|Lollapalooza 2013 | Photo Credit: Jenny Reece|
I know the trend right now calls for me to take a too-cool-for-school attitude about Lolla; to knock its excess hype, branding and mainstream-leaning lineup. As a fan of underground music I'm supposed to have an aneurysm eye-rolling at the likes of Mumford & Sons, The Killers and The Lumineers. Street-cred be damned, that's just not the case. Lollapalooza is Chicago's biggest and brightest party set in one of its most incredible spaces and the 2013 incarnation delivered. Here are the Friday highlights.
New Order's main set ended with the unmistakable rapid bass of "Blue Monday" and a manic, extended jam on orgasmic synth-pop anthem "Temptation." The band could've walked off then having played the best set of day one, but that's just not what legends do. All the spacy keys and jangling guitars faded into one focused drumbeat while Anton Corbijn's haunting video for "Atmosphere" unfolded behind the band. New Order's rhythm section was haunting as ever; Stephen Morris' drums sticks sounded soaked in lead while Tom Chapman's forlorn bass stumbled forward. The song is closely associated with the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, thanks in large part to its placement at the end of Corbijn's film Control. Each time Curtis' image appeared on screen the crowd, now silently fixated, offered touching bouts of applause. New Order closed with a couple more Joy Division tunes: the throbbing, angstry yet ultimately danceable "Transmission" and the ever iconic "Love Will Tear Us Apart." The somewhat older crowd that turned out to see New Order shucked the sadness long enough for one more dance party before exploding into another round of applause. While Sumner's voice will never sound quite right handling Curtis' crushing lyrics, the opportunity to see Joy Division's songs live should never be missed. Then again, neither should New Order.
Nine Inch Nails
|Nine Inch Nails | Photo Credit: David Mead|
|The Killers | Photo Credit: Cambria Harkey|