Blog Archives

Nutshell Concert Review: The Postal Service – Lollapalooza 8/3/13

IMG_1112Back in 2003, Jimmy Tamborello and Ben Gibbard released an album full of dreamy, 8-bit synths, quick-tempo drum loops, and a 1980’s-like style of electro-indie rock that would create a trend in the music world for the next ten years (and counting). After grabbing Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley, three hit singles were produced from that album, and a dedicated following to boot. Then they just sort of stopped. After repeatedly shooting down rumors of a second album, the band finally announced it would be going on a 10-year anniversary tour for their debut (and only) album, Give Up. Luckily, one of Chicago’s biggest annual events swallowed up the opportunity, and booked The Postal Service for their last two shows. Ever. Pretty cool huh?

I will openly admit that this headlining performance was the reason that I dished out $200+ to hang out with 300,000 reckless crowd members in the sweltering heat for three days. Most of the time, when you build something like this up in your mind for as many months as I did, you will be disappointed. I can tell you point blank that this was not the case. As soon as the band’s headlining performance began, around the same time as festival behemoth Mumford and Sons took the stage across Grant Park, it marked the beginning of a pinnacle moment in my music-loving career. The 90-minute show allowed for an entire career-spanning setlist, going all the way from their hit “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” to the song that, as Gibbard said, “Started it all”, Dntel’s “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan”. The group even got to the new releases from this year’s re-release, along with a cover of Beat Happening’s “Our Secret”. The set seemed flawless from front to back, and the crowd seemed to be made up of exclusively die-hard fans of the band, singing along to every word.

The reason this show seemed to be so impactful was the way the final moments of the concert passed. Earlier in the show, frontman Ben Gibbard had pointed out the fact that the Lollapalooza performance was their second to last, with only a show at the local Metro Chicago the following night. It was surreal as an audience member, watching a band performing on stage as something they agreed to shut the door on for good in less than two days. What solidified all of it was seeing that the four people on stage, for a moment, also took it as surreal. As the final song ended and the band set up to take a bow, they stretched out the set closer “Brand New Colony” for what seemed like an extra song-length, repeating the final line over and over again: “Everything will change”. Then, almost hesitantly, they walked off stage for one of the last times. Less than 36 hours later, in the same city, it was all over.

The Postal Service is a band that I have the utmost respect for; one that was able to bridge a gap between musical styles and create something that has been admired and emulated for years. The fact that they did it all on one album that was made with the two core members barely stepping in the same room as each other makes it worth so much more. This is a show that I will remember for a very long time, if not forever. Here’s to wishing for a new album, and being thankful that we at least got a few new songs this year.

Here’s the setlist for The Postal Service’s Lollapalooza show, 8/3/13:

  1. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
  2. We Will Become Silhouettes
  3. Sleeping In
  4. Turn Around
  5. Nothing Better
  6. Recycled Air
  7. Be Still My Heart
  8. Clark Gable
  9. Our Secret (Beat Happening Cover)
  10. This Place Is a Prison
  11. There’s Never Enough Time
  12. A Tattered Line of String
  13. Such Great Heights
  14. Natural Anthem

Encore

  1. (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (Dntel Cover)
  2. Brand New Colony
Advertisements

Lollapalooza Lineup Leak?

As is the case almost every year, Twitter accounts have erupted claiming to be music festival insiders who are aware of what the lineup for that respective festival will be that Summer, months before there’s any itching of a clue of the actual lineups. This has happened again for Lollapalooza, with a star-studded top half of the lineup leaked on Twitter, along with none other than @TheLollaLeaker himself being called out on it. After someone being kind enough to un-blur the cryptic photos that were posted, this is what the lineup is (allegedly) set to be.

Lollapalooza festival goers may be seeing the following acts this Summer:
The Flaming Lips, The Cure, Jay-Z, Blur, Mumford & Sons, Skrillex, Vampire Weekend, How to Destroy Angels, MGMT, and many others.

lollapalooza

Lollapalooza 2013 Predictions: Episode IV

Can we all just agree it’s fair to skip the whole intro thing and just get to some more predictions? Alright, sounds like a plan. It’s only a few, but it’s still some new names to throw into the mix.

