Andrew Boyle's Adventures At Lollapalooza: Day 2
Day 2 of the Lollapalooza festival was less about the legends who popped up on Day 1 and were in store for Day 3, and focused more on the established artists of the 2000s plus the up and comers. It was also a day of disappointing pull outs — Azealia Banks due to illness, and Death Grips because he didn’t actually want to show up. Two excellent picture opportunities aside, the music was top drawer.
Reignwolf was a one-man force of nature channeling the ghost of Hendrix whilst playing the drums (really). Shortly after Brooklyn-based Matt & Kim unleashed indie pop fury in the most over-the-top energetic performance of the afternoon, Kim admitted that "Matt wouldn’t fuck me the night before to conserve energy for the show," hence her overly ecstatic drumming. I caught up with Foals backstage before yet another triumphant set on the back of massive performances at Governors Ball and Coachella. Sadly their set overlapped with The National whose PR reps demanded photo releases signed 45 minutes before kick off, prohibiting festival snappers to make the young band’s show. Word from the other end of the field was Foals killed it (frontman Yannis Philippakis dived into the crowd), and many in the photo pit grumbled that The National’s enjoyable but quiet set (sonically and visually) was probably not worth the fuss.
Kendrick Lamar‘s performance on the main stage dropped like an A-Bomb as Lamar strolled out to the impossibly immense assembly before him, ear drums not having a hope in hell as he dropped Backseat Freestyle, arms bobbing up and down from front row to back. One of the best sets of the day came from HAIM, the three Californian-raised sisters who utterly shredded like guitar Gods. Signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation, they have yet to release an album, but their rather unique soulful sound (think Stevie Knicks by way of En Vogue) will be showing up on the larger stages of festivals in the next few years. Death And Taxes proclaimed that once their debut recording drops, they’ll "take over the world." Stay tuned.
Before pro snowboarder Shaun White‘s band Bad Things got a little weird in a tree canopied-side stage (they were actually quite good), photographers were again given the decision of which headliner to snap. At one end of the festival was folk super group Mumford and Sons, one full mile and 100,000 punters away from electronic darlings The Postal Service, who rumor had it (on Saturday) were about to play their last ever show. Problem was, photographers had to sign ANOTHER release form for Postal Service at 8pm, while Mumford started a mile away at 8:15pm, with the Postal Service commencing at 8:30pm. One would have to leg it up and back in the space of 20 minutes, including shooting time with the Mumfords. Signing my release, I bade farewell to the assembled shooters for Postal Service ("You’ll never make it back in time" was the general opinion), sprinted through the shuffling human traffic and into a open field housing the largest crowd of the day. Guests of performers, organizers and whomever promised their friends a free ticket blocked the pit entrance 10 deep with hopeless cries of "But I know such and such, I’m a guest, I swear!" barring the way. One of the organizers signaled to a beefy security guard to haul me through the stagnated crowd. I shot the Mumford lads in five minutes before launching out of the pit and back into a full sprint back to main stage number two as the opening notes of The Postal Service’s set rang out, receiving a line of high fives from security. Apparently they had never seen it done. I’m sure they say that to all the hyperventilating shooters.
Pushing back a heart attack and sweating bullets, I watched Postal Service perform what would in fact become their farewell gig. I left satisfied that perhaps I had captured something a little historic, and quite looked forward to finally seeing a little band called The Cure the following day…