WPGU @ Lollapalooza: Day 2

While day 2 had less people I specifically cared about seeing, it was a pleasant surprise in terms of satisfaction.  I don’t think I saw one bad set the entire day.  Check out my set-by-set breakdown and a gallery of all of my pictures from Saturday’s action below:

Ben Howard – 2:15-3:00

I really didn’t have anything to see until Matt & Kim at 3:45 so I decided to blindly pick from the schedule and just attend a show for the fun of it, and boy did I pick right.  Ben Howard is an English singer/songwriter, who I expected to take the stage with just his own voice and an acoustic guitar.  I don’t know why I made this assumption (probably because he was described as a “singer/songwriter” in the program) but when he came out with a 6-piece band, I was ultimately surprised.  He sounded a lot like another personal British favorite of mine, Bombay Bicycle Club, and his entire set was full of energy and definitely one of my sleepers for most surprising of the entire festival.

Matt & Kim – 3:45-4:45

I have seen Matt & Kim before and I know they can put on a killer show of sorts, but what I didn’t know was how many people they could draw to their show.  Their show at Grant Park’s Petrillo Bandshell was absolutely packed to the brim with people ready to jump and dance to some favorites from throughout their 4-album career.  While they took a break to dance to “I Woke Up In A New Bugatti” 5 separate times throughout their show, it was still a wave of energy for the entire set.  Towards the end of the set, however, Kim’s earpiece monitors went out and thus she had a really hard time staying on time.  Thus, they only got through like 1 minute of “Daylight” and missed their last two songs due to technical problems.  Still, though, it was a pleasure to see such an energized performance from seasoned Lolla veterans.  Check out our interview with Matt & Kim here:

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – 4:45-5:30

I didn’t know much about UMO going into their Lolla set besides the fact that my roommate from last year loved to play them and by virtue of that, I would recognize a couple of songs.  The band from New Zealand definitely had a great set, though, even if they were playing to a (relatively) small crowd in The Grove (Lolla’s wooded stage).  They played some stuff I recognized, including a plethora of singles from their newest album II,  but where they really shined was frontman Ruban Nielsen’s rendetion of the first song he had ever written for UMO, “Ffunny Ffriends”.  While this set didn’t necessarily make me a fan of UMO, it was far from a waste of time on a sunny afternoon in Chicago.

Kendrick Lamar – 6:45-7:45

I’ve admitted to loving rap before and I wasn’t going to miss arguably the biggest performer of the year when he was at Lollapalooza.  That being said, I couldn’t ask for much more from Kendrick Lamar.  This was the furtherest back I’ve been for a show all festival in that there were absolutely no spots available with a view of the stage.  That’s how crowded it was.  Kendrick did his thing and rapped to that enormous crowd and did it with style and grace, performing pretty much every popular song from Good Kid MAAD City.  The funniest part was looking around at all the people mouthing Kendrick Lamar lyrics…I had no idea so many people loved to drop MF bombs.  But in a way, that’s great because it shows how people have a way of losing their inhibitions when music is played.  What more could we ask of Lollapalooza?  Kendrick did get a little mad on stage, however, when some people started to trickle out of his crowd early, but hey, it’s a festival…that happens.  Especially with as many conflicts as Lollapalooza has.

The Lumineers – 7:15-8:15

I only caught about 20 minutes of these guys’ set, but from what I could tell, that’s all I really needed to catch.  I saw “Ho Hey”, the really really popular single and a couple other songs I recognized from their debut album, but nothing that really stuck with me.  I’m not saying that the folk band from Denver was bad, but I am saying that I was a little too far away to feel any type of connection to the music, which was a damn shame.  Oh well. I got to hear the famous song, right?

The Postal Service – 8:30-10:00

How many people are going to be able to say they say The Postal Service on their last show ever? Not many.  But I am.  Ben Gibbard & co. put on a fantastic headlining show on Grant Park’s North end to cap off Saturday.  Along with playing fan favorites (“The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”, “Bestill My Heart”, and “Such Great Heights” to name a few) they also produced a couple of covers of songs I didn’t recognize, which was far from a bad thing.  The best thing about this show, however, was exactly how close I got to the stage.  It seemed like the entire Kendrick Lamar crowd flocked to see Mumford & Sons leaving tons of space in front of the stage to take in this show.  I’m forever thankful to Mumford for drawing all the people away so I could get a great seat to see TPS.  I’m sad that I’ll never get the opportunity to see these guys again, but it was definitely the right way to cap off my Saturday at Lollapalooza 2013, and I wouldn’t have changed anything for the world.

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