Tag Archives: Steve Aoki

Lollapalooza 2013 Chicago Recap/Review

A record setting 300,000 people over 3 days, watching a variety of over 140 bands from every genre of music on 8 separate stages in the iconic Grant Park of Chicago is an experience unlike any. Despite many knocking this year off as lacking compared to 2011’s heavy hitters like Eminem and Coldplay, or even last years Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Black Keys, I still enjoyed the hell out of the experience. This year to me wasn’t lacking as much as it was more about bringing in another genre of music (EDM) to the forefront, while sticking with the Lolla roots of the indie rock bands.

This was my first year in attendance, and I’m already booking my hotel for next. Again, Lolla to me is more about the experience of being there than who you’re actually seeing. Of course, it’s always awesome to see major headliners like Kendrick Lamar, but my point to be made is don’t write off weaker year line-ups immediately. Clearly the attendance didn’t show it, but a lot of people I talked to didn’t attend because they disliked the line-up, and I think it’s an easy mistake to make. That said, here is my quasi-review of Lollapalooza 2013. Obviously I wasn’t able to catch everybody, hence the reason I’m not giving a flat number rating, but instead, I’m going to do short reviews of particular acts by categories. Here we go…

Biggest Surprise: Robert Delong

I’m only starting with this category because I want to talk about this guy so damn much. It’s also pretty fitting that he’s the first guy I saw at Lollapalooza 2013. Original and talented are the only two words to come to mind when you watch him play. Whether you’re into his electronic/rock style, witnessing him live is a true site to see. Robert Delong is a one-man band that consists of him looping a variety of noises live on stage, then adding in vocals and drums to make songs. Added to the mix is his original programs that he created for his computer that allow him to incorporate unique items such as a computer flight simulator joystick to control the dub step in his songs, or smashing on a Gameboy controller to produce electronic sounds. On top of all this is his rock band drummer roots that he displays prominently when he sits down to bang away on his kit. The small crowd he performed to ate it up, and all in all, it was a great way to start off the weekend. Knowing nothing about this guy is why I have given him the title of Biggest Surprise. Check out the video of him below.

Biggest Disappointment: Chance The Rapper

Writing about this one kills me because Chance was by far one of my most anticipated, and the minimal amount of rappers on the lineup meant he really had to stick out from the obvious bigger name, Kendrick Lamar. Headlining the BMI stage in his hometown of Chicago, the 19-year-old rapper had some hefty expectations. I highly doubt Lolla was ready for this guy to blow up the way he did when his second mix tape dropped, thus placing him on a somewhat smaller stage, because it was packed to the fences. The concert started off with a cool mix by the DJ, from Kanye West’s new “Bound 2” all the way to House of Pain’s “Jump Around”. But the concert went mostly down hill from there. The rapper seemed out of his element when he began performing with the background instrumental, leaving some to speculate there were technical difficulties. He played his hits that got the crowd going, but half way through “NaNa”, the track flipped into an odd dub step type beat that seemed like a mistake on the DJ’s behalf. Chance went with it for a second before walking off stage, leaving the crowd to believe that he was done after about 20 minutes, and making about a third of the crowd scurry out of the area. Then a band took the stage, began playing, and Chance got back up and rocked the hell out of the rest the show. The only problem is the ‘rest of the show’ was basically 2 or 3 more songs. That’s where this guy has potential. Between his enthusiastic dance moves, and his emotional delivery of lyrics, this guy can be the heavy hitter that Kendrick Lamar is in the coming years. That said, the first part of his performance really levied the rest, and for that, he retains my title of Biggest Disappointment.

 Best of Show (Rap)Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick really killed it, and simply said, was the best rapper of the show. Playing to a gigantic crowd on the gigantic Bud Light Stage, Kendrick delivered. Killing it with his “Recipe”, the original version of the overplayed “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, and even delivering calmer hits like “Poetic Justice”. Kendrick was in his zone, and set the bar for following rappers in the coming years. A side note, cool story from the show, is during “M.A.A.D city”, the crowd began to lift up people in wheel chairs. Even getting Kendrick’s attention at one point, that prompted him to let the guy in the chair over the barricade, and sit directly in front of him as the crowd topped off the “Ya! Ya! Ya!”  in the song as the beat dropped. I could keep on going with a multitude of stories from this show, and continue the praise, but I’ll keep it simple with he delivered.

 Best of Show (Rock): Two Door Cinema Club

Two Door Cinema Club at Lollapalooza 2013

I didn’t get a chance to see The Killers or Postal Service, who I heard were incredible in both their sets, but out of the rock bands I saw, Two Door Cinema Club has to take the top title. Knowing nothing about these guys, I felt like a loner beside my friends and the huge crowd who knew every word to their entire set.  Their soft style of rock really appealed to me, and the loose feeling of the huge crowd at the Bud Light stage made for a great show. I don’t know the exact names of the songs played, but I enjoyed them all for the most part, and it was a good calmer from the constant electronic music.

Best of Show (EDM): Steve Aoki

The toughest category to pick from, as there were so many killer EDM performances all done mostly on the infamous Perry’s stage, is going to have to go to the Friday night headliner Steve Aoki. Starting off the show by telling the audience he’s going to play mostly new stuff began what could only be described as a wild set of electronic music, and surprises. The first of the latter was the appearance of Li’l Jon, who may possibly be one of the greatest hype men you can find. For the most part forgoing rapping, he instead opted for loud shouts to get the crowd going, and by damn, it worked perfectly. From there, the show just kept getting better and better as he debuted new songs with Flux Pavilion, who also got on stage at one point as a special guest, and finished with new collaborations with Knife Party. Add in the insane lights, the caking (throwing cakes at the audience when the beat drops), and the crazy crowd surfing, Steve Aoki set a bar the first night that simply couldn’t be topped. Oh yeah, and I can’t forgot the odd, but always welcomed, appearance of Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) at the end of his set.

Notable Mentions

Dog Blood:

Surprisingly, this was the most under the radar group that contained possibly the most well known guy in the EDM music genre: Skrillex. This is a side project with Boys Noize that most people going in knew nothing about. Their unique style, and red tinted screen projections made for an awesome concert. Sadly, this also featured probably the worst crowd, which I can’t blame the group for, but come on people, are mosh pits really that much fun? Besides that, this was high up there on top performances.

Twenty One Pilots:

These guys know how to put on a show, and while some may see their theatrics as simply them trying too hard, such as the drummer doing a backflip off the piano, I got to say that it all worked. Their style of rock songs with catchy chants really lends its self to live performances. “Holding onto You” really got the crowd going, but the song “Trees” is what got me into it as the catchy electronic chorus makes for an insane crowd experience.

Steve Angello:

Damn you Steve Aoki! If it weren’t for your performance the previous night, this guy would’ve taken the top spot. His unique mix of pyro techniques and dub step beats lends itself to live sets. Playing a mix of samples and original stuff, he made for the second best performance I saw at Lolla 2013, right behind the other Steve.

Acts that I missed

The only unfortunate part of Lollapalooza is when they stack various great acts on top of one another leading you to make tough decisions on who to see. Some of the acts I missed that I wish I could’ve seen are as follows:

Phoenix, Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend, Nine Inch Nails, 2 Chainz (guilty pleasure), Queens of the Stone Age, The Lumineers, Matt & Kim, Atlas Genius, and one of the acts I was most looking forward to, Imagine Dragons, but the picture below explains why I missed them…

Imagine Dragons Concert

 Conclusion

If you are around the area of Chicago next year towards the beginning of August I highly recommend going, and promise, regardless of the line up, you’ll have a fun and unique experience. Not only that, all ages are just about acceptable for this, well, maybe if you have young kids don’t bring them by Perry’s, but the rest is totally accessible to everyone.

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Arrow 1.17: The Huntress Returns

Before we jump into this week’s episode, let me just say if you aren’t following Stephen Amell on Facebook, then you are missing out. I actually don’t follow many actors and don’t even remember what prompted me to follow Mr. Amell but I am so happy I did. At first he didn’t really have much interaction but in the last few months he has really embraced both Facebook and Twitter and it has been quite fun as a fan. Of course there’s also the chance of a John Barrowman sighting which is never a bad thing.

https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=327729107330514

While you’re there, you can go ahead and follow Grizzly Bomb on Facebook. I mean, since the page is already open and all.

Okay I lied, one more thing before this week’s review. DC has put out a comic series to tie-in with the show. Much like video games based on movies, it has that “okay this is ridiculous” sort of feel to it, but it’s not horrible. I’ve actually grown to look forward to each new release. Nice to see a little bit more of Starling City and the Arrow cast of characters than just on Wednesday nights.

Arrow

Okay on to this week’s episode! After what seemed like an eternity after such a great episode, Arrow returned with the Huntress. I’ve made my feelings about the Huntress known (short story – I can’t stand her) so you can only imagine my reaction when the episode starts right off that bat with her posing as a stripper and killing her father’s lawyer. This chick has some serious Daddy issues and instead of just letting bygones be bygones, she’s going to hunt him down while he’s in protective custody. Blah blah blah. Thankfully there were other things happening in this episode that distracted from her annoyance.

Like this:

Arrow
Credit to: marcussour

The club is finally open! Now, I am no master builder or anything but seriously it seems like in the episode where McKenna (oh McKenna, it was so nice knowing you) and Oliver are having their little picnic on the floor, there wasn’t much done in the club but now? Well it’s all done and ready to go! Not only that, but billionaire Oliver Queen was able to snag Steve Aoki for Verdant’s (we see what you did there) opening.

In addition to the awesome party going on, there is a lot happening at this club opening. Tommy is brooding, still butthurt over Oliver not telling him about the whole secret identity thing; Diggle is baffled that Oliver is even entertaining the idea of not ditching Helena like yesterday’s newspaper; McKenna is dancing like it’s her job; and Laurel is pissed that Tommy didn’t ask about her breakfast date.

Arrow

Let’s discuss this breakfast.
1.) I feel awful for Quentin. There he is trying to apologize for being a complete ass to Laurel and in walks his ex-wife who disaster ditched him after Sarah died. He’s having to deal with Oliver coming back, alive and well, and now this? Dude is going to end up dying of stress. So sad.

2.) Laurel needs to go and watch Parent Trap at least one more time because that was the worst “I’m going to get my parents in the same room tee hee” move ever. Come on.

3.) Dinah Lance – did you give a boatload of money to Miss Cleo and she somehow, psychically and through the phone, led you to this mystery “tourist” who just happened to have a picture of your thought to be dead daughter who really is alive grunging it up on one of the HUNDREDS OF ISLANDS SURROUNDING HER SHIPWRECK?!?! I mean come on! I can suspend belief pretty far but this was ridiculous. The writers couldn’t find a bridge to this storyline that was at least remotely plausible?  That being said, I love Alex Kingston and girlfriend is looking pretty damn good with her straight hair.

Arrow
Credit to: mikaelsondiaries

The best parts of this episode actually involved Helena but only when Diggle or Felicity were part of the picture. Felicity of course has that impeccable timing, walking into the middle of Helena’s “deal” with Oliver. Not only that but of course she has always wanted to hack into the FBI database. Saw that set up a mile away. As great as Helena wondering about the cast of characters in Oliver’s love life was, I think we can all agree that Dig commenting on how much she looked like the T-Mobile girl was the highlight of the entire “party in the Arrow Cave” if not the entire episode. It’s like he read my episode 7 “Muse of Fire” review!

Arrow
Credit to: simonjadis

So Malcolm suggests the name Green Arrow and Detective Lance calls Helena “Huntress”. Very nice. I did like how Helena was all shocked that Oliver went all Mighty Mouse and busted her out of the police station. Hello?!?! Did she honestly think he was going to let her sit there and just float his name out in hopes for leniency? I’ve watched enough Law and Order to know that it happens all the time.

Arrow
Credit to: teatralka

Of course while all this is happening with Helena and Oliver, Thea is off trying to get in the pants good graces of Roy. Getting him a job, going and checking on him (in the incredibly bad neighborhood, lest we forget) when he doesn’t show up for said job… Thea, newsflash: these are not attractive qualities in a mate. Yes, he may have saved you from the very scary “Glades” muggers and gotten stabbed in the process but he has no job, apparently no desire to get a job, and is okay to live off money acquired by a life of petty crime. This is not a good thing. As a matter of fact, go ahead and take a moment to listen to the soulful and wise musical stylings of TLC.

But of course she’s probably thinking she’ll “save” him or some crap like that. Step one: solve his fear of needles. Check. Which is, by my count, the second reference to Roy Harper’s drug issue in the comics, the first being his ‘8-ball’ necklace.  It’s really only a matter of time before Oliver takes this kid under his wing at Thea’s behest.

It was not at all surprising that Helena ignored Oliver’s offering of a new life in Rome. Nor that she went and

Arrow
Credit to: jamandstuff

coerced Felicity to go ahead and follow that dream of hacking the FBI’s network. What is surprising is the speed at which Oliver check’s his voicemail! I only check my voicemail to get rid of the notification, I can’t imagine being in the middle of some “personal time”, hearing the voicemail go off and jumping in my car. That’s superhero dedication if I ever saw it. Good on ya Ollie.

Back to my Law and Order education, why would McKenna go ahead and go after Helena without backup? I mean come on, Being a Cop 101 clearly states that you wait for backup. Otherwise you’ll get shot by a woman who has spent time practicing trying to catch an arrow in midair (that was pretty badass, I will admit) and is hellbent on taking out anyone who stands in between her and killing her father!

However, perhaps that was McKenna’s plan all along because now she’s out of commission and can move to Coast City without having to find the words to say “I’m breaking up with you, Oliver, because while in the midst of some torrid love-making, you unceremoniously dumped me to check your voicemail and then run to the aid of your girl Friday“. Can’t say I blame her, “rehab my shattered femur thanks to your shotgun wielding ex-girlfriend” is probably the easier route.

Arrow

The island flashbacks this week were mainly to show that Oliver is getting better at thinking like a person abandoned on an island with some dude and his army gathering SAM units rather than the silver spoon rich kid. I was sort of surprised that he used his “leverage” to request a way off the island as opposed to telling Fyers to release Yao Fei and Shado but I’m sure they’ll be re-appearing relatively soon, I hope.

Overall, not the best episode. It wasn’t bad but I just don’t like Helena and am glad she’s gone again. I’m interested to see how the whole “Sarah might be alive” thing pans out and of course Roy Harper’s further involvement with the Queen family. Speaking of the Queen family, I’m guessing that since Moira and her plan to kill Malcolm weren’t mentioned at all this week, that they’ll probably return to that storyline in the next episode or two. I can not wait because you know Malcolm is going to be uber-pissed and all about hunting down who put the hit out on him. Woohoo!

Gonna have to give this week a 3.5 out of 5.

grizzly rating 3-5of5

Sadly there were no half-naked workouts this episode, but thank you Entertainment Weekly for filling our shirtless Stephen Amell quota this week.

Arrow

Until next time Arrow fans!