  • Alice in Chains – It hasn’t been uncommon for the festival to throw in a 90’s revival band here and there, and the spot for grunge bands seems to be having a comeback. With Alice in Chains expected to unveil a new album later this year and a lack of a Chicago tour date on their Spring tour, it’s always a possibility.
  • Yo La Tengo – Let’s face it, Fade is an awesome album. These guys have been doing it for a long time and it’s obvious that adding them to the bill will introduce a crowd of indie adults to the group of age-deprived festival goers.
  • The Flaming Lips – Wayne Coyne has had a goof-ball, go off the deep end sort of year, and with a collaboration album and another “normal” Flaming Lips album due out in April, the festival kings are sure to explode back into Chicago with open arms waiting for them (and whatever giant inflatable objects they’ll bring for this tour).

Lollapalooza 2013 Predictions (Pt. 3)

IMG_0083With a handful of solid new music coming out over the last few months, it’s only fitting that a few more artists get added to the discussion for Lollapalooza 2013’s lineup. Remember, as always, this is an open discussion so suggestions are welcome and encouraged. You can also check out Nutshell Music Group’s entire Lollapalooza speculation page here.

  • Band of Horses – There isn’t much to be said here besides the fact that, other than the release of Mirage Rock most likely being enough, the group hit the Chilean and Brazilian legs of Lollapalooza 2012 and also played a House of Blues set with the Lolla name on it, and haven’t seen the Grant Park side of things since 2009. At this point, Band of Horses is anything short of a shoe-in for this year’s festival.
  • Ra Ra Riot – Even though the album isn’t even released yet, the band has a large opportunity to hit festivals this summer in support of Beta Love. The quintet hasn’t been involved in anything Lollapalooza-wise since 2009, so the group seems to be due for a triumphant, mid-afternoon or evening return.
  • The Killers – This one I have just forgotten to put on here. Even with the mixed reviews received by Battle Born, The Killers have been side-stepping the Chicago leg of this festival for the past few years. Yet another group that hasn’t stepped into Grant Park since ’09, expect to see them as a headliner this year.
  • The Lumineers – When booking a summer festival, you can never go wrong with an indie-folk group to round out the afternoon. These guys have enough momentum from “Hey Ho” alone to guarantee them a spot at this year’s festival.
  • Queens of the Stone Age – With a new album in the works featuring Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl on the drums, QOTSA is going to be going on a colossal tour without a doubt. The band is hitting Brazil and Chile for Lollapalooza 2013, and there is no question that they would be welcomed with opened arms (and probably beers) in Grant Park this August.

Lollapalooza 2013 Predictions (Pt. 2)

IMG_0148After ten days of buzzing and a good string of contact following our last Lollapalooza prediction post, the second handful of bands has been compiled (some of which are based on your suggestions). As was the deal with the last post, comment, tweet @NSMusicGroup, or email us at nutshellmusicgroup@gmail.com if you have changes to be made or things to say. This is a debate, that is welcome and preferred. You can also check out the new Lollapalooza 2013 page for all of our lineup speculation and live updates. Most additions will be normally posted, but bands taken off the list will not. Happy guessing folks!

Here’s the next batch of bands I expect to see August 2-4 in Grant Park:

