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Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

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    2013 lolla Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

    Standing outside for three days is a tricky proposition. Three days trekking back and forth between a mile of headliners is a tiring assignment. But three days spent stopping by all the side stages to check out great live music along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is just a great way to spend a weekend. Fun with friends. Amen. Hallelujah.

    Lollapalooza arrived with an ominous rain but ended in a cool summer breeze. Whether this is because of climate change or a mighty fate is a discussion best left to Twitter and Fox News scientists. The fact remains: another year, another Lolla, another summer solstice of music festivals has come to pass.

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    Photo by Joshua Mellin

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    Cynics like to jeer the quality of lineups and headliners, but when it comes down to it, each day of Lolla offered a fair deal of older talent, new trendsetters, and a 72-hour dance party at Perry’s. Toss in a loving atmosphere, great food, and some prime real estate along Lake Michigan’s sailboat lanes, and you, sir or madam, have got yourself a primo destination for music fans.

    Or, at the very least, a chance to see the live version of some of your favorite albums. The Cure, Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear, DIIV, Alt J, etc., etc.. The list goes on and on, but fortunately for you, we’ve chiseled it down to another 13.

    ICYMI: Relive both Day One and Day Two.

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    It’s never too early for a punk show.

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    Photo by Ian Witlen

    It’s late Sunday morning: you’re exhausted, potentially hungover, and strongly debating not even getting out of bed for day three of Lollapalooza. To add, the last thing that a headache wants to experience is a punk rock show. But Palma Violets’ set proved otherwise as their thrashing electric guitars, punk-riddled harmonies, and careless chaos influenced the festival crowd to start the party a bit early. It was a basement punk rock show drawn through a rock n’ roll strainer, feeding out any over-distorted guitar work and nonsensical lyricism muttering from their ecstatic output.

    Fists enthusiastically thrust in the air for newfound anthems like “Best of Friends”, and the crowd swayed, because it was still a bit too early to mosh, to a number of songs from the CoSigned outfit’s debut, 180. It was evident the London rockers had the time of their lives on stage, especially vocalists Chilli Jesson and Samuel Fryer, who pranced and jumped throughout the set’s entirety. Such energy works like wake-up juice for punk rock, and Palma Violets provided a new flavor for every sleepy Lollagoer. –Sam Willett

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    The Orwells tread line between showmanship and assholery

    orwellslevy600 Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

    Photo by Pat Levy

    The Orwells performed that rarest of rarities at Lollapalooza: the afternoon encore. And they more than earned it. Live, their already demented songs became completely unhinged, thanks to the wild eyes and gnarled stage presence of 19-year-old frontman Mario Cuomo. He threw just the right amount of slur on bratty breakout single “Mallrats (La La La)” and cackled appropriately throughout the slow dance-suicide of “Halloween All Year”, all while the rest of the band (Dominic Cuoso and Matt O’Keefe on guitars, twin brothers Grant and Henry Brinner on bass and drums) kept the music itself from getting too out of control.

    So, that encore. At the behest of the crowd, The Orwells returned to The Grove stage for a gang-vocaled cover of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. It came at a fitting time, as I was just thinking that, in their main set, Cuomo reminded me of a goofier version of a young Iggy Pop. Pop was known for cutting his chest to ribbons with shards of glass; Cuomo removed his pants to reveal a pair of droopy Batman boxers. Pop (allegedly) exposed his dick onstage; Cuomo stuck to half of one pale ass cheek. All harmlessness went out the window, however, during the last moment of the song, when Cuomo unplugged the mic and Hail Maryed it into the crowd. Although the mostly teenage audience went wild over the stunt (some ecstatic kids near the sound booth caught it), to me it was kind of horrible. Microphones are heavy, especially when falling from the sky. What if they hadn’t caught it? What if it had knocked someone out? Or worse?

    orwellslevy2 Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

    Photo by Pat Levy

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    Granted, I’m a good 10 years older and grouchier than The Orwells and most of their fans. And yeah, I’m sure Cuomo was just having fun or acting out his idea of what he thinks punk is supposed to be. So, I get that I’m probably alone in my distaste of the band’s final stage antic. But I dig their music and their electrifying live show. I really do. I just hope they learn to walk the line between showmanship and assholery without ever crossing it. –Dan Caffrey

    A New York slice in the Second City

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    Photo by Heather Kaplan

    New York-based Skaters put out some good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll during their early afternoon set. Bouncy guitars, driving drumbeats, and magnetic hooks make up the band’s magic formula, which ends up sounding like a more lo-fi version of The Strokes. Things started out a little fuzzier but grew clearer and more focused as the set continued. The showpiece was “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)”, an earworm of a track whose infectious chorus moved the cheerfully boozy crowd to clap enthusiastically in all the wrong places. –Megan Ritt

    Wild Nothing’s first swim in the Great Lake

    wildnothing600levy Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

    Photo by Pat Levy

    Captured Tracks, from its ignition back in 2008, has always had an impressive catalogue of relatively small artists (e.g. Dum Dum Girls, Thee Oh Sees, Widowspeak, etc.). So, it was a victory of sorts for the label to have Virginia dreampop quintet Wild Nothing on the Red Bull Stage, a.k.a the same stage The Cure would grace hours later. That being said, such acts don’t necessarily belong (or especially need) the larger-than-life atmospheres. And while the Jack Tatum-led outfit showered the south fields of Grant Park with cuts off last year’s Nocturne, there was a vacuous feeling throughout that felt less ceremonial and more isolated. Fans, avid festivalgoers, and random passersby, whose ankles and shins were no doubt exploding, took a moment to either sway, switch off, or saunter out. “It was nice,” most might add. So, while a noted victory for the little guys, it was also a lesson in production: Less is more, little goes big. –Phillip Roffman

