Brad Keefe reporting sort-of-live from Chicago all weekend.
Nine Inch Nails closes out Friday at Lollapalooza in Chicago.
Greetings from Chicago. I'll be reporting highlights all weekend, and look for a roundup in next week's Alive. Here are some of my favorite sets from yesterday.
Nine Inch Nails
I'm an unabashed Nine Inch Nails fan, so take this with a fanboy grain of salt, but, man, is it good to have Trent Reznor back. An alternately brutal and introspective set crawled and lurched through the NIN catalogue for an hour and 45 minutes. I had high expections, and they didn't disappoint. But, then, they never do.
I wasn't sure how this could possibly play well in the daylight, since my past Crystal Castles experience was a strobe-and-fog-filled experience. Alice Glass arrived on stage swigging generously from a bottle of Jameson and, of course, dragging from a cigarette. The sheer physicality of her performance has me concerned for her well-being, but I'm glad I got to see them again before she manages to burn herself out in her mid-20s. This will likely be the set of the festival.
Father John Misty
Even if you weren't there for the music -- a thrashing climax of "Hollywood Cemetary Sings" in particular -- this set would have been enjoyable for the sheer comedic value of Misty's stage banter. He coaxed the crowd to collectively answer his requisite "How's everybody doing?" festival speak with a shrug and a "meh ..." and informed us that patrons who upgraded to the platinum viewing experience contractually get "a song played directly to them by me. They get to shake hands with Imaginary (sic) Dragons. They get to dry hump Lana Del Ray ..."
My second time seeing the Swedish bubblegum devil rockers in broad daylight. I didn't see the Lana Del Ray set, but I'll bet this one topped it in the "Hail, Satan" count.
Day One was filled with too many must-see acts for me. Expect more explorations with the Saturday lineup. I'm not looking forward to the throngs of Mumford fans, and I'm pretty bummed about the Azealia Banks cancellation, but we'll try to find some excitement.