Adios, Illinoise

We?re still recovering from our sojourn to the self-described “musical center of the universe” this weekend, and a little worse for the wear. But the last days of Lolla gave us the festival’s most unforgettable moments, amazing weather and serendipitous encounters. Best set of the weekend…

We’re going with Broken Social Scene. We’ll have more thoughts on that soon: first time we’ve ever seen them live with this stellar line-up (i.e. everyone). It was magical. If you were there, you know that’s beyond debate – but let us know what you thought. (As if ya wouldn’t.)

If you’ve been following our coverage (check the archives for day one pics and videos) you know this ain?t your grunge-era ?palooza. But the new (and improved?) Lolla is a relatively well-run, music-first festival. And if there wasn’t something for everyone (Bonnaroo was much more diverse), there was more than enough for Stereogum.

Another episode of Gnarls in charge, only this one was for an audience of an estimated 40,000, and had the smiling backing band bedecked in their Bjorn Borg best. We gave thought to skipping the Lips, ’cause we’ve seen the confetti carnival before. But even though we knew what we were getting with Coyne and Co., the opening minutes of “Race For The Prize” remain the most jubilant spectacle in live rock.

The New Pornographers turned up without Bejar (must be too busy with Swan Lake), but that didn’t stop ‘em from turning in a great, Twin Cinema-loaded set. Frank and I agree that it’s their best album. We also love that she plays a YAAA keyboard. The Hold Steady kicked ass on the Q101 stage, working through new tunes “Massive Nights,” “Stuck Between Stations,” and “Chips Ahoy.” Craig Finn was a live wire, rockin’ his thick frames and slinging his sing-speak diatribes. We’re dying for that new record! Craig told us he’s hoping it’ll stay off the P2Ps for a little while longer, and that “Chips Ahoy” will be a free MP3. Stay tuned.

We made it to the Kidzapalooza tent to see Perry Farrell and Peter DisStefano work through some Porno For Pyros, before Perry thanked the crowd for bringing their children to “Lullapalooooza.” “Because we waaaant them,” he said, creeping us the fuck out. “We want them for good things,” he qualified. Sorry, Perry. No chance. But all was forgiven with an awesome, acoustic “Pets” (we still remember all the words!) and “Tahitian Moon,” dedicating the latter to the iconic Patti Smith. With that, Patti came out and – after Perry adjusted her mic stand (“I have the coolest roadies in rock!”) – she made a dedication of her own, to Love’s Arthur Lee, claiming the band was “aptly named because there is much poetry, revolution and love in the group Love.” The punk laureate also debuted a song about children in Lebanon. After forgetting some chords, she offered that “I’m living proof that any asshole can play guitar,” also forgetting there were at least 100 kids in attendance.

And since we knew you were dying to hear about ‘em, we stopped by to say hi to the MySpace crowd gathered for Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds To Mars. (We saw Catalano arrive on site a day earlier; black attire, white limo. By the way, he loves being called Catalano.) Now, we didn’t meet him personally, but everyone says he’s a dick. Just sayin’. You can wear as much black nail polish, give out as many popsicles, climb as many 50 foot stages or call your audience a bunch of ?fuck-urrs? as much as ya like, but as a lead singer, he makes a damn fine actor.

Below, our final foto round-up. Yes we know we’re leaving some stuff out — Wilco, Shins, Panic! At Th…. kidding — but we’ve got a plane to catch (and I’m gearing up for my customary deep-cavity search) . As for last night’s headliners the Chili Peppers? “John used to be my favorite guitar player,” Anthony told the Park before a sweet “Scar Tissue.” ” Now he’s my favorite guitar player times a thousand. Pretty exciting.” Pretty exhausting too. We were fucking beat by the time the band wrapped things up. But we love Chicago at night and ended up staying on-site for another few hours.

So many thanks to CS&E for putting together a great weekend, Project DU & AT&T for helping us bloggers with net access. To the new and old friends we chilled w/ this weekend — My Old Kentucky Blog, Chromewaves, Scenestars, Immediate Media, Muzzle of Bees, Chicagoist, Spin.com, Pop Candy, Rollingstone.com, and the people we’re forgetting — see ya at ACL.

GNARLS BARKLEY

FLAMING LIPS


THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS

KANYE WEST

WHAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS

PERRY FARRELL AND PATTI SMITH


THE HOLD STEADY

HOT CHIP

BEN KWELLER

COLD WAR KIDS

OH NO! OH MY!

JIM JAMES

30 SECONDS TO MARS


QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE