Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Lollapalooza 2010 starts, rocks and raps with B.o.B.

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lolla.gate.2.rac.jpg

(Photo by Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)


11:30 a.m. in the sun, and the sixth annual Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park is under way. Already people are lined up at the bars, and the faint breezes are redolent with sun lotion, damp lawns and -- there it is -- a little marijuana smoke.

The first act of the day is one who doesn't deserve the crappy time slot: B.o.B., a chart-climbing hip-hop newbie with one of the year's best-selling records. He's a double-edged attack -- one minute spitting quick, punchy rhymes at the growing crowd, the next playing guitar like an indie rocker, even covering a little of Vampire Weekend's "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance." (There's a cynical joke in there somewhere about the kids about to be assaulted by corporate shilling for three days ...) Atlanta's B.o.B. can deliver something for everyone. "Letter From Vietnam" is a guitar ballad, a '60s -- or maybe just Lenny Kravitz-like -- protest song. He picked up a guitar for it, then asked permission to keep playing it, as if he were breaking some rules to crossover back and forth. He held up his hip-hop, taunting us with "Past My Shades" and making the women in the crowd smile with "Nothin' on You" ("Beautiful girls / all over the world ..."). He mixed the rock and the rap in "Don't Let Me Fall." Fun, cheery, a good opener to the weekend's smorgasbord.

The fields are filling up, and be warned: They're not completely dry from the rain earlier in the week. Several spots are still squishy, with the potential for turning into complete pudding once the weight of thousands squeezes the water out. Don't wear your favorite shoes.

Thomas lolla.JPGThe gates just opened, and some sooners have already
staked out the only tiny patch of shade in Hutchinson Field.

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1 Comment

"The first act of the day is one who doesn't deserve the crappy time slot: B.o.B., a chart-climbing hip-hop newbie with one of the year's best-selling records."

Well because if the band played after 3pm, every gangbanger would be up by then and there would be fights, guns, smells ... and police having to kick some dumbies rear.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on August 6, 2010 12:23 PM.

Lollapalooza: Sweating, packing, streaming was the previous entry in this blog.

Lollapalooza: Lessons in old-school from the Walkmen, Raphael Saadiq is the next entry in this blog.

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