Lou Reed is a Jackass and 10 other Thoughts from Lollapalooza.

by Woody on August 13, 2009


My reaction to seeing Lou Reed on the Lollapalooza bill was befuddlement, but one of the great things about Lolla is its diversity. After a blistering set by Dan Auerbach and backing band Hacienda, I got some food, grabbed a couple of cool ones and got myself in prime position for Band Of Horses. And then I waited for Lou to make his way through his set.

7:30 came and went and it sounded like Lou was just finishing up. Well, that tune ended at 7:35 and he then proceeded to bang out two more songs. It was a dick move which resulted in Band Of Horses coming on late and playing part of their set at the same time as Jane’s Addiction. Every other band started and ended on time – like clockwork. Why they didn’t unplug Lou Reed is beyond me.

Here are some other thoughts:

1. Rain sucks, but shove your umbrella up your…

I get it. I don’t like standing in it either but if you are going to a fest and people are trying to watch the band, it takes a lot of nerve to force your way up to the front and then pop open your umbrella. Either wear a rain jacket, stand in the back with your umbrella or get soaked to the bone like the rest of us.

2. Sub Pop Records was done proud at Lolla.

Both The Fleet Foxes and Band Of Horses kicked out some awesome sets at the Petrillo shell. Opening with “Sun It Rises” was a nice touch on a rainy Friday.

3. The Decemberists set is “more of a musical theatre performance than a rock show.”

Muzzle of Bees put it best when describing The Decemberists latest tour. Its theatrical in its delivery and I found it to be one of the best sets of the weekend. I plan on revisiting some of Shara Worden and Becky Stark solo work. They stole the show on Friday.

4. Joe Pug good. Joe Pug + band great.

I personally like Joe Pug MUCH better with a backing band. It makes the solo acoustic pieces stand out more and guitarist Rocco Labriola adds subtle textures to the music on slide and steel guitar.

5. Langhorne Slim gives 110% every time he steps on stage.

Side stage at Lolla, inside at Schubas, 1AM at a club in Austin. It doesn’t matter. The threesome go balls out every single time.

6. The Heartless Bastards get better. And better.

They aren’t flashy or wearing ridiculous outfits, but sweet Jesus, do they churn out a great set of blues-garage rock.

7. Dan Auerbach never disappoints.

Either with The Black Keys or being backed by the Hacienda boys and Patrick from MMJ. He brings it.

8. Jane’s Addiction wardrobe is so predictable.

Before Jane’s set, we had a discussion about whether Navarro would be shirtless. That was a given. Then we moved on to Perry’s outfit. I guessed a fuchsia colored suit. I was so pissed when he walked out in gold. It was just so obvious that I missed it. “Mountain Song” was my personal favorite while my pal Moish was particularly pleased with “Summertime Rolls.”

9. The Henry Clay People were the perfect start to the fest.

They came out carrying some cold ones and fired the crowd right up. They followed that up with a HearYa session the next day over bloody mary’s. Joey (lead singer, guitarist) even let my five year old Teddy play his guitar for a bit. These guys are definitely going places.

10. I had my best day ever at Lollapalooza on Saturday.

That was the day I brought my 5 y/o Teddy to his first “rock concert.” He got to hang with the guys at the studio at the aforementioned Henry Clay session. He also took in Langhorne Slim, Joe Pug, Blind Pilot and The Arctic Monkeys. His favorite of the afternoon was Langhorne Slim.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

mrs. oz August 13, 2009 at 11:24 am

Yay for a shout out to Rocco!

Howard West August 13, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I’m with you on the Lou Reed thing. I missed his set because I was taking in Deerhunter (me and 13 other people it seemed, being up against both Lou and Snoop must have been a real downer for Bradford Cox and co.), and only made it back to the north end of the park once Band of Horses were playing. I was initially pretty pissed at the confiict between the end of their set and the beginning of Jane’s Addiction’s. My son and I were just about midway between the stagew, so we didn’t really hear either clearly until BoH finally went off stage and we could hear Jane’s. A lot of people around us were getting downright hostile toward BoH.

The whole thing was a mystery until I read about what actually happened in the Trib the next morning. Sounds to me like Lou Reed is just an arrogant bastard. I could imagine him up their thinking, ‘fuck Band of Horses. I’m a legend, and in a couple of years they may be back to driving a UPS truck’. What a dick.

adorno August 13, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Feck what a whiny douchebag!

