In the case of The Last Dinosaurs, seeing is believing

The+Last+Dinosaurs+performed+at+the+Bud+Light+Seltzer+stage+on+Thursday+singing+%E2%80%9CDominos%2C%E2%80%9D+%E2%80%9CThe+Hating+and+more.+This+is+the+groups+first+American+festival+appearance.+

Sydney Laput

The Last Dinosaurs performed at the Bud Light Seltzer stage on Thursday singing “Dominos,” “The Hating” and more. This is the groups first American festival appearance.

By Aidan Sadovi, Staff Writer

The advent of the streaming era in music has had its fair share of downsides. Sure, the reaches of bands who were formerly confined to dingy basements and garages — in places like Brisbane, Queensland in Australia — are now international, but the same apps and streaming services that have helped create a semblance of meritocracy within the international music industry continue to do wrong by their artists, with algorithms that often try their hardest to make sure musicians receive as little from their profits as they can. 

A more hidden cost in the headphone experience, however, is incomparable to the experience of live music. Imperfections in sound, the feeling of a bass shimmering through putrid and smoky air, the look on a guitarist’s face when striking the last note of a solo — all of these things are the unique moments that draw people to listen to their favorite musicians in close quarters and sweltering heat — places like Lollapalooza — rather than the comfort of their home. 

Some music and some bands transform in the open air. The Last Dinosaurs is one of them. 

The four-man Australian indie-rock outfit performed at Lollapalooza Chicago on Thursday in the band’s first American festival appearance. 

“And it’s f*****g Lollapalooza!” frontman Sean Caskey yelled midshow. 

The Last Dinosaurs put on an infectious set. The ultra-tight groove of bassist Michael Sloane, usually more inconspicuous in studio recordings, sustained a bright and danceable sound that mixed with slashing and swirling guitars. Little bits of humor from frontman Sean, who at one point thanked a growing crowd in Italian, added to the band’s charisma. 

 “We’re going to get a bit sentimental,” Sean said as he introduced “The Weekend.”  “This song is about smoking weed.”

All of these things and more make The Last Dinosaurs better than the sum of its parts. The band’s brand of indie pop, which can sometimes sound unremarkable and a bit too carefree, becomes more than that, revealing influences of surf-pop and even a bit of disco. This is mostly achieved through the aforementioned work of Michael Sloane and lead guitarist — and brother of Sean — Lachlan Caskey, who sang and played guitar nonchalantly and skillfully on a butter-yellow Telecaster.  

Although the crowd at Lollapalooza’s Bud Light Seltzer stage started out unimpressive, wandering attendees eventually began to fill the open field overlooked by a part of the gleaming skyline, no doubt drawn in by the compelling bass and energy. Younger attendees danced to tunes from songs like “Dominos,” which yes, is about the pizza chain, and “The Hating.” 

Getting as many people like The Last Dinosaurs did into the least shaded part of Grant Park would not be a bad day for most indie-pop bands — let alone getting a sizable chunk of them to dance. 

To promote the release of album “From Mexico with Love,” Sean Caskey hoisted a white, stickered telecaster as a giveaway prize for those who ordered. The album came out on June 24, and the band’s performance was part of its North American Tour 2022 of Mexico and the United States. 

 

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