CHICAGO — This is one of the weirdest shows,” said an atypically sedentary Randy Randall, one-half of Los Angeles rock duo No Age on Saturday afternoon at Lollapalooza. The normally physically active guitarist had his arm in a sling due to a dislocated shoulder sustained the previous evening at No Age’s round-robin tour with Deerhunter and Dan Deacon — he got hurt during an over-zealous dance-off against Deacon. Fortunately, Dean Spunt seemed to hit the drums twice as hard to compensate, driving fans into a frenzy during the band’s daytime set.
The crowd was mostly made up of younger kids seemingly eager to let loose under the hot afternoon sun and from opening the track, “Every Artist Needs a Tragedy,” the relatively small audience immediately set to push and shove to the noise raging from the stage. The band really shines when they’re playing small, enclosed spaces where the noise can blow out your ears, but they worked surprisingly well outside on one of Lolla’s smaller stages.
There was even a crowd surfer or two that went up during “Sleeper Hold” and “Teen Creeps” really seemed to win over new fans standing idly around in the back of the scrum. The boys mostly stuck to tracks from the first two discs, Weirdo Rippers and Nouns, but also played a handful of new ones. The few fresh tracks sounded typical for the duo, but with denser songwriting and more frequent tempo changes. It’s nice to hear the guys evolving and growing together and surely a positive sign of things to come. They’re about to release a great new four-song EP called Losing Feeling, but are also hard at work on their next LP, due out sometime in 2010.
We went for a ride with the band and they told us what the pros and cons of playing a festival versus a typical club show.