I'll give Brad Oberhofer this. His namesake band is far more arena ready than I gave him and it credit for. That was apparent from the opening bars of "Gotta Go," as the tidy quintet launched into a high-energy set with the kind of precision and focus found in so many Olympic events this weekend. This belonged under the Red Bull banner, not Bud Light. But as the group swiftly hurdled through its peppy, triple-guitar-powered indie-rock, Bud Light turned out to be a good fit—just the right hair of the dog needed to rouse the south stage from a dulled buzz of watered-down suds all weekend.
As the Brooklyn five-piece splashed through buoyant verses veering between raucous dance-rock and something slightly more aggressive, it struck me that the group's way too populist to be associated with anything punk. Nothing wrong with that. It's exactly what got the band this coveted main-stage slot and will undoubtedly get it many more like it. Brad himself seems to get that, embracing his rock-star role, decked out in a loose-hanging zebra-striped blouse buttoned as low as you'd expect. One of his guitarists complemented that vintage cool with more of a Hamptons vibe, in short, short, seriously really short peach shorts, occasionally pivoting back to pound out a couple of melodies on glockenspiel after nonchalantly slinging his guitar behind him. Is it any surprise these pros-in-training share a label with Phoenix? The French outfit found itself headlining Lolla in its 2010 debut. That's not the case for Oberhofer, but I could see it holding the 8pm slot one day. Okay, maybe 8:30pm.
"You guys ready for a day of fun and music?" Captain Oberhofer asked us. "Every day is fun and music in my life." Got that? Every day is Lollapalooza for Oberhofer. Jealous?