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Tag: Festivals (31-40 of 74)

Fun Fun Fun Fest Austin recap: Run-DMC, Superchunk, and a whole lot of Ryan Gosling

What’s that? You didn’t realize that Austin had another music festival between last month’s Austin City Limits and March’s South By Southwest? Then you, sir or ma’am, are not Terrance Malick. (More on that later.)

This past weekend, Fun Fun Fun Fest — a three-day event with four stages of college-radio royalty, hip-hop heroes, and your cool older brother’s favorite hardcore bands — took over the sunny Texas capital for the seventh year in a row. And while this newish entry to the festival-industrial complex doesn’t yet have the hashtag ubiquity and Tupac holograms of its more established peers, it is able to rope in a reunited Run-DMC, top-shelf comedy, and enough Ryan Gosling appearances to justify its own Tumblr. Also, there was a taco canon. (None on that later.)

And Music Mix was there too. Forthwith, a day-by-day graded run-down of Fun Fun Fun Fest’s highlights. READ FULL STORY

'Free Pussy Riot Fest' held in Russia despite government pressure

A music festival to support jailed members of the Russian band Pussy Riot went forward despite official pressure to cancel it, organizers said Monday.

Olga Kurnosova said city officials had tried to force her to stop Sunday’s show in St. Petersburg — President Vladimir Putin’s hometown — and firefighters had threatened to close down the Glavklub hall, claiming safety violations ahead of the concert.

About 1,000 people attended the “Free Pussy Riot Fest” headlined by the Russian rock protest bands DDT and Televizor, whose songs have long riled Soviet authorities and Putin’s Kremlin. READ FULL STORY

Backstage at Lollapalooza: Of Monsters and Men overcome by dancing, seduced by koalas

It would be hard to find a group of people more whimsical than the members of Of Monsters and Men (and that’s saying something, considering they’re from Iceland, the land of Bjork).

Despite the fact that they’ve logged countless hours flying all around the world to deliver their particular brand of chamber folk that the kids all seem to love these days, they were ready to party at their first Lollapalooza.

“At these festivals, we always try to have as much power as we can,” explained singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir. “So we take the songs that have the most oomph.” READ FULL STORY

On the scene at Lollapalooza Sunday: Jack White, At the Drive-In provide six-stringed heroics

Outside of the weather (it was sunny and pleasant all day Sunday, thanks for asking!), the main narrative of Lollapalooza 2012 seemed to be the same argument everybody was having in 1997: Is this the year that samplers and turntables replace guitars as the new rock and roll?

There were arguments on both sides all weekend. Perry’s Stage, the space devoted to the non-stop thump of EDM from dawn until way past dusk, was constantly overrun with dance-happy revelers, making it the most consistently populated performance space of the festival.

Huge names in dance had major moments, including Avicii’s Saturday night headlining set, and Sunday’s docket of acts like Justice and Kaskade.

What did the rock gods do to counter the perpetual threat of being overtaken by the untz-untz-untz crowd? They turned up their amps and let themselves sprawl.

It was somewhat poetic that Jack White closed out Lollapalooza weekend, as he has slowly built himself up into the kind of poly-tentacled hybrid that Lolla founder Perry Farrell adores, though White certainly goes about it in more analog fashion. READ FULL STORY

Lollapalooza interview: 'We Are Young' rockers fun. narrowly avoid weather-related catastrophe, look forward to Jack White

Thanks to a passing but violent storm on Saturday, fun.’s big Lollapalooza moment was nearly ruined. The evacuation of Chicago’s Grant Park in the wake of an impending storm put their early-evening set in jeopardy.

But thanks to some creative rescheduling, fun. ended up welcoming the nearly 100,000 revelers back into the venue after it was deemed safe enough. And what better way to get damp people roused again than with hand-waving anthems like “We Are Young” and “Some Nights”?

Clearly amped up on the joy of simply playing their instruments really loud, fun. acted as the bellweather for the second half of Saturday, fending off the last of the storm clouds and welcoming in the cool breezes with their theatrical indie pop. Even the deeply melancholy tunes from their breakthrough album Some Nights—including the heart-piercing hit-in-waiting “Why Am I the One?”—sounded triumphant against the forces of nature herself.

It would have been a shame if fun. had missed out on that opportunity because of the weather — the trio was fully jazzed for all things Lollapalooza when EW caught up with them earlier in the day. They had just come from Montreal, and were fully focused on delivering a great festival show. “We understand how rare and special this is to play Lollapalooza, and we know that shows like this deserve our full attention,” Andrew Dost said.

Guitarist Jack Antonoff added, “Doing lots of festivals make us a better band. Rather than run around and see everything.” He added that both he and Dost had played Lollapaloozas in the past, though with different bands.

