Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Mariah Carey gave viewers across the nation a…
- Posted on Aug 4th 2012 11:15AM by Mike Mehalick
Steve Mitchell, Invision/AP
Sunlight poured through the trees at the Google Play stage, where rising U.K. outfit Animal Kingdom embraced their first ever appearance in Chicago. From there it was a bounce over to the expansive fields of the Bud Light and Playstation stages for the perusing of the eclectic buffet of schedule selections. Boats of all shapes and sizes began stalling on the banks of Lake Michigan while folksters First Aid Kit and Brazilian reggae-rap party starters O Rappa welcomed the still trickling in crowds.
On the opposite side of the park were the nearly symmetrical stages underneath Sony and Red Bull sponsorship, respectively. All this without making mention of the never-ending vibrations emanating from the designated outdoor dance arena Perry's, named for Lolla founder and legendary Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell. Yellow Ostrich took the Sony stage while Orlando Higginbottom, aka Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, brought the daytime house mix dressed in his signature neck-dress.
Pennsylvanian psych-rockers Dr. Dog went up against the Black Angels, and as the former ran through an energetic set with pitch-perfect croons from Toby Leaman and Scott McKicken, the latter created a mystic ambiance with swirling guitars and a featured sitar. From there, it was singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten up against space rockers Tame Impala, who had heads swaying to their refined rhythmic jams.
One of the largest conflicts on the first day of Lollapalooza came in the form of Metric's 4PM start preempting a 4:15PM set by the reunited and rare Afghan Whigs. Veterans of Lollas past, Metric and their coolly exuberant lead singer Emily Haines drew largely from their new disc Synthetica while still leaving enough room for fan favorites like "Combat Baby" and "Help I'm Alive." Originally active from 1986 to a sputtering and shuttering of business in the early aughts, the Afghan Whigs continued their sparsely dated comeback run with a powerful blast of eccentric and emotive rock centered around front man Greg Dulli's all-encompassing vocal abilities.
South African shock-rappers Die Antwoord took the Playstation stage three strong as MC's Yo-Landi Vi$$er and Ninja put on a rave style display of their unique flow and delivery. The largest non-Perry's jump-off likely took place as the duo ripped through recent single "I Fink U Freeky" after a surprise mooning from Vi$$er.
The early evening brought the refreshing breezes of a Chicago sunset and a Passion Pit show steeped in intrigue, as bandleader Michael Angelakos had cancelled a slew of dates in advance of Lollapalooza, citing personal issues. Collective breaths were held as the group was a few minutes late, but the tie-wearing singer weaved through a concentrated arena-dance set with enough conviction and tortured gesticulations to suggest that this was a man with something to prove. Shimmering waves of sound echoed all the way to the other side of the park, where James Mercer and the Shins pre-headlined for the Black Keys with a melodic stream of old classics and new cuts off of their latest, Port of Morrow.
The alternative radio hype machine was in full effect as a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd gathered for the indie-tronica project of French musician Anthony Gonzalez, of M83 fame. Much of the EDM-lighting display backed set drew from M83's breakthrough record Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, with highlights including the car-commercial-licensed "Steve McQueen," the furiously reverberating guitars of "Reunion" and of course the mega-hit "Midnight City".
With a genial departing wave from Gonzalez, the Lolla masses gathered themselves for one final push leading into the prime time sets of Black Sabbath, the Black Keys, Bassnectar and Wale. Lollapalooza Friday 2012 goes in the books as summer soaked fans young and old buzzed about the weekend still to come.
Lollapalooza 2012 Photos