Day two of Lollapalooza complete with apocalypse-like weather and epic tunes

Lollpalooza day two was eventful to say the absolute least. Mother Nature may have out-performed some acts, but others stood their ground.

If you came to Lollapalooza looking for rock, you should’ve been at the Playstation Stage at 1:30 for JEFF the Brotherhood. The Nashville duo played solid, no frills rock – guitar and vocals by Jake Orrall, drums by brother Jamin.

Many did come looking for rock, a sizable crowd formed on the concrete. “There’s a sh*tload of people here,” Jake said. He was right.

The crowds weren’t let down, from the loyal headbangers in the center of the crowd to the passersby pulled in by the solid sound JEFF produces. A particularly impressive instrumental outro with solos from both brothers ended the set, with Jake jumping into the crowd to finish it off.

As JEFF ended, Delta Spirit began their performance right across the field at the Bud Light Stage. The San Diego indie rock outfit took to the stage ready for their performance, but the same couldn’t be said about the crowd. Perhaps it was the heat leaving onlookers less than excited.

Lead singer Matthew Vasquez tried to keep things interesting between songs by adding in quips like a story about his 18 year-old cousin currently on a date with her boyfriend in Chicago, complete with a shout out to his aunt.

He asked the crowd if they had energy for the second half of the band’s set, they didn’t, but the quintet got more into their groove. “People C’Mon” from the band’s first LP “Ode to Sunshine” followed by “Children” from the same album were highlights of the performance, capturing the soulfulness and strength of Vasquez’s voice.

Very welcomed clouds rolled in as Delta Spirit finished their set, but no one could’ve expected what would happen next. Confusion, followed by evacuation orders due to impeding weather sent an estimated 60,000 fest-goers to three safety shelters or any restaurant, bar, or coffee shop open in the Loop on around 3:30 on a Saturday.

Thy sky became ominously dark and the rain began. Organizers certainly made the right decision calling the fest – high winds, lightning, and walls of water barraged through Chicago. After the hurricane-like storm let up about an hour later, anxious crowds of fans waited for the gates to re-open. Announcements were finally made and the some 60,000 attendees began to re-enter the park.

Lollpalooza worked to restore the schedule best as possible, and with the extended noise curfew from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m, most acts were restored. Acts scheduled to play around the 4 p.m. time slot seemed to be bumped with The Temper Trap, B.o.B, Alabama Shakes and others all being ousted from the schedule.

Fun. resumed the evening at the Google Plus Stage closer to 6:45 than the newly scheduled 6:30 time. The breakout success of the band over the last year was obvious during their performance with a crowd covering the field all the way back to the Chow Town North.

The mindset of most of the crowd was summed up best by the girl standing behind me – “I’m just staying for ‘Some Nights’ and ‘Tonight.'” Or she was staying for “We Are Young,” either/or. The band started their set with the thumping drums and horns of “One Foot” riling excitement in the crowd and keeping fans pushing toward the stage.

Due to time limitations the set was a short six songs, but when the beat of “We Are Young” began, the crowds went completely insane. Even if you’re not a fun. fan, somehow you’ve inadvertently learned all of the lyrics to this smash hit. The fans here sang along and loved every moment, even the little boy wearing an “I’m 5!” t-shirt standing on a garbage can to see over the crowds as his mother sang along as well.

Vocalist Nate Ruess and the rest of the band closed their performance with their other fan favorite “Some Nights.” Fair-weather fan, die-hard fan or cynic, it is undeniable the group has musical chops and a strong stage presence and performance to match.

After a muddy mess in the south end of the park for Bloc Party, complete too many couples having “their moment” during “Modern Love,” Perry’s Stage was the place to be Saturday night. Santigold’s performance was not only a welcomed change of pass to the bass-thumping DJ’s, but an extremely strong performance to hold up against the night’s other headliners.

Santigold, or Santi White took the stage clad in a neon green getup accompanied with two coordinating dancers performing the opening track from her 2012 release “Maker of My Make-Believe.” “Go” started out the party and was followed by “L.E.S Artistes” to the crowd’s pleasure. On “Go” White’s voice seemed to have an electronic-enhanced quality to it, but her voice and talent shown through for the rest of the performance.

The dance party common at Perry’s stage took shape during “Say Aha,” complete with dancers’ pseudo pom routine with silver tinsel pom poms. The visual performance continued as White made a quick change into a black and white dress and dancers transformed their garb into French Maid costumes.

White certainly doesn’t need frills on a performance, her voice is strong and unique over an effortless mix of electronic beats and guitar-laden riffs, but the visual aspect creates a complete package. A Craig Ferguson’s Secretariat-type horse joined Santigold and crew on stage at a point, why is unknown, but it just made sense.

Santigold kept the party going by bringing it to the stage – inviting whomever volunteered near the front of the crowd to join her and dance onstage for “Creator,” a crowd involvement like none other from the entire weekend.

Lollapalooza Day 2 of 2012 will certainly never be forgotten, though not in the way fans and artists may have hoped, but you’ll never forget that one time you and 60,000 of your closest friends had to leave Grant Park in less than an hour because (what seemed like) the apocalypse was coming.
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