I woke up Sunday morning to the sound of my sister’s completely untrained 3 year old German shepherd barking like a dog possessed. That’s not relevant to my Lollapalooza coverage, but thought I’d mention it anyway.
So after a smoothie and a brief ride back to the festival grounds, I went to the AMD stage to go see Austin’s What Made Milwaukee Famous. The early crowd bounced around to all their indie pop goodness. I was impressed. After most of their set, I raced over to the BMI stage for Chicago’s own Catfish Haven and met up with Ryan from Muzzle Of Bees (check out his pictures of all these bands since I was sans kamera).
After some minor microphone issues, Catfish Haven proceeded to rock the shit out of everyone that stopped to watch (me included). They played my favorites off their Please Come Back EP and also new songs from their forthcoming full-length (due Sept. 12). Instead of just the three-piece I expected, they were joined on stage by two backup singers, saxophone, trumpet, keys, and a guy playing electric guitar. Woah! I can’t say enough about how great Catfish Haven was. They are playing a record release show on September 16th in Chicago so check their website for details.
From there, we walked to see The Hold Steady. I’d never seen the band before and had only ever heard a few tunes. Their straight up rock-n-roll was powerful, humorous, and just plain awesome. Their latest album Separation Sunday (see Muzzle Of Bees) is next on my “must have” list of albums.
From The Hold Steady we (with Frank from Chromewaves also with us) went off to see Hot Chip. I really like both their albums, but I was surprised at how much soul they brought to their electro-pop tunes in a live setting. I was also a little surprised at just how much bass they pumped out and thumped out. If you wanted to dance, this was the band to see.
Then it was off to see Andrew Bird, who performed with just one additional drummer/musician. It was astounding to watch him play his violin and guitar while also whistling, singing, and working his loops. I truly have no idea how he pulled it off live. He was great, but I think that less than 20% of the people watching had any idea who he was. That was their loss.
The Shins played next and were a bit more up tempo and “rock” than on their albums. They were good, but I just expected a little bit more. I then raced the 8 blocks back to the other end of Grant Park to get some water and catch some of Matisyahu, who’s Jewish reggae/hip-hop I was pleasantly surprised with. I am still not sure if he is for real. It seems kinda gimmicky.
At the recommendation of my wife, I then went to find the stage that Reverend Horton Heat was playing on. It was a rockabilly party. Despite not being a huge fan of that genre, the Rev certainly puts on a helluva show. Quite a lot of fun.
Next on the seemingly endless agenda was another old favorite of mine, Poi Dog Pondering. I’ve been a Poi Dog fan since I was 15 or so but haven’t seen them live for probably 10 years or so. They aren’t the same band that they were back then and despite putting on a good show, lacked (IMHO) a lot of the energy I remembered them having.
So I then waded through the sea of people who were ready to watch Wilco play to the massive hometown crowd that had gathered. As usual, Wilco did not disappoint. They played the old favorites and even some new songs (click here for more setlist details). One of the new songs they played was “Impossible Germany” (listen below courtesy of Chromewaves).
MP3 | Wilco – Impossible Germany (Live) Live At Summerfest 2006
Finally there was Broken Social Scene. They came with the entire 15-member group and (like everyone has said) were totally fantastic. I (however) left a little early to meet my wife at Schubas to see three more bands that weren’t on the Lollapalooza bill. It was a great weekend during which I saw many great bands for the first time and met many great people for the first time. If next year’s lineup is anything like this one, you can bet I’ll see you there.