Lollapalooza 2013 Day 3 Recap: The Cure, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend Wrap Up In Style
Following the Mumford and Sons/Postal Service twin killing the night before, day three of Lollapalooza 2013 had plenty still in store for those unafraid of a weary wake-up on Monday. Sunday’s lineup featured a plethora of bands working in their primes, and while many younger acts made a big noise, the night ultimately belonged to a certain gang of U.K. legends. Read our recap of Lollapalooza 2013 day three.
Got You Covered
Maybe it was something in the boxed water, but bands on Sunday just couldn’t seem to help themselves in terms of paying homage to their heroes.
“See you next year when we’re headlining,” proclaimed Orwells singer Mario Cuomo, who earlier popped off his belt and jeans, leaving only black and yellow boxers. A little self-groping went a long way in punching up a set-closing cover of the Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog.’
Also on the Grove Stage, SKATERS capped their set with a grunge-punk finale and turned in a fiery version of the Nirvana burner ‘Territorial Pissings.’
Meanwhile, on the Bud Light main stage, a pair of British acts were not to be outdone. Palma Violets gabba gabba’d their way through the Ramones‘ ‘California Sun,’ while singer-songwriter Alex Clare took a stripped-down approach to Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry.’
At every fest, there’s always a non-headlining act that manages to draw a staggering crowd. Last year, Florence + the Machine had the Bud Light field backed up well into the next stage, and in 2013, Vampire Weekend attracted the same massive gathering.
“This is so nice to see,” mused frontman Ezra Koenig as he took stock of the moment. “We’re from New York, and we don’t have a festival like this in the middle of the city.”
With the audience thoroughly whipped up in excitement and city pride, Vampire Weekend delivered the dance tunes ‘A-Punk’ and ‘Horchata’ as fans of all ages boogied down. Next time around, Vampire Weekend may well hold down a proper headlining spot.
As Sunday’s preponderance of black Cure tour shirts — from varying eras — suggested, people were especially psyched to see Robert Smith and co. perform, and they likely weren’t disappointed. The British post-punk survivors presided over a rapturous two-hour affair, and with little stage banter, Smith flawlessly led his band through a career-spanning 26-song set that bridged the festival’s generational gap.
Cool and sensitive one moment, ferocious and amplified the next, Smith’s inimitable voice was pitch perfect, and the band layered on waves of lush sound. If, by late Sunday, Lolla-goers had any adrenaline left to spare, they spent it moving and swaying to ‘Just Like Heaven’ and ‘Friday I’m In Love.’
Reaching For the Rafters
While the Cure held court on one side of the park, the unstoppable force that is Phoenix made their stand on the other, affirming their arena-level status. Backed by an expansive, excellently tailored light show, the French band took full advantage of the main-stage sound set-up and uncorked an impressive set of bombastic tunes.
Despite the large-scale nature of the festival, singer Thomas Mars had plenty of face time with the noticeably young audience. He screamed the “falling” chorus of ‘1901’ while standing over the photo-pit rail, and after the funky shuffling of ‘If I Ever Feel Better,’ Phoenix worked toward a powerful close, showcasing their dynamic range. The hypnotizing ‘Rome’ led to a reprise of opener ‘Entertainment,’ giving Mars one last opportunity to swim and turn above a sea of hands.
As Phoenix walked off stage, fresh from their most recent triumph, the Cure’s ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ echoed from afar, providing exiting Lollapalooza 2013 attendees with a final bit of music — and a fine end to another splendid festival weekend.
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