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Mark Ronson, Rhymefest, and Friends Kick Off Lollapalooza

Ten hours before the first act officially hit the stage, Mark Ronson inaugurated the three-day festival.

“Unity in Diversity” read the passage hovering above Mark Ronson as he hit the stage at Chicago’s House of Blues early Friday morning (Aug. 1) to rock the official Lollapalooza kick-off party, presented by Spin, Bud Light, 93XRT, and C3.And there couldn’t have been a more accurate description for the soul-funk white boy with a hard-on for trumpets. Hitting the stage after 1 A.M. in the very wee hours of the day, Ronson and his 11-man band ran through a 19-song set. With the help of local MC Rhymefest, Philly-based Plastic Little, and a slew of guest vocalists, the DJ/producer/collaborator extraordinaire dapperly covered everything from Britney Spears’ “Toxic” to tracks off his first two discs, including “Ooh Wee” from 2003’s Here Comes the Fuzz.

Daniel Merriweather joined Ronson to close the 90-plus-minute set with a — not surprisingly — trumpet-tastic cover of the Smith’s “Stop Me if You Think You’ve Heard this One Before.” Consider Lollapalooza 2008 officially on kids!

Check out photos from last night on page 2

Ronson and Plastic Little’s Jayson Musson are all smiles at the Lollapalooza kick-off party. / Photo by Karen Chan

Musson gives Ronson a shoulder to lean on. / Photo by Karen Chan

Ronson trades licks for the Lolla crowd. / Photo by Karen Chan