Jam-loving rockers would welcome a drop-in by Jay-Z or Kanye West, though.
By Gil Kaufman
CHICAGO — Lollapalooza planners couldn’t have come up with a pair of headliners for Saturday night (August 6) that are more diametrically opposed then Eminem and mind-expanding Louisville rockers My Morning Jacket. It’s one of those bookings that makes things a little easier on fans who were torn on Friday night between the bombastic prog rock of Muse and the crowd-pleasing arena rock of countrymen Coldplay.
But even with the stiff competition from Slim Shady at the other end of the grounds, on Saturday morning a confident Jim James said he was sure his band’s fans would find their way to the north end of the field.
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“We’re just planning on having a good time and up the ante with our own smiles, just with our winning personalities,” said frontman James when asked if the group would try to top their stunning 2007 main-stage performance, which included members of the Chicago Youth Symphony. No such stunts are planned for Saturday night’s show.
Frankly, with the forecast calling for major rainstorms, James said he was just hoping for the best. “We just pray and hope that the spirits are with us, because sometimes a lot of this stuff is out of your control, depending on what the weather wants to do, what the forces are like.”
After attending Lollapalooza in 1994 (and seeing the Verve and Flaming Lips on the second stage) as a high school sophomore, James said he’s just blown away to be headlining this year, but he’s not sweating the face-off with Eminem. “I think people will know in their soul what they want to hear,” he laughed.
But if they could swing it, wouldn’t it be cool to beat Marshall at his own game and bring out someone like hometown rap legend Kanye West, or say, Jay-Z, who was rumored to be in town this weekend? “I wish, that’s an open invite,” he chuckled.
Like many Lolla performers, the members of MMJ had their eyes on a couple of other bands they wanted to check out. Bassist Tom Blankenship was hoping to see the musically split-personality Ween, who were slated to play on the same stage just before MMJ. “Super-excited, I’ve never seen them,” Blankenship said, though James was bummed that he was going to miss a set by Cee Lo Green, who was booked at the same time as Ween at the other end of the park.
Hmm, a tough musical call. Why does that ring a bell?
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