2010年8月10日星期二

Lollapalooza of a day for an outdoor rock fest

"Lollapalooza of a day for an outdoor rock fest | GoRockfest.Com - The Latest Rockfest, Artist's Live News"
Ted Cox | Daily Herald Staff
Lollapalooza of a day for an outdoor rock festIn the midst of a summer that has swung wildly between torrential rains and tropical heat, the opening day of the Lollapalooza outdoor rock festival in Chicago's Grant Park found the most pleasant weather in weeks welcoming the world to the city.

"This looks great this weekend," said Jay Cohen of Palatine. "There's been years past when it's rained or it's been 100 degrees, so this weekend looks pretty good."

Cohen said he's attended each of the six fests that have been held in Chicago, and he didn't need to be reminded about last year, when rain on Friday was followed by intense heat that turned Grant Park into a sweat box.

As for the music, Friday was devoted to ethnic dance beats, from the opening hip hop of B.o.B to the klezmer funk of Balkan Beat Box and Gogol Bordello to the Latin rhythms of Los Amigos Invisibles and the reggae of Jimmy Cliff.

Lady Gaga and the Strokes went head to head at the end of the night, to be followed by headliners Green Day and Phoenix on Saturday and Soundgarden and Arcade Fire on Sunday.

Midafternoon Friday, Cohen and his pal Pat Flynn of Villa Park found themselves parked comfortably in the sun in front of Mavis Staples on the Budweiser stage.

Staples was an early highlight of the festival, as the Chicago native preached the gospel through her grits and gravy soul music, briefly lecturing on events of the civil-rights movement like the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. She was joined onstage on a couple of songs by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who just produced her upcoming album being released next month.

"I've been a fan since childhood," said Chicago fan Maggie Cassidy.

"I've wanted to see her for years," added Cassidy's friend Cait Hansen.

"She was having the most fun of anybody here, I think," Cassidy said.

Staples charmed the crowd with her warmth and her distinctive chortle.

"Lolla-palooza, I like to say that, you know," she said. "La-la-la-la-Lollapalooza."

Cohen and Flynn and Cassidy and Hansen, all of whom had full three-day tickets, might have agreed on Staples, but they were set to go their separate ways later. Cassidy and Hansen figured to join the dance party for Gaga. "Lady Gaga is a big deal," Cassidy said.

"No Lady Gaga," Cohen insisted. "Stay away from Gaga land down there."

"We're strokes, so we like the Strokes," added Flynn, who said he hadn't missed a day since Lollapalooza took up its summer residence in Chicago in 2005.

Lollapalooza organizers were expecting as many as 90,000 a day to attend the festival, and walk-up sales seemed strongly encouraged by the weather.

Staples welcomed all and embraced them in a fashion atypical of the slacker bands that usually dominate Lollapalooza. "We are all Chicago people," she told the crowd, later adding, "You ain't seen the last of me. I'll be back."

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