By Steven Roberts
Jermaine Dupri got a head start on the party here at ?Lollapalooza last night when the Atlanta impresario DJed a set last night at Underground ?here in Chicago.
Last year Katy Perry took the stage at Underground for own Pre-Lolla celebration at ?Underground. The pop pin-up unexpectedly performed "Ur So Gay," "Hot n Cold" and - what would a Katy Perry show be without - "I Kissed a Girl" to packed house. While the crowd certainly wasn't expecting the JD to hit the stage, they were hyped to hear how good of a DJ the So So Def head honcho was.
I actually was enjoying the previous DJ. I don't know the guys name, but he spun some tracks I hadn't heard in years. When is the last time you heard Hi-Five's "I Like The Way (Kissing Game)?" But as the clock struck midnight, and the crowd began to fill in, it was evident that they hadn't come to hear sped up early 90's R&B jams - their loss.
by Steven Roberts
My fellow MTV News teammates ?and I arrived in Chicago yesterday and we've started to settle into our rooms at the Hilton - yup we got ?HBO - preparing for Lolapalooza. The three-day festival features performances by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Snoop Dogg and Tool among others. There are also a variety of other bands performing throughout the weekend. And luckily for us our hotel is located on ?Michigan Avenue, conveniently across the street from Grant Park where Lolla is held.
It's so convenient that every band seems to be staying here ?too. There are guys walking around lugging their equipment and checking into their rooms. The only thing is we can't seem to make out who any of them are. I ?mean we're sure they're in a band. They wear tight jeans, tattered t-?shirts and have long, unkempt hair, but again, that's generally every ?rock band.
We get back from dinner last night, and the hotel lobby is full of guys who look ?like they're in a band. I'm the hip-hop guy here, so I'll admit I'm not that familiar with some of the smaller acts, but I'll be damn if any of you guys can recognize Portugal. The Man or Animal Collective casually walking by either. So we're standing around going "oh that's the ?guys from..." "Yeah they look really familiar," and "there goes ?Vampire Weekend."
I actually saw Vampire Weekend open for the Clipse about 2 years ago at Columbia University, so I would recognize those oxford shirts and boat shoes anywhere.
I guess the cool thing about Lolla is that by the end of the weekend we'll up on a whole host of new bands. So Monday when we see them walk by we can say "good show."
Just hours before they take the stage in front of 10,000 more fans across town on the first day of Lollapaloopza, the Decemberists got their feet wet Thursday night with a sweaty tune up show at Chicago's famed Metro rock club.??
Veering from the current format of playing their latest concept album, Hazards of Love, in its entirety, the Portland band allowed the 1,000-plus die-hards to vote online for their favorites. The show opened with a 15-plus minute version of “The Tain,” from the EP of the same name from 2004, which swayed and swooped like a drunken, seasick sailor’s song.
As a testament to their fans’ devotion, every dip and swirl of the song was greeted with whoops of joy, which only increased when the band next served up some exuberant pop with "July, July" and the triumphant rock of "The Rake’s Song" from Hazards. After the wistful folk of another nugget, "Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect" – and a poke at people who refer to the festival as "Lolla" -- singer/songwriter Colin Meloy paused for a moment to pay homage to director John Hughes, a Chicago native who died earlier in the day in New York after suffering a heart attack.
By Rya Backer
As a production assistant, my duties on the 29th floor vary. A lot. So when it was confirmed this morning that Depeche Mode would be headlining Lollapalooza, I was brought back to a few weeks ago, when I did nothing for days but watch archived interviews with the British new-wave act — a task that had to be taken care of for MTV News Canada.
After watching hours upon hours of the band, or just the lead singer, Dave Gahan, talk about everything from fashion to their feelings on Erasure, I feel like I kind of know the guys, and there's so much to know about them. Let's just say their "Behind the Music" episode was deep — rife with drugs, bandmembers hating each other and subsequently quitting, and worlds of other gory rock-and-roll cliché details. But they've also sold more than 100 million records, and their sonic style is credited with influencing bands as diverse as Franz Ferdinand, Radiohead and Linkin Park.
I have, on occasion, been accused of being a bit of a jerk.
Generally speaking, I find these accusations to be totally unfounded, though, when it comes to the articles I tend to write about summer festivals -- like this one, where I bitch about the Coachella lineup not having enough "sizzle," or this one about Bonnaroo, where I make 10,000 hippie jokes and wondered if "I am allowed to bill MTV for hazard pay" -- I can kind of see what my detractors are talking about. Perhaps I can be kind of a jerk sometimes.
So, with this morning's announcement of the Lollapalooza lineup, I decided to try something different: Positivity.
Rather than complain about the Lolla headliners (must ... fight ... urge ... to make Killers joke ...), or make some joke about how Perry Farrell still believes that DJs can save the universe, I'm going to pick out 10 acts that make Lollapalooza 2009 totally worth it.
