First Aid Kit at Lollapalooza 2012 | Photos and music review
Unlike the thundering downpours that initiated Pitchfork's 2012 festivities, Lollapalooza's masses were ushered onto a bone-dry Grant Park today. The sheer scale and scope of Lolla is always dizzying at first encounter, making Pitchfork seem like a backyard affair. With crowds decked in crop tops and high-waisted shorts as far as the eye could see, energy was high and full of enthusiastic optimism. After scooping up armfuls of free swag, thousands descended upon the Playstation stage for First Aid Kit's noon set.
Despite absolutely sweltering heat, the audience produced several rounds of rolling cheers and applause in anticipation of Johanna and Klara Söderberg. They cheerily took the stage, introducing themselves as "two Swedish sisters and a Swedish drummer from Sweden." Like the contemporary upgrade of Mama Cass's mumus, their complementary folkloric dresses and flowing hair aptly matched the dreamy harmonies that ensued. Playing plenty of songs off their latest release, The Lion's Roar, the ladies showed a great sense of poise and presence despite their age. With Johanna on keys and Klara on guitar, their delivery and vocal chops rang eerily similar to that of Sherri and Stacy DuPree of Eisley.
Often early inagural sets can become sleepy affairs, but with pulsing drumwork and soaring choruses, the crowd regularly broke into syncopated clapping. "This song is a tribute to our favorite artists," foreshadowed Klara as the duo jumped into their single "Emmylou" to much audience acclaim. Their Americana country-folk-by-way-of-Sweden certianly posses clear musical allusions, but the final product refuses to claim a specific niche. First Aid Kit could just as easily be enjoyed with some meade in a Scandaniavian chalet, on a porch in Butcher Holler, or even against a Chicago skyline.