Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lollapalooza: Deadmau5 closes out the festival with a killer set

Deadmau5 does his DJ set with a guest spot from singer Sofia "Sofi" Toufa. (Photo by Matt Ellis, © Lollapalooza)
All day long on Sunday, people were walking around with Deadmau5 mouse heads just like the giant, globe-like ones that the DJ himself wears during his sets. And Deadmau5 T-shirts, tattoos (real and temporary), signs and all kinds of stuff.

Deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse") was set to close out the festival on the north main stage while the Foo Fighters were on the south end.

While most of the electronica music is confined to Perry's, the DJ tent/enormous pavilion, Deadmau5 got to do his thing on the main stage like Daft Punk a few years back.

I'm not huge into electronic music (or techno or house or DJ music or whatever the hell you want to call it), but I dabble and have enjoyed Deadmau5 when I've heard him. Plus I just saw Foo Fighters at an incredible three-hour set back at home, so north I went.

As the sky began to darken (prematurely, it would seem), we noticed that the ever-visible Chicago skyline was beginning to become obscured.

Rain was coming.


As it began to sprinkle on us, the lights went down. Deadmau5 wasn't up for 15 more minutes.

As it started to pour down a moment later, the lasers and lights onstage came on and the music started pumping.

It was a perfect festival moment. Pouring rain soaked a wildly cheering and dancing cloud and the exact moment the music started popping off.

A few seconds later, a giant mouse head popped up behind the DJ deck that set up on a giant, lit riser. People went even more nuts.

As I mentioned before, I'm not huge into this music at all, but I found myself dancing my ass off surrounded by a bunch of strangers. No one seemed to mind that they barely knew the people bumping into them, but that's what's great about a festival.

Though I'm not that familiar with Deadmau5's actual albums, I was told he was playing tracks from those records such as "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" and "Raise Your Weapon."

Most of it was straight up electronica, but singer SOFI popped up for "Sofi Needs A Ladder" and "One Trick Pony," which were more straight-up dance pop tracks.

It was a blast and a crazy way to end the festival.

After SOFI left, I was pretty exhausted and had my fill of Deadmau5, so I went and headed back to catch the end of Foo Fighters.

They had just started "Skin & Bones" when I arrived and after the song, Dave Grohl paused to tell a quick story.

"I'm really happy to be here at Lollapalooza on the fucking 20th anniversary. Is that what it is? It's a very special thing. Cuz I went to the first Lollapalooza in 1991. I remember it was in Los Angeles. I came down to Los Angeles to make that record 'Nevermind' with the band Nirvana. We heard there was this big concert with fucking Jane's Addiction and Siouxz and the Banshees and fucking Ice T's Body Count, Nine Inch Nails. It was this big-ass show. (Perry Farrell comes running onstage to give Grohl a hug. And kiss.) And that day, me and Kurt went down and we sat in the audience and we thought, 'Oh my god, music is fucking changing. There is 20,000 people here to see bands that are actually cool. What the fuck?! How did that happen?' I'd like to thank Perry for changing music forever. Thank you, Perry."

He dedicated the next song to Farrell, which was "Everlong."

Ending the festival on a modern classic like "Everlong" was an excellent way to wrap everything up.

After their set, tired and almost completely rocked out, I trudged back through the mud to the train.

Til next year, Lolla.

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