Why didn’t you just stay home with your mommy?

theOCMD August 13, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I’m impressed your little guy made it through 5 sets. What is that, one set for each year? I took mine to Treasure Island last year and he made it through 3 (his age at the time).

Shirk August 14, 2009 at 7:21 am

A friend an I were hanging out to the side of the north stage for a bit before Lou Reed’s set. Saw him leave his dressing room and take the stage. There was a crowd of people standing around watching him. He didn’t give a single wave or smile or acknowledgement to the crowd of fans. He looked like shit…a big scowl on his face…like he hated having to play these songs again. We went out front to catch a few of his tunes, and I could not have been more bored. If I had just walked into the show, and not known who was on the stage (or recognized Lou’s tunes) I would have said, “How did these clowns land this slot at Lolla”? It sounded like some kind of lame corporate party band going through the motions. We left and went south for a more youthful set over at the Vitamin Water stage. Silver Sun Pickups ripped it. Was good to watch a band who is still hungry and appreciative of the crowds response. Not to say the SSPU’s budding career is even comparable to that of Lou Reed, but when it came to delivering the energy and the music, right there, right then on that day….they made Lou Reed look…well, washed up.

oz August 14, 2009 at 8:45 am

I’m with Teddy on Langhorne Slim. Ashamed to admit it was my first time seeing him, but that dude hits the stage and earns it. Blind Pilot ended their set with a new song that was amazing also. Had an island feel to it.

I was really let down by the sound of Gaslight Anthem. Could barely hear any vocals.

As for the umbrellas, I agree completely. Wear a poncho if you stand in front.

emily August 14, 2009 at 9:27 am

“F*CK LOU REED! F*CK LOU REED!” i was TOTALLY there, anxiously awaiting Lou Reed to STOP torturing us and finally let Band of Horses start to play! The crowd was so stoked when BOH finally came out, wow that was a great show and a good vibe. Lolla rocked!

emily August 14, 2009 at 10:18 am

I also need to say, Deerhunter was one of the worst performances for me. As was Passion Pit. I saw The Decembrists @ Bonnaroo and totally agree, their show isn’t really a “show” per se.

SafariMan August 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Lou Reed was terrible at Lolla—which begs the question, ‘what time slot do you give once great artists who now suck live?’ I’m not knocking his talent or career accomplishments by any means–but it’s a fact that he sounded terrible. For me, Lou’s reign of greatness came when he went on tour with Hall & Oates. Now, Daryl Hall wrote some great songs…in fact I was once in a band called ‘Laws Hall & Oates’ when I studied in London for a summer—we played 2 gigs and covered ‘Private Eyes’. But, they also gave us this:


I say you give Lou the 12:30 spot on Sunday so the older folks can relive his once greatness and head back to the burbs before it gets dark. No offense towards the burbs, Woody.

oz August 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm

SafariMan. There he is.

I once saw hall & oates live at a health insurance conference. They played for a room full of insurance brokers wearing tuxedos.



jesselun August 18, 2009 at 9:57 am

Just got back from Philly Folk Festival…and I agree with you that Heartless Bastards, Joe Pug and Langhorne Slim are just incredible. Wow. They were the “little bands” on this fest but the KIDS loved it, and I think a lot of their parents got it.

Decemberists are just amazing

Mike February 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Lou Reed is a legend and without him there is no punk rock or alt. rock.

You should consider yourself lucky to even hear a genius like Reed. Sorry he didn’t wave to you and how dare he upstage Band of Horses!

Nick March 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm

You clowns have no idea the influence Lou Reed has had over music. Without him there is no fricken’ Lollapalooza and you hipster duffuses pretending like you are at Woodstock would have no real music. He is the Godfather of Punk!

He can upstage Band of Horses because well frankly because he is Lou F’n Reed – thats why. And guess who probably didn’t care – who was also pushed back in his starting time – Perry Ferrell! Because he knows that Lou Reed can do anything he wants in Rock n Roll.

Nick March 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

oh and guess who else doesn’t care …………….
…………. LOU REED!

He doesn’t care about your opinions. But I bet Band of Horses cares a lot about what people think of them – and that’s why they will NEVER accomplish what Lou Reed has.

Woody March 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Nick, I don’t give a shit if Lou Reed cares or not; or what he accomplished in the past. It was a shit move.

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