The first of three days of music in the hot cauldron of Grant Park in Chicago is now one for the history books.
Black Sabbath (or at least three-quarters of them) got back together; M83 lit up the skies and our hearts; and the lines at the water stations got as long as the list of broken hearts that Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli has in his diary.
From our tight-knit team of writers, here are some of the best musical moments from Friday night at Lollapalooza 2012.
When M83 decides to unleash their biggest singles, it's hard not to get caught up in the swirl of neon-bright pop. Daft Punk cover "Fall" boasts a wonderfully gigantic vocal hook which roused the crowd out of a late-day fatigue. Likewise, "Midnight City" is one of the last year's most infectious singles, and the crowd response was suitably large with fists being raised in drunken unison.
Unfortunately, the band's biggest tracks weren't followed up by past triumphs like "Kim & Jessie" or "Don't Save Us From The Flames," but by the expansive pomp of "My Tears Are Becoming A Sea." "Outro" did its best to end the set with some much-needed steam, but the crowd started leaving in droves once the familiar strains of "Midnight City" had stopped. -- Ian Traas
The Afghan Whigs
Red Bull Soundstage
Resale Concert Tickets
The Afghan Whigs' performance was literally hotter than the mid-afternoon heat. When you have an mood curator like Greg Dulli, the banter to get us started is "How you doing, Grant Park? How you doing, Grant Hart? Is he here?" Dressed in all black, but with all-white amplifiers, the Ohio soul punk troupe dealt stabbingly (and occasionally cello-enhanced) songs primarily from Black Love, Gentlemen, and 1966. Don't worry, "Miles Iz Ded" too. Add to that a steely blue version of Frank Ocean's "LoveCrimes," a recent revamp of "See and Don't See" by Marie Queenie Lyons, and the opening verse from Prince's "Little Red Corvette" that got dropped into the middle of "Somethin' Hot." Suddenly, a hay fever-ish field felt like a smoke-filled ballroom with a velvet curtain hanging behind the stage. All of this was intense while Dulli wore sunglasses, but when he took them off and started making eye contact ... Whoa, brother. -- Reed Fischer
Evaluating a 63-year-old rock star's performance shouldn't just be answering the question: Do they still have it? On a half-dozen occasions, he bellowed "I can't fucking hear you." Part of this statement is intended to get the crowd to scream, and part of it could've simply been the truth.
Ozzy doused himself with water several times, and it kept his long hair in sloppy tendrils around his face. When singing "My name is Lucifer, please take my hand" amidst "N.I.B." he was not some guy who once asked what a Bieber was, nor was he attempting to reclaim the way the song would've been performed 40 years ago. He was his 63-year-old wailing self -- warts, blackness and all. -- Reed Fischer
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Despite an early slot at Perry's dance area (and a cartoonish name) Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs turned in one of Day 1's best sets. The project of UK musician Orlando Higginbottom, TEED has been a recurring name in top-end remixes, but it's new album Trouble that deserves the most attention. A collection of alternately dreamy and grinding house music, Trouble has something for dance music enthusiasts of every stripe. The crowd at Perry's had a huge response to tracks like "American Dream Pt II" and "Shimmer," but it was the melancholy "Tapes & Money" that deserves the most praise, striking just the right balance between bass bounce and longing vocals. Plus, the frilly dino outfit was nothing short of bold for such hot weather. -- Ian Traas
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Out of context, Die Antwoord are probably pretty awful. It's '90s revivalist rave-rap complete with gold chains, Vanilla Ice haircuts and patterned outfits that would make Keith Haring flinch, and it sounds like Alvin & the Chipmunks collaborating with Snow. But at its heart, the music is incredibly well produced, has a sense of humor and, most importantly somehow sounds like the future. The South African duo of Yo-Landi Vi$$er and partner Ninja live and breathe the tongue-in-cheek "Zef" culture they describe as "poor but fancy" and proved it in front of thousands of rabid 20-somethings at Lolla on Friday afternoon. With cult hits "I Fink You Freaky", "Enter The Ninja" and unfortunately catchy new single "XPNSIV SH!T", Die Antwoord had one of the most enthused crowds of the day, at a few points Yo-Landi spraying water all over the photographers in the pit. Their alias directly translating as "The Answer," that's certainly what they were for a sluggishly hot day at the fest. -- Jen Boyles