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[personal profile] verbal_kint
 Took me long enough, and it's a bit tl;dr but:

Lollapalooza was breathtakingly amazing. Granted, I don’t go to concerts all of the time, but damn, it was like a freaking religious experience. I saw almost every band that I wanted to, got my shoes signed by the members of Stars, Phoenix, and The Antlers, and I just had the time of my life. To better put it in perspective, it was like going to a party where everyone loves and appreciates each band as much as you do. I’m still kind of in awe; I mean these are bands that two years ago I was like, “damn, I love so-and-so, but I’ll probably never get a chance to see them live.”
Brian (my brother) went with me for two of the three days, but we didn’t really hang out much, as he’s a 30 year-old Lolla pro who was content with sitting down 200 yards from the stage, and I, a whippersnapper of 18, was totes in the mosh pit. I had to wear my huge black boot so I wasn’t high off my ass on narcotics all weekend, but it seemed like a small price to pay to see my favorite bands up close.

Friday Shows

The Walkmen: Played a lot of their old stuff, which I’m less familiar with, but the crowd was really digging it, and Hamilton was charming as always. They got a crappy time slot, but they made the best of it.
Cymbals Eat Guitars: So awesome. They were just about the most obscure band of the weekend, but their set was totally boss. They started with “And the Hazy Sea” which was a big wake up call to the people who hadn’t heard of them. I felt like a dork because I was one of maybe three people singing along. There was only like 100 people watching them, but they ended with “Indiana” and everyone cheered. Afterwards, the lead singer, Joseph, came out into the crowd and shook our hands, signed autographs, etc. He was a really nice guy, down to earth, and you could tell he was tickled pink to be playing for us.
The New Pornographers: I only caught “Adventures in Solitude” because I’d already seen them when they came to Tucson, but EVERYBODY was singing along and their crowd was really fun. I forget what the lead singer’s name is, but he would answer every time some random person shouted something. Witty guy.
Matt & Kim: Again, only caught a few of their songs, but the dynamic between Matt and Kim is hysterical. They were like a comedy team between songs, and it was like watching siblings make fun of each other.
Neon Trees: They played at a tiny, tiny stage, which was obviously disproportionate to their fame, but OMG they were a riot to watch. First off, Tyler was dressed in leopard pants and a salmon blazer that he and his mom sewed in his kitchen. He made fun of his haircut (“Daddy, why won’t you let me have a douchebag mohawk?”), and he kept grabbing scarves off the band members and throwing them into the audience. He also gave this spiel about how it’s cool to be cool with your parents, and I thought that was pretty classy of him. Plus, the music is just fun. They’re no Eric Clapton, but they know it and they were having a good time.
Lady Gaga: Yes, Lady Gaga. Now, I went to the Lady Gaga show because (gasp) The Strokes don’t do it for me and I figured it’d be fun. I don’t know any of her songs really, or anything about her other than I saw an interview with her and she was totally normal. Bizarre right? Anyways, I didn’t want to, but I loved her show. It knocked my socks off. Of course there was camp and theatricality, but she blended it with these soulful piano ballads and messages about how it’s okay to be different, and it was truly moving. She dedicated the show to her dad, which was sweet (first thought—“she’s wearing THAT in front of her dad?”), and kill me for saying so, but I really think that she’s my generation’s Michael Jackson. She’s got the costumes, the weird, and the hits, and she totally and completely won me over. Seriously, if she’s ever in town, even if it costs more than your average concert, go see her. Words can’t describe.

