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Bob Gendron

Reporter

  • Even Without Obama, Kanye West Reclaims Chicago and Lollapalooza

    Rumors of Barack Obama being onhand to introduce Kanye West proved false. No matter. Aiming to permanently put the Bonnaroo debacle in the past, the local rapper came out not to just conquer the festival stage but to reclaim his hometown as his own. West's flashy light show lived up to promise. Yet despite all […]

    • Music
  • Mark Ronson Welcomes Rhymefest, Phantom Planet at Lollapalooza

    Mark Ronson and company marked the final date of their 16-month tour in funky style. The English guitarist/deejay had a host of international guests in tow — ncluding Liverpool's Candie Payne, Australia's Daniel Merriweather and all of Phantom Planet — and treated a small but fervent crowd to "a bunch of covers of indie-rock songs […]

    • Music
  • Gnarls Barkley Cover Radiohead, Channel Buddy Holly

    Two years ago, Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was the toast of Lollapalooza and covered by multiple performers. This time, Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse returned the favor. Saluting 2008's most adored act, the twosome pulled off a brilliant rendition of Radiohead's "Reckoner." That wasn't the only surprise, of course. The costume-savvy duo came adorned in dark-mustard-colored suitcoats […]

    • Music
  • Saul Williams Stays on Message During Supercharged Set

    "We on stage know that race is a social construct and we can go beyond it. So you can you!" No, those words didn't come from the mouth of Barack Obama but of Saul Williams, whose side stage performance attracted a path-blocking throng of onlookers. And Williams thrilled with a mix of industrial gristle, glam-rock […]

    • Music
  • Iron & Wine Keep the Volume Low But Spirits High

    Iron & Wine's calm folk-rock demanded peace and quiet, and for the most part, got it from a very polite crowd. Backed by a band that, akin to its leader's razor-repellent facial hair, seems to grow with each passing month, frontman Sam Beam looked freshly aroused from a long nap. The group never detoured from […]

    • Music
  • Wilco Premiere New Song, Mine Deep Cuts at Lollapalooza

    "We've been doing a lot of sewing these past few months preparing for this show," cracked Wilco's Jeff Tweedy in reference to the Chicago band's snazzy rhinestone suits, which would've fit right in at the Grand Ole Opry. Tweedy and company also came equipped with a phenomenal, still-untitled new song whose fragile beginning gradually morphed […]

    • Music
  • Broken Social Scene Mix Group and Solo Songs for Sprawling Set

    Compensating for the absence of its most famous member (Feist), Broken Social Scene showed that brass high-school band instruments do belong in rock. With Amy Millan serving as the token female representative, the predominately dude version of the Canadian collective zipped through dark solo-album gems by defacto leader Kevin Drew ("Pressure Kids," "Frightening Lives") and […]

    • Music
  • Okkervil River Combine Poetry and Violence at Lollapalooza

    Okkervil River got things off to a murderous start. The Austin band opened with "The President's Dead" and immediately continued on a bloody pace with the violent wishfulness of "Black." Yet to frontman Will Sheff and a horde of attentive onlookers, it was all just part of a literary act in which sharing misery with […]

    • Music
  • Foals Inspire Saturday Afternoon Dancing, Hydration

    Foals made it all but impossible to stand still during a caffeinated set that crossed new-wave tunefulness and sharp bursts of post-punk noise. In persuading the crowd to clap and jump in unison with the music, the Oxford quintet led by example. Vocalist Yannis Philipakkis marched in place during verses and convulsed into a blur […]

    • Music
  • The Raconteurs Play the Role of Big Rock Stars, Break Guitar Strings

    The Raconteurs came to play on Lollapalooza's Friday evening with the '70s on their mind. Even the video-screen footage was colored black and white, a retro effect that carried through a show that was part jamboree, part arena blowout. Someone had to play the role of the big rock star, and Jack White obliged, hoisting […]

    • Music