Justice at Lollapalooza, 8/5/12
Photo by Jen Boyles
[Slideshow] Lollapalooza 2012 Day One: The Music
[Slideshow] Lollapalooza 2012 Day Two: The Music
[Slideshow] Lollapalooza 2012 Day Three: The Music
[Slideshow] Lollapalooza 2012: The People
Launching into their set with appropriately titled "Genesis," a tired-looking but excited crowd was ready to dance off the turbulent weekend's frustrations and triumphs, waiting for huge bass drops that came only intermittently. The metallic guitar chords of "Helix" rang out and constituted a definite high point of the set, after which the band's hits got the slice-and-dice treatment. The entire hour was a Justice career flashback, pockets of tracks coming up for their time in the spotlight before getting folded back into the larger framework. It was like being quickly ushered through an entire menu rather than allowed to enjoy carefully selected meal.
That's not to say the show wasn't the spectacle people expected -- the stage setup showcased Justice's ever-present crucifix symbolism and the booth appeared to be a soundboard turned outward, buttons flashing and pulsing with the music. About a third of the way in, Xavier stepped out into the front of the stage and simply raised one arm, the park falling silent in suspense except for Jack White's faint rasps from the other end. Something was about to happen -- would it be fireworks or other crazy pyrotechnics? Instead, the band made their point as the familiar "We! Are! ... Your Friends!" vocal hook seared its way through the tens of thousands of fans. Justice was acknowledging their breakthrough jam, and Lolla fans did in turn as fists shot into the air with every word.
The closing set was an appropriate finale to the festival, though parts felt like teasers to something enormous that never really came. The younger concert goers were raised on dubstep drops and the older generation on disco synths, and while they both likely came away feeling happy, there were probably more than a few who felt like there was something left in the air aside from smoke and foodcourt fumes.
Personal bias: I think Justice take too heavy a cue from their Daft Punk countrymen but still enjoy their music, especially newer tracks like "Helix" that show great promise for future production.
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