March 29th through 31st was Brazil’s second annual Lollapalooza. “The Hives… practically made Lollapalooza their own festival for just under an hour,” according to attendees writing for Antiquiet. “Certainly the hardest-working band onstage at the event, it didn’t matter how similar their songs sounded, and it didn’t take long for them to captivate the entire audience. Lead singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist would get whatever response he asked for, whenever – clapping, jumping, screaming, all within his reach, and it truly felt like he earned it.”
Day two also saw headliners The Black Keys play (to an allegedly indifferent crowd) and Queens of the Stone Age debut “My God is the Sun,” from their next album …Like Clockwork, due this June. Later, Pearl Jam returned to the stage for the first time since last summer to close the festival.
But before any of that, The Flaming Lips and headliners The Killers kicked off night one:
This was a significant Flaming Lips show for several reasons. Their first regular show supporting The Terror, they refined the visual presentation of their new show (debuted two weeks prior at SXSW), and introduced an entirely unique setlist. The first half featured new songs interspersed with one tune each from their last two proper albums (Mystics’ “The WAND” and Embryonic’s “Silver Trembling Hands” followed by a “Virgo Self-Esteem Broadcast” coda, as a call and response with the crowd). The second half included a string of Yoshimi songs (highlighted by rarely played favs “Are You a Hypnotist” and “One More Robot”). Wayne stood on a platform with wires drapped behind him feeding into the baby he held throughout the show – actually a remote control for their new elaborate lighting setup. But it was the music itself and the band’s approach to it – including a new six person line-up that will play all upcoming tour dates – that stood out the most. The arrangements were at times remarkably different (not to mention tighter) than their SXSW performances (most notably “The Terror,” which now has a recurring church bell). They even played the coda of “You Lust” – never previously performed but suggested on a whim by Wayne during soundcheck. Speaking to bassist/ co-founder Michael Ivins about this he told The Future Heart they will continue to evolve the arrangements throughout each of their upcoming shows – a process he described as both exciting and nerve-racking. Keep in mind, they are now playing completely live on a nightly basis for the first time since 1996!
The band’s handwritten Lolla setlist is below. The video at the top of this page is this show (minus “Are You a Hypnotist?,” “One More Robot / Sympathy 3000-21” and unlisted encore “All We Have Is Now” – all cut from the webcast).
Lollapalooza was also the first 2013 concert for The Black Keys – who have apparently been holed up in the studio making their next album, due this year. Their set was “a bizarre mix of a band playing very well and an audience that was distant and disconnected on all but the first few rows of people,” according to Antiquiet. “At the end of a mud-ridden day, a crowd will be understandably tired, and ready to be moved by only the most exciting of acts – a bill that, regrettably, The Black Keys fell short of filling.”
Following a few South American shows, the Keys will return the states for their first string of concerts with The Flaming Lips, April 28 through May 3 – including both artists playing Beale Street Music Festival. Watch The Black Keys full set from Lollapalooza Brazil below, followed by similar pro-shot footage of Franz Ferdinand, The Hives, Pearl Jam, The Killers, and others.