Congratulations! It takes some balls to go up against Lollapalooza on the same weekend with almost the same line-up. Not to mention you’re only 8 hours away from Chicago by car and less than two hours by flight. Just a small town festival with big time dreams and you just may have pulled it off.
Day Two should’ve started, for me, with Rival Sons but they canceled for unknown reasons so instead The Black Angels kicked off my Kanrocksas experience. It was daytime so the tripped out visuals that usually accompany a Black Angels performance were non-existent. This did not take away from a delicious groove though and I realized I appreciate psychedelic rock more in the afternoon than I do the evening.
Moving on, the energy was picked up by a delightful pop rock set courtesy of Chicago’s own OK Go. Playing a variety of material from all three of their albums, including an intimate hand bell rendition of “Return”, OK Go helped us almost forget about the heat (you can read more about OK Go’s set in our previous post). However, the sun was in it’s prime and after 40 minutes of rockin’ out to the band High Voltage owes it’s existence to it was time for some A/C. Sadly this caused me to miss out on Flogging Molly and what I heard was a highly-energetic Cage The Elephant set.
Next up was Tinie Tempah at the Critical Mass Tent. Arriving early to get a good photo spot I was turned onto the tail end of Krafty Kuts’ set. Wish someone had mentioned how remarkable this guy is to me prior, spinning old school soul, r&b, hip hop mixed with house & dubstep (i.e. Aretha Franklin – Think, House Of Pain – Jump Around and more). It was an immediate dance party. Finally things switched over for Tinie Tempah to take the stage. Tinie is amongst my favorites from the UK rap scene alongside The Streets & Plan B and he owned that tent. Each track setting the bar higher than the last, his style is fresh, undeniably entertaining & served as the perfect opener for Girl Talk which is where I was off to next.
Once again only catching the last 15 minutes, Girl Talk has been redeemed in my book. Stigma had me to believe that Girl Talk wouldn’t be something for me. However mashing up Guns N Roses, Queen and other classic rock faves with various delicious electronic & hip hop beats was fun. Could it be? Could I be turning into an electronic music fan after all? Or am I just a sucker for a Slash guitar solo in any situation?
And speaking of guitars, time for Black Keys! One of the best rock duo’s around. Solid set as usual with that beautifully distorted blues guitar vibe, grungy vocal and precision drumming. I was honestly shocked when 25% of the audience left five songs in. But then again, they may have just wanted to get their spot for headliners MUSE who would be next up…
Now, do I really need to say anything about MUSE that hasn’t already been said? A brilliant band on album and live. The orchestration and mixing on their albums is the closest in originality since Queen’s heyday. Their live show far surpasses anyone else. Epic doesn’t even begin to describe MUSE.
Overall, solid line-up & flow. The stages weren’t too far away from each other. The food options were decent for a festival, but I’ve seen better. The vendor areas were awkwardly empty however the vibe was big. If they make it to another year (and I hope they do), may I suggest a non-Lollapalooza weekend?
P.S. More Photo’s from Kanrocksas available on our Facebook page: facebook.com/highvoltagemagazine