Thanks to all the buzz about their music over the past year, British trio the xx was bound to be a big draw. But it's hard to imagine anyone, including Lolla organizers, anticipated the massive audience that packed the Playstation stage for its set -- and if they did, they probably should've made other plans.
The packed space drove expectations even higher for a band that, really, doesn't belong in a festival setting. While whispery songs like "Crystalised" and "Islands" pack an emotional punch, they don't offer a whole lot in the way of big sound, which is really needed if you're going to entertain tens of thousands of sweaty, drunk, texting and conversating fans. The stuff likely sounded better up close, but that didn't do much for the many folks fighting for space on the fringes. Again, it's not the band's fault -- this just wasn't the right setting for these tunes. Lollapalooza is mostly meant for bands who make noise -- like Gogol Bordello, whose performance I headed to as soon as I could maneuver my way out of the gridlock (which took about 20 minutes).