[Above: The Stooges]
Certainly the most memorable performance of Lollapalooza 2007 came when Iggy Pop and the Stooges took the stage
. The legendary group served as a reminder that great rock ‘n’ roll is indeed alive and kicking, even if some of its strongest songs were written decades prior. Iggy and Co.'s raucous attack on songs such as “I Wanna Be Your Dog” sent ripples of electricity across the park, while the shirtless Pop flitted about the stage untethered, a wild animal whipped into a frenzy. Growling and prowling, he owned the stage and crowd, while guitarist Ron Asheton, drummer Scott Asheton and bassist Mike Watt were riotous throughout each song.
By the time “No Fun” kicked in, it was hard to imagine anything topping the already rousing set, but an invitation from Pop to the crowd to join him on the stage brought scores of fans rushing to fulfill the request. Security was overwhelmed by the sheer number of fans streaming up front, and the band was engulfed by its followers. Once the song died out, Pop implored, “Easy, everybody. Calm down, or this could get weird.” It seemed the show would come to a halt, but shortly after the stage was cleared, and the band concluded with “1970” and “Fun House.”
Another less chaotic but nevertheless derailing moment occurred during Peter Bjorn and John’s show. During “The Chills,” the sound went out. While the band signed autographs and waited for the issue to be corrected, !!! incited booty shaking during its funked-up, grooving set. The crowd had no problem dancing along thanks to spirited lead singer Nic Offer. Things eventually returned to normal for PB&J, just in time for a lovely folk-tinged version of “Amsterdam” and the romantic stroll of “Paris 2004.” The band's ubiquitous, whistling hit, “Young Folks,” brought one of a few intriguing collaborations to take place at the fest (Eddie Vedder appeared with Kings of Leon and Ben Harper) to fruition with Apostle of Hustle’s Dean Stone playing bongos and Silversun Pickups’ Nikki Monninger singing the female lead along with the band.
Following Café Tacuba's eclectic, artful mix that combined Norteño and folk musings as well as American punk-rock influences, Pearl Jam headlined Sunday night. Essentially playing a greatest hits set was a great call, one that pleased the overflowing crowd as sound reverberated all the way to the far reaches of the park and fans sang along. Vedder waxed reminiscent of his Chicago wonder years, indulging all with both memories and radio hits. An extended version of “Even Flow” grew larger with fireworks from nearby Navy Pier punctuating the song. The band was passionate in delivery and Vedder’s vocals were utterly sincere and vibrant. Ending on an appropriately stirring cover of "Crazy Mary," Lollapalooza's wild-eyed weekend drew to a rousing close.