Posted by: Johnny Loftus on August 5, 2008 at 10:12 am

Thoughts on Lollapalooza 2008

By Johnny Loftus

Kanye West‘s ego should be Barack Obama‘s running mate. The candidate never showed Sunday night, or on any other night of Lollapalooza 2008. But in a lively, often captivating, and occasionally surreal set that closed out the concert’s final evening, West used the outsized wattage of his own ego to power a performance that pulsed on multiple levels. He appealed to casual fans, which most of the festivalgoers at this designed-for-mass-consumption event were all weekend, with athletic, high-volume versions of hits like “Gold Digger” and “Stronger,” the latter’s Daft Punkian underpinnings also serving as his opening vamp and a nod to Lolla 2008. He appealed to his hometown, with shouts to the South, West, and North sides and numerous allusions to “Chi-town,” “Summer in the city,” “Lolla,” and even “Lake Michigan.” And he appealed to the curious and the critical with a micromanaged, likely multi-million dollar production that used precision timing and the high technology that glares at the core of so many of West’s songs to manufacture our perception of him in 2-D, even as he performed with the kind of singular fury that much of contemporary hip-hop can’t seem to muster anymore. “Me” is the driver of every Kanye song. But on Sunday night he was Read more

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