This is how the second day of Lollapalooza 2011 ended: With Wynonna Judd swinging her cramazing Ariel hair (she did not, alas, whip it back and forth) in the balcony during an epic two-and-half-hour “secret” Foo Fighters show at Chicago’s 1100-capacity Metro club.
But let’s start with how it began: Morning rain turned to sunshine in time for L.A. retro-soul shakers Fitz & the Tantrums‘ early-afternoon set on the main Music Unlimited stage. Even as already-tipsy showgoers began to wilt in the heat like drunk little flowers, frontman Michael Fitzpatrick, in a crisp cranberry suit, and his leopard-print-clad leading lady Noelle Scaggs, were extra-sharp, turning up the volume on their shake-and-stomp grooviness to fill the super-sized space and give the crowd the “hits”: “Don’t Gotta Work It Out,” “Moneygrabber”—even a Fitz-ified take on the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).“
The soul train continued on the adjacent Sony Stage with flashback-R&B smoothy Mayer Hawthorne, who pleaded good-naturedly with the audience to take their camera-phone pics all at once and then “actually be in the moment and enjoy the show, I know it’s crazy.” After a cascade of snaps and flashes, they were duly rewarded with his shimmying cover of the Isley Brothers’ classic “Work to Do.”
And work to do there was, Mr. Hawthorne—which is why I had to miss the rest of the set to quick-hustle over to the mercilessly sun-scorched Bud Light stage for reunited noise-punk aggro-vators Death from Above 1979, who (sarcastically) played a snatch of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” but thrashed more like a Canadian Pantera on Quaaludes. You know how they say, If it’s too loud, you’re too old? Maybe I was just too hot. READ FULL STORY