Lollapalooza 2012 day one headliners, Black Sabbath, capped off a solid day of amazing performances. Led by frontman, Ozzy Osbourne, the crowd included many who weren’t even born during the band’s heyday, but that didn’t stop them from getting a two-hour history lesson from the English rock stalwarts. Earlier in the day, UK trio, Animal Kingdom put on a great set filled with big dreamy indie-pop sounds including B-Sides fav, “Strange Attractor”. Psychedelic surf band, The Growlers performed shortly thereafter with a large diverse crowd that were just as excited to see Black Sabbath as they were Madeon and Passion Pit.
Sharon Van Etten has been high on many critics’ lists of great new talent and she delivered an outstanding performance. Filled with lush harmonies, Van Etten performed many tracks from her recent album, Tramp, which captured many of her emotions of relationships that went sour. Simultaneously, Tame Impala put on an engaging psychedelic set that was most fitting for the urban park setting.
Metric is back on the tour circuit and based on the fan reaction, it was a welcome return for the Canadian band. Lead singer, Emily Haines was truly enthralling as the band alternated between their breakthrough songs, “Help, I’m Alive,” “Black Sheep” and “Gimme Sympathy” with their latest material from the album “Synthetica”, including “Youth Without Youth”.
It was a quandary for many festival go-ers, as both The Shins and Passion Pit were scheduled at the same time. The Pacific Northwesterns, The Shins performed a tight set that was engaging and provided many a sing-along with an arsenal that started with, “Caring Is Creepy” from their studio debut, Oh, Inverted World and continued on with many tracks from their latest album, Port of Morrow. Meanwhile, Passion Pit worked the crowd to dance perfection as many in the crowd yelled out their support of lead d singer, MIchael Angelakos, who recently took time off from the band to “improve his mental health”. He made no reference to his situation and remained focused on the music as the band showcased many tracks from this year’s release, Gossamer.
Capping the night off with the battle of “Black”, The Black Keys and Black Sabbath ended the night with their own brand of rock show headlining sets. On the paper, one would categorize the juxtaposition of the bands as the legends in Black Sabbath versus tomorrow’s legends in The Black Keys. As much as The Black Keys(their fifth appearance) performed material from their Danger Mouse-produced breakthrough album, Brothers and latest release, El Camino, the Ohio band played many tracks from their pre-arena days. The set included early material such as “Girl Is On My Mind,” “Your Touch” as well as their breakthrough “Tighten Up”, and the mega-hits “Howlin’ For You” and “Gold On The Ceiling. On the other end, Black Sabbath lit Grant Park on fire with blazing guitar work from guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler and amazing visuals. Ozzy Osbourne led the band and the crowd into a wall of monster sounds that included “The Wizard,” “War Pigs” and “Snowblind”. All in all, the first day of the festival was exactly what Lollapalooza has been expected to deliver- a showcase for today’s diverse sounds in rock along with a nod to the past.