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)


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