Notes Tagged ‘Perry Farrell’

Lollapalooza ’09: Been Caught Stealing

August 10th, 2009

If there’s anything quantifiable about Perry Farrell and the evolution of Lollapalooza is that the dude, and the festival, is destined for a crown in weirdness. Even if it was his point from the get-go in ’91, disguised as a farewell tour for Jane’s Addiction. But much like the many young hearts that jumped the perimeters of Grant Park, lightning-bolting through a concrete jungle of tunage and smiles for the glory of a free ticket, Lolla ’09 cruised the continuing frontier of rock and festival with several moments of bliss.

Dan Deacon, otherwise known for his basement hipster dance parties, caught a supreme chance to entertain crowd control on the large stage, in the throws of the afternoon heat.  Commanding a horn section in the teens, while fiddling his signature Atari-esque knobs, capped with a dancing hot dog, the quirky twee-synth star led a pied-piper session in the loss of inhibitions. Tell me the last time you saw a forty-year-old man leapfrog over girl in her twenties…while wearing an inner tube…when the song is about a dog.

The following Passion Pit set was a little more straightforward, lead singer Michael Angelakos showering his unpolished soul yelp in fits of bubble and pop dancetronics, kids climbing up in trees to shake and rustle during “I’ve Got Your Number.”  Angelakos staggered between the monitor, staring deep in the heart of the crowd, while they backed him up with a hopping “Whoa!” in unison come the part where he tells us that love’s what he needs to work at.

It was a sad moment to leave, but the Black Keys’ singer and pick-up monster, Dan Auerbach, was assembling his solo project on the other side of the park.  I’m still confused why there was so much space to breathe come stage-time, especially with Lou Reed on deck following their set.  But the reward was top-notch, Auerbach rolling up like the Conor Oberst of blues, decked in threads found along the Texas/Mexico border, complete with the new of addition of My Morning Jacket beatman, Patrick Hallahan, in full poncho.  The only disappointing part was that they only had one record to work with.

As Saturday nightfall ushered in a Northside cluster of too many good bands in one spot, Sunday’s Lou Reed bill drew the masses, but the former Velvet Underground leader was placid as ever, opening with “Sweet Jane” completely expressionless.  If it wasn’t for a 10-minute DJ distortion assault, Reed droning all the way back to his VU glory days, it would have been a spoon-fed teaser of hits, capped with “A Walk On The Wild Side.”

But good old Farrell chimed in, waving his freak flag, as the last hours hit, slinging a string of cryptic questions towards the crowd about being naked on Saturday, and whether or not anyone had been to bed yet, in the then-third day of the fest.  Or my personal favorite, “What the fuck is this?  80,000 punk rockers?  What the fuck?” He quickly quieted himself and went into the requisite “Jane Says” and “Three Days,” though.  And come “Been Caught Stealing,” it all made sense as part of the nation that spawned alternative.  And if you didn’t dig it, Farrell did set it up so you could go rock out to The Killers.

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Lollapalooza ’09: I Wanna Be Your Dog

August 9th, 2009

Perry Farrell, being the rock sheik that he is, kept wide-eying reminders to grumpy, rained-out folk on Friday about how the sun would dominate the rest of the weekend. But he failed to prepare along the way, kids hopping fences and stretching wristbands in his oversight. Or maybe he’s cool like that. Either way, combined with the hot, humid air you could cut with a butter knife, Saturday was a sweaty, unleashed mess of pop, beginning with the Iggy kind.

Norwegian punktress Ida Maria owned the day’s opening gunshot, splicing love-wretched tales off her debut LP, Fortress Round My Heart, demanding the crowd take off their clothes, she herself leading the movement.  It’s kind of easy when you have songs that promote being naked, though. The 25-year old capped her set with The Stooges sludgy three-chord classic, “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” straddling the stage bare-chest to sultrify the second verse, “And now I’m ready to feel your hand / And lose my heart on the burning sands.”

Aside from a placid 15-minute Band of Horses surprise on the Kidzapalooza Stage, for wee rockers and their parents, with the heaviest moment of rock paired with metaphors about “Nature” for the new season of Nickelodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba! series, singer/songwriters came ready to entertain the masses. Joe Pug being on the top of that list, amping sounds from his apt weeping willow folk EP, Nation of Heat, with a full band, slide guitar shreds and all, swilling cans of Bud in the spaces.

I can’t tell you if the South Side of the field channeled the same energy, but up on the North, Perry’s DJ pit dueled with heavy-hitters from TV on the Radio to Beastie-Boys-pinch-hitters, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, creating a triangle of elbow-to-elbow, cattle-like exoduses every half hour, Perry chiming in around 4 p.m. to promote, once again, the enlargement of his namesake stage with a nod to the many “dance enthusiasts in Chicago,” and how his production team had “no idea” how much it’s embraced.

Meanwhile, Santigold, hot off the trails from her European tour, was gearing up to incite a handful of fans to climb on top of the sound booth and damn near collapse the thing during a speedy cover of the Cure’s “Killing an Arab,” that paired with a duo of stoic, synchronized dancers up on stage, was ten-fold the hip-shakery that Perry’s hoped to be that evening.  Even with the many that let the heat get the best of them come nightfall (fallen soldiers below).  But he’s still got Jane’s Addiction to unveil tomorrow.

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