  • Youngblood Hawke – With the release of one of this year’s big indie anthems, YBH has become quite a force. With the power of iTunes hit “We Come Running” behind them and an almost guaranteed festival-filled Summer 2013, the five-piece may be hitting the stage with an early time slot.
  • Two Door Cinema Club – The band was already playing an evening slot in 2010 on one of the festival’s biggest stages, and the recent release of Beacon means they will not be strangers to festival goers this year. With tour dates in Chicago falling early this year, it would not be surprising to see the Irish indie pop group back again in August.
  • Mumford and Sons – Mumford and co. is going to be the festival hog this year. Everybody in the entire world wanted to book them after they released one hot album; with that total doubled and a handful of new singles like “Babel” and “I Will Wait” that are being shoved down the throats of alternative radio listeners, the group will be hitting almost every major festival this year. If not Lollapalooza, be expecting the modern folk lords rounding out the Pitchfork Music Festival on Sunday night.
  • Matt and Kim – The duo last hit the festival in 2009 in support of Sidewalks, and have recently been hitting the Midwest pretty hard with tour stops. With signs of that dying down after February, the band seems to have enough experience under their belt (plus an awesome new album in Lightning) to grab an evening slot at Lollapalooza this Summer.
  • Andrew Bird & Wilco – The pairing of these two is intentional because both have released new material somewhat recently (Bird with Break It Yourself and Hands of Glory EP, Wilco with The Whole Love) and they both hail from the Chicago area. However, with enough new music to share a headlining concert just outside of the city last Summer, neither band ended up hitting any popular Chicago-area festivals. At least one of these two could likely show up at Lollapalooza this year as one of those “I don’t know why they’re here this year, but that’s awesome that they are” kind of acts.

Lollapalooza 2013 Lineup Predictions

IMG_0049Even though we haven’t even broken into winter, there is already a typhoon of speculation about who will be making their rounds at music festivals in Summer 2013. Bonnaroo presale tickets came and went in three minutes, and we’ve already seen message boards and websites be riddled with alleged lineups. With Nutshell being based out of and somewhat centered around the Chicago area, I thought it would be a perfect outlet for my 3rd annual Lollapalooza lineup predictions. This will, for the first time, be live updating. Bands will be crossed out and added as time goes on, up until the midnight lineup release some time in April. That is, if the Chicago Tribune would stop leaking it at 10:30. Think of this as an open discussion. Your thoughts are all appreciated, but they will only be read, reviewed, and utilized for this list if they are posted in the comments section below. That being said, we want your input. If you think I’m wrong, tell me why.

Here’s my current lineup predictions for Lollapalooza 2013, set for August 2-4:

  • Animal Collective – The dukes of modern indie rock haven’t graced the Lollapalooza stages since 2009, and they already found themselves in a premiere Saturday night slot. With Centipede Hz now under their belts and no extensive touring schedule, you can expect them to be hitting one of Chicago’s many festivals. After 2009’s powerhouse performance, it would be foolish for both the band and the festival if they did not end up in a headliner’s position this Summer.
  • Wu-Tang Clan – Now before you argue, look at the facts. According to an interview with AV Club, Clan producer RZA said that he had been contacted by Bonnaroo and Coachella, and that there’s a chance Lollapalooza has also been in contact with him about a Wu-Tang festival run. With one album having its 20th anniversary and another new one in the works, why not play a few festivals?
  • Alabama Shakes & The Temper Trap – Among many of the acts that had to be cancelled or shuffled around during last year’s mud pit, these two groups got the short end of the stick. They both had solid late afternoon slots and the potential to draw large crowds, so it would not come as a major surprise to see their names back on the bill.
  • The Avett Brothers – Backed by this year’s release of The Carpenter, the American folk group has never played on Lollapalooza’s stage. They hit their Chicago dates early on the supporting tour for the album, and a group like this would surely thrive in an outdoor festival.
  • MGMT – The group hasn’t hit the festival since 2010, and with an R.E.M.-inspired new album in the works it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them return for a third time. With three albums and their debut EP all in the catalog, the psychedelic collective would be a comfortable fit in a 5 or 6 headliner spot.
  • Phoenix – The French indie pop group hasn’t had much to say since the conclusion of their last tour, and with only one Lollapalooza appearance (2010) to date, the mysterious new album that is apparently being hammered out, a last second American Summer tour announcement with a few festivals wouldn’t be the biggest of surprises.
  • Vampire Weekend – Even though the band made a stop at last year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, they have been on a somewhat hiatus when finishing out their new album. They already have an impressive new single that’s presumably from the record, and it isn’t uncommon to see the two Chicago festivals swap bands for consecutive festival seasons. Since 2009, bands that have hit stages at both festivals include Animal Collective, Neon Indian, Washed Out, and  tUnE-yArDs, so Vampire Weekend could very well be returning to Grant Park come August.

