Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I had a leisurely breakfast at Dollps Coffee Company a few blocks away where I consulted a pair of local publications that featured Lollapalooza, including several reviewers with their favorite bands for the music festival.  Since this Saturday was for me the weakest in terms of bands I wanted to see, I relied on the reviewers picks, coupled with my choices based on YouTube viewing, to map out the stages I would be standing in front of for the day.  Back to the Red Line that took me to downtown Chicago to stand in line for the opening of Grant Park at 11 AM.  Having the art museum nearby was great because of the easy access to a bathroom, a necessity after having a few cups of coffee.

A beautiful day that was relatively cool compared to years past, the temps in the 80's.  The quiet time of the day was right after the gates opened, an hour before anyone took the stage.  It was an opportunity to get all my gear put together and double check the schedule I'd be following through the day.

Apparently several of the bands dropped out of today's festival, messing up the schedule.  Bands I hoped to see were gone, replaced by others.  Bands scheduled to perform at a set time had been shifted to a different time.  I would have liked to see Azealia Banks at the end of the day, but she was a no-show.  But it all worked out in the end anyway.

A few of the bands I did manage to see and get some recordings of follow.  The wind always plays havoc with an unshielded microphone!


Formed in 2009, this southern Gothic rock band is described as:

Daniel Pujol grew up in Tullahoma, TN then he moved to Nashville and wrote a bunch of songs about life and theology and his sister and other things.

Adam Tanaka plays drums. He is a quiet dude who also makes screen prints. Sean Thompson plays lead guitar and Joey Scala plays bass. They’re buds and bonded at the brain.

Download the show here:


The day really began when Jordan Cook took the stage and began his set with a solo performance that shook up the crowd with his stunning guitar work.  The organizers of Lollapalooza spoke of him as such:

With a steadily growing number of two-person bands, blues-rock has become more raw and more minimal. But Reignwolf beats out the likes of The Black Keys, Deap Vally, and even The White Stripes (R.I.P.) in the latter department by having only one member at its core: an easygoing Canadian named Jordan Cook. To be fair, Cook is sometimes joined onstage by two additional band members. But he mostly flies solo—stomping a kickdrum with two guitars slung around his neck. During an especially haunting rendition of “The Chain”, he alternates between boxcar acoustic and ghost town electric, capturing Fleetwood Mac’s tortured emotionalism while adding muscle with his laryngitic howl. Stacks of amps loom behind him — shadowy monoliths that crackle with every bend, strum, and pluck. During his self-penned “Electric Love,” Cook redefines the concept of a one-man band by taking a seat behind a full drum kit with guitar still in hand. He keeps the kickdrum steady while continuing to riff. Easy enough.

Download the show here:


The surprise of the afternoon was the band St. Lucia, lead by Jean-Philip Grobler with a beautiful voice and great sound. 

It is written:

Even in the urban wilds of Brooklyn, there may be no one else like Jean-Philip Grobler, aka St. Lucia. Originally from Johannesberg, St. Lucia grew up performing with the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. When the choir wasn’t traveling - they toured Japan, Australia, Europe and more - they stayed in an enclave tucked in the South African mountains, learning everything from Bach to minimalist opera.

A young musician could hardly find better training. But musically, St Lucia’s heart lay elsewhere, and South Africa was full of other rhythms. “My mom says I used to sing along to Michael Jackson,” he says - an ordinary anecdote, until he adds, “when I was an infant.” As a young teenager, he started to feel that he’d had his fill of classical, and it felt like an epiphany when he discovered the direct emotionality of pop. Eventually, he left the creative “small pond” of South Africa for England, where he spent three years studying music in Liverpool.

St. Lucia’s journey ended - as so many journeys do - in New York City, where he started working on the tracks that would ultimately turn into his self titled debut release on Neon Gold. The atmospheric quality of St. Lucia’s electronic pop is powerful, with the musician’s global travels and history of secret hideaways effortlessly passed onto the audience through his dreamy, shimmering synths.

Read it here: http://www.last.fm/music/St.+Lucia

Download the show here:


To be honest, this was the highlight of the day, the hot Colorado folk rock band The Lumineers.  But like I said, Saturday was the weakest day of the festival.  "A Denver, Colorado based group. The roots revival of the last few years has primed listeners for a new generation of rustic, heart-on-the-sleeve music—the kind that nods to tradition while setting off into uncharted territory. The Lumineers walk that line with an unerring gift for timeless melodies and soul-stirring lyrics."  They certainly put on a good show, and I like their music, but like similar hot, young bands that are popular on the charts, they attract  a lot of young chatty and screaming women.  Everyone seems to know the lyrics and prove it by singing along throughout the show.  That's what I paid to see and hear?  After their last song I raced across the park to see The Postal Service, standing far in the back near the second line of speakers just grooving to the music.

Download the show here:

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