There were a number of really strong sets the first day of Lollapalooza, and I didn’t even see Lady Gaga’s performance (which reportedly sucked).
The 71-year-old Mavis Staples smoked, introducing some new songs and closing her set with her classic I’ll Take You There. As I suspected, Jeff Tweedy, who produced her upcoming album, joined Staples on stage for a couple of songs.
The slightly younger Jimmy Cliff, 62, also sounded great, playing a high-energy show just before the headliners. I also caught strong sets by the Walkmen, Drive-By Truckers, Devo, Dirty Projectors and the Black Keys.
Trying to stage a comeback, the Strokes needed to give the performance of their career. They didn’t disappoint, opening with a raging version of New York City Cops. It was an interesting choice for an opener. The band removed the song from the U.S. version of its 2001 debut, Is This It, out of respect for the cops on the scene after the September 11 attacks.
There are only a handful of Chicago street fests that really do a good job of booking music. This weekend’s Do Division fest is one.
There are two stages, one curated by Empty Bottle and the other by House Call Entertainment, the guys who book Subterranean and Beat Kitchen. Headliners Saturday are the Night Marchers and the Hood Internet. Sunday’s closers are Yacht and Jason Isbell (formerly of Drive-By Truckers).
Other acts include Pelican, Headlights, Ponys, Poison Arrows, Sybris, Warpaint and CoCoComa.
With South by Southwest this week, there are only a small batch of new album releases Tuesday. But two biggies come out: Drive-By Truckers’ The Big To-Do and the Whites Stripes’ live album Under Great White Northern Lights.
Drive-By Truckers released the smoking new track, This Fucking Job, ahead of its album The Big To-Do, which is scheduled for a March 16 release. Enjoy it on the way to work tomorrow.
There’s no video for it. So here’s a clip from a Halloween show at Metro a few years ago.