By Scott Lapatine & Amrit Singh
It wasn’t always smooth, but it was definitely memorable: Lollapalooza’s top-heavy booking panned out this year, giving each night a bit of magic and each day an air of anticipation. Day Last didn’t exactly bring a stacked lineup, but the day’s sets were some of the fest’s best. For one, Saul Williams became our New Favorite Guy. He and his Niggy Tardusting cohorts dressed like intergalactic Native Americans by way of tribal Africa, bounding the stage and easily winning the packed crowd of Girl Talk waiters. Gregg came next with something extra special. Feed The Animals was on display, and as always Gillis mixed in some new pieces to his ultimate party playlist, but this time GG brought two kids dressed as cops, lots of confetti, 96 rolls of toilet paper, and two inflatable rafts. The security guards told us the pit crew from Rage the night before had been assigned to handling the Girl Talk crowd, and sure enough the photo pit closed after 50 seconds because it was “unsafe.” But in a fun way! Plus there was a gorilla there? Yes.
Ronson had special guests, Gnarls covered Radiohead, John Popper played a harmonica, et cetera — i.e. expect the obviously expected — so it was left to Trent and Kanye to shake up Chicago. For West, that meant graduating from “Glow In The Dark” (maybe he learned something from Bonnaroo after all) and bringing a full band and stage banter back to the fore. Reminded us of his Lolla set in ’06 — i.e. nobody will be painting the walls — only this time with a slightly bigger ego. Did you know he put Chicago on the map? He’ll tell you. (Brooklyn Vegan has nice shots.) Nine Inch Nails, well, that was a little different: Trent let his voice, catalogue, light show, and chiseled forearms do the talking. The stage lights and jumbotron camera work were jaw dropping — all interactive fake waterfalls and disorienting image superimpositions — and the hits hit with industrial bliss. Singing “Hurt” with 25,000 others on a skyline-lit, perfect summer night is not the sort of thing you forget easily. But just in case, we have some photos from the night, and the day, as our way of saying goodbye to Lolla 2008. It was fun.
Before we go: Thank you to Abbey Braden for the tireless camera work, and thanks for the good company to our friends at Gorilla Vs. Bear, Muzzle Of Bees, Pitchfork, Pop Candy, and You Ain’t No Picasso. For the rest of our coverage from the weekend…
- Lollapolooza 2008 MP3 Mix
- Surprise! Radiohead Own Day One
- Grizzly Bear Play Four New Songs
- Friday In Photos
- Saturday In Photos, Rage Deliver Bruises
- Wilco Bring New Tune, Not Obama
See you next year, Perry.
NINE INCH NAILS
[Nine Inch Nails, Saul Williams & Girl Talk photos by Amrit; all others by Abbey Braden]