Decemberists, Of Montreal Put New Spins on Retro Sounds on Lollapalooza’s Day One

August 8th, 2009 by J. Edward Keyes Leave a reply »

“The thing about rain,” said Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon midway through his band’s Friday afternoon Lollapalooza set, “It kinda tells you what a city’s made of.”

If Fallon’s theory is correct, the people of Chicago — and everywhere else the crowd came from — are made of pretty stern stuff. But crap weather couldn’t hamper a festival that came off as both perfectly planned and expertly managed. Now in its ninth year (with a few gaps along the way), Lollapalooza feels less a music festival and more like a small village. It has a nightclub, an organic market, a day care and a video arcade. And because it’s held in Chicago’s sprawling, 319-acre Grant Park, no one stage ever felt overrun or uncomfortably cramped.

(Watch footage from Heartless Bastards, Bon Iver and the Decemberists’ Lollapalooza sets, above.)

It all allowed proper focus to be placed on the music, the bulk of which was both inspired and inspiring. Gaslight Anthem’s early afternoon set was particularly rousing. Opening with a white-hot run through “High Lonesome,” the group maintained a down-to-business approach, rarely pausing for banter or tune-ups. Drummer Benny Horowitz had a silkscreen of Richard Roundtree and Charles Bronson on his bass drum, and those twin images convey the group’s essential ethos: a collected cool that conceals a fighting spirit.

Photos from Lollapalooza ‘09: Decemberists, Of Montreal, Gaslight Anthem and more

“People ask me all the time what records I listened to growing up,” Fallon said. “They always think it’s old blue...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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