If day one was full of rain, day two brought the sun in full force. With the heat cranking up to the 90's and sweat pouring from everyone like rain drops from the day before, day two of the Chicago festival was an oven cooking with talent.
We started off catching Dirty Sweet, a California band that sounds similar to Black Crows with roaring guitars and pounding drums, they were a great way to kick start the day. We then wandered over to Delta Spirit, another California band that had a sound which was a hybrid of Dr Dog meets Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. A fun and catchy band, as soon as their set was done we went off to do a little dancing in the blazing sun with Chicago based DJ's MoneyPenny. The Female fronted electro duo brought a European flair to their set that reminded me of being at a discotheque on the Mediterranean.
From electro we switched it up with grass roots folk from Brooklyn's Langehorn Slim. The trio of upright bass, small drums and Slim on guitar were wildly entertaining. Playing a majority of songs from his forthcoming album, Langehorn was a great addition to the day and an act I have been trying to catch for a few years. With all of the great acts, they were all openers in my mind for the breakout band of the day and one of the great one's of the whole weekend, Los Compesinos! The most fun I had all day watching any band. The energy they had reminded me of The Go! Team meets Gogol Bordello from last year's festival. Los Campesinos! made a new fan after their magnificent set.
After a quick break we saw the most anticipated band of the whole festival, the UK's Arctic Monkeys. The Monkey's drew a crowd I had not seen in the two days I spent at Lollapalooza, playing a majority of songs off their forthcoming Humbug, as great at Alex Turner and Co., were they lost the attention of many from the crowd with the unknown new tracks. Even with their hits "Brianstorm," and "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance floor," as great as the Monkey's were, the crowd thought they were lackluster. From Arctic Monkeys, we ran across Grant Park for my band, Glasvegas. Any avid reader of this site knows my love for this band. Making their American festival debut, Glasvegas were fantastic as always, what more can I say. I even had the chance to meet up with bassist Paul Donoghue and drummer Caroline McKay later that night and discussed their set. They were really thrilled to hear some great fan reaction and were open to meeting the people that put them up on that stage.
The marathon of bands continued as Rise Against took the stage for a hometown throw down. The most aggressive and intense band on the bill, starting off their set with singer Tim McIlrath screaming "LET'S GO!" The band brought an intensity not seen at this years festival, with pits forming and hands beating the air, the Chicago thrash punkers got the crowd in motion. McIlrath would even go on to dictate the history of Grant Park, from the Chicago '68 convention and when protesters clashed with cops, to Obama's Novemeber 4 victory speech. Social and political issues were never far off his tongue.
From Rise Against we caught Lykkie Li, the sexy singer had her crowd bumping and grinding with a set that even included a cover from Kings of Leon. After a few songs from Lykkie, we ran over to finish out TV on the Radio. The Brooklyn art rockers sound may have been a bit off, but the energy on stage made up for it. The are a hell of a band to see, playing a majority off last year's Dear Science, they closed with their first break out single "Staring at the Sun," and dedicated their set to MCA of Beastie Boys. As soon as TV on the Radio walked off stage, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 began. Harper's new band is a funk induced blues that rocked so hard everyone watching would not turn away. The highlight of the band's set came with a great cover of Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times," a great band and maybe Harper's best yet.
The final decision of the second day was to split the headliners between Tool and Yeah Yeah Yeah's. Since the Yeah Yeah Yeah's were next to Harper's stage we started off with them and all I can say is.....WOW! Filling in last minute for Beastie Boys, I could not turn away from how fantastic they were. The Brooklyn trio was already at a disadvantage for filling in for the legendary rappers and are no where near the same ball park. However, everyone that doubted what the Yeah Yeah Yeah's could do, ate their words. Karen O walked on stage as an American Indian and the trio proved their worth turning the crowd into a full on dance party. A great live band that I underestimated, tossing two huge inflatable eye balls into the crowd during "Zero," and Karen O having a voice like no other. It was such a great set that I missed Tool and do not feel bad at all.
Glasvegas (Above) / TV on the Radio (Below)
Yeah Yeah Yeah's