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The biggest story of Lollapalooza's second day involved a band that didn't even show up—Death Grips. I wasn't terribly surprised given the noise-rap group's reputation; they are, after all, the same guys who had an extremely public falling out last fall with their old label, Epic, after they leaked their second album, No Love Deep Web (which is perhaps better known as "that album with the erect dick on the cover"). The idea that the same group would choose to not show up in town to play a big corporate festival isn't far fetched, but what's irritating about the whole ordeal is the fact that Death Grips didn't end up playing their Friday night aftershow at Bottom Lounge, either.
The news about Friday night's no-shows had a more scandalous tone than just any old cancellation—Pitchfork initially reported that the band's recordings were played over Bottom Lounge's PA, that the stage was starkly set with a drum kit and a backdrop of a suicide note allegedly written by a Death Grips fan, and that attendees trashed the kit—which makes me wonder if the whole affair wasn't just one big publicity stunt. According to DNAinfo (quoting Bottom Lounge's marketing director), the club's employees were informed by the band's manager that "the stage set up and the Death Grips album being played 'was the show.' It appears to us that despite having a signed contract, they never intended on performing." Not only does that support my theory, it also—if true—constitutes a publicity grab at the expense of the very people who went to see that band and only that band, as opposed to the random festival attendees with presumably less interest in them.
Death Grips weren't the only ones who didn't end up performing. Local experimental production duo Supreme Cuts couldn't play due to technical difficulties, and it was rather heartbreaking to witness them trying to fix things for more than 10 minutes. Fortunately Supreme Cuts had friends who were more than eager to help out in a jam. The-Drum's Brandon Boom was on hand and cued up some songs by local R&B group Jody, whose members were also onstage. Jody's unexpected impromptu set wasn't the best of the day—soul singer Charles Bradley, rapper Kendrick Lamar, and electronic-pop outfit the Postal Service put on stronger performances—but watching Supreme Cuts' friends jump in to support them during a time of need made for the day's most endearing moment. Jody, Brandon Boom, and Kit (who grabbed a mic at the end of the set to perform a song he cut with Jody called "My Bad Bitch") not only rescued that set but seemed to do a good job cheering up Supreme Cuts' Austin Keultjes and Mike Perry, who ended up dancing with their friends as if nothing had gone wrong. That set may not have gone as planned, but I felt proud watching those folks represent Chicago and have fun running around onstage.
Photos below of the Postal Service, Supreme Cuts, Kendrick Lamar, the National, Local Natives, and Charles Bradley—but first a video recap highlighting some of my favorite performances from Saturday.