Lollapalooza 2012: Day 2
The act that everyone was talking about from day 2 of Lollapalooza 2012 was the act of Mother Nature that caused the festival grounds for almost two and a half hours on Saturday.
Attendees were evacuated from Grant Park and into underground parking garages just before 3:30 p.m., nearly an hour before strong winds and driving rain swept into the area near Lake Michigan.
A few acts were scrapped from the revised schedule once gates reopened around 6 p.m. Here are some of the highlights from those who were able to take the stage.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers continue to prove to be the ultimate showmen. Anthony Kiedis wears a suit coat on stage only to take it off after one song. Flea pounds out a funky bass solo before the band's second song. It was all part of a show that packed a large crowd into the south end of the Lollapalooza grounds. The Chili Peppers have been in a headlining spot at the festival before. And while the massive crowd sang along with many of the band's greatest hits, the Chili Peppers have played much better than they did Saturday night. Somewhere along the way, Flea's bass solos became a little too much. Kiedis has certainly had better days singing too as he appeared to flub the vocals on "Around The World." And the band's latest guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, failed to match the rest of his bandmates' flair. While he's got the guitar licks, Klinghoffer is no John Frusciante when it comes to showmanship. They certainly weren't the best act with a headlining slot on Saturday night.
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Frank Ocean put on a solid performance that showcased his exceptional voice and superb song writing skills. He played on a stage tucked away among the trees in Grant Park the same time as the headliners were performing on much larger stages out in the open. No matter how small or hidden the stage was, Ocean turned in quite possibly the best performance through the first two days of the three-day festival. Ocean's voices resonated through the area as laid out the complicated love story of "American Wedding." And that's what Ocean does best; tell stories in his smooth R&B-infused songs. He's not afraid to show vulnerability along the way either. "This next song is kind of long," Ocean explained before playing the set-closing "Pyramids." The recorded version of the song runs almost 10 minutes on his latest album. The version of it he played Saturday night took it even further and added an amped up guitar solo at the end. It was a fitting end a top-notch performance.
The band fun. was among the first to play after the rain delay. Unfortunately their radio-friendly pop hits fell victim to a heavy bass sound bleeding over from another nearby stage. Their set seemed rather short too. Still, they found time to play their hit "We Are Young," leading to what was at that point one of the largest sing-alongs of the festival. It had been a long afternoon due to the inclement weather and spirits needed to be picked-up, That song may have been the cure. It also was the only highlight for fun. as sound issues continued to plague the band.
Canadian singer The Weeknd may have used an unconventional route to gain popularity, but it seems to be working. Fans packed into the muddy part of the grounds to hear one of the better voices of the day sing dark love songs. The Weeknd gained recognition by releasing his music for free through his website last year. A full backing band really brought the music to life on Saturday, making it feel much larger than studio versions. That also included the act playing Drake's "Crew Love" on which The Weeknd provides some vocal work.
GIVERS proved to be one of the highlights of the pre-storm portion of the day, The young band members seemed genuinely ecstatic to be part of Lollapalooza as they played, drummed and danced their mix of poppy world music. Drum sets were toppled. Guitars flailed in the air. It was a spirited performance from a band that truly enjoyed the moment.
Other notes: The evacuation seemingly went well as festival attendees were out of the area nearly an hour before the gusty winds and rain arrived. Plenty of festival volunteers were located near the exits to explain the evacuation plans... The revised schedule after the storm meant some of the acts never got a chance to play. They included Alabama Shakes, The Temper Trap, B.O.B. and others.