Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Aug 5th 2012 2:27PM by Dan Reilly
Dani Pozo, AFP
Following the storm delay, the Peppers went on a little later than originally planned, but the energy came back easily once they got a song or two into the set. For a band with their longevity and output, it's basically a greatest-hits set, with some new material and a couple of sleepers -- here's the setlist -- and they delivered it well in a park of this size.
During the set, the grounds basically comprised single square-foot pockets of dry grass or dirt, surrounded by one of the following: Soft ground that resembled a clay tennis court, fairly slick mud or puddles of filth. After slogging through it to get a good view, I gave up caring pretty quickly. "Can't Stop" led to a particularly hard puddle-stomping session right around me, with chunks of it flying up to my collar.
The highlight of the set, for me, was "Under the Bridge." Yeah, it sounds cliche, and the reason for me enjoying it so much has a little to do with that: At least 75 people in my high school knew how to play that song on guitar and would do so often in jazz-band rehearsal or at a party. Seeing that made me pretty nostalgic for those days, particularly because a great friend of ours passed away a few weeks ago. Funny thing is, he'd probably give me shit for not going to catch Frank Ocean (He was doing a lot of work for Jay-Z's Made in America festival).
So yeah, a bit of a downer there, but I smiled the whole way through. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I need to stop being so judgmental of others' musical tastes. If I can stand in a foul-smelling puddle and have that kind of fun with such emotional weight, I'm not going to shit on anyone's taste if it hits them that way, whether it be rock, rap, speed metal, EDM, mellow funk in odd time signatures, etc.
Anyway, enough of my pontificating on that. The band closed it out with a predictably energetic rendition of "Give It Away," leading to a 30-minute trail of stomping through the disgustingness to leave Grant Park. The mud people were everywhere, many of them dry and caked in a layer of what looked like gray/brown paint. Back at my hotel, my shower turned into what looked like a crime scene. Good thing I brought two pairs of shoes, because this is how they ended up. Totally worth it.
And, like I did in my recap of yesterday's evacuation, I have to give a tip of the cap to Doomtree, whose late set I caught at the Empty Bottle. Not only was it incredible, but it had a special meaning, as No Kings was the last album I played for my rap-loving friend. He approved, which always made me feel a little more legit when it came to my taste in the genre. I'll miss him always, but I'm eternally lucky that I get to experience nights like these where I can feel the weight of this loss and still have the time of my life. He'd want it that way.
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