At the end of the first sweltering afternoon of Lollapalooza 2012, Band of Skulls frontfolk Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson strode onto the Google Play stage clad all in black.
Somehow they managed to stay cool during their 45-minute set, Richardson looking every bit the goth Anne Hathaway as she played bass and harmonized with Russell, who looks like an Ozarks pump jockey who worked out his infectious guitar hooks between oil changes. The same could be said for hard-driving drummer Matt Hayward. (If Richardson ever quits the trio from Southampton, England, those two could team up with the act that played Metro last night and tour as Band of Horse Skulls.)
Meanwhile, BoS got devil horns shaking with the bluesy sludge rock of "Sweet Sour," the title track of the strong new album they mined heavily during the set, which served as a perfect appetizer before Black Sabbath.
Skunk weed and sweat hung in the early evening air as Richardson put down her bass long enough to bang on a beer bottle with a drumstick. Heads bobbed, hands clapped and the playing grew more assured.
In fact, as the band charged into "The Devil Takes Care of His Own" toward the end and Marsden started to really showcase his strong solo chops, it became clear that this was one of those delightful Lolla sets where the more the sun goes down the more the band looks like future headliners.