La Bodega

Tales and pictures from our little corner of the world.


The Palooza Pt. 2

Back we were in Grant Park for Day 2 of Lollapalooza. We slept in a bit and arrived right on time for the first band of day that we really wanted to see - Dr. Dog. These guys were the perfect early day band for the festival. Their music has a perfect summery feel and they were really enjoying themselves on the large stage as they harmonized perfectly and jumped around during their songs. A lot of recognizable tunes from their new album and their previous effort. They were a great way to start the day feel, and really got us energized.

On the complete opposite end of the music spectrum is where the next act we saw resides - The Gutter Twins. Greg Dulli of Afghan Whigs fame and Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age fame, they were somehow able to make a hot and clear Saturday afternoon seem cold and dark. Lanegan stood like a statue while he growled lead vocals during most of their songs, and Dulli was always there to back him up with jarring screams. This is the first time I have really listened to the band, and I was really impressed with how crisp they sounded. Check out the pic below, and check out their album.

Next there was a decision to be made - MGMT or Devotchka? We had just seen Devotchka at First Ave, and while they are an impressive live band, I imagine they would get kind of swallowed up by the open air of the outdoor stage. So MGMT it was. Unfortunately that seemed to be pretty much everybody else's decision. Apparently MGMT became a HUGE buzz band during the past few months because it seemed everybody at Grant Park was waiting to see them. Not being a huge fan to begin with, we made our way towards the back and thought we could just listen. That didn't really turn out either, as it was MGMT that were really swallowed up by the outdoor stage. They were barely heard from where we were, so we decided to take the opportunity to relax and bit and grab something to eat before we finished up the day with a couple solid acts.

Next we caught the very end of Explosions in the Sky's set, who really seemed to take advantage of the large set-up and really filled up their end of the park in sound and audience. We passed by one guy as their set was ending saying, "Damn those guys are loud." Check them out at a small club, man. You have no idea. What we were really heading over for was Okkervil River's set, which actually turned out to be one of my favorite sets of the entire weekend. Will Scheff got totally into the songs and his band followed suit. While Okkervil has about half mellowed down songs and half rockers, only the rockers were head this day. All of the upbeat songs from their newer album with the rockers from Black Sheep Boy sprinkled in here and there, and everyone was singing along. Well down guys. You have impressed me each time I have seen you play.

Moving to the other side of the park, we caught the set by Battles. Yeah, these guy might take some effort at first to really get into, but they are totally worth it. You have to at least appreciate the complexity of their music. While the crowd seemed mildly into most their set, it was 'Atlas' that really tipped the scale. Along with LCS's 'All My Friends' and MIA's 'Paper Planes,' this was one of my favorite songs of 2007. Absolutely impossible not to bob your head to. The song is just friggin great, and so too was it live.

Ahh Sharon Jones. Do you ever put in a mediocre performace? Certainly not at Lollapooza 2008. While it was nearly a replica of her show at First Ave last fall, she was still a great time and every single member of the audience had a huge smile on their face as I'm sure most were seeing her for the first time. She is the irrefutable queen of soul/funk going strong today.

The big question of the weekend was who were we going to see Saturday night? Rage Against the Machine or Wilco? the decision turned out to be a no-brainer, as I was never really into the band that a majority of the people were there to see Saturday night. So Wilco it was, and I have no regrets. I admit I got into Wilco a little late in the game, but I was really excited to see them Saturday night. The location, the weather, and the overall feel of the moment was perfect. We weren't jockeying for position or fighting off sweaty pre-teens or fatty 30somethings. Instead, we had our own spots and had a perfect view of the stage as we listened to some great American rock music. Tweedy spewed out poetry and Nels Cline showed off his guitar prowess and the band made their way through a very diverse set of old and new songs from Being There to Sky Blue Sky, and even a brand new one. Favorites of the evening were "I am Trying to Break Your Heart," "A Shot in the Arm," "Can't Stand It," "Monday," and "Walken."


01 Misunderstood
02 I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
03 You Are My Face
04 Impossible Germany
05 It's Just That Simple
06 Stage Banter
07 Handshake Drugs
08 Pot Kettle Black
09 One Wing
10 Spiders (Kidsmoke)
11 A Shot In The Arm
12 Jesus, Etc.
13 Hate It Here
14 Can't Stand It
15 Walken
16 Monday
17 Outtasite (Outta Mind)


Lollallallallapaloooooooza - Grant Part, Chicago, 8/1-8/4

That is me, ready to conquer that massive 120 band, 3 day behemoth of a music festival known as Lollapalooza. As soon as I heard the rumors months ago stating that Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, two of my favorite bands, would be two of the headliners at this year's fest I knew immediately that I had to go. Thankfully the rumors held true. Not only were Radiohead and NIN two of the headliners, but Wilco, Kanye West, and reformed Rage Against the Machine were the others. Move over Bonnaroo and Coachella, this was to be the summer festival of the year.

