Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lollapalooza 2010 day one: The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers at Lolla (photo: Windy City Rock)
While my good friend and WCR colleague Susan opted to check out Devo during Lolla's 4 p.m. slot Friday, I hit up the Budweiser stage to take in The New Pornographers. Even though the well-liked indie rock/power pop troupe has been around for over a decade and previously played Lollapalooza in 2006, I hadn't seen them before, so I figured it was about time - especially considering how fantastic their latest LP, Together, is.

The band didn't disappoint. In fact, they gave my second favorite performance of the day, right behind the magnificent Mavis Staples, who played before them on the same stage. The New Pornos weren't exactly a "showy" band - they basically just got out on stage and nonchalantly played their stuff, occasionally with a bit of slightly awkward (endearingly) banter thrown in between songs - but that was perfectly fine. They played the songs so well, and the material is just so good, that it would have been hard not to thoroughly enjoy the set.

Sometimes certain members of this "supergroup" aren't present at certain shows, so I was happy to note they were all on stage - including alt-country/rock darling Neko Case, who performed an excellent solo set at the festival last year. Case hid underneath a big, black and white floppy hat for the entire time to combat the bright afternoon sun, but delivered her songs - such as the gorgeous, peppy new single "Crash Years" and the bouncy "Mass Romantic" - with gusto. Another of the band's vocalists, Dan Bejar, receded to the back of the stage every time he wasn't singing one of his own songs ("Myriad Harbour" and "Silver Jenny Dollar," for example), and when he did come to the front he looked quite surly (again, endearingly so), grasping a can of beer as he sang. The band's other two vocalists, A.C. "Carl" Newman and Kathryn Calder - were more visible. Calder's "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" was a highlight, and Newman delivered spot-on renditions of a handful of his songs, including "Use It" and "All the Old Showstoppers."

The setlist spanned the band's substantial back catalog, paying attention to older fan favorites and hitting on most of the high points from Together. For my first time seeing the band, I don't think I could have asked for a better show.

New Pornographers setlist
1. Sing Me Spanish Techno
2. Myriad Harbour
3. The Laws Have Changed
4. Jackie Dressed in Cobras
5. Moves
6. Crash Years
7. Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk
8. All the Old Showstoppers
9. Testament to Youth in Verse
10. Challengers
11. Your Hands (Together)
12. Mass Romantic
13. Silver Jenny Dollar
14. Use It
15. The Bleeding Heart Show

More photos after the jump

Photo: Windy City Rock

Photo: Windy City Rock

Photo: Windy City Rock

Photo: Windy City Rock

No comments:

Post a Comment