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Lollapalooza 2010's Thirty Essential Sets

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8:30 p.m. —10:00 p.m.: Phoenix
It's hard to remember now that they're Broadway-beating megastars, but in 1987 Green Day were a bunch of snot-nosed punk rockers led by a 15-year-old who barreled around the country in a beat-up Bookmobile and thrilled locals at the fabled all-ages club on Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Phoenix labored for years in relative obscurity until last year's thrilling Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix catapulted them into America's earbuds (having a few well-placed songs in The Virgin Suicides, directed by vocalist Thomas Mars' now-girlfriend Sofia Coppola, didn't hurt, either). Live, both bands have their virtues, but for sheer audacity, heart and spectacle, the edge goes to Green Day. The band's sprawling live show (scheduled to run a whopping 135 minutes) is sure to make all stops across their hefty catalog — everything from recent-vintage epics like "Jesus of Suburbia" to fast-and-furious classics like "Basket Case." Those seeking a softer exit to Saturday might opt for Phoenix — the group's precision and timing has never been better, and when they launch full-bodied into "Lisztomania" and "1901," expect the crowd to move right along with them.

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

More Song Stories entries »
 
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