Again, your comments are welcome below. Tell us what you’re thinking; who do you think will be playing at Grant Park in August?

Nutshell Concert Review: The Head and The Heart – Lollapalooza 8/3/12

To end the week following Lollapalooza that was full of nothing more than festival chatter and “Top Moments” lists, Nutshell wanted to put together two more concert reviews of the weekend, the first one being of The Head and The Heart. After putting together one of the most underrated albums of the past few years, the band has been playing shows with bands like Dr. Dog, Vampire Weekend, and Death Cab For Cutie, and they made their first stop at Grant Park’s annual festival on the opening day. The outcome was a magical, hour long evening performance that can easily be called one of the best sets of the weekend.

The set opened up with flawless performances of “Cats and Dogs” and “Coeur D’Alene”, which made everyone camping at the Sony Stage for M83 take notice. The 12-song set was brilliant, including fan favorites like “Lost in My Mind” and lesser known songs like “Gone” and “When I Fall Asleep”. The band was able to coast through their entire first album (and then some) and left everyone in that crowd impressed.

The Head and The Heart was not one of the big name bands to play Lollapalooza this year, nor were they billed very high on the initial lineup list. They threw all of that out the window when they played last Friday and proved to everyone that they were ready to be a household name. They played a perfect set and kept everyone there and interested until the very end, and gained a handful of new fans in the process. The Head and The Heart’s Lollapalooza set gets an A with Nutshell Music Group, along with a guarantee that the festival will be bringing them back within the next few years. After a performance like this, Perry Farrell (and any other promoter for that matter) needs to stay on top of these guys.

Here’s The Head and The Heart’s setlist at Lollapalooza on 8/3/12:

  1. Cats and Dogs
  2. Coeur D’Alene
  3. Ghosts
  4. Honey Come Home
  5. Gone
  6. Heaven Go Easy On Me
  7. Lost in My Mind
  8. Winter Song
  9. When I Fall Asleep
  10. Sounds Like Hallelujah
  11. Down in the Valley
  12. Rivers and Roads

Nutshell Concert Review: fun. – Lollapalooza 8/4/12

There’s definitely a handful of stories that will continue to be retold from this past weekend’s annual Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park in Chicago. Black Sabbath reunited, Saturday was cancelled in the mid-afternoon only to be reinstated later, and so on. A story that deserves to be told is the one about that one band that reopened the Google Play Stage on Saturday. What band? The answer is fun., who has had nothing short of a spectacular year. They’ve been all over festivals, put together one of the best songs of the year (along with an impressive album to back it up), and are now up for two MTV VMA’s. This was an important show for many people to check out, and it wasn’t even the slightest bit disappointing.

Being told to leave Grant Park was a nightmare, and everyone was glued to their phones (Twitter in particular) to find out when they were allowed back in. Bands were shuffled around and cancelled due to the weather, but fun. was reassuring by letting followers know they were still on, now at 6:30. Sure enough, frontman Nate Ruess and company burst onto the stage for an incredibly overpowering rendition of “One Foot”, and ensured that “a little bit of rain” wouldn’t stop the band. I also feel like it’s important to mention Ruess’s shoes. They were great shoes.

The band played a seven song set (short but sweet) that relied heavily on material from Some Nights, including a heart-warming rendition of “Carry On”. They also paid homage to their debut album with electrifying performances of “Walking the Dog” and “At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)”. The crowd screamed out every word with the band, including the auto-tuned high notes heard on the studio recording of set closer “Some Nights”.

fun.’s 45 minute set at Lollapalooza was one of the top highlights of the entire weekend for Nutshell Music Group, and the only complaint from this end was that it was just way too short. But even with the lack of material from Aim and Ignite, fun.’s Lollapalooza set gets an A. Expect to be hearing about them again soon, they’ll be back in Chicago for a show at the Riviera on November 15th, and maybe with a few VMA’s under their belts. Voting is under way now, so you could check out all of the categories and vote for fun. here, and then tune in to watch on September 6th.

