By: Eric Ratkowski
Lollapalooza Day 1 Review
With temperatures in the mid 80s, Lollapalooza kicked off its 20th anniversary festival with perfect conditions.
As with festivals such as Warped Tour, Bonnaro, it is literally impossible to see everyone unless you have some insane Usain Bolt speed.
First band on the docket for my friends and I was the White Panda at Perry’s.
If you had been to last year’s Lollapalooza’s, you were familiar with the great white tent that was Perry’s stage. Well, that idea was completely scrapped.
What stood in its place was an absolute behemoth of a stage that rivaled the two main Bud Lite and Red Bull stages.
The White Panda hyped up the crowd by playing most of their “Bambooyah!” set list along with a few new tracks they had been working on during their hiatus.
I may giving away my secrets a bit early but I would vote The White Panda as my favorite surprise band.
There was a bit of a lull until the headliners and those directly before them. I walked around and took in a few different bands including the Black Angels, but no one really peaked my interest and made me stay for more than a few minutes.
The headliners were the Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Wale, Passion Pit and Bassnectar.
Since I wasn’t sure if Ozzy Osbourne was going to be alive long enough for us to see him in concert on another day, I decided to sit through Passion Pit playing at the Bud Lite stage in order to get close for Black Sabbath.
I had heard many positive reviews from those who had seen Passion Pit previously and they were justified.
From the opening song “Take a Walk” to the final “Little Secrets” Passion Pit completely contradicted what was to be expected from the metal Gods in Black Sabbath but overall had a solid performance. Admittedly, me being unfamiliar did lead to questioning if a woman or man was singing at certain points. Lead singer Michael Angelakos has a very distinct voice.
Black Sabbath was great for a band that’s lead singer is 63. Not going to lie, as soon as I heard “War Pigs”, I was off to see the other headliners. Osbourne did not move around much nor give much of a stage show but the sound was CD quality.
Bassnectar was OK but having seen the tail end of Nero, I wasn’t struck as seeing something mind-blowing.
“Most of these guys are great,” said Ahmad Isaaz of Chicago. “However, at a certain point it all kind of blends together.”
Two headliners were left. I arrived in just enough time to hear the Black Keys play “Lonely Boy” and “Everlasting Light”. If you are going to randomly arrive at a Black Keys concert, not bad timing.
Wale was still playing and in a “what the hell?” kind of moment we decided to check him out.We arrived just as Wale was starting up his encore “No Hands”. From audience expressions it seemed that most people completely forgot he was on that track.
Solid ending to a very solid day.