Dum Dum Girls entered the shady and secluded Google Play stage as one might expect them to: quietly and passively. The ladies, helmed by Kristin Gundred, have spent years building up their rock star feminine mystique, heavily accredited to severe styling and minimal chatter. Their black-on-black attire and dramatic makeup draws an easy likeness to Robert Palmer’s backing band, not to mention both groups’ signature wooden swaying. But while Gundred has made great strides in combating the paralyzing stage fright she suffered in Dum Dum Girls’ beginnings, a certain level of detachment prevails.
Despite a clear fourth wall dividing performer and audience, the bi-coastal group took care to play songs from throughout their discography, ranging from early demo “Catholicked” to “Bedroom Eyes,” a single off 2011’s Only in Dreams. With their upcoming EP, The End of Daze, due out in September via Subpop, Lollapalooza provided a great opportunity to showcase some of their new material, like the just-released track “Lord Knows.” While Gundred is unarguably a talented singer, it was disappointing to hear her hold back on much of the songs. Ultimately, it seemed to come down to experiencing the Dolly Parton over the Whitney Houston version of “I Will Always Love You”—same song, but a very different vocal performance. But to much praise, it was during the closing song, the epic ballad “Coming Down,” that Dum Dum Girls really rose to the occasion. Gundred finally stopped holding back, unleashing her powerful voice to meet a great live adaptation of the record’s wall of sound instrumentation, ending the set on a polished and well-played note.