Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lollapalooza 2009: Constantines, Los Campesinos!

After a rainy and muddy day one of Lollapalooza, the Saturday installment of the fest thankfully went down much more smoothly. The day was dry, at least occasionally sunny and packed with great music, ending with headlining sets from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Tool.

We set out for day two with high hopes and planned to arrive early, but first made a pit stop at the Hilton - which is directly across the street from Grant Park - to check out Playboy's "Rock Star Brunch" event. It was held in a suite at the top of the hotel and with food, drinks and DJs it was a fun way to kickoff a Lolla-filled day. The suite offered an excellent bird's eye view of Grant Park:

Photo: Windy City Rock

Once we arrived at the fest, the first band on tap were Canadian rockers Constantines at the Citi Stage. The band has a straight-ahead, hard-edged style featuring gritty vocals, which is the sort of thing that works very well in a festival setting. Front man Bryan Webb even dedicated a song to Chicago's own Empty Bottle. Here's (most of) the setlist:

1 - ?
2 - Young Offenders
3 - Nighttime/Anytime (It's Alright)
4 - Hard Feelings
5 - Young Lions
6 - Sub-Domestic
7 - Trans Canada
8 - Shower of Stones
9 - Shine a Light
10 - Draw Us Lines

Constantines (Photo: Windy City Rock)

Constantines (Photo: Windy City Rock)

Next up was Wales-based indie pop act Los Campesinos! at the Budweiser Stage. The seven-piece is nothing if not energetic, with almost every song made up of a series of manic yelps from various members of the band. To a point this was amusing, but to my ears its charm began to wear off after a few songs, mostly because the majority of them sound very similar. It can't be denied that the troupe's energy is infectious, though.

Los Campesinos! (Photo: Windy City Rock)
Los Campesinos! (Photo: Windy City Rock)
Los Campesinos! (Photo: Windy City Rock)

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