Ancient Astronauts + Peanut Butter Wolf + Caspa + 2ManyDJs at Lollapalooza 2010: Live Review
It's been two years since I've made it out to the massive spectacle in Grant Park that is Lollapalooza and, evidently, in that time the powers at be have upped what the Perry's stage—a.k.a. the DJ stage—has come to stand for. And definitely for the better. Offering a respite from the hard beating of the sun, the stage has become a hang for the younger massive with plenty of funky break, dubstep and electro sleaze to break the guitar drone that monopolized many of the fest's other stages.
Ancient Astronauts The Cologne-based duo finds inspiration from many sources, but it's the execution that's caught the eyes and ears of D.C. electronic legends Thievery Corporation. It's probably this, more than any other single fact, that landed the breakbeat loving pair on Perry's stage during the early afternoon. That's not to say they didn't fill the slot properly: midtempo hip-hop beats mingled with touches of classic funk and disco provided a properly dance-worthy vibe for those who weren't there solely to revel in the stage's ample shade. A choice track fronted by the Pharcyde—in recording only, unfortunately—boasted what the duo is truly capable of, rounding out their set before they let go of the reins for DJ Ana Sia.
Peanut Butter Wolf What can we say? PBWolf is a contemporary DJ legend. The owner of prolific hip-hop label Stones Throw and a versatile DJ that can span hip-hop, dusty funk and cuts from Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label without a sideways glance, Wolf is a pure joy to watch perform. Especially since he's upgraded to video mixing for his performances. In fact, Wolf took it one step further. Amidst dropping cuts from Daft Punk, Aphex Twin and Jay-Z, he threw in the Chitown love with cuts from Hollywood Holt, and an impromptu live performance from the Cool Kids to round out the last fifteen minutes of his set. He's not even from the Midwest and he may have shown more hometown respect than anyone else at the fest today.
Caspa Despite his reputation overseas, Caspa is not the biggest dubstep name on the U.S. market. Thankfully this dude didn't let that deter him from dropping what was easily the set of the day at Perry's stage. The crowd was well amped for whatever he threw at them, and he wasn't shy about giving it his all. Dubstep, drum 'n' bass, house, garage, 2-step, funky. It all came barreling out of the speakers with laser-like precision from the seasoned DJ. He's credited with one of the first commercial dubstep DJ mixes to become available commercially in the U.S. and with a set like this one, today, we'd be perfectly content if it was he, and he alone, that kept them coming.
2ManyDJs The boys from Belgium are known far and wide for their more prominent Soulwax persona; live-band electro that they've taken around the world to much acclaim. So, when I saw they were leaving that act by the wayside to concentrate on a turntablism-heavy 2ManyDJs show, headlining the Perry's stage tonight, I knew I couldn't miss it, Lady Gaga and the Strokes be damned. Unfortunately the lightning-mix, mash-up heavy sound that I've always known 2ManyDJs to stand for was altogether absent from the start of their set. Having made a name for themselves leaving no stone unturned—it was perfectly conceivable to hear Jay-Z, Blondie, ABBA and Daft Punk in past DJ sets—tonight they stuck to a buzzsaw electro sound, almost verbatim. That didn't hold our attention long enough knowing that Lady Gaga was lighting off fireworks and the Strokes were putting on one of their best performances to date within arms reach.