Justice vs. Jack White. I went with my original gut reasoning, and stuck with Justice; in my eyes, they seemed like the better draw for a festival like this, plus the tagline (from Spin magazine) always sticks with me: "They're fucking French, they're wearing leather jackets, and they're here to party."

Justice (Photo Credit: Jack Edinger)
The only real gripe I have with the decision I came to was that Jack White would have been more of a performance, as opposed to the atmospheric benefits of seeing Justice. But at this point, I realize there was no "wrong" decision in this conundrum.

Justice's set was great, eluding to the fact that in the past, they've been called out on "phoning in" performances (i.e. - the gaffe in which they were busted with an MIDI player unplugged, GASP!) proved they still have a sense of humor, elitist as it may be. Sure EDM is on the rise these days, but Justice proved that they can rise above Perry's Stage (they played at the "other" main stage, Bud Light) and the kids that come with it.

Cruising through hits like "D.A.N.C.E" and "On'n'On", it's safe to say that I was amassed in the largest dance party I've ever experienced, and it was an immense amount of fun.

Through three days, I got to see some of my favorite bands on earth. This experience has been incredibly humbling, as well as eye opening to say the least. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity and cannot wait to do it all again next year. See you August 2, 2013, Lolla!

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