The Lollies: Lollapalooza Wrap Up

After Mudapalooza wrapped up late Sunday night with the Foo Fighters delivering a magical performance of “Everlong,” thoughts turned to something far more important than a live show. Musicians make music for the hope of one day earning a medal of their own. Fans wish they did something outrageous enough to earn them a spot amongst the stars. What we’re talking about folks, is a Lollie.

The Lollies are a special award show… something that only comes once a year, and delivers winners with satisfaction that they finally “made” it in the world. Now who can earn a Lollie? Anyone within festival grounds (primarily bands, but if a fan were to truly deserve one, Lollie voters keep track of everything). Who are the Lollie voters? Me, and only me. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were victorious in ’06, winning the Lollie for Most Energetic Performance. The Killers, winners in ’09 for Most Surprising Performance, were shocked to receive such a high honor. And who could forget Albert Klimek, taking home the Biggest Trooper Lollie last year for charging the fence and breaking his arm. Without further ado, here are the 2011 champions.

Check out the winners after the jump!

Most Surprising Performance: The Black Lips

Photo by Michael Bojda

The stories of these guys’ debauchery are never ending. What gets lost in the shenanigans though is the fact that they are a really good garage punk band. Live, they proved just that. Playing hits off the Mark Ronson produced Arabia Mountain as well as past albums such as Good Bad Not Evil and 200 Million Thousand, the Lips were able to get the crowd jumping, singing, and even moshing (which at Lolla is a rare event nowadays). Guitarist Cole Alexander managed to projectile vomit on stage without missing a note, other guitarist Ian Saint Pe crushed beer cans on his forehead, and together they played a fast, crowd pleasing set that makes you anticipate even bigger things for this Atlanta band. The set was the only one of the weekend where I didn’t hear “Stop pushiiiiiing!!” or “I need to get out!” even once while in the crowd. Fans loved the Black Lips, and the Black Lips love a good time. Congratulations.

Runner Up: Tinie Tempah

Most Energetic Performance: The Cool Kids

Photo by Michael Bojda

The Cool Kids conquered the Perry’s Tent on Sunday almost as easily as the Dallas Mavericks knocked out the LA Lakers from the NBA playoffs. Playing to a capacity crowd (around 10,000), Chuck and Mikey presented fans with their “Beach Rap” hits from When Fish Ride Bicycles (Such as Summer Jam, Swimsuits, and Penny Hardaway) and brought it back to the 2008 EP The Bake Sale that would launch their careers (Playing Mikey Rocks, Black Mags, and A Little Bit Cooler). Starting off their set with Bassment Party (this song alone would have won them this Lollie), the Cool Kids turned the manure scented tent into a dance floor that saw fans grinding on one another, crowd surfing, and chanting every lyric, not stopping even in between songs. The energy was high throughout the set, with Mikey even climbing a light pole right on stage. The Kids were at home and happy, and the only way to stop these guys was to literally shut off their microphones.

Runner Up: Kids These Days

Most Impressive Performance: Local Natives

Photo by Michael Bojda

Local Natives turned a small performance at Pitchfork in 2010 into almost completely filling up Hutchinson Field at Lollapalooza in 2011. I was shocked when I saw how many people came to see the LA band on Saturday, and immediately a little worried that their afropop-influenced guitars with hyperactive drumming and hooky three-part harmonies would not be able to handle/please the crowd. Boy was I wrong. Playing only songs from their debut album Gorilla Manor, the Natives handled the pressure like champions and even got first time listeners singing the chorus to the catchy “Airplanes.” Each member switched instruments (with exception to drummer Matt Frazier) at the start of almost every song providing the crowd with fresh vocals and more to fall in love with. They’re here to stay, and this was probably the last time they played an early time at a major festival.

Runner Up: The Vaccines

Most Interesting Performance: OK GO

Photo by Michael Bojda

They played their whole set dressed in Google Chrome themed suits (coolest music video ever? “All Is Not Lost”). Is that not enough? Singer Damian Kulash climbed into the crowd with his guitar and played a full song in the middle of thousands of people. Oh more?  Well, OK GO played one of their songs completely with bells. And with that, I present to you the first ever unanimous Lollie winner.

Runner Up: It was unanimous, no runner up.

Most Disappointing Performance: The Naked and Famous

Photo by Rory O'Connor

Maybe it’s because I expected so much from the New Zealand band? I saw TNAF twice over Lolla weekend (once at the Thursday Lolla Pre-show and Friday at the Sony stage) and was impressed neither time. They played “All of This” and “Punching in a Dream” back to back to start out their set, which would be nice if they had 9 more songs as festival friendly (fast paced, catchy, popular)… but they only have 3 (“Young Blood” which they closed with). Sandwiched between was a lot of slow ballads that got the crowd bobbing their heads, but other than that, nothing. Other than complaining about equipment problems, TNAF rarely said a word to the huge crowd that gathered to hear the much talked about band (Lollapalooza picked them as a must-see). Maybe they’re still getting used to the popularity, or maybe the flight in was a rough one? The set list desperately needs to be changed though, unless the band wants to keep losing 75% of their crowd after the first two songs.

Runner Up: The Perry’s staff that cut off the Cool Kids microphones right when Asher Roth was getting on stage to perform his verse in “Roll Call.”

The Biggest Trooper Award: Kelly F.

Photo by Kelly

My friend Kelly F. cracked her head on the security barricade after crowd surfing during Skrillex’s legendary Perry’s set. She wanted to stay because soldiers don’t feel no pain! Instead, she was taken to the hospital, her head stapled. She returned to Lollapalooza the next two days with no problems, just a headband to cover the scar. That my friends, is a trooper pushing it to the absolute limit for a Lollie. Congrats Kelly.

There you have it, the 2011 Lollie Awards. Wear the virtual medals proud ladies and gentleman.

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Filed under Live Reviews, Michael

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