Monday, August 9, 2010

Lollapalooza 2010 day three: Miniature Tigers, Frank Turner

Miniature Tigers at Lollapalooza (photo: Windy City Rock)
The third and final day of Lollapalooza 2010 got off to an early - and rainy - start for me as I arrived at the festival to see one of the first bands on the schedule, Miniature Tigers. I've been digging this band ever since I saw them open for The Morning Benders here in Chicago a few months ago, and keeping their newly-released sophomore LP, Fortress, in heavy rotation.

Many others must feel the same way, because despite the steady rain and the early start time a large and attentive crowd gathered by the PlayStation stage on the North side of the fest to see the band play at 11:30 a.m.

The band pulled through for both existing fans and those gathered just out of curiosity with a set of tight, good-natured indie pop that was consistently accessible yet lyrically and musically interesting enough to sound fresh and different from the droves of other indie pop bands out there. They focused on material from Fortress, such as the brief, bouncy and humorously titled "Japanese Woman Living in My Closet," the dancey single "Gold Skull" and the lush, airy "Tropical Birds," but also pulled out some highlights from their debut - most notably the infectious "Cannibal Queen," which got the audience singing along. In addition to having great tunes, they seem like an all around good group of guys that you can't help but root for - something that came through loud and clear when frontman Charlie Brand recounted how he really wanted to go to Lollapalooza when he was 12 but couldn't because he was too young, and how amazing it was that he was now getting the chance to play the fest with his band.

Although not one of the most talked about bands at this year's fest, Miniature Tigers proved to be one of the most enjoyable.

Miniature Tigers setlist:
1. Mansion of Misery
2. Rock N' Roll Mountain Troll
3. Tell It to the Volcano
4. Bullfighter Jacket
5. Gold Skull
6. Japanese Woman Living in My Closet
7. Tropical Birds
8. Lolita
9. Coyote Enchantment
10. Cannibal Queen
11. Last Night's Fake Blood
Frank Turner at Lollapalooza (photo: Windy City Rock)

After Miniature Tigers ended, I headed over to the smaller Sony bloggie stage to catch a portion of British folk/punk singer-songwriter Frank Turner's set. At that point I was admittedly a bit annoyed by the rain that wouldn't seem to let up, but what I saw of Turner's performance made me forget about it and got me rocking straight away. Like Miniature Tigers, the singer-songwriter seemed extremely thrilled to be playing the fest and was visibly giving it his all to win the crowd over with his impassioned, driving material. In my opinion, it's more often acts like these, not necessarily the heavy hitters, that make Lollapalooza a special experience and a venue for discovering new music.

Stay tuned for additional coverage of Lollapalooza's Sunday performances, including Arcade Fire, The National, MGMT and more.

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