Lollapalooza 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.