Wasting no time with bringing out the main act of the weekend, Radiohead headlined the first day with no other headliner playing at the same time on the opposite end of the festival grounds. This means 75,000 people would be watching one of, if not THE, greatest bands in the world on a nice summer evening; pure Euphoria. First band on the docket were new age/agfro-prog rockers Yeasayer. They put on a fantastic performance that left me wanting to see them in a more intimate setting. Next we hit up The Kills for a couple songs, followed by Gogol Bordello. This was one of the highlights of the first day, as these guys were so intense and full of energy, I am sure they made more than a few new fans with their blend of eastern European themes and Sex Pistols punk.

After GB, we starting thinking about positioning for our spots for the Radiohead show, so we grabbed a bite to eat and went right back to the same stage, where they would take the stage in about 2 hours. Unfortunately everyone else had the same plan and nobody really moved from their spot for the rest of the evening in anticipation. This means we had to sit through Bloc Party rather than see Jack White and the Raconteurs boys. This was a necessary sacrifice, as there will be many more opportunities to see them. Bloc Party's performance was quite forgetful, as they could not live up to the big Lollapalooza stage and the open air seemed to swallow up their sound.

After an hour wait 'Packt like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Box,' Radiohead entered with wide fan fare and opened with '15 Step,' the opening song from In Rainbows. I believe nearly every song from their new album was played, with sprinkles of songs from the rest of their albums. Highlights from the set included an always moving rendition of Fake Plastic Trees, during which fireworks exploded in the night sky as the song reached it climax. Paranoid Android is debatably one of Radiohead's best song in their catalog, and they made fantastic use of their light set-up during this one. In the encore was House of Cards with it's grooving lead guitar hook got a lot of people's hips moving in their own tight spot. National Anthem and Everything in it's Right Place are two of my favorite Radiohead songs. The second encore also contained staple Idioteque and rocker 2+2=5.

Overall, I think it was impossible for Radiohead to live up to the expectation set by anyone after the first time you have seen them, and this held true. All of the songs were great, the light show was fantastic, but I never got chills like I did on the hit summer evening when I saw them in East Troy about 4 years ago. That being said, there is no band like Radiohead and I will see them every chance I get. They will never let down. See below for pictures from my vantage point as well as their set list, and stay tuned for my thoughts on Day 2.

01. 15 Step
02. Airbag
03. There There
04. All I Need
05. Nude
06. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
07. The Gloaming
08. The National Anthem
09. Faust Arp
10. No Surprises
11. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
12. Reckoner
13. Lucky
14. The Bends
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. Fake Plastic Trees
17. Bodysnatchers

Encore 1:

18. Videotape
19. Paranoid Android
20. Dollars and Cents
21. House of Cards
22. Optimistic

Encore 2:

23. 2+2=5
24. Idioteque


Ween - Roy Wilkins Auditorium - 7/19/08

Back in action baby! So Ween recently played in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul and of course I was in attendance. The show was classic Ween - a great set list with a wide variety of old and new. I've read repeatedly that the Twin Cities is one of the favorite places for the guys to play, so I'd like to think they give a little extra effort when they play here. The venue was a more appropriate for the Oneness than the State Theater, which is where they played the last time they were here.

Some highlights for me were hearing Woman and Man from the new album. Unfortunately we did not get the intro from the album version of the song and they kicked right into the rocking part of the song. Voodoo Lady is always great to hear. Nan was just friggin hilarious to watch them play (apparently this was a special request by Deaner). I've never heard them play Stroker Ace, which is definitely one of their most rocking/metalhead songs. The Ace of Spades cover was great with Dave on lead vocals. The Mollusk, which is a staple of every Ween performance I've seen, was especially enjoyable this time. Gener repeated each line of the soliloquy about a dozen times using the megaphone. And finally, during the second encore (it seemed the crowd nor Ween ever wanted to leave, which was OK by me) Deaner jammed on drums and Claude and guitar for some time, with serious sludge rock/Melvins undertones.

Check the pictures below, but see them live next time you have the chance. I promise you, you will be an instant fan.


Porkroll Egg & Cheese
Spinal Meningitis
Golden Eel
Happy Colored Marbles
Piss Up a Rope
Learnin to Love
Take Me Away
The Grobe
Even if You Don't
Voodoo Lady
Yer Party
Buckingham Green
Back to Basom
Bananas and Blow
My Own Bare Hands
Woman and Man (sans intro)
Waving My Dick in the Wind
Stroker Ace
Dr. Rock
The Mollusk

Final Alarm (?)
Goin Gets Tough
The Blarney Stone
Ace of Spades (Motorhead cover)
Can't Put My Finger On It

(Encore 2)
You Fucked Up
Deaner and Claude Jam