Lollapalooza 2011, Sunday | Recap

Photograph: Rory O'Connor


Sunday was a wash, but not musically. In fact the third and final day of Lollapalooza 2011 turned in some of the best performances of the weekend as you can read about in our reviews below. Nevertheless, the merciless downpour threatened to undo the festival throughout the second half of the day. But more on that later.

The Joy Formidable nearly ripped the roof of the Bud Light stage from the moment the trio hit, turning in one of the most invigorating sets of the weekend. Singer-guitarist Ritzy Bryan smashed her Stratocaster against a gong repeatedly, cementing the North Wales' trio's rapid ascent. It was a potent reminder that you don't have to be a glammy, hammy starlet like Lady Gaga to be a show-stopper. There were plenty of other examples of that early in the day: Greta Morgan of Chicago's perky Gold Motel, Imelda May's rockabilly cool and the avant-folk dreamscapes of Lia Ices.

Mid-day brought both old and new. Hutchinson Field hosted the Cars' nostalgia-inducing mix of already-proven New Wave winners, while on the opposite end of Grant Park Kentucky young'un Cage the Elephant showed us just why it shares a label (Jive) with Britney Spears and Usher. It was toward the end of Cage's set that Mother Nature really began to take the piss. Arctic Monkeys made the best of it, despite delivering a truncated set to a thoroughly doused fanbase. 

Meanwhile, having an earlier time slot turned out to be a blessing for local rap duo the Cool Kids, who filled the subwoofers in Perry's with throwback boom-bap. As for Perry Farrell himself, his Kidzapalooza set didn't turn up the reported Dave Grohl cameo that many were hoping for all weekend. Perhaps Grohl was saving his strength, coming off a monster set the night before at the Metro with his Foo Fighters. The man more than made up for it in his fest-closing set, as he and the Foos tore through much of the new Wasting Light and older crowd-pleasers, with Grohl even wading out into the audience at one point.

It was just 20 minutes into the band's set when the rain returned with a vengeance. If the mushy ground had been mildly treacherous before, it was now a full-blown mudbath. Every squishy step took all of my concentration so as to not wipe out completely. Grohl handed it gamely, as did Kid Cudi over at Perry's (which by that point resembled a pigsty more than a party tent), but for Deadmau5, an act with a Vegas-style light show and big ears to match, that meant retooling his set completely, even removing his trademark mouse mask at one point. "Surely the talent at Woodstock never had to deal with this," the DJ must've been thinking, his elaborate plans sabotaged by a fatal cocktail of technology and torrential showers.

By the time I dribbled out of Grant Park my soaked-through jeans felt like sandbags weighing me down. At that point I was just happy not to be a part of the cleanup crew, whose inevitable responsibilities include resodding Grant Park. (I'm guessing they'll have to do it soon, too, with the Chicago Jazz Fesival and World Music Festival around the corner.) Despite the weather, however, there were plenty of acts to keep TOC's redoubtable reporting team occupied. Take a look at our comprehensive coverage below and see for yourself.

Here are our reviews and photo galleries: 

12th Planet
Arctic Monkeys
Best Coast
Boy & Bear 
Busy P
Cage the Elephant
City and Colour
Cold War Kids 
Daedelus
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Damian Jr. Gong Marley
Deadmau5
Deluka
DJ Mel
Explosions in the Sky
Fences
Flogging Molly
Foo Fighters
Gold Motel
Imedlda May
Iration
Jackmaster
Kid Cudi
Kyles Luca & Captain Midnite
Lia Ices
Lissie
Little Hurricaine
Lord Huron
Manchester Orchestra
Midnight Conspiracy
Modeselektor
Noah & The Whale
Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Portugal, The Man
Rival Schools
Ryan Bignham & the Dead Horses
Sam Adams 
The Cars 
The Cool Kids 
The Joy Formidible
The Kingston Springs 
Titus Andronicus
Young Man 


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)

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