Lollapalooza UPDATE: The below poster is indeed the real lineup for…
- Posted on Sep 23rd 2012 4:45PM by Devon Maloney
Eat something before you make a go of the second day at Pier 36 -- the food trucks aren't overpriced, but the drinks sure are. Conserve your cash; it's all about endurance today. Notice, upon arrival, that today's crowd has attempted to even out the beard-to-sundress ratio somewhat. Everything will look more like summer camp in the light of day. Don't miss Emeralds because you took forever to get ready. Everyone who made it out in time will swear you missed something special and you will feel bad about yourself, even though it sounds like it must've been bizarre to see the electro trio unfurl their hazy, stargaze-y aesthetic in daylight on an outdoor stage under a highway.
Vetiver's sleepy grooves sort of discourage energetic on-stage moves, so don't take it personally if they look unenthused about playing a spotty crowd at 2PM. They'll hit their stride somewhere mid-set and it'll be all gravy (or mostly gravy) from there -- even if you can't tell whether they had fun, you at least will be ready for something harder by the end of it.
Do. Not. Miss. Scrawl. They are everything you might've missed at Vetiver (and everything you might've missed over the past two decades, if you weren't cool in the late 1980s and early 1990s): Electrified grunge screams about American consumerism, sisterhood, and fearing you might be turning into a slut. Marcy May's gravelly squall is a national treasure, and don't you forget it.
Meander, after a snack consisting of one (1) Coolhaus ice cream sandwich and one (1) edible wrapper (?!) to combat the annoyingly warm weather for the first day of autumn, inside for Joseph Arthur. If you're lucky, you'll make it in time to witness Afghan Whigs frontman/ATP curator Greg Dulli and a trio of tiny children joining the, erm, eccentric singer for a rousing singalong version of "Where is My Van?" Wonder if the kids' parents had to explain the lyrics of the song "Cocaine Feet" just minutes earlier, or even worse, those of "Daddy's on Prozac." Wonder how many of these 6-foot-tall canvasses Arthur is now smearing with an acrylic-and-aerosol painting of a woman crying blood he has in his possession; imagine a room full of giant blood-crying paintings while Arthur lets the impressively compressed lyrics of "I Miss the Zoo" bumble out of his mouth like a swarm of distracted bees. Check to make sure you did not suddenly get transported to another festival.
Dance with Charles Bradley. It does not matter if you've seen him at every other festival you've attended this summer. The Screaming Eagle of Soul flaps his
Learn from the mistakes you made on day 1: bring a phone charger. Each of the pillars in the hangar are paired with illuminating spotlights plugged in at their base; there are extra outlets, so use them at opportune between-set moments -- the ones on the room's periphery are less likely to already be taken by someone else. Regret that there are no outlets by the couch corner, because those things are possibly the most comfortable festival seating known to humankind (not including the massage chairs). Tell yourself you wouldn't actually be able to nap anyway, just to put the idea of a nap out of your head. Because of course you'd be able to nap -- ATP is only half over, but it feels as though you've been standing for days.
Plan ahead, and don't be the dummy who had to charge her phone during the Dirty Three. They are of the post-psych "fuck society" ilk, which basically guarantees a successful set here. Every time they finish one of their four (very long) songs, reflect on it, and be surprised at how hard it rocked, even at its most chill jam-y. Wonder what airport security must be like for violinist/frontman Warren Ellis, who bears a striking resemblance to Charles Manson in paisley print.
As you approach the Dirtbombs' outdoor set, you may notice it is the type of experience you had anticipated all of ACL would be like. The straightforward, soul-tinged rock will bring out the rockabilly folks in droves and will provide a pleasant (if a bit bland) 45 minutes.
Bargain with yourself and decide on a set you wouldn't mind missing. Take the nap-ortunity. During the Roots' hour-and-a-half set at the end of the night, you will be glad you did.
Take note, at this point, that you haven't seen a single "celebrity" (performing bands don't count). Wonder which celebrity would be the most likely Afghan Whigs superfan. Rule out Matt Dillon and/or Bridget Fonda, but keep Michael Stipe in the running, if solely because of the high volume of dudes this weekend copping his style.
Behold the Antlers' incredibly on-point lighting design. (In fact, take a moment to congratulate the lighting designer(s) of this entire festival. They have done a perfect job.) Notice, because they'd likely appreciate it, that the bassist has bought brand-new Chucks, and synth player Darby Cicci hasn't even bothered with shoes. His socks will be marijuana-leaf-patterned, which will be appropriate because the entire front row looks a little hazy. Appreciate their willingness to play "Sylvia," as well as frontman Peter Silberman's upper register.
Wonder whether JEFF the Brotherhood requested that their stage lighting be "extra Halloween-y." As they tear through every Nashville punk jam, pay respect to the productivity of Jake Orrall's transparent three-string guitar. Ponder the feasibility of a JEFF/Philip Glass minimalist collaboration, based on their mutual love of doing more with less. It's okay to laugh at that, but secretly, keep the hope alive.
Go ahead, have a semi-serious nostalgia breakdown at José González. It's okay to forget for a second that you are at a music festival and instead wonder whether you went through a wormhole into a scene in a Tim Burton Batman movie -- blame the lighting. Recognize the value of a set that sounds exactly how you'd expect it to sound: Proficient, unsurprising, yet solid all around.
Seriously question Greg Dulli's motives in scheduling the Whigs' set at the same time as the "Dazed and Confused" screening on the boat outside. Possibilities to consider: (a) he wanted to filter out the losers who would rather watch a movie than watch his band; (b) he wanted to make a statement about the Whigs being very obviously cooler than a movie everyone at this festival probably loves; (c) he actually hates "Dazed and Confused" and it was someone else's idea to screen it, so they compromised.
Revel in how positively berserk every 30-something in the crowd for the Afghan Whigs goes at every song's close. Regret that you are not able to fully share their apoplexy when Marcy May comes out to join Dulli and the gang on "My Curse" (remember, you weren't cool in the 1980s and '90s), but employ osmosis and soak up the adjacent glee. Keep your phone out to check Twitter, because it is blowing up with deliriously happy tweets like these.
Notice the security guards during the Whigs' set. They are having as much fun as the audience, grooving along to exultant, angsty covers like Frank Ocean's "Lovecrimes." Have thoughts about the apex of American rock music until, uncomfortably, Dulli starts invoking Ice Cube and saying things like "Ladies and gentlemen, the Afghan Whigs! Ya heard?" to a 98% (extremely) white audience.
DO. NOT. LEAVE. BEFORE. THE ROOTS. It's easy to assume that, when a highly visible band like the Roots plays after the headliner (as they've done before at festivals like Washington State's Sasquatch! fest), they're more of an after party, but witness twenty minutes of the septet's 90-minute set and it's clear that this should be a main attraction. They explode through probably every upbeat genre imaginable, covering every corner of the musical landscape with an intimidating energy and skill that, even if you're not the biggest Roots fan, should be studied if only to understand what it means to be a band in 2012 -- there is no weak link in this lineup.
Go straight to bed. Don't think you'll be fine if you just go out to this one bar and -- no. Just go to bed. Your body will thank you in the morning, when you come back for day three.