Lolla in Brief: Day 2

Today was a day full of music discovery, so this post will mostly be focused on the bands I wasn’t expecting to find today. I’ll touch on a few I’d planned on seeing, too.

To start is the band Con Brio, a seven-strong lineup of extremely talented musicianship. Brass solos, guitar solos and vocal improvisation created a show full of funk, soul, blues and rock influences. I’d love to see these guys get a later time slot eventually. Their friendly stage persona and high energy will take them places.

Following these guys were the spacy surf-rock outfit Daywave, known most for their single “Drag.” These guys follow in that West Coast vein of Best Coast and Real Estate with a subtle New Order influence as well. In fact, they ended up covering “Ceremony” (one of my favourite NO tunes) in the set. I’d say this makes them slightly more mature than your basic “surf rock” band and elevates the group to the level of other NO-inspired acts like Beach Fossils.

St. Motel proved to be a real suprise for me. I’m not a fan of their big single “My Type,” but I was wrong to write them off based on that sound. It’s fun, accessible alt rock with a solid brass section and a talented keyboardist. And I must say the ceramic tiger attached to the keyboard was a great touch.

And speaking of fun alt rock, I’d go see The Struts in their own show in a heartbeat. It’s less of a concert and more of a performance with these guys, complete with a mini costume change and interactive singing/dancing with the crowd. A 45-minute Lolla slot just didn’t seem enough for the antics of the frontman (who, I’m pretty sure, is Freddie Mercury reincarnated).

Foals did live up to expectations, but played a few too many mellow songs for my liking. Their studio sound transferred well to the stage, but I would’ve liked them in a smaller indoor venue so I could appreciate each nuance. However, their ending with “Inhaler” and “What Went Down” back to back was brilliant.

Following this was Frightened Rabbit, who played almost every song I was hoping for (“The Oil Slick” would’ve been great). Every guy in the band looks like a middle-aged dad, but they know how to switch from an acoustic folk song about being nostalgic for the good old days to a blistering rock jam about holy rollers. A solid mix of slower songs, new songs and singalongs.

And I have to give a shoutout to Wolf Alice, who completely destroyed the Pepsi stage. This band isn’t afraid to be loud and their frontwoman stagediving into the audience while screaming the lyrics to the closing song proves as such. Guitar solos reminiscent of Sonic Youth and a driving beat made for an excellent show. And to the gentleman who was dancing with his small son on his shoulders the whole time, you win Dad of the Year.

Stay tuned for more fun tomorrow. Enjoy your Lolla and God bless.

-A.L.D.

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