Day Two provided ample opportunity to sample Lollapalooza’s deep undercard. Starting the day in the arboreal comfort of American Eagle, I eventually decided to take advantage of the best weather this weekend to bounce around other stages.
“There is no frontier,” promised the cryptic lettering that preceded Mobley’s show, a performance deemed a “strange ritual” meant to “coax sound and light from wood and wire.” An indie performer who self-identifies as a one-man-band, Mobley effortlessly blends heavy imagery with instrumental proficiency. Throughout the show, he played with an immaculately executed exploration of music-making, rushing between a keyboard, drumset, and guitar in “Hound the World” to an almost whistle-like megaphone in “2:09 a.m.” At one point, he called up four audience members to produce a human drum machine rigged together by electrical equipment he had assembled himself.
While mesmerizing, this expert ability to shift between devices was only the backdrop for Mobley’s message. The rest was made up primarily of selections from his newest song cycle “Fresh Lies, Vol. I,” a body of work which uses romantic love—or, as in the case of his record “Torch,” the loss of such love—as a way of representing and navigating his identity in the United States. It’s a weighty charge, to be sure, but one that Mobley has shown he has both the technical ability and larger vision to pull off, and as a whole the show came together to provide a thought-provoking start to the day.
Say what you will about Chicago, but there is no denying that we take care of our own. Of course, such support is not difficult when you boast the effervescence that the six-member psychedelic rock band Post Animal exudes. And though they admitted that today’s show was the biggest stage that the group had played on to date, a casual viewer would have no idea given the massive aura they project.
Though their songs do have lyrics, diction seemed like an afterthought. Instead, the band leaned primarily onto instrumentals, stuffing their repertoire replete with electric guitar riffing and occasional musical screaming. Some songs, such as “When I Get Home,” were held up by a pulsing baseline, a sort of rhythmic pressure best felt thoracically. Though laid on thick, the classic rock combination of strings and percussion were cut occasionally by synths: “Tire Eyes” featured an electric, keyboard-like sequence in the background of the track which was a much-needed reprieve from an otherwise intense sequence of pieces. “Ralphie,” a song from their 2018 album “When I Think Of You In A Castle,” is softer than the rest of the set and helps round out the performance. Dripping with energy and homegrown charm—though they preferred to perform rather than speak, several members greeted their mothers in the audience—Post Animal did their city proud today.