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Inside Lollapalooza 2012: The Music
Passion Pit was pure energy, The Black Keys electrified, Avicii brought down the house, and more!

Lollapalooza offers an incredible and diverse bill of artists. It is one festival that truly caters to just about every type of music lover. With so many incredible sets, it was hard to pick our favorites, but here are a few of the major standouts that made trekking the bad weather and heat worth it!

 

Passion Pit

This outfit from Boston, MA stunned with a heart-on-its-sleeve set. Front man Michael Angelakos delivered a sincere and powerful performance. The band delivered a non-stop, passionate and energetic performance. A definite highlight.

 

M83

Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez is a low-key, serious presence who lets loose with his hard-edged ambient pop. Gonzalez’s capable and confident stage presence served as an anchor for show’s trippy light sequence. The infectious synth beats combined with a wild stage show provided a very entertaining set without being over the top.

 

The Black Keys

When Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced this blues super group, it set a major tone. The Black Keys owned the night with their electrified set, impassioned vocals and indisputable swagger. Few bands perform like this; they are earnest, they are unbelievably talented, they put on a show. As the performance wrapped up, fireworks went off in the distance, capping a perfect concert.

 

Franz Ferdinand

Front man Alex Kapranos looked slick as the band from Glasgow, Scotland took the stage. The band pumped out their classics with style and bravado. As the group struck the opening chords of their breakthrough hit, “Take Me Out," the crowd erupted in cheers.

 

Bloc Party

We snuck up on the side of the stage to view the English pop punk band. Lead singer Kele Okereke exuded a quiet confidence and played the part of a delightfully polite Brit. With soaring vocals and aggressive guitars, the set was parts fast and furious and beautifully melodic. Their rendition of “This Modern Love” was sweet and sentimental, followed by “Ares," a song with a bridge warning, “Get out of our way or get f***** up!" All in all, it was a harmonious juxtaposition.

 

Red Hot Chili Peppers

The crowds came in overwhelming droves to see Anthony Kiedis and crew crank out the hits. Approaching their 50's, the Peppers are still pretty badass, not too mention look pretty good, too. Flea played shirtless and we weren’t complaining. The Pepper’s are defined partly by his unmistakable bass, which perforated throughout the crowd and got everyone moving. Kiedis’ voice is experienced and familiar; he sounded great and commanded the stage. It was a fun and fantastic performance that definitely pleased the crowd.

 

Bombay Bicycle Club

The boys kicked the day off right. It was an earlier set and the melodic sounds of the band more than filled the Red Bull Stage, one of the biggest at Lolla. Easy and charming, Bombay Bicycle Club’s style of subtle pop made for a fantastic performance.

 

Outasight

His claim to fame may be from a song appearing a Pepsi commercial, he may be more than a little fratty, but his energy was undeniable as he whipped the crowd into a dancing frenzy. It was fun set with funky beats.

 

Gaslight Anthem

Hailing from New Jersey, this group cranks out pop punk ballads with honesty. Every song feels like it should be sung in a bar and with a brogue. It was an entertaining performance spearheaded by front man Brian Fallon.

 

Avicii

Can you play ‘Levels'? We’ll leave it at that. A crowd-pleasing set for those that worship at the temple of Avicii. Sweaty and swirling, it was a great way to close the evening on Saturday.

 

Florence and the Machine

Florence Welch delivered a standout performance, in every sense of the word. First, the voice. Her vocal prowess is unparalleled. Second, the dramatics. There was something very reminiscent of Stevie Nicks about her performance; very stylized and a lot of dramatic hand movement. She was kind, sang her heart out and put on a show that worked effortlessly to involve the entire crowd. Oh, Rahm Emanuel made an appearance at this show, too.

For an inside glimpse of the social scene at Lollapalooza 2012, check out Part II of our coverage here!