Apostle of Hustle Get Political; PB&J Lose Power
The Broken Social Scene cohort demands Dubya's head on a plate, while Peter Bjorn and John's set falls victim to blown generator.
Canadian indie jammers Apostle of Hustle, the side project of Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene, took the Playstation stage after Arts and Crafts labelmates Los Campesinos! wrapped their afternoon set. A recorded monologue blared while the outfit rolled out, repeating a rant thanking America for playing host: “You stupid, vulgar, greedy Americans.” Fair enough, but I wish them luck when crossing the border for their next tour — I smell visa issues.
Once amidst their set, Apostle of Hustle’s offsetting anti-capitalist shtick lifted and the band proved to be a powerhouse of musicians. Accompanied by only a drummer and bassist/guitarist, Whiteman cranked out a set full of everything from ambient jams to hardcore funky and raw indie music. During “National Anthem of Nowhere,” Whiteman bounces from guitar to a supplementary drum, turning the tune into a highly percussive jam. Returning to the six-string, the mustachioed rocker transitioned into an ambient, experimental solo.
Rehashing the political undertones of the band’s entrance diatribe, Whiteman mentioned holding the bloody severed heads of not just Dubya, but also Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in his hands — so much for nonviolent protest. But soon switching subjects, Whiteman and co. again dove into a beat heavy session.
After some stage antics, which saw Whiteman mull the location of his wine, the band played “Haul Away,” radiating deep, driving rhythms and scratchy guitars. Again, Whiteman snatched up the drum and slammed away to a sweating, famished, yet thrilled crowd.
Relocating to the Citi stage, I watched as Swedes Peter, Bjorn & er, not John — Caesars’ drummer Nino Keller sat in — saddled up for the band’s first-ever Lolla performance. And yes, the “Young Folks” arrived, albeit quite tardy. Kicking off the performance, the trio was soon forced to abandon their set after two and a half songs due to continued technical issues, specifically a blown generator. Unfortunately, that was it for PB&J in Grant Park, but luckily, we caught up with the band later that night at Chicago’s Double Door, where the Swedes treated us to a short set, including “Young Folks” alongside Silversun Pickups’ Nikki Monninger on vocals. In silk, sweat-stained shirts, the Scandinavian trio also offered psychedelic renditions of “Objects of My Affection” and “Up Against the Wall,” the latter which saw Peter and Bjorn both leap into the crowd and rock out under a shower of camera flashes. Thankfully, the electricity endured and Bjorn thanked the crowd for showing up for round two in his thick Swede accent and rocky sentence flow: “Thank you for coming here.”