Here’s the setlist for fun.’s Lollapalooza show, 8/4/12:

  1. One Foot
  2. Walking the Dog
  3. Carry On
  4. At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)
  5. Why Am I the One
  6. We Are Young
  7. Some Nights

Lollapalooza 3-Day Recap

Lollapalooza 2012 has officially come and gone, and after scouring through the sea of pictures and videos taken in Grant Park this past weekend along with trying to come up with the appropriate concert review to start off the wave that is to come (there will be a lot), we decided to give you a not-too-detailed recap of the weekend, along with Nutshell’s Top Lollapalooza 2012 Moments.

Friday: The heat was a killer, and the musical conflicts were even worse. Of course everyone was involved in the Passion Pit v. The Shins issue, plus the fact that most people were trying to weasel there way to the Sony Stage to get a good spot for M83. Then there was Black Sabbath. All in all, a great festival opener.

Friday’s Top Moments: 

  1. A fan proposes to his girlfriend during Yellow Ostrich
  2. People being very confused about the lack of a tent at Perry’s
  3. The Head & The Heart
  4. Singing “New Slang” with The Shins as the sun was setting over the skyline
  5. Rahm Emanuel introducing The Black Keys

Saturday: The heat was a killer again, and then it started to cool off and everyone was happy. Turns out, it was cooling off due to dangerous and intense storms headed for Grant Park that ended with the site being evacuated. Some acts were rescheduled (fun. started later, Chairlift played Sunday night) and others were flat out cancelled (Alabama Shakes, The Temper Trap). The gates reopened after a generally short wait and the end time was pushed back to 11 PM.

Saturday’s Top Moments:

  1. GIVERS playing through their “first real problem” when their onstage monitors weren’t working
  2. Members of Chairlift chatting with Google Play crowd members while their set was postponed
  3. The wave of booing across Grant Park as festival goers were told to leave
  4. Being glued to Lollapalooza’s Twitter page for information, only to learn the reopening time from fun.’s Twitter page instead
  5. fun. reopening Lollapalooza with “One Foot”

Sunday: The weather was great, Grant Park was a mud pit, and there were 11 hours left of the festival. The 2012 festival was concluded on a high note, with headliners including two DJs, a rock and blues superstar, and an icon in the world of indie hip hop.

Sunday’s Top Moments:

  1. Trampled by Turtles putting together a captivating set
  2. A giant blow up birthday cake being thrown off of the Google Play Stage by Of Monsters and Men keyboard player Árni Guðjónsson
  3. Big Gigantic taking Perry’s by storm
  4. Chairlift being rescheduled for a late-night spot at the Playstation Stage
  5. Jack White singing the third verse of “Seven Nation Army” along with the crowd humming the famous guitar part

Check back for reviews of various Lollapalooza sets, along with more album reviews to close out the Summer!

Lollapalooza Goes Hand in Hand With New Chicago Marijuana Laws

People tend to make a connection between outdoor music festivals and drug use. It’s something that happens, and little can be done to stop it. Those going to this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago may be more likely to see why that conclusion is drawn, after passing of new legislation by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in regards to Marijuana laws.

Those who are found to possess 15 grams or less of marijuana will just be ticketed starting on August 4th, which is the halfway point of Chicago’s biggest music festival. The tickets range between $250 and $500 for first time offenders, and for those who are ticketed again in the next 30 days are automatically hit with a $500 fine. Mayor Emanuel stressed that this is NOT decriminalization, and is in fact intended to be a deterent. He says the point is to have more people punished by the law, while giving police officers more time on the streets and conserving space in Chicago prisons.

A word for the wise is that the new legislation only applies to possession. Those found smoking marijuana in public or caught possessing without a valid ID or under the age of 17 will still be eligible for prosecution.

%d bloggers like this: