Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sweaty, smelly masses invade another park for yet another music festival

Avoiding eye contact with Yo La Tengo

Last week, it was the Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park. This weekend, it's Lollapalooza at Grant Park, where thousands of unshaven, deodorant-deficient music fans of all ages can pretend they're at a Phish show while bands that are used to playing smaller venues attempt to rock out on giant stages only to have their sound lost in the dense, humid air. Being something of a cheapskate, I made it to Pitchfork last week (30 bucks) but find myself at home this weekend (a hundred fifty). And I'm glad I'm not there, deciding, oh my god, do I want to see the Flaming Lips or Common? Wilco or Queens of the Stone Age? (The Trib listed these as the "cruel overlap[s] of the day" for Saturday and Sunday.)

The biggest disappointment last week was Yo La Tengo. They tried to rock, but were actually quiet and boring. Maybe I'm just unfamiliar with their newer stuff. Then again, the guy in front of me read a book during their set. By far the most exciting band I saw was Brazil's CSS, or Cansei de Ser Sexy (Portuguese for "Tired of Being Sexy"). The three female guitarists and bassist absolutely rocked out over electronic samples while the male drummer kept up with the jumping singer who flung herself into the crowd and around the stage during a very hot thirty minutes on stage. Of course they performed in a small tent, which goes to show that these kinds of bands work best in more intimate settings. And the good news is that CSS will be returning to Chicago on Oct. 6 to play with Ladytron at the Vic. If, like me, you're not wasting your money at Lollapalooza this weekend, save some cash for that show.

CSS showin' how it's done!


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