For Lollapalooza's fifth go-around in Chicago, concertgoers dealt with rainy and muddy conditions to see another all-star lineup of acts, with far more bands and attractions than anyone could see in just three days. Rains fell on Friday, August 7, the first day of the festival, causing muddy grounds at Grant Park. The headliners on the first day were Kings Of Leon and Depeche Mode, with the Kings ascending to a prime slot after a huge year that has seen the band explode in America. Other notable acts on Friday included The Gaslight Anthem, The Decemberists, Ben Folds,hometown hero Andrew Bird and Peter Bjorn & John.
Saturday saw the heat index climb in the Windy City, with sets from Ida Maria, Santigold, TV On The Radio, Arctic Monkeys, Lykke Li and Chicago's own Rise Against among the well-received highlights of the day. Filling in for the Beastie Boys, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had a tall task, winning over the crowd with songs from their latest effort It's Blitz! and frontwoman Karen O's one-of-a-kind dance moves. They also honored the B-Boys by playing a snippet of "So Whatcha Want." Across the park, Tool headlined with their now-familiar, ominous mix of heavy music and spooky visuals.
Day three brought out newcomers such as Cage The Elephant, The Airborne Toxic Event and Passion Pit, along with Vampire Weekend, Neko Case and the legendary Lou Reed, who performed at the same time as Snoop Dogg. Silversun Pickups played a prime slot before the headliners in support of their new album, Swoon. Lollapalooza wound down with a choice between The Killers and the festival's founder - Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction - closing things down. Jane's played most of their classics and brought out Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry to play on "Jane Says" in the final encore.
However, the most buzz from Lollapalooza weekend happened after the festival ended. Late Sunday night, at the historic Metro club near Wrigley Field, supergroup Them Crooked Vultures made their world debut. The long-rumored combination of Dave Grohl, Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones played for approximately 1,100 people, unveiling their new material for the first time anywhere. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the 12-song setlist of all new songs included titles such as "Scumbag Blues," "Mind Eraser (No Chaser)," "Caligulove" and "Interlude w/Ludes." Homme sang and played guitar, with Grohl on drums (of course) and backing vocals. Jones played a variety of instruments, including keyboards, a variety of basses and even a keytar at one point. The group was rounded out by QOTSA associate Alain Johannes. Them Crooked Vultures are expected to release an album and tour later in 2009, but no specific information beyond Sunday night's gig has been revealed yet. Their official website, themcrookedvultures.com, has been updated with a web store that just sells one new t-shirt.
Fuse will air highlights from Lollapalooza this Saturday, August 15 as Fuse Fest: The Best Of Lollapalooza at 9 p.m. ET.