Saturday

The Morning Benders: I love this band, I really do, but their live performance was a little lackluster. They played their songs exactly how they sound on the CD, which sort of bothers me sometimes. Part of it was the crowd, too. Not a lot of people knew their music; nobody was getting into it, etc. Oh well, their new album still rocks.
Stars: Stars is, hands down, my favorite band. I know a lot of people find them too soft or boring, but they are one of the few bands that can make me feel any emotion they want me to in the span of three minutes. The crowd was great for them, a lot of long time fans like me, a lot of people who’d seen them before. Something cool about Stars is that when they’re touring, they post polls on their website so the crowd can vote on their set. This was the first time they picked their own set in a year, and they didn’t disappoint. They started out with “Take Me to the Riot,” which surprised me because they just released a new album. Anyways, it was fantastic. Torq and Amy (the frontrunners) are best friends, but in their songs they often play the parts of lovers, and that chemistry is definitely palpable when they sing together. They were hilarious between songs though, tossing roses out into the audience, making fun of themselves. For their last song, everyone pretty much knew it was going to be “Your Ex-Lover is Dead,” so to screw with people they started playing something none of us had heard of. Then Torq yelled, “We’re just fucking with you, we’ll play The Song,” and he played The Song. The crowd went wild. Afterwards, I hoofed it over to the autograph tent so they could sign my shoes. There weren’t that many of us in line so Torq and Amy were talking with people and taking pictures and stuff. I sort of froze up when I met Amy. I just shook her hand and said thank you. By the time I got to Torq I said, “I really don’t have anything interesting or witty to say other than I like your music.” And he said, “I think I’m supposed to be the witty one.” So I said, “We could laugh and pretend that one of us said something witty.” And that’s what we did. He gave me a high five and said that my shoe stank, and that was it. Still, it was really cool to see them up close like that.
Grizzly Bear: I had to stay at the same stage through Grizzly Bear to get a good spot for Spoon and Phoenix. And I like Grizzly Bear, but I only know a few of their songs. The rest kind of bored me. They also played “Two Weeks” as the first and last song of their set. That struck me as odd. They played “Southern Point” which was kind of cool. I was standing next to this girl, probably a few years younger than I am, who was completely OBSESSED with Grizzly Bear, so I felt like I had to appear more interested than I was.
Metric: Heard them while camping out for Spoon. They were really, really good and I hope I get to see them again someday. Emily Haines used to be with The Soft Skeleton, and I sort of like her work with them better, but Metric definitely exceeded my expectations. They gave a shout-out to Stars, because Emily, Torq, and Amy are all in Broken Social Scene together. I saw them all at Pitchfork with BSS about three weeks ago.
Spoon: I felt kind of bad for Spoon because they had to open for Phoenix even though they’re bigger than Phoenix. I also think the lead singer’s hot. They played lots of stuff from their newest album, which is awesome, btw. But they did a good job of mixing old and new. They didn’t play “They Way We Get By” which was a little disappointing, but they played, “The Underdog,” “Black Like Me,” and “Written in Reverse,” which more than made up for it.
Phoenix: Got my shoes signed by them early in the day. They seemed sort of skittish at the signing, and I know they’re a little uncomfortable with the fame that came from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, so I was expecting them to be pretty stiff on stage. They totally proved me wrong. I was way up against the front security fence, and not only were they totally loose on stage, Thomas Mars jumped off the stage and crowd surfed! They had a two hour time slot and played almost everything from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. They also played “Long Distance Call” and “Rally” from It’s Never Been Like That. Totally caught me off guard, as those are my favorite songs off those albums. The show was high energy; the crowd was totally nuts, and it was just as good as Gaga the night before.

Sunday

The Antlers: They had a crappy time slot and the crowd didn’t seem to be digging them, but I thought they were fantastic. It even rained while they performed, which, if you’ve heard The Antlers, you know is more than appropriate. Their album Hospice is a really beautiful story; it’d probably even make a good book or something.
Blitzen Trapper: Didn’t play any songs I knew, which was sort of disappointing. Not much to report really, lol. They’re not one of my favorite bands.
Yeasayer: I heard them while I was camping out for Arcade Fire. I’d actually never even heard of them, but they impressed me, and their fans seemed pretty classy, so go them.
MGMT: I, like so many others, HATE the new album. So, to my chagrin, they basically only played tunes off their new album, and acted all pissy about playing “Kids.” But they point is, they played “Kids” and it was Amazing.
The National: Barely heard them because I was huddled up waiting for Arcade Fire. But I think they played “Fake Empire,” which is a spectacular song, so I was excited for their hardcore fans who got to hear them up close.
Arcade Fire: No words describe the brilliance that is Arcade Fire live. I’ll leave it at that.
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verbal_kint

May 2012

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