The second day of Lollapalooza Argentina 2017 was almost a carbon copy of the previous one on the surface: bright hours of sunlight and the same level of attendance. The taste of the audience, however, was completely different.
After the fierce sets that Metallica and Rancid delivered the previous night, the next day was primarily one for the newer generations. Nevertheless, Duran Duran hit Main Stage 2 with its swagger and sound intact. As the classics rang with the new tunes, so did the audience. Fathers and sons and mothers and daughters danced to the beat in a unique generational crossover. “We are not interested in living in the past,” said John Taylor to Billboard Argentina.
Odd as it may sound, the presence of Simon LeBon’s band and the brilliant Mad Professor — the only pre-’90s acts of the day — felt somewhat logical. After all, the influence of the Birmingham pop group can easily be felt in Tegan & Sara’s Heartthrob and Love You to Death. The twin sisters’ set drew heavily from those albums, while adding a few reworkings of older tracks, for an hour of unapologetic electro pop.
Just like day one, day two of the festival (Saturday, April 1) included both new and veteran bands from the local scene. El Plan de la Mariposa showed up with its danceable folk, mixing the best from its three records, and Turf enjoyed its return to the fold, as frontman Joaquin Levinton requested, feverishly: “I want to see the greatest mosh pit in the world, right here.”
Minutes later at that same stage, Catfish & The Bottlemen, dressed in black, performed their renewed vision of post punk. The crowd reacted positively, prompting Ryan McCann to double up on his ambitions and play like there was no tomorrow. “We will come back anytime you need us,” he said.
As C&TB finished, Jimmy Eat Wold began playing at the opposite stage. Jim Adkins and Co. delivered a fantastic lesson on how to avoid genres and become an institution of modern rock. From the band’s teen punk origins in Arizona to its mature sound of today, its songs struck a chord.
By nightfall, the need to dance still lingered in the air. Two Door Cinema Club hit the stage and capitalized on it with the band’s vibrant indie rock. Gameshow allowed the trio to mellow a bit and groove in a different way. With hits like “Cigarettes in the Theatre,” “I Can Talk,” “Eat That Up, It’s Good for You,” “What You Know” and “Sun,” it wouldn’t be surprising to see the group’s name appear further up in the lineup in the next couple of festivals.
The road from being a protégé to becoming the forerunner is a difficult one. Abel Tesfaye, better known as the Weeknd, stood on stage and spoke to a smartphone-pointed-to-the-sky generation. During that conversation, he pleased those who had come to hear the hits from Starboy, his latest effort, to Beauty Behind the Madness. But he also included more obscure gems, such as the wonderful “The Morning,” from House of Balloons, the EP that caught fellow Canadian Drake’s attention.
After the final notes of “I Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills,” and after Danish singer MØ exploited her Major Lazer associated hits, the time came once again for rock music to end the procedures.
The Strokes only needed an hour and a half to take over everything. Julian Casablancas, histrionic as usual, played the arrogant dandy. “You guys should take care of Messi. We love you, Messi! Girls, this is a guys conversation,” he told the crowd.
Casablancas and Albert Hammond Jr. had previously performed at Lollapalooza Argentina as solo acts. But this time, it was clear that the Strokes are bigger than the sum of its parts. The charming songs of their first record, executed in its entirety, along with other hits from albums Room on Fire and First Impressions of Earth, constructed the idea that, despite being in a horse track stadium overflowing with people, their sound truly belonged in a damp basement in New York. As Casablancas admitted, “We don’t feel comfortable with the encore thing. But it’s all right.”
And it was all right. At its fourth edition, Lollapalooza Argentina still stands as a testimony of the proper way to do a music festival.