Who made my list? Read on to find out.
By Bryn Bennett, lead guitar player for Bang Camaro
(Editors' note: MTV News asked Bang Camaro to help us cover Lollapalooza and they were happy to oblige! The band's Bryn Bennett wrote this blog; Alex Necochea shot the video.)
"Load-in is at 8:15am?!" This is terrible news for a rock band. We travel around the country in stinky vans, make no money and don't take showers for many reasons. One of them is so that we don't have to wake up at 7 a.m. like the rest of corporate America. It was Lollapalooza though, and Radiohead was going to be sound-checking at the same time, so I guess this early wakeup was worth it.
We pulled into Chicago from Boston at about 1 a.m. on Friday, had a few cans of beer and some of us did our best to fall asleep. Others of us attack life with the same vigor as a cat attacks a mouse, sometimes with the same bloody results.
(Watch Bang Camaro "interview" the Black Lips, plus get medieval after the jump!)
Lollapalooza 2008 is a wrap, but that doesn't mean you're up on everything that went down this past weekend in Chicago. Let's break it down day-by-day ...
Friday: Radiohead dazzled the glassy-eyed crowd, opting to play some of their more low-key songs amid a digital rain shower. The fans appreciated the soft landing after a frenetic day with CSS, the Cool Kids, the Black Lips and others. (Read more about Day 1.)
Saturday: The festival took a violent turn during Rage Against the Machine's set, as aggressive fans overstepped their bounds and the band urged them to calm down. It was an ugly and unfortunate end to what had been an otherwise idyllic day in Grant Park with Lupe Fiasco, the Ting Tings and more. (Read more about Day 2.)
Sunday: Lollapalooza 2008 wrapped up Sunday night not with an appearance by Illinois Senator Barack Obama (as had been rumored all weekend), but rather, with a much-hyped showdown between homecoming king Kanye and Trent Reznor's rejuvenated Nine Inch Nails. (Read more about Day 3.)
For even more on Lolla (yes, more!), check out all our coverage here in the Newsroom blog.
Lollapalooza may be a massive festival that draws people from all over the country, but in a lot of ways it belongs to the city that hosts it. What was once a traveling rock caravan has become a fixture here, occupying the entirety of Grant Park and then some, right on the shores of Lake Michigan, and surrounded by the city skyline including the iconic John Hancock building.
Hometown pride is in evidence all around, from the Cubs gear everywhere you turn (first place, is this the year?) to the t-shirts representing for a hometown hero who has captured the attention of the world and may soon capture the White House. And of course, to the Chicago musicians - Kanye, Lupe, Cool Kids, Wilco and a certain irresistible young woman named Kid Sister. With a debut album out, having just finished an energetic midday set, and looking great in a bright purple dress, she made her way with us to the middle of the park, to a landmark, Buckingham Fountain, where she bonded with some fans and we got a first hand taste of Windy City pride.
Back before they were the latest sensation to bubble up from the blogosphere, the Black Kids were just, well, kids. And growing up in sleepy Jacksonville, Florida, they didn't get to witness a whole lot of rock (Jax ain't exactly the first place bands book shows when heading down through the Sunshine State). So, when Lollapalooza rolled through their town, they were understandably excited.
The only problem? They usually didn't have enough cash to pick up tickets, so they were forced to come up with more, uh, creative ways of entering the festival: they snuck in. But this wasn't your usual bum-rush-the-barricade operation (as displayed by, oh, thousands of Rage Against The Machine fans last night), it was an intricately choreographed routine they dubbed "the double diversion."
These days, they don't need to sneak in to much—they're on the bill for practically everything, after all—but they were kind enough to demonstrate the finer points of the double diversion for all of you, which you can see after the jump.
After 12 hours of sun, sweat and music, we thought we were ready to stick a fork in Saturday (especially after Rage Against The Machine beat us into submission). But when Pete Wentz extends an invitation, you accept (after all, he's kind of MTV family now). So there we were, tucked away in the closest thing that his Angels & Kings club has to a quiet spot hanging with Cobra Starship, The Academy Is... and, of course, our host (and the Mrs). Pete was fresh from Grant Park where he took in as much of Lolla as he could (though he told us that, ironically, an "artist" credential means there's really nowhere to watch the show), while Cobra Starship and The Academy Is... are both in the middle of Warper Tour runs.
Gabe Saporta and company managed to summon the energy for a late night performance, grooving through a fistful of songs "to have sex to" as he put it. The house was packed with old friends, and a warm vibe filled the room. Still, a couple of the guys we talked to admitted to having Lolla envy. See what Pete and The Academy Is... had to say about Lollapalooza taking over Chicago after the jump.
(See more photos of Pete at Cobra Starship's show here!)