Didn't make it out to Grant Park for Lollapalooza this year? Luckily, our favorite music maven did. And, in case you missed it, Teresa Guy, put together the perfect music and fashion play-by-play to keep you from missing out on any of the fun.
The once touring, now Chicago based Lollapalooza Festival celebrated it’s 21st year and what a party it was. Thousands descended on Grant Park for a 3-day extravaganza with over 130 artists, 8 stages and plenty of adult beverages. My coverage included snapping some of the Festival’s most fashionable, highlighting some of the best performances and cheers-ing Lolla for over 2 decades of bringing the party. It all started in 1991, the era of grunge, when the flannel-clad faction had their heyday. Flash-forward and the same styles that were dominant then dominate now. 90’s mainstays of baby-doll dresses and Doc Martins shared the sunshine with new era hippies, aka bohemian babes. Floral crowns, 70’s inspired frocks, lace and crochet were easy to spot. A healthy mix of Maxi dresses and high/low skirts, bustier/crop-tops and cut off shorts rounded out the festival fashion. Find snaps of Lolla’s finest and a few of my favorite sets below. Bottoms up!
Friday, August 3, 2012
The Black Angels- The Austin, Texas based psychedelic rockers helped kick off my festival weekend in fine form. Their fuzzy jams show clear influences pulled from the finest in ‘60s acid-rock, even borrowing their name from The Velvet Underground’s “The Black Angel’s Death Song.” The Angels brought out what’s best in the trippiest era of rock without any of the flashbacks.
Metric- Bringing high energy to the afternoon time slot, Metric made their way through the newest release, Synthetica, with early placement of the first single, “Youth Without You.” But the Toronto based synth rockers had the crowd singing along to jams old and new. Front-woman Emily Haines sparkled in a multi sequin top and leather shorts and she danced across the stage, stopping only to shake a tambourine or pound the keys, finishing the set of with crowd and personal favorite, “Dead Disco.”
Passion Pit- After canceling a string of dates due to lead singer, Michael Angelakos’ on going battle with mental illness, it was great to see such a strong performance from Passion Pit. The Cambridge, MA based electro rockers recently released Gossamer, their second studio album. The high energy set whisked straight into new single, “Take a Walk,” which had the crowd on their feet and girls shimmying on shoulders. Angelakos keep the energy up encouraging participation, holding the mic over the crowd as they sang along. And no song was sung louder than the set closer, “Little Secrets,” which had the neon clad lawn moving en masse.
Black Sabbath- No reunion was more exciting than that of Black Sabbath and the triumphant return of The Price of Darkness himself, Ozzy Ozbourne. The closing set on Friday was received by countless head-banging, air guitar shredding fans, rocking hard to the classic hits. Ozzy, although looking weathered sounded clear as he ripped through crowd favorite, “War Pigs,” leaving only sweaty satisfied fans in his path of destruction.
Saturday, August 4
The Weeknd – After a freak storm passed over Grant Park, causing the festival to be evacuated and restarted some 3 hours later, it goes without saying the many grass fields were muddy messes. Despite the filth, anxious fans crowded in for Toronto’s own R&B sensation, The Weeknd. Having to work the crowd without video screens due to the inclement weather, Abel Tesfaye showed little sign of being phased. Only stopping to remark "Man, Mother Nature is a motherfucking bitch," at one point, but kept the crowd entranced through his sexy style and smooth lyrics.
Bloc Party – The London bred electro-rock outfit are back with a fury, with brand new album Four out mid-August, their Lollapalooza set was proof of that. Expertly moving through their breadth of their material, getting the crowd pumped with such favorites as “This Modern Love,” “So Here We Are” and the classic “Banquet.” Singer Kele Okereke shouted at one point “Come on, Lollapalooza! Don't be a pussy, show us what you got!” Before ripping into one of the newer tracks. The Gang of Four style rockers proved they are back and not afraid to show it.
Frank Ocean – Arguable one of the most hyped artist of the entire weekend, Frank Ocean came correct with one of the sexiest festival sets I have yet to experience. Clad in his now trademark headband, he welcomed the crowd; "We had a little rain today. I'm happy y'all are back out," before launching into Channel Orange’s single, "Thinkin Bout You." With the backdrop of hundreds of television screens all filtering through various video, Frank floated across the stage, serenading fans in his falsetto perfection. Body rolls were plentiful as he dropped back-to-back crowd favorites in the form of “Monks” and “Crack Rock.” Finally closing out the set with “Pyramids” to a sea of slow grinding fans, it was a set not soon to be forgotten.
Sunday, August 5
Gary Clark Jr- one of the hottest guitarist out there has to be Mr. Gary Clark Jr. already being hailed as the next Jimmy Hendrix, the Austin native is a force on a 6-string. The blues vibes had even the tamest moving to the beat. Known for his fuzzy guitar and smooth vocals, Clark rocked his way through his sultry set closing strong with “Bright Lights.” Keep an eye out for this bluesy babe in 2013.
Miike Snow- a personal favorite of mine, Miike Snow made it impossible not to sing and dance as the sun crept down behind the Chicago skyline. The palatable energy had the south lawn in a frenzy, as the band moved aptly between hits old and new. Fans could be heard far and wide sing along to “Silvia” and not a person was still when they broke into runaway hit “Animal.” The indie-dance band made their mark on Lolla’s crowd leaving even the dissenters as true fans in the end.
Jack White – Curtains came down on Lollapalooza 2012 from one of the best, closing out the festival in only a way that a legendary rocker like Jack White can. The set started strong with single “Sixteen Saltines” from Jack’s solo record Blunderbuss, showering the crowd in staccato shredding. Alternating all male (The Buzzards)/ all female (The Peacocks) backing bands, Jack torn through his catalog of hits. Moving on to more soulful track “Love Interruption” brought the addition of Nashville singer-songwriter Ruby Amanfu adding another element to the spiteful love song. Breaking into both The White Stripes and The Raconteurs songs had fans belting the words to “Seven Nation Army” and “Steady as She Goes” with weighted enthusiasm. As someone who gives his all and doesn’t back down, Jack White proved yet again that his mastery be known.
* Here are a few of the fashion style we spotted