Once their set was complete, they were fully free to see everything. “I’m excited about Jack White tomorrow,” Dost said. “I was planning on going home because we have a couple of days off, but I might stick around because he’s such a hero. He’s the best.”

Meanwhile, frontman Nate Ruess had to go through the unfortunate decision-making process that faced every festival-goer on Saturday: which of two coheadliners — located at opposite ends of the vast Grant Park — to stick with. “I am actually going to watch the Chili Peppers tonight,” he said. “I’ve never seen them, and I think it’s going to be really exciting. But I would also love to see Frank Ocean, so I’ll have to be two places at once. It’ll be a Dr. Manhattan situation. Or Multiplicity.”

Read More on EW.com:
Music Festivals: Complete Coverage on EW.com
On the scene at Lollapalooza Friday: The Black Keys and Black Sabbath deal in different kinds of darkness
Lollapalooza 2012 Photos

On the scene at Lollapalooza Saturday: Stormy weather leads to good vibrations for Frank Ocean and Red Hot Chili Peppers

By Kyle Anderson and Nolan Feeney

When the second day of Lollapalooza 2012 began on Saturday, it was just another ridiculously hot morning in Chicago—but by the time the final notes had been played in Grant Park, it had become historic.

For the first time ever, the entire festival was suspended due to inclement weather, and all of the festival’s attendees—the official number at the time of the storm was 60,000, plus 3,000 staff—were evacuated for two and a half hours while a vicious thunderstorm passed through.

At about three o’clock local time, word started spreading that a nasty storm front was headed in the direction of Grant Park, and that everybody should brace themselves for the worst. Only a few minutes later, the organizers of Lollapalooza did the bracing for everybody.

A number of bands, including Neon Indian, were forced to end their mid-afternoon sets early to make way for the announcement that everybody had to leave the grounds due to the oncoming weather. What at first seemed like an alarmist case of over-protection ended up being right on, as the wind and rain ripped through Downtown Chicago for a solid hour.

The festival attendees who didn’t fill the bars and restaurants surrounding Grant Park were lead to a trio of underground parking garages that served as shelters during the storm.

The gates were re-opened at around six o’clock, with a new schedule and a slightly extended curfew. Most everybody was allowed to go on later, with the headlining acts given the go-ahead to play until 10:45, just under the cutoff time for noise in Grant Park. In the end, only a handful of acts were cancelled outright, including Temper Trap, Alabama Shakes, Chairlift, the Dunwells, B.o.B., J.J. Grey and Mofro, and Paper Diamond.

By the time the music was back on, the crowd had thinned only a little; most people seemed to stick out the storm. Though the fields had deteriorated quite a bit — a number of people standing in front during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ set were in ankle-deep water).

Still, the resilience of the crowd (and the cooler temperatures post-storm) definitely played into both of Saturday night’s headliners. READ FULL STORY

The Shins' James Mercer tips for festival survival: Play loud, be more like Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell

In the midst of Chicago’s unrelenting heat, the Shins helped cool off the thousands gathered in Grant Park for Lollapalooza on Friday evening. Armed with a quiver full of beloved songs both old (the show-opening “Caring Is Creepy,” Manic Pixie Dream Girl anthem “New Slang”) and new (the chugging “Simple Song” and majestic “Port of Morrow”), frontman James Mercer led a series of singalongs that helped sweaty revelers forget about their sunburns and hunger.

This is Mercer’s second time playing Lolla, and he’s learned a lot about festival survival since his first appearance in 2007. “In this environment, you get less time, and you want to play more upbeat stuff,” he explained to EW backstage a few hours before his set. “There’s often something else happening in the distance. We played a festival in Ireland once, and in the middle of ‘New Slang,’ the Scissor Sisters kicked in across the field on this mega stage. It was a little distracting. It was hard to keep track of what I was supposed to sing.”

Luckily for Mercer, the Scissor Sisters were AWOL at Grant Park yesterday, though festival co-founder and spiritual leader Perry Farrell was very much on the scene. As the fest’s official power animal, part of Farrell’s job is to inspire, and he certainly had that effect on Mercer back in ’07.

“Meeting Perry Farrel was kind of cool,” Mercer said. “He’s such an icon, and I was such a fan of Jane’s Addiction. He’s a f—ing rock star, but he seemed to me to have a certain calm about him, and he was very polite.”

For Mercer though, there is one thing that Lollapalooza is missing: “We just played Fuji Rock in Japan, and they have the best food,” he explained. “I got these grilled skewers of pork with these slightly pickled cucumbers, and it blew my mind. I basically got back in line for another one as soon as I got my first.”  Take that, Chubby Weiners!

