Photo by Jonathan Fritz
Sunday, 1:30 p.m., VTR Stage
Speaking of artful blends of local and international talent, look no further than Astro: A Chilean band with a frontman, Andrés Nusser, who looks like a California surfer and who could challenge Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos for the shrillest falsetto in indie pop. Astro are no strangers to the international scene or even to Lollapalooza – they played an early set in Chicago back in 2013.
Nonetheless, Astro comes off as a wholly distinct – and overwhelmingly energetic – manifestation of Chilean sound. Reflecting quickly on what’s helped cultivate the band’s success, its live set, and its distinct tone, Andrés comments, “We’re always learning something from everyone. To watch Skrillex [on Saturday] – it’s a totally different live experience, but we still learned something from him I think we can use.” With their broad back catalog of international festivals, Astro has unquestionably had plenty of talented professors from countless sets from which to study.
Brand-new track “Carribean”, performed live for the first time on Sunday, was a standout. After a brief, thumping low-end start, the song takes off like a rocket ship into a flurry of blips and dreamy lyrics that make it clear that you ought to be on a beach right now, but leave you undecided as to whether that beach is in the nearby Chilean town of Valparaiso or inside of your old Sega Genesis. Either way – the song is catchy as hell.
Andrés hints that Astro might be continuing stateside on its tour sometime in July – with four months’ leeway, it will be interesting to see what new tricks they’ve picked up in the meanwhile. –Josh Petersel