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Lollapalooza Diary: Subways Take the Big Leap

August 5, 2006 2:14 PM ET

It's a tough job to rouse crowds at 12:30 p.m. on the first day of a three-day festival, but the Subways, a trio of English indie-pop post-adolescents, played their set at Lollapalooza 2006 like they were closing the weekend. Before the clock struck one, frontman Billy Lunn climbed the scaffolding beside the stage to watch the audience of a few thousand pogo-like punk rockers. Then he flung himself onto the stage from 10 feet up. Careful Billy.

The near-ish broken leg experience seemed to rile Lunn up, cuz back onstage he grabbed the mic like a bullhorn and screamed, "You all look pretty beautiful to me, I want to fuck you all." Charlotte Cooper on bass, sporting tiny white shorts and cowboy boots, was bouncing and bursting with energy through the set (she has a voice that deserves more solo time). All-in-all, the band sounds surprisingly tight considering their relative lack of experience.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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