Maybe it was the joy of catching At the Drive-In, where we saw actual people in band T-shirts at a music festival, but of this year’s action in Grant Park, Sunday most felt like the festival’s original incarnation (still spliced with a raging dance party, of course).
With the day’s first set, Lollapalooza 2012 officially begins at 11:30 AM CST — “bright and early” for professional rock bands.
We’ll be tweeting and posting to Facebook intermittently with our thoughts, and if you’re down at Grant Park too, let us know if you’re still alive. (Today’s high temp. will be in the low 90s with 50% humidity. Drink your bubble tea.)
Tonight’s festivities end with two of the billion bands to use “black” in their names — Black Sabbath and The Black Keys. Here’s our quick list of sets to catch:
“Summer’s Last Stand,” better known as North Coast Music Festival, lived up to its self-given nickname this year, breaking a sizable inaugural attendance and raking in nearly 50,000 loyal fans for a sold-out sophomore year. Despite being slightly overshadowed by Chicago’s other popular summer music fests, North Coast surpassed them in diversity with a far-reaching lineup.
Heavy beats bumped Union Park for a straight three days, spun by dubstep producers SBTRKT and Rusko and electronic hypnotists STS9 and Bassnectar. Day performers Little Dragon and Of Montreal loosened crowds for each night’s main acts, including Wiz Khalifa and David Guetta, who were silhouetted by LED backdrops on both headlining stages. Other ALARM favorites on hand included Common, Gogol Bordello, Thievery Corporation, RJD2, and The Budos Band.
Chicago photographer Caleb Condit was present to document the good times. Check out the massive gallery below.
In the early 2000s, music exported from Sweden was notorious for its rock-n-roll demeanor. With acts like The Hives, The Sounds, and The Caesars coming of age in the earlier part of the last decade, the Scandinavian country quickly became associated with fast, raucous, danceable, and sometimes absurd music. But in the last five years or so, a new sensibility has emerged from Sweden. More soft-spoken, musically inclined acts, like Jose Gonzales or The Tallest Man on Earth, have emerged, and with them, a new style has been established. Among this new wave of Swedish exports is the highly acclaimed mellow-wave act, Little Dragon.
With its debut in 2007, the band made a name for itself in its home country as a digital minimalist. Its 2009 effort, Machine Dreams, garnered a bit more attention, but it wasn’t until Little Dragon collaborated with Gorillaz on Plastic Beach that much of the indie scene started paying attention. And now, with Ritual Union, the band has managed to release its best effort yet.
Swedish synth-pop quartet Little Dragon performed at HMV’s Next Big Thing festival in London earlier this month, alongside other up-and-coming artists like dubstepper James Blake and the great, ALARM-endorsed Stateless. Little Dragon, led by vocalist Yukimi Nagano, has been making waves with its ’80s-throwback dream pop mixed with dub and African rhythms. ALARM contributing photographer Gavin Thomas captured these images of the band’s show in London, and he even managed to snap a few up-close-and-personal portraits backstage.