    The metal performance of Lollapalooza, sans dead Pope costumes

    baroness600 Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

    Photo by Pat Levy

    As Alex Clare finished up his set with the dub-worthy radio hit “Too Close”, a number of families and younger fans walked past the Petrillo Sound Stage, where eyes opened in fear from the head bangers ball that was Baroness.”Take My Bones” scared them off, a perfect, flammable introduction courtesy of sparky guitars, John Baizley’s macabre vocals, and the balanced theatrics of the other Savannah three. Alongside The Cure’s iconic guitar work later on, Baroness reigned supreme as the festival’s proverbial guitar gods, as evidenced on set highlight “March to the Sea”. And while Yellow and Greens “Stretchmaker” would have certainly knocked this writer on his ass, their passion and fury did far more damage on the mind. –Sam Willett

    Sara Lives!

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    Photo by Heather Kaplan

    Tegan and Sara last played Lolla in 2005, but had to cut their set short due to Sara’s case of heatstroke. Tegan didn’t let her twin sister forget during the show. “Can she make it?” she asked the afternoon crowd, who cheered in support. One fan even held up a sign that said, “SARA WILL SURVIVE LOLLAPALOOZA.” Suffice it to say, she survived, and by show’s end she and her sister could look back on a set that seamlessly blended the dance-pop stylings of their recent release, Heartthrob, with the acoustic-driven tunes from their softer past.

    It’s been a make-it-or-break-it year from a commercial-standpoint for the duo, who have admitted to changing things up a bit to gain more mainstream success. Based on the reaction to the Heartthrob material, which dominated the set, they may have found it. Highlights included set-opener “Drive Me Wild”, the audience hopping up and down in sync to “Hop a Plane”, and, of course, Sara Quin reaching the scheduled finish line. Leather jacket and all. –Justin Gerber

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    Williams: 1, Followills: 0

    wavveslevy600 Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

    Photo by Pat Levy

    Although Wavves’ latest record, Afraid of Heights, is being categorized as the band’s “mature” album, their live show remains the same: caffeinated, a little snotty, a lot sloppy. Their Lolla set probably didn’t lose any old fans or gain any new ones. But as nice as it was to see “King of the Beach” and “Post Acid” performed in typical fuck-off fashion, the newer, more expansive tunes could have used a little something beyond garage grit. Nathan, Jenny Lewis was in town, man. Where was she on “Afraid of Heights”? Best moment of the set? Williams sticking it to Kings of Leon by introducing their second song as “the only Super Soaker.” –Dan Caffrey

    The Vaccines’ agreeable throwback punk rock

    vaccinespatlevy600 Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

    Photo by Pat Levy

    Sunday started early for many Lolla attendees, and perfect weather or not, it was going to be a long wait for evening headliners The Cure. Brit rockers The Vaccines eased that wait time with their enthusiastic, Ramones-esque pop-punk. They kicked things off appropriately with “Blow It Up” and took that title as a literal call to arms. Frontman Justin Young head banged his way through much of the set, and wiry guitar noodling were the order of the day. The setlist drew equally from their 2011 debut, What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?, and last year’s Come of Age. Tracks like “Wetsuit”, “Teenage Icon”, and “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” kept energy levels sky-high as the crowd jumped and fist-pumped along. “Ghost Town” was weird, ominous, and wonderful. A one-two punch of “If You Wanna” and “Norgaard” capped off the set on a high note. –Megan Ritt

    Vampire Weekend Suck All the Young Blood

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    Photo by Heather Kaplan

    Wild speculation: the only reason Vampire Weekend didn’t close Lollapalooza’s Bud Light Stage on Sunday is because they were closers on behalf of another Chicago-based music festival around this time last year. Pity, because the crowd that amassed bled all the way to the Petrillo Stage across the field for most of their early evening set. In the distance, four women stood atop a large, green, plastic garbage can to get a better look at the New York band. One young man began climbing up a pole as a way to discover another vantage point. The mind boggles at what the turnout would have been versus The Cure, or even Phoenix (who were the true closers later that evening).

    Ezra Koenig’s familiar guitar riff opened “Cousins”, and the thousands watching under overcast skies were his. With large pillars hanging from the stage ceiling in front of a flower backdrop, Vampire Weekend gave each of their three records fairly equal representation, including their breakthrough hit “A-Punk”, as well as the best transition of the set: an extended organ solo at the outro of “Horchata” straight into “Everlasting Arms”. Koenig and company even found time to dust off the unreleased “Boston (Ladies of Cambridge)” for the “old-school Vampire Weekend fans in the audience who might recognize it.” A well-rounded festival set by a band that remains on the rise.

    vampire weekend lolla kaplan 4 Top 13 Moments of Lollapalooza 2013: Day Three

    Photo by Heather Kaplan

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    SIDE NOTE: The music eerily duplicated the sound of their records, although I don’t remember any moments where a black man whose pants were falling off jumped the stage only to get tackled by a security guard at any time during my listens of Contra. The mind’s a funny thing, though. –Justin Gerber

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