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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

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »
 
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