Lollapalooza 2014 – Day Two Recap and Exclusive Photos
Though Eminem’s powerful Friday night performance was still on the lips of countless fans who returned for Day Two of Lollapalooza, some of the fest’s most intriguing and prolific rock artists asserted their genre's relevance right from the get-go on Saturday.
Over on the Palladia stage, Parquet Courts began their set with the somewhat bland ‘Duckin’ and Dodgin’.’ That mostly one-note cut, however, was deceptive – the rest of the Brooklyn-based quartet’s set channeled the rowdy, raw sounds of classic punk rockers like Wire and the Dead Milkmen.
Singer-songwriter Kate Nash, on the other hand – whose set followed directly across the field on the main stage – didn’t hold back for a moment. Of late, she’s retreated from her indie-pop roots, picked up a bass and adopted an overtly punk-feminist attitude bolstered by an all-female band and elaborate costumes, like the one she wore this day: a frilly, red and gold getup complete with a cape that read Girl Gang. Truly, the transformation is working wonders for her – Nash captivated a huge audience during her Lolla debut, sparking a massive dance party when she ventured into the crowd for ‘Do-Wah-Doo.’
After that, there were a handful more guitar/bass/drums-centric highlights: the Last Internatinale, a new quartet anchored by Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk that doesn’t lack for meaningful political commentaries or a plethora of memorable tunes, rocked the tiny BMI stage; Grouplove rose above faulty microphones with their signature crunchy riffs, uptempo and highly danceable beats and the sheer volume of their fiercely loyal fan base belting out the words whenever a glitch reared its ugly head; and finally, Spoon made a triumphant return, riling up fans with a mixture of dreamy and contagiously catchy new cuts from their new album ‘They Want My Soul,’ plus plenty of old favorites.
Yet even after all that, hip-hop once again blasted back in a big way. First, Nas attacked with the revival of his highly influential 1994 debut, ‘Illmatic,’ for a voracious audience that seemed to spill out for leagues from the too-small Palladia stage. Judging by the booming call-and-response on so many key lyrics, the New York rapper would have served as an able candidate to headline the massive Bud Light stage instead of Scottish DJ and pop star Calvin Harris.
Still, it was a sign of generosity from fest organizers that they didn’t schedule things that way – the rundown allowed rap fans to get their fill of one legend and still catch the entirety of another: Outkast. Ever since clearing the hurdle of the somewhat rough, nerves-ridden first show of the Atlanta duo’s long-awaited reunion at the first weekend of Coachella, they’ve been nothing short of stupendous.
This night likewise measured up to and even sometimes surpassed previous shows' energy. Between a slew of mainstays like 'B.O.B.,' 'Ms. Jackson,' 'So Fresh, So Clean' and the Killer Mike-featured 'The Whole World,' Andre 3000 and Big Boi gave a few Chi-Town ladies a special treat: an invitation to dance onstage (ladies without panties first, per Andre) during the smash hit 'Hey Ya!'
It was an excellent twist on the heavily-rehearsed performance of a tune that’s become borderline tiresome. Kudos to Atlanta’s rap royalty for thinking on their feet and spreading the love -- if you'll believe it, their set was that much better for it.