Read More on EW.com:
Complete Music Festival Coverage at EW.com
Lollapalooza playlist: From Passion Pit to The Shins and more — LISTEN
Lollapalooza 2012: Five questions going into the weekend

Dhani Harrison's Lollapalooza memories include angry parents and Soundgarden-inspired vomiting

Dhani Harrison, son of the quiet Beatle, may have only just released his second album as thenewno2, but he and his band are already Lollapalooza experts. Their set on Friday evening was the third time the group has appeared at the festival, and their affections for the annual three-day brouhaha in Chicago’s Grant Park run deep.

“We played with Perry on the Kidz stage,” Harrison explained of his previous appearance at Lollapalooza, back in 2010. “We were the house band over there. Perry called us and said, ‘Let’s play some crazy songs for the kids,’ and we ended up playing ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads to 5,000 children and their parents. They loved that one—we really got the evil eye during the second verse.”

Harrison’s terrorizing of small children’s delicate sensibilities did not end there. “Then we did [Porno for Pyros'] ‘Pets,’ which has got loads of expletives. And Perry’s kids kept running across the stage—I nearly clocked one with an acoustic guitar by accident.”

Fittingly, the group’s Lollapalooza experience ended with a healthy dose of gastrointestinal discomfort. READ FULL STORY

On the scene at Lollapalooza Friday: The Black Keys and Black Sabbath deal in different kinds of darkness

By Kyle Anderson & Nolan Feeney

On the opening day of Lollapalooza 2012 in Chicago, people could only talk about two things: The oppressive heat (which isn’t really news for anyone who has ever spent three days repeatedly crossing Grant Park in August), and whether or not Black Sabbath was going to make everybody sad.

Obviously, the idea of the legendary metal band playing a nearly two-hour set of heavy classics was titillating, and frontman Ozzy Osbourne remains one of the most unpredictable characters in rock. But health problems for both Osbourne and Tony Iommi have called into question whether or not this particular Sabbath reunion was a good idea, and suggested that the band might be better served staying at home (which is exactly what drummer Bill Ward ended up doing anyway).

By the time they left the stage on Friday night, they delivered no definitive answers. The set list was unimpeachable —  hitting on everything you could possibly want to hear from them, including “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” “Sweet Leaf,” “N.I.B.,” and “Paranoid” (which they wisely saved for the encore). Ozzy still has the will of a manic frontman, but neither his body nor his voice seem to be able to match his intent, and he seemed vaguely off for the better part of the evening.

Iommi’s steady riffing carried the night, though the set ground to an unfortunate halt during an overlong drum solo (though honestly, there’s no such thing as an “appropriate length drum solo”) that saw a lot of people trying to beat the traffic home.

Still, for those who stuck around, the rest provided by the rhythmic interlude might have been just what the other members of the band needed, as the band’s finishing run (which included the awesome and deeply underrated Technical Ecstasy gem “Dirty Women”) was as strong as any modern metal act. Were they good? Sure. Should they keep going? The jury is still out.

On the other end of the park, the Black Keys were offering up no such existential quandaries. READ FULL STORY

Lollapalooza: Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli has one festival goal: See Frank Ocean

The recently reconstituted Afghan Whigs have always known their way around a cover, and their most recent one might be their most winning yet.

The band has been playing Frank Ocean’s “Love Crimes,” a signature track from his critically-acclaimed 2011 mixtape nostalgiaULTRA, as part of their set since getting back together earlier this year. The band just recorded the track and gave it away on their website.

Frontman Greg Dulli’s appreciation for the alt R&B star runs deep: “I really want to see Frank Ocean Saturday night,” Dulli told EW in the Afghan Whigs’ dressing room just a few minutes before taking the stage for his own show. “He has such great words. He’s a great songwriter, and his words are really deep. The opening lines of the song, ‘Talk to me without hearing, touching me without feeling,’ I thought that was really intensely beautiful. He really has something. I saw him play in L.A. a couple of weeks ago, and it was a really phenomenal show.”

The Afghan Whigs had a pretty exceptional set themselves, making even their darkest tunes (especially the raucous “What Jail Is Like”) fly over the crowd in Chicago’s Grant Park –like the flock of geese who seemed particularly enthralled by Dulli’s vocalizations.

Oddly, the song that got the biggest reaction from the crowd was the group’s cover of Marie Queenie Lyons’ soul classic “See and Don’t See,” a quiet little burner that captured the attention of even the most shirtless-bro members of the masses.

Read More on EW.com:
Complete Music Festival Coverage at EW.com
Lollapalooza playlist: From Passion Pit to The Shins and more — LISTEN
Lollapalooza 2012: Five questions going into the weekend

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