Dhani Harrison, son of the quiet Beatle, may have only just released his second album as thenewno2, but he and his band are already Lollapalooza experts. Their set on Friday evening was the third time the group has appeared at the festival, and their affections for the annual three-day brouhaha in Chicago’s Grant Park run deep.
“We played with Perry on the Kidz stage,” Harrison explained of his previous appearance at Lollapalooza, back in 2010. “We were the house band over there. Perry called us and said, ‘Let’s play some crazy songs for the kids,’ and we ended up playing ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads to 5,000 children and their parents. They loved that one—we really got the evil eye during the second verse.”
Harrison’s terrorizing of small children’s delicate sensibilities did not end there. “Then we did [Porno for Pyros’] ‘Pets,’ which has got loads of expletives. And Perry’s kids kept running across the stage—I nearly clocked one with an acoustic guitar by accident.”
Fittingly, the group’s Lollapalooza experience ended with a healthy dose of gastrointestinal discomfort.
“It was like 110 degrees that day, so we went in to watch Soundgarden from the sound booth. We stood between the two rumblers, these big subwoofers, and as soon as Matt Cameron kicked off, I went green and had to go vomit,” Harrison admitted. “I actually vomited. We were in exactly the wrong frequency range. It wasn’t the brown note. It was the green note. I saw Matt Cameron after the Pearl Jam 20 festival, and told him how his kick drum made me vomit. I told him I got to ‘Jesus Christ Pose,’ and then I chucked.”
Harrison even said that he had been sick the morning of this year’s Lollapalooza set, which boded well for thenewno2’s performance. “That’s how we know we’re going to have a good show, if I vomit beforehand,” Harrison laughed. “Every single one of my best shows begins with me puking.”
He must have had an extra intense wretch prior to his band’s performance on the BMI stage, as they ran through fantastically energetic variations on the lively new entries on the band’s just-released second album thefearofmissingout.
The highlight was easily “The Number,” which the band included in their set at the last minute due to some intense pressure from a focus group. “A bunch of girls told us to play ‘The Number,’” Harrison said. “They were like, ‘You’re stupid if you don’t play this song.’ And if the girls are happy, then the guys are happy, so everyone wins.”