Lollapalooza 2012

…And Justice For All


Justice Reigns Supreme Over a Sold-Out Lolla Crowd – The Wise Choice Over Jack White

The French really know how to make electronic music. Daft Punk. Air. M83. Les Rythmes Digitales. And then of course Justice – one of two headliners Sunday night at Lollapalooza in Chicago. 

The Paris-based duo brought their booming bass, fist-pumping beats and acidy keyboard sounds to an otherwise lackluster day at Lolla. It wasn’t rock, but it did indeed rock – a performance that was absolutely sick. It felt like a gigantic rave circa 1999.

Completely refreshing after a day saturated by rock ‘n’ roll, Justice knocked it out of Grant Park. I could’ve watched Jack White’s solo show – and if it were the White Stripes, I maybe would’ve considered it – but Justice was definitely the wise choice.

After I was blown away by Daft Punk in 2007, I opted for Justice, knowing that a huge electronic dance party was the better bet for a festival crowd. This wasn’t quite as good as Daft Punk’s set five years ago, but it was close.

The Walkmen

The Walkmen delivered a afternoon set of indie rock hits that rivaled any rock band of the whole weekend I’m guessing – I only went to Lolla on Sunday because I couldn’t get a 3-day pass and Friday and Saturday were sold out.

The Gaslight Anthem reminded me of my punk days in high school. Except this was a different kind of punk, which I will call punk-for-grownups. Huge singalongs.

But the best rock band of the day was At the Drive-In – a group that is the epitome of post-hardcore. The ground surrounding the Red Bull stage was caked in mud and I was praying that a moshpit wouldn’t break out. It did so I quickly moved out of the way but I still managed to get my feet all muddy since I was wearing sandals.

This was the first Chicago reunion show for the post-punk boys from El Paso, TX.  I saw them 12 years ago when I was in college. They opened for Fugazi at the Safari Club in Des Moines, Iowa. Now they’ve reached legendary status. And they’ve still got it. 

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