It was an indie-rock heavy Sunday at Lollapalooza, as bands like Minus the Bear, the National, and Arcade Fire were all among the highlights.
Minus the Bear’s indie pop translated well to the big stage, thanks mostly to Alex Rose’s large scale synth sounds. While the National’s set started slow, it quickly picked up speed and even though singer Matt Berninger sounded like he was losing his voice at times, the band turned in a fine show.
So did Arcade Fire. The Montreal group has clearly elevated its game, and its ramshackle indie pop had a capacity crowd entranced.
Playing its first stateside show ever, Japan’s X Japan didn’t fare so well. Rooted in ’80s metal, the band played power ballad after power ballad and definitely benefited from the novelty factor. If these guys hadn’t been Asian, their show would have been of little interest.
Even though she arrived onstage after a lengthy 15-minute intro, Erykah Badu’s slow grooves were perfect soundtrack for a lazy hot afternoon. She wasn’t particularly engaging, but her terrific band worked her soulful tunes into something intoxicating.
Recently reunited grunge holders Soundgarden brought a ferocity to their headlining set. While their lunk-headed heavy rock is hardly alternative, it did still possess a certain power and brought the festival to a proper conclusion. —Jeff Niesel
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