Every year for what’s now been 10 years running, Lollapalooza has invaded the grounds of Grant Park in Chicago, IL and grips the city in an awesome and unavoidable way. In the week leading up to the festival, you can feel the metro area swelling up, as if to prepare for the oncoming chaos. And regardless of what you thought of this year’s lineup (meh), Lolla is always a party full of spectacular moments.
This year’s fest was no exception to this rule. It’s a tall task to sum up 72-hours of music, mud, and general mayhem in just 7 small yet encapsulating moments, but I did my best for everybody’s fleeting attention spans.
Here are The 7 Sweetest Moments from Lollapalooza 2014 below.
7. Portugal. The Man Covering It’s Always Sunny’s “Dayman”
Covers can be cheesy and predictable. Sure, we’ve all heard the indie band who does a rendition of an old Snoop Dog song or something and people go nuts over it. But, what about when a band dramatically covers a song from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia? Awesome.
6. Toothless Gosling and Prison Mike Sinage
Festival signage usually falls within the realm of inside joke or completely and randomly awesome. These are both examples of the later.
5. Andre 3000 Bringing Girls On Stage To Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture
It’s impossible to not dance when “Hey Ya” comes on. It’s perfect. To prove this point, Andre 3000 brought some Beyonce’s and Lucy Lu’s on stage to get down to his now classic hit. I’m not complaining.
4. Grouplove Covering Beastie Boys’s “Sabotage”
Sooo, remember that thing I said about indie bands covering hip-hop songs earlier? Yeah, still awesome.
3. Malia Obama Snapping Photos With Concertgoers Like It’s No Big Deal
J chillin with Malia Obama✌️ pic.twitter.com/IuM0A88g9B
— Sarah (@cleaaaaver) August 4, 2014
The First Lady was recently spotted with her daughters at the Chicago stop of the “On The Run” tour just the other week. These gals have a pretty good taste in music, I’d say.
2. Rihanna Joining Eminem for a Rendition of “Stan”
With Em and Ri kicking off a tour in Detroit soon, many expected the duo to share the stage at some point during the legendary emcee’s Lolla set. Well, it happened and it was especially awesome that she stuck around for “Stan.”
1. Chance Bringing Out R. Kelly for “Ignition (Remix)”
Chance’s set was something of a momentous event. A hometown kid headlining Perry’s stage with a crowd that arguably rivaled next door neighbor headliners Kings of Leon and Skrillex. And then Chano brought out another Chicago legend just to put icing on the cake. Nailed it.
Urban Noize, the remix/production duo out of Florida, continue their recent rise to relevance (alliteration!) with this fantastic remix of the recent Beastie Boys and Nas collaboration, found on the Beasties’ Hot Sauce Committee, Part 1. The duo infuse an awesome funk-feel into the hip-hop track, which brings it a greatly welcome new feel. Most likely spurred on by the death of Adam Yauch, this is one of the best ways I can think of to honor the late Beastie Boy. RIP MCA.
YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY
This column is typically reserved for a selection of raucous, electro party jams for everybody to get down to as the week ends. Dejectedly, this isn’t a typical Friday.
As most of you know by now, Adam Yauch–a founding member of the momentous hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys–passed away today after a three year long bout with cancer.
More commonly known by his moniker MCA, or sometimes Nathaniel Hornblower, Yauch was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, when a tumor was found in his salivary gland. Though he slipped away from us quietly, I have a feeling that he’ll be heard for a very long time to come.
This Friday at Five is dedicated to the late great Adam Yauch, who was a visionary emcee, bassist and videographer. Peep the iconic visuals for “Intergalactic” below, which Yauch directed himself, as well as a selection of some of my favorite Beastie Boys cuts.
What will you remember most about MCA? What are you favorite Beastie Boys jams to bump?
Rest in peace Adam. Thank you for everything you’ve done for music. Your voice lives on.
What’s Left: 92 Days. 45 Bands.
Band #55: LiLa
When/Where: June 2, 2011, Motorco Music Hall, Durham, NC
Expectations: I hadn’t heard much music from LiLa before the show, so my expectations were minimal. What I did know is that they’re quickly gaining steam in Durham as a somewhat DIY indie hip hop group. I was told before the show, though, that this was a rather candid performance. Not much of a formal showing from LiLa…so my expectations were low.
Concert: This show was put on in honor of a bartender’s birthday, so it was almost like a private showing that took place after several drinks at the bar. It was intimate and entertaining, though clearly somewhat unrehearsed and impromptu. LiLa, composed of frontmen Jon LeSueur and Eli McDuffie, brought out a somewhat full band that resembled a mix of hipsters in skinny jeans and striped shirts and bros wearing lax pinnies. The eclecticism struck me as just as appealing as the presence of electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, trombone, bass guitar, and vocals.
The music, I came to realize, is almost closer to punk-hop than straight up hip hop. The full band was reminiscent of The Roots, but the sound itself was closer to Beastie Boys than anything else. Nearly everything about vocalist Eli McDuffie’s performance embodied a sense of punk rock – from the rigid dance moves to the old school flow – the only difference seemed to be a lack of anger in his persona. I was perfectly okay with this. The only part I struggled with at first was the semi-awkwardness of Eli’s dance moves, but it was masked by his pure excitement to be on the stage performing. The moves make it seem as though Eli is dancing to every 16th note, almost like a bunny on steroids. It made me a bit uncomfortable at first, until I realized how much fun he was having and let myself allow him to revel in the moment. As time went on, I realized it married his personality perfectly. He’s a comedian who you may have to warm up to at first, but his jokes light up the stage and bring the whole band together. Probably the best one of the night, after tripping on the stage a little bit while reaching for his beer: “I accidentally tried to drink the microphone. …Whats up!”
LiLa played a wide range of songs, some of which started out and sounded like folk songs, only until they paused for a brief moment, the beat dropped, and Eli started spitting. Their sound is as eclectic as their appearance. Jon, aka J-La, is the lead singer and has an incredible voice. Together with the old-school rap flow and full band, their sound is large and memorable. I wouldn’t be surprised if this band made a significant mark on the North Carolina scene before too long.
Concert Afterglow: If a show with that much energy was a candid appearance, what does a real show look like?!?
Recommendation: Give LiLa some time to fully round out their sound, and they’ll become a known name in this state. Check them out – it’s entertaining.
Song: “Out With A Bang” – LiLa (Beautiful footage of Durham, NC!)