More Chicago action!

Still filled with excitement from the first day, I rose early to catch UK`s ever so lively and ever so unique, Does it Offend You, Yeah?

I wasn't the only one who made a point of seeing their 12:30 set. They busted out on stage with their crazy action packed electronica punk-y pop and the crowd went wild. Their main bassist came down into the audience a few times and what really intrigued me about these guys, are they don't look like they would play the type of music they do. They just look like regular dudes, not the next hippest thing in experimental music, but oh, they are. Their keyboardist wasn't looking too good though, as we later learned he just puked side stage. He received a heaping "AWWW" from the crowd.

Really taking a step backwards tempo wise, Mason Jennings and his acoustic guitar appeared on the main stage across from Does it Offend You. The crowd didn't seem to mind the tempo change or the fact that this soft spoken Minnesota native wears his Bob Dylan influence on his sleeve so blatantly. I didn't mind either for the first few songs. They were nice, catchy, and cute. But after the third or fourth I became bored and I realized most of the crowd was composed of teenage girls probably blown away more by his smile than his songs. Even when he brought out a band to back him, the songs didn't pick up much. I left the stage feeling he could do better. He has a nice whimsical voice, if only he could write original songs.

Originality isn't an issue with the next band I hustled over to see. Another UK gem, Foals. The photographer pit was PACKED for these guys. Every press person and VIP was fighting for space in front of the too-small stage. Talk about buzz! These guys live up to the hype though and caught me off guard with their electronic dance rock experimenting akin to Toronto's DD/MM/YYYY but jammier, like my new buds, the Black Lips. Group chants and loud ambient guitar oscillations made their set a must see at the festival. If they weren't already rocking out enough, it was lead guitarist Jimmy's birthday and he flung his arms up in excitement when the fans caught wind of this news and cheered! What Foals are doing right now is really hot and popular, lots of bands are trying to jump on this bandwagon, but I don't see many bands doing it quite as well as Foals, and this is why I expect and hope to hear a lot more from these young masterminds.

Now, moving on through the day I was faced with a decision I thought I would never have to make. I was forced to choose between two of my long time favourite bands. Brand New and Explosions in the Sky. Each were playing at separate ends of the park. It was so hard to have to choose favourites and after lots of going back and forth and serious consideration I decided I was due for a big sing-a-long session (as if yesterday didn't have enough) with my teenage obsession, Brand New. Although, I know Explosions in the Sky put on one of the best live shows my eyes have ever seen. Trust, this decision killed me.

So Brand New it was. The band came on stage all clean shaven and looking classy. They didn't hesitate a second before heading straight into most of the opening cuts off last years amazing, the Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me. Jesse Lacey looked out into the sea of heads and his eyes didn't twinkle or spark once. They were glazed over, unimpressed. For some reason, Jesse was not a happy man. It seems he's still struggling with the idea of playing to (approx.) 40 thousand people. Still struggling with the idea of being a idol to these impressionable youngsters? Maybe. Or as we later find out… "You're all fools for not going to see Explosions in the Sky right now. You should all be watching Explosions in the Sky," he preached between songs on a few different occasions. They of course played "Sic Transit Gloria" and I wasn't too surprised when he cut the set short by fifteen minutes and threw his guitar across the stage after playing the eye watering "You Won't Know." I almost half wished I went to see Explosions instead, but didn't. I'm entirely confused by his state of mind and although they played amazingly and his band gave it their all, something about the whole set up just didn't sit right with him.

Photo: Toby Gottlieb

Click here for Part Four!

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