Monday, August 9, 2010

Lollapalooza 2010 day three: The National, Arcade Fire

The National at Lollapalooza (photo: Windy City Rock)
The grand finale of this year's Lollapalooza Sunday night was an indie/alt-rock fan's dream, with The National playing immediately before headliners Arcade Fire on stages that were right across from one another on the North side of the fest's grounds.

The National set the stage for a memorable conclusion to the 2010 installment of the three-day music-filled party with a strong selection of songs that included highlights from their most recent release, High Violet, while also giving quite a bit of attention to their 2007 album, Boxer. One of the new songs, "Runaway," opened the set on a grand, stately note, making way for other moody and gems such as "Fake Empire" and "Anyone's Ghost." The band kept things from becoming to sleepy by mixing in higher-charged rockers such as "Abel" and "Mr. November." By the time they closed the performance with an excellent rendition of "Terrible Love," which sounded a great deal more powerful than it does on its recorded version on High Violet, many people began migrating over to the Budweiser stage to get in position for Arcade Fire. Still, it was a worthy conclusion to one of the weekend's top-tier performances.

Immediately after The National left the stage, Arcade Fire kicked into "Ready to Start," one of the highlights off their new, third LP The Suburbs, and never let up throughout their 90-minute set. Instead of using the performance to put emphasis on the new record, they wisely delivered a setlist obviously designed as a crowd-pleaser, emphasizing their debut, most widely-popular LP, Funeral. They performed seven songs from that record, just as many as they performed from The Suburbs. Not surprisingly, those seven songs got the most enthusiastic reaction, but the crowd also seemed captivated by the new material, such as the rocking "Month of May" and the new wavey, Regine Chassagne-sung "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)." Sophomore album Neon Bible got the least attention with only three songs, but the three that are arguably the strongest from that release - "Keep the Car Running," "No Cars Go" and "Intervention." The band left everyone feeling properly uplifted with the epic, sweeping "Wake Up," which worn out Lolla-goers happily sang along to. It was the perfect way to end a weekend full of good music and good times.

Check out setlists from both The National and Arcade Fire after the jump.

The National setlist:
1. Runaway
2. Mistaken for Strangers
3. Anyone's Ghost
4. Bloodbuzz Ohio
5. Brainy
6. Slow Show
7. Squalor Victoria
8. Afraid of Everyone
9. Conversation 16
10. Available
11. Apartment Story
12. Abel
13. England
14. Fake Empire
15. Mr. November
16. Terrible Love

Arcade Fire setlist:
1. Ready to Start
2. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
3. No Cars Go
4. Haiti
5. Empty Room
6. Rococo
7. The Suburbs
8. Intervention
9. Crown of Love
10. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
11. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
12. We Used to Wait
13. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
14. Rebellion (Lies)
15. Month of May
16. Keep the Car Running
17. Wake Up

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