(CBS SF/RADIO.COM) - From the looks of migration patterns at this year's Lollapalooza, many had the same idea as this reporter: Watch Robert Smith of The Cure "feeeeel" before shimmying across Chicago's Grant Park to catch Phoenix's dance party.
In the past, Sunday's headliner has been thought to be the top dog amongst the Lollapalooza headliners; that honor was, in theory, meant for to The Cure. Phoenix, though a relative newcomer in the American festival headlining game, put up the fight of their lives, and they didn't even need R. Kelly or Daft Punk to do it. Certainly Kellz would have gotten the hometown crowd going, but he just played Pitchfork two weeks ago and it's a Sunday, he was probably watching True Blood or something. (Or, as the Phoenix guys told Radio.com earlier in the day, they don't like to repeat their stunts.)
"Usually on Sunday nights people are really tired," frontman Thomas Mars said, seemingly dumbfounded at the crowd rowdiness. "But not you… Chicago, you are different."
Even old songs — ie, pre-Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix songs — elicited spirited reactions; knowing the songs was secondary — it was time to dance. Basking in blue and pink strobes, fans were as entranced by "Rome" as they were "1901," "Lisztomania" and "Entertainment." The Postal Service could stand to learn a few things about what it means to headline a festival as an electropop act and still rock out quite hard.
The set kept building and building until it actually exploded. Mars ran through the audience all the way past the sound tent, but his method for getting back was to crowdsurf. Standard enough, until it became clear that to Mars, crowdsurfing meant to tumble across fans instead of being carried by them. In a mesmerizing feat, Mars rolled and rolled until he reached the front, his face and unmentionables likely being smushed repeatedly. The 30-something frontman emerged from the pit victorious, having connected with the crowd in more ways than one.
Don't miss Phoenix as they headline the Twin Peaks Stage at Outside Lands inside Golden Gate Park, San Francisco on Saturday, August 10.
Read more about Lollapalooza at Radio.com
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