Event Review: Justice at Lollapalooza

I’m full of residual feelings from this past weekend, but the two most prominent are:

1. Ecstasy – To process the magic and glory that is Justice is nearly impossible — so watching them live melted my effing face off. Face is off. The only thing I know how to feel right now is extreme bliss.

2. Fury – I’m still seething about the fact that my friend failed to sell me her 3-day pass, forcing me to overpay on StubHub for just Sunday…the prices online for the 3-day were insane, and I wasn’t ABOUT to try some shady shit on Craigslist. Does that make me a colossal pussy? Maybe!

Ecstasy is number one for a reason, though.

I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end my Sunday, than with Justice. Justice > ALL. And I AM being extremely biased when I say that I hope all the people that attended Kaskade, Childish Gambino and Jack White are ashamed of themselves.

French duo Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay put on a show that may or may not have made me cry a little bit. It would be dishonest of me to blame my reaction on the effects of beer + wine + whiskey + breathing in the same air that was exhaled by some very “altered” crowd members, but I guess I’m not ruling that out either.

Their stage set-up was what I expected — and I’m happy about that. It’s too perfect that the stack of electronics they always play on resembles a church alter with a glowing cross. With liberty, and Justice for all the victims of generally heinous music.

Wearing vintage Greaser-esque jackets, Augé and de Rosnay played music from their critically-acclaimed and Grammy-nominated †, as well as their newest album Audio, Video, Disco. They also had some SICK transitions and musical tidbits thrown into the mix. For example, I heard some Jay-Z and Bach in there.


I’m also in love with the fact that they opened to the national anthem–the American one.

Combine the day’s perfect weather with visuals and music that just DON’T quit, and you’ve found music-fest nirvana.

I’m always interested in what other people have to say about the shows I fall in love with, and I was not surprised to find that some people were disappointed; I’m positive that these are the same people fresh off of Spring Awakening’s high, that have found themselves on a never-ending pilgrimage to find more whomp–ANY whomp.

Time Out Chicago did a Lollapalooza Rewind piece, and I want to share that with you because it’s awesome and describes the show better than I ever could:

Justice’s three-amp-high Marshall stacks would only come up to the nose of Avicii’s monolithic human head. But size only matters when it comes to sound.

Note: I did not say bass. Justice is not going to win that bowel-rumbling battle with the single-minded mooks over on Perry’s stage. Justice is simply heavier. The duo approaches electronics like a metal band. Dubstep treats their software like a jam band. It’s the difference between Kubrick and Bay. Dubstep is for jocks. Justice represents the D&D band geeks. At least this is how I try to justify why I eat this up and find that wub wub stuff the worst music ever created by boys with technology.

Which is not to say the crowd is anything other than a rave. Girls in kitty cat hats suck on pacifiers. A dude does the shuffle while twirling a light-up up yo-yo. A man with a beard pumps a giant inflatable phallus into the night sky. Guys playing air keyboard. I saw a dude air knob-twiddling. I shit you not. Still, I wish I could drag the Black Sabbath fans back for this set.

The Frenchmen take the stage to the national anthem. Ours. They wear black satin jackets with the band’s logo on the back, like villains in The Karate Kid. Their environment looks as if Lemmy built a cathedral on the moon in 1971. A cross glows before a tall altar of vintage electronics. As the set progresses, as Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay melt their riff-heavy monsters into each other, the light show dazzles a la Close Encounters. “Canon” bursts into “D.A.N.C.E.” The LED wall behind them turns into a starfield, red sirens, spotlights. Flecks of both Jay-Z and Bach are tossed into the mix. The two demand applause like dictators, gesturing upward with their palms.

At one point, the audio drops out and the two stand stock-still, bathed in white light, for a solid two minutes. It’s dramatic, over-the-top and knowingly a bit ridiculous. The hardware altar slides apart to reveal a piano set against a wall of light. Both Augé and de Rosnay take their turn at the keyboard. Here is the facade, literally cracking apart, to show a little Parisian man making monumental music with his hands.

And there you have it.

Thanks for sharing fam! Stay in touch!