The final day of this fantastic festival in a beautiful city. Chicago and Lollapalooza were the perfect combination for a music geek like myself. I could not ask for more. Day 3 of the festival was very somber, it would get drawn out the way Hold Steady
once sang "Chicago Seemed a Bit Tired Last Night." After witnessing the power of bands like Rage Against the Machine
nights before, it was the final stretch the city and fans had as they used every once of energy for another music filled day.
We started off slow seeing a band that draws comparison to David Grey
and Counting Crows
, the Alabama band Wild Sweet Orange
. A nice grass-roots style rock to ease into lazy Sunday. After seeing their impressive set, we got the closest we were to any act all weekend, standing front row for What Made Milwaukee Famous
. The Austin band with the heavy bass and guitar work rocked on in blazing sun and didn't seem to break a sweat.
The one band of the afternoon I was looking forward to seeing was a big disappointment. New York City's Brazilian Girls
, whose stage shows have gained them a repuation for being a great live act, seemed to fall on def ears. Singer Sabina Sciubba's
voice was very powerful but was not supported by her band and at best sounded like a mellow version of Bjork
. To energize the crowd and ourselves we turned to Montreal's Chromeo
. The DJ's and multi-instrumentalists got the audience bumping and grinding. From dancing in the dirt we decided to rock under the shade and catch The Black Kids
. A buzz band from Jacksonville, who were much more entertaining then their record leads on. At the end of the Black Kid's 30 minute set, we caught the great American Summer Festival band G Love and Special Sauce
. What can you say about a band like G Love who have been around forever, for them and their audience it is all about the good vibes and good fun.
From good times we then turned to serious social commentary from Saul Williams
. Williams, a slam poet turned industrial rocker / emcee thanks to Trent Reznor
, showed Lollapalooza what he was made of. Decked out in a psychedelic Indian costume and jumping on stage, he commanded the crowd but unfortunate for him, his band was way to over modulated and sounded like garbage. They were overpowering his message and were far too distracting to enjoy his set.
After a rather weak morning, the ball of impressiveness began to roll as Gnarles Barkley
took the main stage. The one band who is just plain impossible to see outside of festivals like this, were everything I hoped to be. Invigorating, creative, energetic and most of all talented. Singer Cee-Lo's
voice just explodes from his big body of soul, while Danger Mouse
looks like he is at the office, toying around with 3-4 instruments at once. The talent this band exudes should have others take notice. As fantastic as Gnarles were, we left a little early to catch The National's
full set. It may not be the first time I have covered this band, and I promise it will not be the last. Playing to one of the largest crowd of their career's The National deserve the respect they are gaining now.
From the experimental Gnarles Barkley to the dark and moody National, they were both a taste to set up the duel headliners of the night-- Kanye West
and Nine Inch Nails
. I split my time as best I could, starting off with Kanye and his homecoming. West played without the theatrics of the "Glow in the Dark" Tour, from when I saw and reviewed him back in May. Instead it was just him, his band and lights on stage to prove once and for all he is the best performer alive. As huge as West's ego is, it is deserved after seeing his live sets. If I called his protegee Lupe Fiasco the "honorary Mayor" of Chicago, Kanye was the "honorary Governor." Dedicating his performance to his mother, the late Dr Donda West
, she would have been proud to witness her son blaring out of his greatest performances. After an hour of Kanye, I dashed to the other side of the park to see Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor was admitting his voice was hurting for touring all summer, but it did not stop them from being very good. Reznor reminisced about his band's Lollapalooza past, that 17 year's ago Perry Ferrel asked NIN to be apart of his travel circus, and that after all these years have past, Nine Inch Nails can still come back, just now as headliners. Closing out the night with "Hurt," and songs off the band's latest The Slip, seeing one of the band's that started the festival back in '92 was a great way to close out the festival in '08. The National
(Above) / Kanye West
(Below) Nine Inch Nails
(backed by Chicago skyline - Below) What Made Milwaukee Famous
(Below) The Black Kids
(Below) Gnarles Barkley