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Sunday @ Lollapalooza: At the Drive-In

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BY THOMAS CONNER Pop Music Critic

The other surprising reunion act at Lollapalooza doesn't have the profile of Black Sabbath but on a good day might be able to go toe-to-toe with them. For much of their Sunday evening set in Hutchinson Field, it was a good day for At the Drive-In.

The Texas quintet revived its controlled, virtuosic, "post-hardcore" thrash in a main stage set peppered with jerking guitar lines, stand-up comedy and technical glitches.

"We are collectively known as Latin Danzig," said singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala by way of reintroduction. Bixler-Zavala's wit crackled throughout the set, commenting on the muddy field's pungent odor ("It smells like a Toblerone!") and filling an equipment breakdown with a rant about shoes.

But most of the time he was yelping and barking and pushing that unsettling, high voice that often falls somewhere between Geddy Lee and Kevin Cronin, just as At the Drive-In's music blends prog and pop, respectively. A table-pounding gem like "Lopsided," as close to a power ballad as this band gets, still showcases Bixler-Zavala's vocal versatility.


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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on August 5, 2012 11:17 PM.

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